OPPONENTS PSV Eindhoven at Wembley 
COMPETITION Champions League  Group B 
DATE Tuesday 6th November 2018
PREVIEW The disappointment of the previous meeting with PSV and the late eaualiser for the Dutch side has left Tottenham requiring a minor miracle to get out of the group stage.  Starting with the same opponents, Spurs require a victory and probably a good one, to even keep them in with a slim chance of progressing..

With PSV having a similar record, they will also be seeking to take the points to push up the Group B table.  They showed that their form in the Eredivisie is not a fluke and wins promote confidence, which they had strung together and since that match, Spurs have done the same, despite still not firing on all cylinders.  The loss at home to Manchester City was not unexpected, as they are performing as the equivalent of PSV in Holland, but the fight we put up in the second half showed that there is a determination in the side to keep going.

With injuries wiping out half of our back four and two of our defensive midfielders, the squad will be drawn on and the pairing of Winks and Sissoko has been working quite well.  The crux of Pochettino's team selection will be who he put s in goal.  Gazzaniga had the gloves against West Ham and was on the bench at Wolves, so maybe Vorm's injury is still sidelining him.  There will be places on the bench for some of the youngsters, who will come into the reckoning,

The two players who caused the most problems for the Spurs team two weeks ago were Hirving Lozano, the Mexican midfielder and former Newcastle striker Luuk de Jong.  Lozano is a 100% player who works between the boxes, but likes to get forward and de Jong showed he is able to snaffle a goal even when he hadn't been close before the game reached the last five minutes.  But Tottenham's dominance of the game failed to be backed up with a sufficient number of goals to out-score the home team.  The same nearly occurred on Saturday at Molineux, where we didn't have anyone sent off, but did hand Wolves two penalties to get back into the game, just managing to hold out for the win.

With Eriksen and Alli potentially both available, Poch will have to decide whether to keep Erik Lamela in the side, as he is having a rich run of form at the moment and adds a work ethic to track back as well as an intent to move the ball forward. 

The game being held at Wembley might inspire PSV but the Spurs side are used to playing there and should be able to see off the Dutch league leaders, as long as they don't find a new way to put a goal on a plate for the other side.

PREDICTION Tottenham Hotspur    2        PSV Eindhoven   1
Spurs take on PSV without Jan Vertonghen, Mousa Dembele, Danny Rose and Eric Dier.  Hugo Lloris is suspended after getting sent off in the reverse fixture.

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Champions League  Group B Kick off 20:00
Tottenham Hotspur  2 (0) PSV Eindhoven  1 (1)


Kane  77m 14s
Kane  88m 38s


de Jong  01m 01s

Son (foul on Lozano)  63 
Trippier  (foul on Lozano)  90+5


Lozano  (foul on Winks)  38   
Scwaab  (foul on Kane)  90+3


Crowd :   46,588 Weather :  Mild, dry
Referee :  Ivan Kružliak (SVK) Assistant Referees :  Tomaš Somolani; Branislav Hancko (SVK)
Fourth Official :  Tomaš Mokoš (SVK) Additional Assistant Referees :  Peter Kralović; Filip Glova (SVK)
UEFA Observer :  István Huszár (HUN) UEFA Referee Observer :  -  Stefan Messner (AUT)
Spurs kicked off and played towards the East stand in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 7 minutes.
Tottenham Hotspur : kit PSV Eindhoven : kit

24  Serge AURIER  (  2  Kieran TRIPPIER  75     )
  6  Davinson SANCHEZ
33  Ben DAVIES

  8  Harry WINKS
23  Christian ERIKSEN
27  Lucas MOURA  (11  Erik LAMELA  62)

  7  Heung-Min SON       (18  Fernando LLORENTE  75)
20  DELE Alli

10  Harry KANE   

Unused subs: 
13  Michel VORM

7  Moussa SISSOKO
56  Oliver SKIPP

    1  Jeroen ZOET

22  Denzel DUMFRIES
5  Daniel SCHWAAB      

  8  Jorrit HENDRIX
18  Pablo ROSARIO
11  Hirving LOZANO     
  7  Gaston PEREIRO  (14  Donyell MALEN  73)

17  Steven BERGWIJN  (25  Erick GUTTIEREZ  86)
  9  Luuk de JONG    (20  Trent SAINSBURY  81)

Unused subs: 
13  Eloy ROOM
  3  Aziz BEHICH


Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino Manager :  Mark van Bommel
Sponsor :   AIA Shirt sponsor :  energie
Kit Supplier :  Nike Kit Supplier :   Umbro
Match report

With a situation requiring three straight wins, the concession of a goal after just 61 seconds is not the ideal way to start going about it.  It appears Spurs are aiming to out-do their personal worst in terms of letting in early goals, with this one even quicker than the Barcelona goal, but once more they were indebted to captain Kane, who came up with two late goals in the second half, to sink PSV Eindhoven's stubborn resistance and all but condemn them to a European exit bar a massive turnaround in their fortunes.

The ground wasn't full by any stretch of the imagination, with the capacity limited to 51,000, there were still empty red plastic seats in the lower sections, which should have been sold out.  The PSV fans had got in early and were banged on by a drum, making a lot of noise before kick off and they didn't have to wait long before they had something to cheer about.  Serge Aurier (in for Trippier) and Eriksen played it tight to the line on the right wing and the ball went out for a throw-in.  The ball came back into play and was quickly knocked down the line for Bergwijn to cross, forcing Toby to stretch and put the ball out, slicing off his boot.  From the corner, de Jong rose high in the box, about ten yards out, with Dele having been blocked off and Toby not getting enough height in his jump in front of the Dutch striker.  The former Newcastle failure powered his header into the net, leaving Gazzaniga no chance of saving and the visiting side were 1-0 ahead before quite a few fans hadn't taken their seats.

Having scored late in the previous meeting and early in this one, de Jong's double had put Tottenham's continuation in Europe this season in more doubt than a deal over Brexit.  With Pochettino fielding an attacking line-up,  with Winks as the only truly defensive midfielder, I wondered how this would change Poch's plans.  What happened was Tottenham put in an effort that kept the pressure on the Dutch goal, with little respite or response, with PSV playing no significant part in the game other than to get in the way.

Spurs attacked straight from the kick off and played the ball up to and around the edge of the PSV area, but couldn’t find a way through. On five minutes, they nearly made the breakthrough, when Sanchez headed down a corner from Eriksen and Dele Alli flicked up a heel behind him to hook the ball goal-wards. It was heading to the far top corner when Viergever jumped to head the ball off the line. A string of Spurs corners were cleared and the Dutch side’s players were getting in the way of the ball to stop Tottenham getting near goal. When the opposition went forward, it was normally set-pieces they played for and hoped to score from, but it was our turn to stand strong to keep them out better than we did in the second minute.

As the Spurs side were passing the ball out from the back, they managed to get a shot away at the end of one move, as Kane curled a shot that Zoet had to dive to get behind. Halfway through the first half, Lucas started tight to the line on the left wing before setting off on a run by spinning away from his marker, sprinting forward to the heart of the penalty area before being knocked off balance but getting a shot off that the keeper blocked. While on the floor, our Brazilian still managed to swing a leg at it, but could only send it over the bar.  It was a dribble at blistering pace that the PSV players daren't go near because it would have been a foul.  It was only the sheer weight of bodies that threw him off kilter as he got near goal. 

Just after that, it was a string of free-kicks - two for them and one for us - that saw the ball enter the box, but the defences dealt with them.  With the half hour mark approaching, Dele got a bit of space in the box and squared it for Christian right in front of goal.  It looked odds on a goal, but his low effort was blocked by the keeper's body and although Dele got to the rebound, his shot was also stopped by Zoet. 

There were a couple of nervy bits of Spurs defending, with Gazzaniga having to run out to head the ball away and Aurier nut-megging Bergwijn in a position that lead to Wolves' first penalty on Saturday.  The quality of our crossing hadn't been great, either from a dead ball or open play and as the half closed, there were four which failed to find a Tottenham head.  Ben Davies cut inside on one occasion rather than try and cross, but his shot hit a defender and was kicked clear.  Dele got onto the end of one of Toby's bombs from the back and while he controlled the ball well, he failed to get a decent amount of power behind it and that allowed Zoet to get a hand to it going to his right that diverted the ball out for another corner. 

Harry Winks was having a Stevie Perryman of a game.  He was everywhere, tackling and harassing the PSV players and then driving forward to push Spurs on.  Lozano couldn't take that and cynically hacked him down near the halfway line to earn a booking.

Half-time saw the massed ranks of the ground staff tending the pitch that had been much criticised before the game as still suffering from having gridiron played on it.  From where I was sitting it didn't look too bad and although some of the markings showed through, the pitch itself only looked heavily worn in a few areas.  Neither side seemed to be disadvantaged by it. 

From the kick off at the start of the second half, PSV made it perfectly clear how they were going to play it, having been given a team-talk by their manager Mark van Bommel.  From the kick off, Harry Kane went to move forward form the halfway line and Hendrix blocked him off in a violent manner, some 30 yards off the ball.   Cynical, intimidating, crude; you can use whatever word you like, but it was certainly worthy of at least a yellow card, but not according to the referee, who had an inconsistent match and that's being kind.  

Davies tried a 25-yarder that went wide, but at  least he was willing to have a go from outside the box, then Sonny fired one at goal that deflected off a defender for yet another corner.  From early on, Son's body language didn't look right.  he wasn't making the runs off the ball that he does so well and didn't look to take defenders on, which is unusual.  He kept plugging away and was chasing back, so wasn't hiding, but he definitely wasn't himself.  Paulo Gazzaniga almost made us all have a heart attack, when he decided to do a Cruyff turn in the penalty area to take the ball wide of Lozano, who was rushing in to close him down.  Our first choice keeper has been found out like that before !

A rare forward move by PSV saw Bergwijn have an effort deflected behind, but for all the rave reviews about him ,he did not show much to indicate that we would be following up our interest in him.  However, they went closer form the corner, as Pereiro won it in the air and Gazzaniga had to be athletic to dive to his right and get a good hand on it to push it wide away from goal.  The Tottenham corner count was mounting, but little threat was coming from them, so Pochettino thought it was time for a change, but the crowd were not best pleased when Lucas made way for Lamela, as many thought it would have been Son who would be withdrawn.  However, the Korean used his pace to burst forward and then played it to Kane, but his shot on the turn just outside the box was blocked.  Sonny was then booked for a tackle back on Lozano and minutes later he got onto the ball when Davies's shot was blocked and his drive went behind off a PSV player.

Harry Kane was looking frustrated after a first half when his touch wasn't as sharp as last season, but he got space in the area from a Winks pass, so turned to get a shot on goal, but it was blocked and maybe other players were better placed.  It was at this stage that PSV players were going down to receive treatment without any seemingly damaging contact on them and that added to the Spurs crowd's frustration, with them having started wasting time in about the 12th minute.  Kicking the ball away, taking minutes over throw-ins and goal-kicks, so they got a fairly raucous reception when they tried these tricks. 

Poch then made a double switch to try and spice things up as Son and Aurier made way for Trippier and Llorente in the 75th minute.  They came on to a Spurs corner, but it was Toby who got his head to it, but looped it into the air and too high, but then was back in his more usual position, stopping Lozano and Hendrix in the same phase of play.    Tottenham wasted no time in getting the ball back to the right end as far as they were concerned and Kane brought a save from Zoet from a tight angle on the left.

In the 78th minute, an Eriksen chip forward looked like it wouldn't be productive, but Kane glanced a header on and Llorente laid it back into his path.  While it looked as though it was under his feet, Harry dug out a left foot shot that beat the keeper from 15 yards out, causing the Spurs fans to get happy.  It was well taken and perhaps typical of Kane's current form.   Not a classic by any means, but a striker's goal, made out of very little.

PSV were looking to shut up shop, with only Lozano up front, hoping to hit on the break, while de Jong made way for Trent Sainsbury with nine minutes left on the clock.  Spurs were forcing their way forward, but it was PSV sub (and former Gooner) Malen, who was out in on goal from the right of the goal by Bergwijn, but his shot was straight at Gazzaniga, who stood tall and palmed the effort over the bar which was a golden chance wasted with ten minutes remaining.  From the corner, there was nobody challenging Paulo, who took the ball easily in the air.  Playing out form the back, Spurs were building moves from deep as PSV dropped deep in their own half.  Winks' cross picked out Llorente's head, but he put it straight at Zoet from 12 yards out. 

Lamela was set up by Winks, but put his shot over and at the other end, another free-kick saw Schwaab's weak header easily claimed by Gazzaniga.  It preceded a good passing move that saw the ball moved across the pitch from left to right and then back again, where Davies was given the ball inside Dumfries, and the Welshman delivered a well measured cross onto Kane's head, where he was positioned ten yards out.  The whole action went into slow-motion, as the header hit Guttierez and then Sainsbury before gently bouncing its way past Zoet, who was slow to react, although it would have gone straight to him without the deflections.  It was the last minute of normal time and all that PSV deserved for a display of all that is wrong about football. thus proving that cheating doesn't pay off.

After the goal, the PSV goalie ran up-field waving his arms about and then getting treatment, so he was wasting time even when his side needed to kick off and get back into the match.   Suddenly, there was an urgency about his need to take goal-kicks, whereas before, he dawdled and took the ball to the other side of the six yard box.  Now, he couldn't wait to get on with it.  Tottenham were trying to effectively kill off the game after having been victims of late goals already in this group.  But as PSV tried to get near the Spurs goal, Trippier felled Lozano and they had a free-kick five yards outside the box to the left.  The ball was played to the far post, where Dumfries got free, but like much else about his game, he failed to control his shot and it flew over the bar and well wide.  When the game restarted, it was soon over and Spurs had done to PSV when they had done to us two weeks ago and Inter before that.

The win keeps us in with a slim chance of getting out of the group, but a chance nonetheless.  Inter and Barcelona drew the other game, so we are four points behind Inter with two games left.  Spurs had looked rusty in the first half, but still made enough chances to score and the total of 30 shots (10 on target) showed that the old form is coming back.  Considering we are still without a few regulars in the first team, it showed how well the team are coping.  We still haven't got the biggest squad and the players who are coming in are doing a job.

Winks was outstanding tonight and while Kane took the plaudits for his two goals, it was the other "One of Our Own" who shone throughout.  Lucas gave everything and Gazzaniga did what he needed to when required, as did Toby, who had a fine match.  So, it is a little longer to wait until Inter come to Wembley because of the international week, but I hope that we can pout in a performance of such determination and resilience without letting them get a goal ahead.

Paul Lewis

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Other Champions League group scores this round of games :
Group A
Monaco (FRA) 0 Club Brugge (BEL) 4 Tuesday
Atletico Madrid (SPA) 2 Borussia Dortmund (GER) 0 Tuesday
Group B
Internazionale (ITA) 1 Barcelona (SPA) 1 Tuesday
Group C
Napoli (ITA) 1 Paris Saint Germain (FRA) 1 Tuesday
Red Star Belgrade (SER) 2 Liverpool 0 Tuesday
Group D
FC Porto (POR) 4 Lokomotiv Moscow (RUS) 1 Tuesday
Schalke 04 (GER) 2 Galatasary (TUR) 0 Tuesday
Group E
Bayern Munich (GER) 2 AEK Athens (GRE) 0 Wednesday
Benfica (POR) 1 Ajax (HOL) 1 Wednesday
Group F
Olympique Lyonnais (FRA) 2 1899 Hoffenheim (GER) 2 Wednesday
Manchester City 6 Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR) 0 Wednesday
Group G
CSKA Moscow (RUS) 1 AS Roma (ITA) 2 Wednesday
Viktoria Plzen (CZE) 0 Real Madrid (SPA) 5 Wednesday
Group H
Juventus (ITA) 1 Manchester United 2 Wednesday
Valencia (SPA) 3 Young Boys Bern (SWI) 1 Wednesday


Champions League Group B Table  2018-19
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Barcelona 4 3 1 0 11 3 10 +8
2 Internazionale 4 2 1 1 5 5 7 0
3 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 4 1 1 2 7 9 4 -2
4 PSV Eindhoven 4 0 1 3 4 10 1 -6

Position before match :  3rd
Position after this round :  3rd

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