Well, what a night it has been for Tottenham Hotspur.
It’s my job to write this article because our main Tottenham Correspondents have gone home to sulk.
Normally, I would brag in their smug faces, after all they beat my team 4 – 1. But I sympathize. When you’ve waited for 6 years for Champions League, and (arguably) your manager plays anything less than a first team squad in the biggest match of the tournament, you’ve got to be at least a little bit sorry for them.
I had the unfortunate task of watching the Monaco vs Tottenham shenanigan with my Spurs friends, and, as an unbiased opinion, they did not play well.
Firstly, Son was put straight through on goal. I mean a full-on one on one. Any decision he could have made, aside from the one he did, would have probably led to 1 – 0 at 6 minutes in. The chip was kind-of on. The side foot placement was definitely on. The wild blast to the top corner was even workable. But the ‘take a bad touch and run to the touchline’ option was what he went for.
Secondly, another argument for why Eric Dier is a fantastic footballer but not a centre Back, was the penalty. Even the Tottenham fans in the room could not argue with that. Thankfully Hugo Lloris gave another very clear shout for best ‘goalkeeper in the world at the moment’ with a brilliant penalty save and kept them in it.
The lily-whites did little for their saviour/captain though.
As for the second half, this is where it gets really disappointing.
Whatever Pochettino said to them in the break hadn’t worked. Monaco where ahead within minutes, three to be exact.
Mendy made inroads down the left, cut easily past a lack-lustre Harry Winks and found Sidibé, who was completely unmarked eight yards from goal smashed a heart-breaker of a header into the Tottenham net. It was poor defending from Spurs and a miserable flight home loomed.
Credit to Tottenham, they fought back. They piled at Monaco and Dele Alli won a penalty, this time, Harry Kane buried it, despite a hand from the Subašić.
However, the shouting and happy fist pounding in the living room didn’t last long.
I am genuinely astounded that, within a minute, 38 seconds to be exact, Tottenham had lost their momentum and had gone behind again. It was far too easy.
Sidibé charged down the right and floated over a cross that somehow ran all the way to Lemar, who took a touch and then stroked a low shot into the far corner, even the greatness of Lloris was out of the question.
In all honesty it looked like a great goal, but it wasn’t, it was just awful defending. Whether they were still in celebration-mode, or whether they thought they had more time before the ball started rolling, we don’t know. But Tottenham were still asleep from the moment the whistle blew.
After that, Pochettino made positive substitutions, most notably Eriksen, and negative ones (arguably), by bringing on Janssen.
Following that Tottenham looked ambitious and were aggressively chasing a draw, but despite chance after chance, they were either completely spannered – I think Jansen’s effort has hit someone’s yacht off the French Riviera – or just not turned in, like Alli’s far post chance off a corner.
All in all, Tottenham did not perform today. Hopefully the Spurs can use their new free time to push forward in the Premier League, which I sincerely hope they do, and have a better swing at it next season – they deserve it, after all.
By James Doherty