The starting lineup was a big surprise as Adebayor (touted to start) was nowhere to be seen (leaving questions over whether some kind of January deal is in the pipeline). Even more of a surprise was the starting place handed to Roberto Soldado (who has been heavily linked in a swap deal for Carlos Bacca).
Tottenham started off on completely the wrong foot with Vertonghen being caught completely out of position by Sordell who scored his first goal for Burnley. He raced through on a ball which found Vertonghen out of position and flat footed. Sordell ran with the ball to the edge of the box and hit a ball beyond Vorm. For me this again highlights that Spurs do not have a centre back capable of leading that back line.
Stambouli then brought down David Jones about 25 yards out and again fortune was with the Clarets side as the resulting free kick deflected in off Soldado to put them 2-0 up.
Then in a moment of genius the player of the match so far (Townsend) played in a ball flicked on by Soldado (ever aware of his team mates positioning) landing at Paulinho’s feet. The Brazilian chested the ball, turned and smashed the ball into the back of the net from close range. Soldado has been targeted by large frustration of some fans but 4 goals and 4 assists is not great, but its not poor (in 11 starts).
In a swift Spurs attack involving some intricate passing between Soldado and Townsend resulted in Soldado hitting the bar from around 5 yards out. Mouths were left gapping, but his blushes were saved just before half time.
Capoue ran onto a lose ball following a teasing cross from Ben Davies and hit a half volley on the edge of the box that most keepers would have struggled to save. Power and precision took the ball beyond the keepers outstretched left hand and into the back of the net.
Just four minutes into the second half and this time it was Tottenham to striker quickly. A corner taken by Paulinho was completely misjudge by Heaton in goal and Chriches was at the back post to bundle the ball across the line with his thigh!
The scoring was then complete on the 52nd minute when a cross field pass by Stambouli found Soldado on the right hand side who made an intelligent run into the box drawing the defenders and keeper toward him and then hit a simple ball across goal where Danny Rose slide in and hit the ball into the roof of the net. Soldado more than making up for his missed goal with 2 assists and essentially one of the catalyst to bring Tottenham back into the game.
Only further chances of notable mention both fell to Soldado, one that failed to test Heaton as he dragged his shot wide form 30 yards and the second firing straight into Heaton’s hands from 15 yards out.
All in all a bizarre twist, but a good result all the same.
Tottenham ended the game on 54% possession 16 shots (only 5 on target), 7 corners and 7 fouls.
Not the best game to watch from the start for the Spurs fan, but a great finish.
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