The end of the Premier League season can be a gruelling affair, with teams at both ends of the spectrum desperate for points and low on energy.
And Tuesday night's clash between top four-chasing Tottenham Hotspur and survival-seeking Brighton & Hove Albion was no different. In fact, it was the perfect distillation of this dynamic.
The north Londoners had 79% of the possession, and unleashed a whopping 29 shots (with only five on target) to the visitors' six, but it wasn't until that 29th effort - a speculative long-range strike from Christian Eriksen that skidded into the bottom right corner of the net - that the deadlock was broken.
You may be thinking that, at that point, after you have attempted all the precise passing and crossing you can muster, a long-range strike can be a comforting last resort. But you'd be wrong. This was not a last resort. Not by a long shot (excuse the pun).
29 - Christian Eriksen scored Spurs' opening goal with what was their 29th shot and 21st from outside the box against Brighton. Finally. #TOTBHA— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 23, 2019
In fact, as per Opta: "Tottenham attempted 21 shots from outside the box, the most by a team in a Premier League game since Liverpool also fired in 21 against Chelsea in April 2014."
And, if you excluded a post-slip Steven Gerrard from that category (who attempted eight shots in the second half alone, at an average distance of 27 yards out), Mauricio Pochettino's side would be well out in front.
But that's not the only portion of significance that the number 21 held in this game, with Eriksen's last gasp strike rounding out a long-range stat of his own. Courtesy of Opta once more: "Since his Premier League debut in September 2013, Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen has scored 21 goals from outside the box in the competition, more than any other player."
I'm not the most fluent Blackjack player, but I think that's a Double Danish Royal Flush.
Source : 90min