A quick recap coming up for today’s Stoke vs Tottenham game, just as soon as I go and ask Sepp Blatter why we don’t have goal line technology yet…
Leaving the late controversy for one moment, this was a great game of football. Tottenham came out strongly in the first half and showed the organisation and discipline that was lacking in their midweek Champions League game. Despite only having Crouch available up front (with Defoe, Keane, Pavyluchenko and Dos Santos all suffering from plastic pitch injuries) and a midfield including Jermaine Jenas, Spurs enjoyed the better of the first half and deserved a 2-1 lead at the break. The first goal came from Lennon on the left flank cutting inside and passing into Bale who’s shot was saved, the rebound was straight to Crouch who’s attempt on goal was blocked by Stoke’s captain Ryan Shawcross, only for his clearance to hit Bale in the face and end up in the back of the net – a very fortunate goal. Shortly after, Stoke were level thanks to a corner from former Spurs player Matthew Etherington that ending up at the feet of Fuller, after Gomes had been blocked, who finished nicely. Just five minutes later, Spurs were back ahead. Lennon, this time from the right, had space from defenders backing off him fearful of his pace, looked up and crossed to Bale on the left side of the area who hit a sweet left foot volley into the top right corner of the goal. An absolute gem and a goal worthy of winning any game.
The second half was a totally different game, with Stoke coming out determined to get a result from the game. There was sustained pressure for most of the half, but only one particularly notable save from Gomes. In the 67th minute, Tuncay took a shot from distance which was deflected by Kaboul and Gomes, back peddling, had to reach back and tip it over his own crossbar. From the resulting corner, Tuncay had a free header and really should have equalised but put the ball wide of the post. Minutes later, from another corner, Stoke missed another good chance when Shawcross blazed over following another Etherington corner.