Tottenham v Stoke

After flaming out of both the UCL and Europa League in humiliating fashion its EPL Top 4 or nothing for Tottenham.  Spurs need a win against Stoke to move into 2nd place in the table.

1st Half

5′ take a few minutes, but Tottenham breaks fwd in the first real spell of possession for either side.  ends with Walker spinning in a cross but it was overcooked and Dele and Kane had no chance.  Spurs keep pressure on and it Wanyam’s ball ineasily cut out.  Stoke counter wasteful and back come Spurs but this time Wanyama’s ball towards the left channel and Ben Davies is wide of the mark.  Eriksen with some nifty work to send in a dangerous pass across the 6.

10′ thus far Stoke’s best threats are on back passes to Lloris.  Kane got free down the right and a string of passes in the Stoke area lead to nothing.  Stoke trying to play balls long and wide but haven’t found a connection.  Dele with a clever dummy but nobody was making the run behind him.

14′ Dembele pinned in the corner and his “clearance” goes as far as Stoke player lurking outside the area.  Shot curls wide of the near post. TOTTENHAM GOAL:  Dele slips to Eriksen and carom find Kane who doesn’t need a second invitation to shoot.  he takes one touch to steady himself before rifling a shot low to the far post.  1-0 Spurs

20′ Dier with a poor pass intercepted and leadds to Stoke run out.  He concedes a CK but Dembele there first.  Spurs clear but Wanyama ball for Eriksen gives the Dane little opportunity.  Not a great opening 20′ for Dier and Wanyama.  Vertonghen suffers a late challenge.  2-footed challenge but low enough to avoid a red.

25′ Alderweild clever pass down the line weighted perfectly.   Dembele finds Kane and the switch to  Davies opens up Stoke.  Davies lasers a ball to Dele in the area but Dele can’t control it.  Ball pops out to Walker whose scissor volley kick was always rising.  Stoke wtih its first real chance.  Overlap run on the left beats Walker and cross sent it and Crouch forces a fine reaction save from Lloris off a deflection.  Crouch was offside but it wasn’t flagged.

30′ Eriksen with a deft ball to Walker. The big fullback fizzes a ball across the 6 and a strong hand from the Stoke GK keeps Dele and Kane away from it.  He doesn’t and that might be 2.  Dier earns a CK for Spurs and a glancing header falls to Vertonghen.  The Belgian cracks the crossbar with a shot.  Stoke living dangerously now.  Spurs quick counter and Vertonghen keeps it alive to Kane who doesn’t quite get enough bend on it as the ball curls just beyond the far post from about 25-yards.  Spurs smell blood.  Stoke counter off a short Tottenham CK but Walker gets the key touch to break it up.

32′ TOTTENHAM GOAL: Spurs CK as Walker blasts from long range forcing Stoke GK to parry it over.  Kane left all alone at the top of the 18 for some reason.  Kane takes the half volley on his left first time and is able to keep it on frame.  Ball goes under/through Wanyama and into the bottom corner.  2-0 Spurs.  Replay shows nobody was within about 8-10 yards of Kane as the CK was struck.

35′ Relentless Spurs pressure the length of the pitch not giving Stoke the chance to breath.  Incredible work rate across the board for Tottenham required to do that effectively.  Dele goes to ground easily as his feet got tangled.  Spurs free kick maybe 35? yards from goal.  That’s Mason Crosby range.  TOTTENHAM GOAL: Eriksen rolls it to Kane whose drive under the wall takes a deflection and settles into the corner.  Just pure luck.  Not a great strike but a generous carom off the Stoke wall leaves the Stoke GK wrong-footed.  3-0 Spurs and a long way back for the visitors now.

40′ Eriksen with a free kick opportunity shaded right.  Same roll to Kane but Stoke ready for it and bust it up.  Spurs scramble to pass it back to Lloris to snuff out a Stoke counter.   Dembele with room down the left channel but can’t quite find the beat with his teammates.  Spurs a bit more methodical here.  A 4th is flattering but not required to secure 3 points here.

45′ TOTTENHAM GOAL:  Kane steams down the right and lays an inch-perfect in Dele’s path and the midfielder bangs it home to make it 4-0 Spurs.  Kane with a clever flick around the defender to free his run.  Game over.

HALFTIME  Tottenham 4  Stoke 0

2nd Half

50′ the one possible rain cloud is injuries.  And Alderweild is down.  He walks gingerly off the field and with a 4-goal advantage I would imagine that’s his last action of the day.  Wimmer would make sense as a replacement.  And there is Wimmer on.  Great ball to Dele over the top from Dier but Dele’s chest trap and bicycle kick combo need some work.

55′ A few exploratory runs from Tottenham fwd but really nothing of conviction.  Technically may be “asking questions” of the Stoke backline but they’re rather easy questions at that.  Still no sign that Stoke has any ideas offensively that trouble Tottenham in the slightest.

60′ Off a short CK Eriksen curls a ball to the far post and Kane can’t get his glancing header on frame.  Stoke defender ball watching not bothering to mark the guy on a hattrick and 1 assist.  Eriksen actually might have scored himself had he kept it on goal.  Kane gets some medical attention.  I’d like to see him subbed off.  Stoke with some CK in succession but nothing comes of it.

65′ Eriksen drives fwd with the ball but waits a little too long before pulling the trigger.  Stoke able to get back to deflect it.  Vertonghen nice work to clear the final pass from Stoke as Stoke have started to try and attack for the first time all day.   Free kick on the right gives Dier, Wanyama, a chance at it but nobody can get a touch on goal.  Strong counter by Stoke but he had 1 man with him and Tottenham knock it out for a CK.

70′  Winks on for Vertonghen.  Stoke free kick from about 25-yards on the right side.  Winks? or maybe Davies? get a head to it.  Stoke cross across the 6 and Davies sees it all the way and thumps it away.    Next time its Wanyama to redirect a Stoke cross.  Tottenham trying to build some possession and use clock comfortably to see this out.

75′  Eriksen picks out Winks on a late run and Winks hesitates a moment too long and his shot is deflected over the bar for a CK.  Tottenham smartly plays it short to avoid a counter chance for Stoke.  Pretty combination play from Kane-Walker and Walker with a nice pass to nobody.  Someone (Winks probably) should have been making that run.  Kane finds an inch of space and a fine save from Stoke GK to deny Kane his 4th and Spurs’ 5th.  Kane actually tucked that one a little too far inside the far post.  If he hits the corner with precision per his previous finishes that’s a goal.

80′ Walker down the right gets everything but the final decision/touch correctly.  Walker should have crossed it and instead blasts it wildly towards the near post.  goal kick.  Spurs again with a spell of possession to further drain the energy from this game.  Ends in a Davies earning a CK.  Stoke have completely quit in case the scoreline didn’t make that clear.  Commentators musing as to why Tottenham wasn’t awarded a PK off Stoke handling a deflection in the area.  I didn’t see it.  Think that was a good no call.

85′ Geoff Cameron on for Stoke.  Hope he was thoroughly vetted before coming on.  Eriksen sends a shot a mile high that you take when you’re up 4-0.  Walker with a lung-busting run overlapping Eriksen and is rewarded with the ball at his feet.  Walker doesn’t hit it cleanly and Stoke scramble the save clear for a CK.  Kane has run his race as Son is on for him.

FULLTIME  Tottenham 4  Stoke 0

Command performance from Spurs. Stoke never really showed up today.  After a midweek Brexit, Tottenham needed this to keep pace in the race for the Top 4.  Frankly, I’m fine with missing the Europa League.  I’d rather save the travel and energy for sticking in the Top 4.


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