Friday, December 15, 2017

Huddersfield 0-4 Tottenham: Sensational Spurs show title-winning credentials

Dan Steeden in Editorial, English Premier League 30 Sep 2017

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Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham side travelled to the John Smith’s Stadium in a bid to gain some ground on their title rivals. Newly promoted Huddersfield looked set to provide a firm test for Spurs however, having only lost one of their six games in the top flight this season.

The game provided a culture shock for the Terriers however as they were totally outclassed by Tottenham. Spurs dismantled the home side and the brilliant Harry Kane used this comprehensive win as an opportunity to turbocharge his Golden Boot challenge.

Spurs gifted a comfortable lead

This was always going to be a game in which Tottenham dominated the possession, and the north London club started brightly with Harry Kane seeing his early chance blocked. The home side did begin settle and once the crowd got behind their team Huddersfield looked energetic. Unfortunately for David Wagner’s side an awful mistake from Chris Löwe put Kane one-on-one with the keeper. The striker beat Lossl at his near post with a cool finish to register his fifth league goal of the season and give Spurs the lead.

The home side responded well after the goal and continued to create half-chances but they soon found themselves 0-2 down. Tottenham put together a lovely passing move that eventually ended with the ball falling fortunately to Ben Davies from a tackle and the left wingback finished neatly passed Lossl. The Huddersfield keeper almost gifted Spurs a third shortly afterwards when he completely missed his kick, but the Dane was just about able to recover and prevent Kane from grabbing a second.

Kane’s class prevails

It looked set to be a long afternoon for Huddersfield as Spurs knocked the ball around nicely and the home side foolishly gifted Harry Kane far too much time and space time and time again. It was no surprise that the England forward punished the Terriers. Picking the ball up on the edge of the box he then dropped the shoulder to shift it onto his left foot and proceeded to curl a beautiful finish into the far corner for his second of the game. Dele Alli almost added to the pain when he turned Jorgensen far too easily and struck a shot against the post.

Kane’s movement continued to wreak havoc amongst the Huddersfield central defenders and the striker had the ball in the back of the net again, but this time the linesman’s flag rescued the home side. The game’s tempo slowed right down in the minutes before half time and the Huddersfield players were chasing shadows as Spurs passed the ball around with confidence and discipline. However it was the home side who had the final chance of the half as Laurent Depoitre’s long range effort struck the crossbar having beaten the stretching Lloris.

Tottenham cruising

Spurs would have perhaps been forgiven for taking their foot off the gas in the second half, but Pochettino’s men had other ideas and they came out firing once again. Kane had a chance at grabbing his hat-trick when Eric Dier flicked on from a corner but the striker couldn’t sort out his feet quickly enough. Spurs looked in complete control and Dele Alli looked to be in a good position to find a fourth goal, but a shameful dive saw the midfielder rightly booked.

Pochettino’s side began to play keep-ball after the hour mark as the wind had very much left the sails of the Huddersfield team. The home crowd remained loud and loyal however, perhaps acknowledging their side’s valiant effort in the face of a talented Tottenham team. Despite the support Lossl once again almost gifted Spurs a goal when he dropped the ball at the feet of Eriksen, but the goalkeeper once again recovered to remedy his mistake.

A standing ovation for Harry Kane

Even in the final 15 minutes every Tottenham player was pressing the ball and forcing the Huddersfield players into mistakes. The superior fitness and discipline of Spurs allowed them to control every aspect of the game in the second half. This was a brilliantly well-drilled performance from a Tottenham team that can beat any side in world football when they play at their best. While Huddersfield didn’t provide the sternest of tests this performance will nevertheless please Pochettino, especially the commitment that the players showed until the final whistle.

When Harry Kane was substituted three minutes from time he received an ovation from the entire stadium as both sets of fans acknowledged the sheer class of England’s top striker. Three minutes of added time provided Moussa Sissoko with the chance to bag a fourth for his side after a cross from Davies, and the Frenchman bundled the ball home. The game finished 0-4 and Spurs came away with the well-deserved three points.

Final Thoughts

Despite playing a midweek Champions League game Spurs looked sharp and came out playing some of their best football of the season in the first half of this game. Once again the combination of Alli, Eriksen and Kane looked sensational and Pochettino’s men reminded everyone why there are genuine title contenders. With a lot of debate about Harry Kane’s world class status this week it is getting harder and harder to argue against him being considered amongst the best strikers in the world.

Huddersfield started the season brilliantly, especially for a newly promoted side. However Tottenham provided the Terriers with their first real test of the season and it soon became clear that the home side wouldn’t be able to keep up with Spurs. Before this game David Wagner’s side’s defence had been highly impressive, and if they stay well-organised and disciplined against lesser opponents than Tottenham then they should be fine this season.

Match Report

Huddersfield: Lossl; Smith, Jorgensen, Schindler, Lowe (Malone, 61’); Mooy (Billing, 61’), Hogg (Whitehead, 81’), Kachunga, Van La Parra, Ince; Depoitre

Tottenham: Lloris; Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Trippier (Walker-Peters, 82’), Davies; Winks, Dier; Eriksen (Sissoko, 75’), Alli, Kane (Son, 87’)

Goals: Kane (0-1, 9’), Davies (0-2, 16’), Kane (0-3, 24’), Sissoko (0-4, 90+1′)

Referee: Neil Swarbrick

Yellow Cards: Alli (58’), Kachunga (65’)

Red Cards: None

Player Ratings

Huddersfield: Lossl 5; Smith 6, Jorgensen 5, Schindler 6, Lowe 5 (Malone 5); Mooy 6 (Billing 5), Hogg 6 (Whitehead n/a), Kachunga 5, Van La Parra 6, Ince 6; Depoitre 6

Tottenham: Lloris 7; Alderweireld 8, Sanchez 8, Vertonghen 8, Trippier 8 (Walker-Peters n/a), Davies 9; Winks 8, Dier 8; Eriksen 8 (Sissoko 8), Alli 7, Kane 9 (Son n/a)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dan Steeden


Dan is a recent graduate of the University of Birmingham and an often frustrated Wigan Athletic fan. When not despairing at events unfolding at the DW Stadium he can be found fangirling over Antoine Griezmann or staying up into the early hours of the morning to cheer on the Seattle Seahawks.

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