Tag Archives: Juventus

WILL TOTTENHAM EVER STOP SHOCKING ME?

Oh, my! Oh, my! Oh, my! Who saw Tottenham’s performance on Tuesday night coming? Who? Certainly not me! I spent an entire blog post belittling Spurs before their match against Arsenal last weekend, AND their Champions League match against Juventus this week (you can catch that post here). Little did I know how truly resilient Spurs can be.

I had to eat my own words after they completely outclassed Arsenal on Saturday, and now, I have to do the same thing again after their breathtaking performance on Tuesday night. Before this game, even before the week began, I was so sure that Spurs had no chance against the Italian side. On such a big stage? Pshhhh! There was no way they were going to hack it (I have to admit that some of the negativity stemmed from them beating us on Saturday). Boy, was I wrong! And, boy, was I glad to be so wrong.

For me, the match was not only entertaining, dramatic, and full-blown intellectual (the way Spurs was passing that ball was just incredible), it showed a different class to Tottenham. These boys are poised, organized, confident, mature even, and all this is evident in that amazing comeback from 2 goals down to a draw. This has not happened at the Juve Stadium since 2011, and for Tottenham (of all the teams) to be able to do that was just mind-blowing!

When Higuain scored the first goal (in the 2nd minute, mind you), I was like ‘Here comes the bloodbath!’, and then he scored the second goal, and for me, that game was over before Spurs could even blink. Two goals in less than 10 minutes of the first half of the first leg of the knockout stage of the Champions League, Tottenham was clearly way out of its depth here! To make it worse, they are the underdogs, they have less experience compared to Juventus across all competitions, Juventus have Buffon who is a matchmaker on his own, and Juve’s defense (BBC) was until most recently considered unbeatable, absolutely impenetrable! Talk about having all the odds stacked against Tottenham.

And yet, Spurs continued to play their hearts out. They kept attacking and they kept coming, and Juventus kept making mistakes. Higuain had two amazing opportunities to widen the score in the first half, one of them being a penalty that he missed right before halftime. Can you believe that? He and Mandzukic also missed seemingly straightforward goals in the early minutes of the second half. What were they thinking?

A special shout out to Kane for being so unafraid in front of goal. Did you see his goal? Did you see how he drew Buffon in, then darted from him, leaving the veteran goalkeeper completely floored, and then striking the ball into the net with his left foot? He did it so unassumingly, you wouldn’t believe that he had just done that to THE Gianluigi Buffon! I mean the cheek of it all!

That goal was special; that goal was the first goal that Juventus have conceded in 2018! That goal, along with the Eriksen one, could shove Buffon into retirement, people! There are already calls for the legendary goalkeeper to pack up his gloves and leave after his ‘not so good’ performance against Tottenham on Tuesday.

Personally, I do not think Buffon was solely to blame for the calamity that befell Juve this Tuesday. Tottenham ARE that good, and it was wrong for so many of us (I’m pointing at myself here) to under-estimate them!

And the beauty of this match was how every Tottenham player contributed immensely to that successful comeback. I’m talking about the likes of Dembele, who hands down, controlled that mid-field and single-handedly set the tempo for that entire game. He made incredible passes forward, he stole the ball, he dribbled, he tackled, he created chances, restarting lost ones, and he linked well with the others. He..was..UNSTOPPABLE!

Dele Alli was also quite impressive, mainly because he was absolutely instrumental in both goals. His possession was not as clear-cut as fans would have hoped, but, for me, he showed a bit more maturity than usual (in other words, I’m glad I’m not spending my post-Valentine’s day calling him out on his diving antics again).

The Spurs’ defense was a bit shaky from the start, but I liked how Sanchez continued to remain calm even with all the pressure. I feel like Tottenham fans are making too much unnecessary noise about Sanchez here. He’s been good so far, give the boy a chance (as I secretly hope he is your weak link and causes you to tumble out of the running for the top four spot in the EPL #COYG)!

One Tottenham player who will not be happy with his performance on Tuesday night is Serge Aurier. It was just a bad night for him, although, it is turning out to be a series of bad nights for him. Free loan transfer, anyone?

But that was a beautiful game, a wonderful show of sportsmanship, and I CANNOT WAIT for the return leg. It is going to be absolutely awesome, and I cannot believe that I am saying this, but I really hope Tottenham go through. Chances are they will, but this is football, and I know Juve will put up a strong fight! Good luck to both teams!!

What did you love about the TottenhamVsJuventus game? Leave your comments below and you can also follow me here, here, here, and here!

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TOTTENHAM FANS-ARE YOU READY? ARE YOU REALLY READY?

I wouldn’t want to be in the shoes of a Tottenham fan right now, especially after last night. So many problems in such a short span of time! Woi! First, Tottenham is playing against Arsenal this afternoon, and not just any Arsenal, or the Arsenal of old. This is a renewed, re-energized, allow me to say, RE-BIRTHED Arsenal, and after the Gunners’ exhilarating performance against Everton(5-1 baby!!) last weekend, Spurs need to bring their A-game this afternoon.

But, this is Arsenal, and a great performance is not always forthcoming (I swear I die a little every time Arsenal loses, but this is what love is, together through pain and joy). That coupled with the fact that Petr Cech will be missing in action today (Ospina just does not do it for me), and Kane is in amazing form and still, the season’s lead top scorer could give Tottenham the exact ammunition they need to obliterate our chances of a top-four finish. I do not expect to see much diving from the likes of Alli and Kane, owing to the magnitude of this game, but if there is, I hope they are both red-carded (fat chance!!).

Anyway, moving on to the second point on why Spurs fans should be cowering in their boots at this very moment, Juventus!! It is going to take a miracle for the Tottenham boys to beat Juventus in the first leg of their Champions League match. I mean going by what I saw yesterday, that defense is crazy and Gianluigi Buffon is even crazier. Fiorentina brought their all to that match and dominated almost the entire first half, yet nothing came of it!

It also seemed like luck was not with La Viola yesterday with their penalty appeal being denied after it was accepted five minutes before. The penalty was initially awarded because Dias’ cross made contact with Chiellini’s outstretched arm. However, the penalty was revoked five minutes later, when the ref came to the conclusion that Gil Dias was offside when he crossed the ball. The messed up thing is that replays clearly indicate that Dias was not offside at all!

To make matters worse, guess who scored the first goal for Juventus? One man, Bernadeschi, touted as the most hated former Fiorentina player ever! From the moment he signed to Juventus from Fiorentina, he was regarded as a traitor and a backstabber. This was his first match against his former side since his signing, and his former fans let him have it from the minute he stepped on that pitch yesterday. So when Juventus was awarded a freekick after he was felled by a Fiorentina defender, he had no reservations about taking that free kick and netting it in. (Italians have drama for days….)Yaani, this was not the night for Fiorentina. And did you see that solo Higuain run that led to Juventus second goal? Talk about a counter attack beautifully executed! Wow…

So, let me put this into perspective for you loyal Spurs fans. Congratulations for making it to the last 16 in the Champions League, but from here on out, it’s going to be a bloodbath! Your first game in the last 16 will be against a team that is the top team in Serie A, who have only conceded one goal in their last 16 matches, and that one goal was in December! Furthermore, you are going against a team whose goalkeeper has just capped 500 appearances for his team and is considered to be one of the best goalkeepers in the world. Do not forget that their charismatic striker has just re-discovered his spark, and he’s going all in for his team! Plus, the drama that will ensue in that game, woi!!

I am rooting for you guys, I really am. But, the way things are turning out, it’s going to be a long weekend for you guys, and an extra long week.

I wish you the very best of luck in both games, and take heart!!!