APOEL vs Tottenham a few quick thoughts
September 27, 2017
- Well what else can you say about Harry Kane that has not already been said as of late
- After a brace against Borussia Dortmund on Matchday 1 he went even better last night as he scored a perfect hat-trick against APOEL in Cyprus
- It is the ideal start to Tottenham’s Champions League campaign as they have maximum points from their opening two matches
- That coupled with the fact that Borussia Dortmund have lost both of theirs and the complexion of the group could not be better right now
- Of course there are the two ties with Real Madrid on the horizon but the insurance policy that those six points offer will make the world of difference to the rest of Spurs’ European exploits in 2017.
- It was something of an experimental side last night but these were enforced changes due to a mixture of suspension and illness
- Jan Vertonghen and Dele Alli were sitting out due to previous red cards while Christian Eriksen had to miss out due to illness, although he should hopeflly be fit to return against Huddersfield on Saturday lunchtime.
- APOEL certainly did not make life easy in the opening half hour of the game and went the closest to scoring
- Firstly they hit the woodwork after Igor de Camargo’s effort cannoned back of the frame of the goal to give Tottenham something a scare
- Then they were nearly gifted a goal from Hugo Lloris, he cannoned a clearance straight into Davinson Sanchez and as the ball ricocheted back towards the goalline there was a mad scramble to keep the ball out
- Thankfully the French international’s blushes were spared when the ball trickled wide
- Soon after Harry Kane would break the deadlock with what would be Tottenham’s first shot on target
- An inch perfect pass from Toby Alderweireld split the defence and Kane’s first touch took APOEL’s Boy Waterman out of the game
- All was left to do was then stroll the ball past the hapless keeper and give Tottenham the lead
- The goal came at the ideal time with just six minutes to go before the break
- That would have certainly changed the team talk but whatever was said in the APOEL dressing room had them fired up after the break
- Efstathios Aloneftis was a constant nuisance out wide and he stung the palms of Lloris on more than one occasion.
- Tottenham were playing a high line and were in danger of getting punished because of it
- Therefore the tactical change to a back four by Mauricio Pochettino looked an inspired one
- Serge Aurier was the man to make way for Fernando Llorente as they switched to a 4-4-2
- Aurier’s distribution in the final third was lacking as many balls were hitting the first man on too much of a regular occurance
- Whether you could make the case that perhaps there should have been more anticipation from his teammates can be argued but it was a solid if not spectacular performance from the Ivorian.
- But that switch gave Tottenham the balance and more importantly the confidence to go forward in search of a second
- Soon after they would get it as Kane was given far too much space on the edge of the box
- Once again the first touch did the hard work and all he had to do was pick his spot
- The advantage doubled and the wind taken out of APOEL’s sails
- Kane however was not done there and soon he would complete his hat-trick after heading home an inch perfect cross from Kieran Trippier
- 3-0 and a job very well done. Kane would be afforded a rest in the final 15 minutes as he was subbed off as the game petered out as a contest
- But if there was any question marks about the starting eleven before the game it was Kane who had all the answers
- His sixth hat-trick of 2017 as he shows the rest of Europe he is now ready to mix it on the truly biggest stage
- Next up the Santiago Bernabeu in three weeks time
- If Tottenham can pick up a draw there then they will have one foot in the Round of 16 but nothing is a certainity just yet.