Date :  –  Thursday 1st October 2020 Kick off : –  20.00 
Competition : –  Europa League Qualifying Play-off Venue :  –  Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Crowd : – 0,000
Referee : – Ruddy Buquet (FRA) Linesmen : –  Guillaume Debart (FRA); Cyril Gringore (FRA)
Fourth official : –  Amaury Delerue (FRA)
Weather :  Chilly, overcast
Spurs kicked off the first half and attacked the Paxton Road end.


Kane  01m 31s Chery  16m 33s
Moura  19m 58s Rukavytsya (p)  51m 26s
Lo Celso  35m 51s
Lo Celso  38m 49s
Kane (p)  55m 31s
Kane  73m 16s
Dele (p)  90+0m 07s


12.   Joe HART  44.    Josh COHEN
  2.   Matt DOHERTY  21. Ayid HABASHI
  4.   Toby ALDERWEIRELD    5. Bogdan PLANIC
  6.   Davinson SANCHEZ  6. Neta LAVI  (c)
33.   Ben DAVIES  26. Ernest Olivier Bienvenu Mabouka MASSOUSSI
  5.   Pierre-Emile HOJBJERG  (17.  Moussa SISSOKO 63)  15. Ofri ARAD  (23.  GODSWAY Donyoh 71)
  8.   Harry WINKS 16 . Mohammed ABU-FANI  (18. Yuval ASHKENAZI  87)
18.   Giovani LO CELSO      (20.  DELE Alli  46  [p])  12 Sun MENACHEM
23.   Steven BERGWIJN 10.  Tjarron CHERY 
27.   Lucas MOURA   13. Nikita RUKAVYTSYA    (p)
      8. Dolev HAZIZA  (14.  Jose RODRIGUEZ  83)
10.   Harry KANE (c)      [p]    (3.  Sergio REGUILON  75)  
Substitutes Substitutes
  1.   Hugo LLORIS 22.  Shareef KEOUF
24.   Serge AURIER 19. Stav MACHMANI
11. Erik LAMELA
25. Yosef RAZ MEIR
28.   Tanguy NDOMBELE
55. Rami GERSHON
Manager  –  Jose Mourinho   Manager  –  Barak Bakhar
Kit supplier : –  Nike   Kit supplier : –  Nike
Shirt sponsor  –  AIA   Shirt sponsor  –  Volvo
Colours  –    Colours  –  Shirts : Green with diamond fade pattern to a white horizontal band across stomach
Shorts :  Green with white stripe down side
Socks :  Green



On the day one year on from the 2-7 loss to Bayern Munich at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium, it was Spurs who turned that score-line around to go through to the group stages of the Europa League with Maccabi Haifa having a go, but leaving themselves vulnerable to being picked off.  The game had nine goals, one in the second minute and one in the first minute of added time at the end, three penalties and plenty of goalmouth action.

Spurs got off to a flying start with Ben Davies played a nice one-two with Bergwijn, giving him space outside the left of the penalty area to cross firmly into the middle of the goal for Harry Kane to volley it in from a couple of yards out, with only 91 seconds on the clock. It was a very good cross by Ben, as it had enough pace on it to take the goalkeeper out of the action, but not too hard to make it difficult for Harry to reach.

Within a couple of minutes, Maccabi broke away and with two on one, the ball was played inside to Chery and his shot from a central position brought a good save from Joe Hart, diving to his left at the expense of a corner.  Tottenham’s press was forcing some loose passing, so Maccabi weren’t holding on to the ball and when Lo Celso got to the ball before Planic, he ran on and struck a shot into the side-netting, which might not have been the best choice of what to do with the ball. Moura was on target when he came inside Lavi and put in a low shot, but it was straight at the keeper, who didn’t hold it cleanly.

Lo Celso lost the ball 25 yards out and it was fed through to Rukavytsya, who took a touch in the area before Toby Alderweireld got in a fine intervention to take the ball off him. Spurs then broke on Haifa and were three on two, but Bergwijn’s effort lacked power, although the keeper spilled it again, just behind Kane.  Abu Fani seized on a loose ball and fired in a shot that narrowly went wide of Hart’s left hand post, which was a warning shot, because when Sanchez gave the ball away with a cross-field ball it was worked to Chery, who had time to put the ball onto his good foot and fire a shot into the top right hand corner of Hart’s goal from 25 yards out, giving him no chance of reaching it.  It was a fantastic strike and Hart has been a bit unlucky, as all the goals he has conceded have been crackers that few goalkeepers would have got near.

It was a shock, but Maccabi’s intention to shoot from long range had been evident, so the five white shirts between Chery and goal should have closed him down quicker.  However, it brought a quick response.  In the 20th minute, a near post corner from Bergwijn found the name on the back of Lucas Moura as he ducked to glance the ball goalwards, somehow managing to guide the ball past Cohen into the far side of the goal. As unusual as it was for Spurs to score from a corner, it was well-worked and hopefully a taste of things to come, with Lucas getting ahead of the defenders in the six yard box.

A central free-kick was given for handball, 25 yards out, which gave Harry Kane a chance for a strike on goal.  It wasn’t one of his best, as the keeper read it well to get behind it, but still had to pat it down before getting it safely in his hands. Both teams then went through a phase where they were a bit sloppy with their passing, giving the ball away too easily and making the game untidy.  It probably worked a bit better for Spurs, who moved the ball from the left with Davies, through Kane and Lo Celso to Doherty on the right wing. His ball into the box was met by Moura’s head, but that was blocked and Davies held off a defender sufficiently to let Giovani Lo Celso have a left foot shot that he lifted above the keeper’s dive to his right.  3-1 gave Spurs a bit of breathing space, because, although Maccabi were not threatening the goal too much, their willingness to attack meant that there were moments when they worried the Tottenham defence.  They were happy to try and have a go at goal when they saw the white of the goalposts.

Spurs eased any worried by breaking up a move 25 yards from their own goal and the ball was sent up to Kane on the halfway line. He played a neat one-two with Moura on the right side of the pitch, but Planic’s attempted flick on the ball with his right foot missed it completely, giving Kane a run on goal, but he assisted with a pass to his left for Giovani to run into the box and dink it over the keeper, who was diving out at his feet. Two goals in four minutes had seen Spurs move further clear of their Israeli opponents.

However, it was not over yet and Chery reminded Tottenham of that as he tried an ambitious shot from a narrow angle on the left, but Hart was alert to it and palmed it away to safety. A minute before the break, the ball was kept around the edge of the Haifa box and Lo Celso slipped a short, straight pass through to Kane on the penalty spot and unusually, his first touch allowed the keeper to come out and grab the ball at his feet.

Half-time saw Dele Alli coming on in place of Lo Celso, getting back in the side after his recent omission from the squad. However, it was Maccabi who had the early pressure when they won an early corner, which Joe Hart punched away with a double fist. With 50 minutes gone, they were given an opportunity to get back into the game when Rukavytsya took a return pass in the box and played it against Doherty’s arm resulting in the referee ridiculously pointing to the spot. That’s twice Doherty has been penalised when he could do absolutely nothing about it as he was so close to the ball  The Australian international stepped up to slip the ball to Hart’s right, with Joe going the wrong way.

Although it sounds odd, at 4-2, the next goal was very important and only a minute later, Abu Fani tried a shot from outside the box and Hart made a very good save stretching to his left to tip the ball around the post.

Lucas played the ball into Dele, who stepped over it and Kane turned it wide for Davies to cross, with the ball striking Mabukouka Massoussi as he had his hands in front of his stomach. Once more, the referee gave a penalty, although he didn’t have the best view of what happened and the lineman was on the other side of the pitch. After the arguments about the very harsh decision, it was left to Harry Kane to stick the ball down the middle, as the keeper tried to second guess the Spurs captain and dive to his left.

Another couple of minutes passed and another shot from 25 yards, with Hart just about covering his goal, but the ball only missed by a couple of feet. Just after the hour, a Haifa move broke down with a loose pass around 20 yards out and Sanchez played a great pass straight up the pitch beyond the last man and Bergwijn out-muscled him to break free. With only the keeper to beat and moving to his right, he could have bent it around him, but tried to lift it over him and the keeper reached up to block it. Almost immediately, Maccabi had a goal disallowed when Rukavytsya volleyed home a left wing cross from five yards out, but he had gone too early and was offside.

Moura got on the end of a low ball in from Doherty and was blocked off, but battled back to win the ball on the edge of the Haifa box. He then dragged the ball back between two defenders, took a touch wide and fired in a shot that had to be deflected over the bar by a desperate tackle. Soon after, Dele set him up for a shot from 20 yards out with his right foot shot from just outside the D that fizzed inches wide of the keeper’s right hand post. With Maccabi still going forward, a cross from their right saw Haziza head back across goal, but Rukavytsya couldn’t get there. Haziza almost broke behind the Spurs defence again, as a ball was lifted into the area, but his first touch was poor and Sanchez took the ball off him.

Bergwijn had another shooting opportunity, but went for power rather than placement and it rose over the bar and into the South Stand. Dele received the ball on halfway and his first time ball put Stevie away out on the left wing. He outwitted the defender who was with him and left him on the floor, then picked out a deft pass behind the defence from inside the box and Kane got onto it and dinked it over the keeper, who had gone to ground, to seal his hat-trick. It was another classy finish, but the build-up was very good too.

Dele showed he wasn’t lacking confidence as he took a return pass from Bergwijn on the volley on the edge of the box, but it was always flying too high. Abu Fani was still trying his luck from distance and the latest effort flew over the bar from 20 yards, which wasn’t too far away, unlike that by Godsway who fired a long way wide from 30 yards away.  Bergwijn had a run at the defence and rather than heading for two defenders, he might have been better to play it right to Moura or left to Dele. In the end, he was blocked off.  Maccabi were still looking for goals and Chery drove a low shot on goal from the left, which brought Hart into action with a dive to ensure he got everything behind it.  But then, so were Spurs.  Lucas Moura played the ball into the box to Dele, who took a touch and then nut-megged Planic, who then brought him down from behind to give Tottenham a 90th minute penalty. Dele was determined to have it and grabbed the ball, and sent the keeper the wrong way, burying it in the bottom corner of the net, as Cohen dived to his right. 

So, a bigger win than against the teams we had played already in the Europa League, but that’s home advantage for you !  After a hectic run of games, we’re into the quarters of the League Cup and group stages of the Europa League.  How that leaves us for a trip to Manchester United on Sunday, I don’t know, but hopefully, Jose will be able to put out a side to do a job on them.  Then there is the massive luxury of a two week break, by which time Gareth Bale might be ready too.

The players need a rest, but it’s not going to happen for most of the, who will be on international duty.  Kane was on imperious goal-scoring form and Lo Celso’s double from midfield bodes well.  The team worked hard with their pressing and Dele did well when he came on, needing to impress the boss, but every player played their part.  People will have a go at Hart, but look at the saves he made at important times in the match.  He hadn’t got much of a hope with either of the goals.

Onwards and upwards hopefully, with all eyes on tomorrow’s draw in Switzerland.

The Heathrow Spur


Match Notes

Tottenham’s first game against Israeli opposition at home.