|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 3 (1)||NORWICH CITY 0 (0)|
|Date : – 5th December 2021||Kick off : – 14.00|
|Competition : – Premier League||Venue : – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium|
|Crowd : – 57,088|
|Referee : – Jarred Gillett (Australia)||Linesmen : – Mr. Ian Hussin; Mr. Neil Davies|
|Fourth official : – Martin Atkinson|
|VAR official : – Peter Bankes||VAR Assistant : – Wade Smith|
|Weather : – Cold; rain showers throughout game|
|Norwich City kicked off the first half attacking the Park Lane end|
|Playing time : – 90 + 9 minutes
|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR||NORWICH CITY|
|Moura 09m 19s|
|Sanchez 66m 01s|
|Son 76m 27s|
|Reguilon (foul on Aarons) 16||Pukki (foul on Kane) 14|
|Gilmour (attempted foul on Moura) 34|
|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR||NORWICH CITY|
|1.||Hugo LLORIS (c)||1.||Tim KRUL|
|6.||Davinson SANCHEZ||2.||Max AARONS|
|15.||Eric DIER||44.||Andrew OMOBAMIDELE|
|33.||Ben DAVIES||5.||Grant HANLEY (c)|
|25.||Japhet TANGANGA ( 2. Matt DOHERTY 62)||21.||Brandon WILLIAMS|
|5.||Pierre-Emile HOJBJERG||20.||Pierre LEES-MELOU ( 10. Kieran DOWELL 72)|
|3.||Sergio REGUILON ( 19. Ryan SESSEGNON 22)||8.||Billy GILMOUR ( 19. Jacob SORENSEN 81)|
|27.||Lucas MOURA ( 23. Steven BERGWIJN 80)|
|7.||Heung-Min SON||35.||Adam IDAH ( 24. Josh SARGENT 69)|
|22.||Pierluigi GOLLINI||28.||Angus GUNN|
|14.||Joe RODON||18.||Christos TZOLIS|
|20.||DELE Alli||15.||Ozan KABAK|
|8.||Harry WINKS||14.||Todd CANTWELL|
|28.||Tanguy NDOMBELE||30.||Dimitris GIANNOULIS|
|44.||Dane SCARLETT||7.||Lukas RUPP|
|Manager : – Antonio Conte||Manager : – Dean Smith|
|Kit Supplier : – Nike||Kit Supplier : – Joma|
|Shirt Sponsor : – AIA||Shirt Sponsor : – Lotus
|Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – cinch||Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – JD Sports
|Colours : –||Colours : –|
|Images of kits courtesy of the marvellous Colours of Football website|
|With Norwich arriving at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with a run of two wins and two draws in the Premier League, they were obviously getting a feel for what the top division is about and under new manager Dean Smith, there was that bounce associated with a fresh face in charge, but they met a Spurs team with the same effect being introduced by Antonio Conte and the difference in quality between the two teams showed with Tottenham taking the points with a 3-0 win.
Conte has got this Spurs team in shape, being solid at the back with a second clean sheet and while not totally fluent in the attacking department, the goals have started to come back. And goals win matches, with Norwich’s eight so far this season an adequate explanation of their 20th place in the table. From the start, their lack of ability in goal-scoring was demonstrated, as two minutes in, Idah got a low ball into the box for Pukki in space around the penalty spot. With only Lloris between him and an early lead, he struck the ball, but low and straight at Hugo, who blocked the shot and Oliver Skipp showing great cool-headedness in his own goalmouth, calmly controlled the ball before playing it out. A goal then would have changed the way the game would have been played out and it was a costly miss. Skipp had the inside line on how Norwich operate, but with a new manager, things might have been a bit different, but being aware of weaknesses in their players helped him have a great game. His run from inside his own half in just the fourth minute that took him to the edge of the City box was an enterprising move but his shot at the end of it wasn’t really enough to trouble Krul … and it allowed the Norwich keeper the opportunity to eat up a few extra seconds, as is his want.
There is still some disquiet among some Spurs fans when the players try to play the ball out from the back, as Conte has obviously impressed on them. There will be moments when things go right, but the tactic to draw Norwich players out is designed to make more space to play in behind them. After Kane had played Japhet Tanganga in and he was knocked over by Norwich’s Williams, with no penalty given, Spurs did make use of the space that there opened up around the Canaries’ area. Not that there was a lot of space, but what started with a Reguilon back-heel saw the ball moved across the pitch before it came to Lucas Moura. He turned past one man, put the ball one side of a Norwich player and ran the other side, exchanged passes with Son and then showed Omibamidele left before switching the ball to his right foot and letting go a rocket of a shot into the top right-hand corner of Krul’s goal, leaving the keeper grasping at thin air. It was a fantastic piece of footwork by Lucas and a stunning goal that gave Spurs a head start after ten minutes.
When Spurs looked to break away, with Kane running through the centre-circle, Teemu Pukki brought him down with a set of studs in his Achilles which was a nasty, snide foul an d the referee took a long time to get the yellow card out. It seemed like their way of preventing Spurs getting near their goal, with Chelsea loanee having a bit of a shocker today and even failing with a cynical trip on Moura, as he breezed past the youngster who obviously learned a lot at Stamford Bridge, but didn’t escape without receiving a yellow card. Regi went in the book too for a late tackle on Aarons, but his part in the match only lasted a few minutes more. Getting a fair bit of attention from the physios, he limped off and Ryan Sessegnon came on to replace him.
Skipp was bringing the ball out of his defensive midfield role and on one run, he played the ball to Lucas, who ran forward, again attempting to be tripped by the trailing Norwich shirts. He found Harry, who played the ball left to Son, who tried a shot but the challenge that came in got something on the ball and it went low into the area where Kane had run, but he indicated that it wasn’t the ball he wanted, even though he got a foot to the ball to direct it well wide. Norwich then responded by winning a corner that was cleared but Lees-Melou hit a long shot that got a deflection to take the ball just off target.
From Gilmour’s foul on Moura, Son curled the ball to the left and Gibson went for the ball in the air but then pulled out confusing Krul who didn’t go for it, allowing the ball to sail towards the post where Ben Davies tried to get on the end of it, but just wasn’t able to reach it. Sessegnon was testing Aarons on our left wing and put one enticing ball across the face of the goal, without a team-mate there to make the most of it and five minutes before half-time, Moura played a ball down the right hand channel and from 25 yards out, Kane spotted Krul well off his line and tried to lob him, but the ball was always curling away from the goal.
Norwich were slinging balls into the box hoping for some luck but Hugo punched one clear and then when they tried to work the ball around the edge of the box, Williams decided to have a go himself, but only ended up with a shot that failed to find the net, but did find Row 44.
At half-time, it was only a single goal lead again, with a second goal required to give a bit of security. An early corner might have brought that goal but Son’s corner came to Kane too quickly to adjust his header on target. As Norwich were trying to respond to Tottenham’s attacks, Williams was trying to impose his physical approach that he displayed on his early appearances for Man United on Tanganga, but he didn’t like it when Japhet met fire with fire. In fact the Spurs back-line were doing well, despite Norwich finding space in wide areas. Davinson Sanchez looked a different player, Dier lead the defence well and Ben Davies got forward more than when he played wing-back ! In fact he was the one who got closest to Ryan’s fierce low ball across the six-yard area that was put behind for a corner, which, when cleared, came to Hojbjerg to shoot, but he was leaning back and the shot rose over the top.
On the hour, the visitors had a great chance to equalise, when Williams broke on the left and pulled it inside to Pukki, who was inside the area, but skewed his shot that was going across goal until Adam Idah got a foot to the ball to direct it at goal from a couple of yards out. Quite how he missed the goal by a good couple of yards from there is a mystery, but it was an escape for Spurs and Conte took off Tanganga to bring on Doherty. The Irishman recycled a corner and his square ball Kane just outside the D, but Harry’s low shot was turned aside by Krul’s plunge to his left. Son took the corner from that side and Ben Davies got a slight touch at the near post causing the ball to hit a defender and drop kindly for Sanchez to rifle the ball into the net from just inside the six-yard box. The assist actually came Gibson who was hit in his nether regions, cushioning the ball for Davinson’s shot. A case of “On his balls City” as the Norwich fans might sing !
The goal had come at the right time, as getting away with Idah’s miss showed that even the low-scoring Norwich side could threaten sometimes. Idah was replaced by American striker Josh Sargent with 20 minutes left with Keiran Dowell thrown on two minutes later as Smith tried to inspire his side to get back into the game. It didn’t make a huge difference as Doherty was looking to get forward and only a last ditch tackle prevented him getting a shot away from Lucas’ pass. Hojbjerg and Kane had brought saves out of Krul, while Gilmour capped a poor performance with a wild shot from distance that was way off the mark. He could take a few lessons from Heung-Min Son’s finishing as Skipp returned Ben Davies’ pass inside from the left before the Welshman went on a run across but just inside the box and touched it to his right for Son to take four little touches to his right and then shoot across Krul and a couple of defenders into the opposite corner. It has started from a Doherty cross from the right that was pulled back behind everyone, but the ball was worked well to create and opportunity for the “sixth best striker in the world” to show why he’s right up there.
Following another shot off target, Gilmour was reduced from being the Chelsea wonderkid to being hooked off with ten minutes to go by bottom of the table Norwich. His time at Carrow Road is in stark contrast to Oliver Skipp’s, as he was a maturing force there last season and is now comfortable at home in the Premier League, while the Scot still has a lot of growing up to do.
There was another great opportunity for the Canaries with six minutes left, when Pukki found a way into the box on the right (a little like Aarons’ run in the cup game that won a penalty) and pulled the ball into the six yard box for Sargent, who looked sure to score. Unfortunately for the travelling support, he performed a rare skill in making his shot go backwards – away from goal – as the ball hit his standing leg to allow Spurs to clear the danger. Doherty popped up on the other side of the box from a corner that came out to him, but his shot was a couple of feet high and wide.
It was another welcome three points and there are signs of understanding of Conte’s ideas developing to produce more solid displays, but there is still more training ground work to be done and this run of games should have been winnable, so, although we move into fifth place, let’s not get carried away. Brighton, where Spurs go on Sunday, is not a happy hunting ground of late and they are a more resilient side under Graham Barber, so it will be a tough one, especially as Conte will have to play a strong side against Rennes on Thursday to try and finish second in the group.
| There was a minute’s applause in the sixth minute for Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, the six year old murdered by the two people who were supposed to love and care for him.
Davinson Sanchez makes his 150th start for Spurs.
|West Ham United London||3||Chelsea||2|
|South Coast Big Club||1||Brighton & Hove Albion||1|
|Manchester United||1||Crystal Palace||0|
|Aston Villa||2||Leicester City||1|
Premier League Table 2021-22
|4||West Ham United London||15||8||3||4||28||19||27||+9|
|9||Brighton & Hove Albion||15||4||8||3||14||16||20||-2|
|15||South Coast Big Club||15||3||7||5||14||21||16||-7|