|LUTON TOWN 0 (0)||TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1 (0)|
|Date : – 7th October 2023||Kick off : – 12.30|
|Competition : – Premier League||Venue : – Kenilworth Road|
|Crowd : – 10,290|
|Referee : – John Brooks (Leicestershire & Rutland)||Linesmen : – Mr. Neil Davies; Mr. Steve Meredith|
|Fourth official : – Graham Scott|
|VAR official : – Michel Oliver||VAR Assistant : – Gary Beswick|
|Weather : – Dry, sunny, warm|
|Spurs kicked off the first half attacking the Kenilworth Road Stand end|
|Playing time : – 90 + 12 minutes
|LUTON TOWN||TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR|
|None||van de Ven 51m 56s|
|Lockyer (foul on Maddison) 19||Bissouma (foul on Ogbene) 38|
|Morris (foul on Richarlison) 34||Hojbjerg (foul on Ogbene) 68|
|Bissouma (Second yellow – diving) 45+4|
|LUTON TOWN||TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR|
|24.||Thomas KAMINSKI||13.||Guglielmo VICARIO|
|16.||Reece BURKE||23.||Pedro PORRO|
|4.||Tom LOCKYER (c) ( 6. Ross BARKLEY 81)||17.||Cristian ROMERO|
|5.||Mads ANDERSEN ( 15. Teden MENGI 59)||37.||Micky van de VEN|
|38.||Destiny UDOGIE ( 33. Ben DAVIES 82)|
|19.||Jacob BROWN ( 8. Luke BERRY 67)|
|17.||Pelly Ruddock MPANZU ( 14. Tahith CHONG 67)||29.||Pape Matar SARR|
|13.||Marvellous NAKAMBA||8.||Yves BISSOUMA|
|9.||RICHARLISON ( 5. Pierre-Emile HOJBJERG 46 )|
|11.||Elijah ADEBAYO ( 10. Cauley WOODROW 67)||10.||James MADDISON ( 4. Oliver SKIPP 76)|
|7.||Chiedozie OGBENE||21.||Dejan KULUSEVSKI ( 36. Alejo VELIZ 90+2)|
|9.||Carlton MORRIS||7.||Heung-Min SON (c) ( 12. Emerson ROYAL 76)|
|23.||Tim KRUL||20.||Fraser FORSTER|
|12.||Issa KABOURE||15.||Eric DIER|
|38.||Joseph JOHNSON||18.||Giovani Lo CELSO|
|26.||Ryan GILES||11.||Bryan GIL|
= Assist = Goal scored = Own goal scored
|Manager : – Rob Edwards||Manager : – Ange Postecoglou|
|Kit Supplier : – Umbro||Kit Supplier : – Nike|
|Shirt Sponsor : – Utilita||Shirt Sponsor : – AIA
|Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – FreeNow||Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – cinch
|Colours : –||Colours : –|
|Images of kits courtesy of the marvellous Colours of Football website|
|A lot of people will say that Spurs ground out a 1-0 win at Luton with ten men, but in truth, the match should have been sewn up well before Yves Bissouma received his marching orders for a stupid dive when he had been booked ten minutes before. What it did show was that Tottenham are a different beast this season and when things don’t go quite right, that they are able to salvage something from it. I realise that this was only Luton and against a side with a bit more composure and clinical finishing ability, the end result might have been different, but the resilience shown in scoring late winners was turned into a “they shall not pass” mentality displayed a different characteristic to this team that is in stark comparison to those of previous years.
Spurs started like a steam train, despite Jacob Brown thinking he was going to show Tottenham what they were in for with a late challenge on James Maddison. We could have scored three times in the first seven minutes. Richarlison got on the end of a great ball in from Dejan Kulusevski from the right wing, but under challenge, he put the ball a foot wide. He got the ball in a similar position, this time played into the box on his side, but he
The chances kept coming with Romero planting a diagonal ball onto Maddison’s head to set up Son, but he shot over the bar. While the home crowd were giving him stick, Richi kept going, working hard to win the ball back and taking the rough tackles. So, when he won the ball before exchanging chances before shooting over the top should not be too harshly judged. Lockyer got booked when he tried to play the ball out from a short goal-kick, but couldn’t keep close enough control and Madders nicked it off him before being crudely fouled. The first yellow card of the day.
It was Kulusevski who had the next chance, when he looked to curl it low inside the far post from inside the right corner of the box, with the keeper doing well to dive low to his right and push it wide for a corner on the half hour. A run at the middle of the defence by Sarr created the opening for the Swede.
Five minutes before half-time the Mad Hatters fans thought they had gone ahead when a free-kick after Bissouma was booked was floated in from the right to the far post. Adebayo won it and the ball went down to the near post where Adebayo lobbed the ball high in the air. When it came down it hit Vicario’s left-hand post and Lockyer was on hand to stoop to head the ball in, being caught by Udogie’s knee as he tried to clear the ball. The ref had already blown for a foul on Romero, who had been pushed with two hands by Adebayo, leading to counter claims that Udogie should be sent off. That was unlikely as the first offence stops the game, but even if the original foul hadn’t been given, it looked as though Lockyer might have been offside before he nodded the ball over the line.
Maddison had a chance from the edge of the box, right in the middle of the goal, but he opened his body up too much and curled his shot high over the bar. Then, in added time, Yves made a run towards the edge of the penalty area and then went down, but nobody had touched him and having been booked just before, the ref pulled out a yellow and then a red. it was unnecessary in many ways. Yes, it was frustrating at not having scored the chances we had made, but to try to win a free-kick with such an obvious dive was shocking and he had already picked up a yellow to secure a suspension for five yellow cards already this season.
Two minutes into the second half a ball across the Tottenham box from the Luton right picked out Adebayo alone at the far post. He slid in and managed to get the ball caught between his feet, nudging it off wide of the goal from a yard out. It was an incredible miss, going for it with the outside of his right foot and treading on it instead.
Spurs did well to pressurise the Luton defence, with three successive corners. Maddison took the first two, which went out off a defender when substitute Hojbjerg shot at goal. The nest was headed out at the near post and Porro took the third, short for Maddison, who spun Doughty and pulled a low ball back to Micky van de Ven. The Dutchman opened up his body to side-foot a shot from under his feet that went under the keeper, who got a hand to it, but could only help it on its way in. It was much better taken than his first half shot from 25 yards that sailed into the home fans behind the goal.
56 minutes were on the clock when a long cross from the right caught Porro with two men and it went to Doughty who was behind Morris. He hit a volley but dragged it wide of the far post when he really should have scored. Three minutes later, Spurs lost the ball 25 yards from their goal and Morris got space on the left, taking on Romero, but his shot looking to go across Vicario was beaten out by the keeper. Just after the hour, Spurs worked the ball right and when it ended up with Porro, Sarr’s run opened a space for the Portuguese man to bend a shot with the outside of his right boot that floated just wide with the keeper scrambling. Luton had a wonderful chance when a throw was taken short on the left and the cross found Brown winning a free header, but he out it over the bar. Another opening saw van de Ven block a shot with a Luton player going down in the box, but nothing was given by VAR and it looked outside anyway.
Luton made a triple substitution with 66 minutes gone. A high bouncing ball saw Micky caught underneath it as Morris won the header, putting one of them, Cauley Woodrow, in, but he hit a weak low shot as Romero challenged. Doughty fizzed one over the bar coming in from the left that took a touch for a corner, which was played in and there was a double VAR check for a handball and a trip, neither of which had any substance.
Skipp and Royal came on for Son and Maddison with 15 minutes left, looking to stiffen things up. Tottenham’s problem was that when they cleared a Luton attack, with more orange shorts being thrown forward, we couldn’t make much of it when we broke up-field as there were insufficient numbers to work the ball to.
Barkley came on for Luton and Davies for Spurs, as the game entered the last ten minutes. I guess that they thought the former England man would spark some sort of revival for them, but he only went on to prove why his career trajectory has been downwards by spraying the ball around … mainly off the pitch.
As the game drifted to an end, Spurs introduced Alejo Veliz in added time to win the ball up top and try to hold it there. He did OK in that thankless task, having replaced Kulusevski, who had done that job in a sterling fashion. At the end of the game, the Luton players flopped to the ground as if they had lost a Cup Final, while the Tottenham team made their way over to the tiny section allocated to their fans with the rest of the coaching team and squad members.
Luton get a lot of sympathy because they are a small town club who have a heart wrenching back story. However, their fans have a small town mentality and claiming handball for every time a ball hits a player’s body is just one example of their narrow-mindedness. Their moment in the limelight of the top flight may be fleeting if they are unable to take advantage of situations like today’s. The lack of a goal threat is the biggest weakness in their team, with Carlton Morris doing well in the Championship last season, but his bullish approach is not the sort that will flourish in the Premier League and on today’s showing, I am not sure where the rest of their goals might come from. Set-pieces seem their best bet.
Tottenham were not put under pressure with ten men in this game in the way that Liverpool were last week with ten and then nine. There were no wave after wave of attacks and although Luton upped their shot quota, they still didn’t outdo the number Spurs created – mainly in the first half. Watching the game back on TV, there was a stat in the first half, I think after 16 minutes, when the completed passes stat was shown on the screen that had Tottenham’s at 133 and Luton’s at 9. It was during that period that we should have put the game to bed. 1-0 is a dodgy score-line and even more so in the past for Spurs, but maybe that has changed and while I wouldn’t want the season to resort to “1-0 to the Tottenham”, it does demonstrate that when needs must, it can be done.
The win put us top of the table and if ever we wanted a draw in the game at Highbury where the Wanderers play Mancashter City, then this was it.
|Crystal Palace||0||Nottingham Forest||0|
|Brighton & Hove Albion||2||Liverpool||2|
|West Ham United London||2||Newcash United||2|
|Wolverhampton Wanderers||1||Aston Villa||1|
|Woolwich Wanderers||1||Mancashter City||0|
Premier League Table 2022-23
|6||Brighton & Hove Albion||8||5||1||2||21||16||16||+5|
|7||West Ham United London||8||4||2||3||15||12