Spurs column: A week of contrasting results reflects the story of this season
- Credit: PA
Wednesday night’s 1-1 disappointing draw at home to Fulham was in a fashion that has been almost second nature to Jose Mourinho’s side this campaign.
A slender first-half lead, followed by a host of missed chances, before being pegged back late on has been trademark Tottenham - and it was no different against Scott Parker’s men.
Failure to hold out in the latter stages of games has cost Spurs, dropping a remarkable tally of 10 points after being ahead in games with 20 minutes to go. Only Brighton and Sheffield United have a worse record, a stat which has undoubtedly frustrated Mourinho and supporters.
Sunday’s crucial 3-1 victory, away to bottom of the table Sheffield United, relieved some of the pressure on the squad. Having failed to record a win on the road in their last three away fixtures, scoring just three goals in the process, it was a much-needed performance.
Serge Aurier’s early headed opener set Tottenham on their way, they matched the blades tactically in defence with Mourinho opting for a three at the back. It gave Sergio Reguilon more of a license to roam forward, he definitely enjoyed the opportunity to play without shackles.
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They continued to play with high intensity, chasing a second against a Chris Wilder side that boldly, or perhaps ignorantly, chose not to play with a low block. The space afforded to Spurs meant they were very direct in each attack and looked capable of scoring at any moment.
Many would have been forgiven for thinking there would be a repeat of the disappointing capitulations after Son’s chipped effort when through on goal struck the post- for the second game running.
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Sheffield United slowly grew into the game, so Harry Kane’s brilliant strike will have calmed the nerves of fans watching at home. With Tottenham controlling the tempo from there on, the display was professional.
Although David McGoldrick pulled one back for the blades, Spurs showed strong mentality to avoid succumbing to pressure and sealed the deal with a moment of magic from once out-of-favour Tanguy Ndombele.
Tottenham travel to Championship Wycombe Wanderers in the fourth round of the FA Cup next as they look to progress further in the historic competition.
A win, in a match they are surely favourites for, will give them much needed momentum in a stuttering season before they host champions, Liverpool, marking the half-way stage for this campaign.
Sitting just four points behind league leaders Manchester United, a win against Jurgen Klopp’s side will put Spurs back into the top four, well in the mix with those hunting a title that is virtually impossible to call. A loss, however, will leave them seven points adrift with some difficult fixtures to play.
So much hangs precariously in the balance for both sides as teams typically take shape and kick-on during this period, it remains to be seen how the managers approach this one, but it is due to be exciting nonetheless.