The Europa League has slowly but surely clawed back a bit of charm, atmosphere and dare I say it – Je ne se qua…The French for ‘I don’t know what’. And boy did we not know what awaited us in this game against Olympique Lyon. Watching from the East Lower in Row 2, next to the South Stand, was brilliant. I stood in awe as Bale scored one free kick at that end, and then in the dying seconds of injury time at the other end. Sandwiched inbetween them – a rather jaw-dropping goal by Lyon which time slowed down for. Everyone kept their eye on that ball as it swooped upwards into the top right corner. That goal was scored by Umtiti but the name which was announced should’e been ‘Um-wtf-just happened’…?
Whilst the goals were epic, the football wasn’t all sexy-smooth like Barry White covered in chocolate singing ‘Can’t Get Enough of Your Love Babe’. It was quite stop-start and choppy from Spurs. Walker and Lennon weren’t on each other’s wavelength at all, and the ball was given away numerous occasions. Adebayor’s hold-up play was actually of some notable aid, but he missed what even we would class as ‘a sitter’ when Dembele’s incisive through pass was wasted and sliced just wide of the right post.
Adebayor may have stepped off the plane from Africa but his shooting boots may have been left in the cargo hold which – when he’s the only experienced striker we currently have – is worrying me more than all the cheap hamburgers I’ve eaten over 21 years of existence.
Right, that’s the negative over with.
The atmosphere for this game was more lively than I thought it would be. The ‘you can stick your bed of roses up your arse’ chant catered for the anti-valentine’s day mob including myself (yep I’m still single – shock horror), the close-to-the-bone ‘Where were you in World War II’ song made me chuckle.
Friedel had his Bruce Willis alter-ego on when he deflected a bullet of a shot over the bar and shortly after, got in a slanging match with a Lyon player, telling him in a nutshell to get up after winning an aerial challenge for the ball. Lisandro then decided to step in, but Friedel shouted him down too, leading to raucous chants of ‘U-S-A!’ from the home crowd.
Spurs did enough in the end to tame the Lions. Friedel handled the Lion Whispering (well, shouting) and Bale had the whip in the shape of two sharp free kicks on the stroke of half AND full-time. Perfect timing. Obviously, when you see him step 10 yards backwards in large strides like some Cristiano Ronaldo-Jonny Wilkinson-hybrid, you expect a shot of some quality…we were not disappointed at all.
All hail Sieg-Friedel and Boy.