Spurs 1 Norwich City 1: Norwich Win on Penalties
Tim Krul had previous when it came to penalty hero status and once this game had drifted into extra time, most of us were fearing the worst. Just like the English national team, Spurs have a miserable record when it comes to shootouts and we duly surrendered our only tangible hope of achieving silverware this season.
Overall it was a forgettable night so we’ll just quickly run through it before looking ahead to the final weeks of a difficult campaign.
As with the Wolves game on Sunday, it had all started positively enough when Jan Vertonghen opened the scoring on 13 minutes. The Belgian defender rose to power a bullet header past Krul from Giovani Lo Celso’s cross and it left us with hope that we might actually see a more comfortable 90 minutes.
It wasn’t to be and with 12 minutes of normal time remaining, Michel Vorm’s error allowed Josip Drmic to tap in and take the game into an extra period. In terms of possession and shots on target, the battle was pretty even but with no replays at this stage of the competition, it was all down to the shootout and with Spurs lacking in any confidence, it seemed likely that there would only be one winner.
Speaking after the game, Spurs manager Jose Mourinho said:
I think we don’t deserve the result but that’s football. As you can expect it was a difficult game, as I could expect some of my players were really, really in trouble and they made an incredible effort to try.
Harry Winks was completely dead. I think he’s started 11 to 12 games in a row, we had many, many players in trouble.
In this moment I have to think about what’s next and I have to speak to my club because I think some of these boys to have a chance to fight Tuesday for a Champions League position they just can’t play on Saturday. Particularly in forward positions, behind we’ve got options but not going forward.”
Jose seems to be suggesting that the club should prioritise the second leg Champions League tie with RB Leipzig next week. We’re 1-0 down from the first game and only have to look back to last season to find instances where we’ve overturned similar deficits. However, is that really realistic this time?
Most of us would say no but Mourinho feels it’s worth a tilt and something that would keep our dismal season alive. In the meantime, It’s Burnley away on Saturday and following the trip to Turf Moor, we host Manchester United in next Sunday’s late kick off.
We’re trying hard to stay positive – honest we are – but three defeats in those games would really kill off our season. The question moving forward would be what’s next and that’s something that we will digest in the weeks that follow. In the meantime, why not check out our Burnley match preview as we look for any positive signs this Saturday.