Spurs took on Sporting Lisbon in the NextGen Series on Wednesday night. Here's a report from the sideline
The likes of Dean Parrett, Grant Hall, Zeki Fryers, Jonathan Miles and Giancarlo Gallifuoco were missing from this side because of they are over-age. Jack Munns and Roman Michael-Percil (came on as a sub) were also missing but were under-age, which came as a surprise. The backs were, especially, missed. It was a bad performance from the side. The experience of Grant Hall and Dean Parrett were certainly missed. At the back some of the defending was suicidal. Grant Hall seems to be a commanding presence at the back, the effect he has on the back-line is akin to that which Michael Dawson has on the first team's.
It certainly wasn't the best game I've seen this squad play. The defending was at times shambolic. The defense was at fault for the second-goal. A ball in from the right wasn't dealt with and the Sporting attacker fired home. Vigouroux had a bad game. He needlessly gave away a penalty which was duly dispatched for 3-1. Then he was at fault for the fourth goal. A shot from 25 yards out seemed to heading right into the grateful hands of Vigouroux. Vigouroux misjudged the ball and it 4-3. It was a derpy game all around by the team but there were some stand out performers.
It almost seems a cliché now but Shaq Coulthirst had a great game. He ran the channels well. He was rarely found. Whenever Tom Carroll is in the youth team. Coulthirst always plays better. But in Oduwa, Bentaleb and Dombaxe there isn't anybody who can find him running the channels. Nevertheless, he played well with what he had. His efforts were rewarded in the 82th minute when he was taken down in the box and a penalty was awarded. The penalty was coolly dispatched by Laste Dombaxe.
It was a commanding performance from the Serbian. He orchestrated the team from the back often carrying the ball out of defense. He was the stand-out performance in a rather inept defensive display. As mentioned above, the team was missing the presence of Dean Parrett. Veljkovic stepped up to the stage and acted as the creative force as much as he could from the centre-back position.
What struck me most was the way Dombaxe dispatched the penalty. He's the coolest penalty taker I've seen since Dimitar Berbatov. His stuttered run-up to the penalty epitomised his nature and defied the pressure that most humans would feel in such a situation. He sent the keeper one way and slid the ball the other. That was the tone for all the match. He kept the Sporting midfielders guessing and kept the ball ticking over. Every time a sporting player got near him he shrugged him aside in true Mousa Dembélé style. He's one to watch at 17 years of age.
0-1 Sporting Lisbon:
A great turn in the box from Alberto Coelho and fires the ball past Vigouroux.
Nothing that could have been done about that. A moment of magic from the product of Sporting's academy that produced Luis Figo, Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani.
The ball deflected off Coulthirst and Oduwa was there to slot home
Rúben Lameiras showed great tenacity to win the ball back and then it was a foot race which the pacy Portuguese forward won. The ball was fired across to Coultirst and Oduwa hit home.
A cross is whipped and the impressive Coelho finds the net
A cross from the right by Ricardo Esgaio flashes across the face of goal and Coelho makes it 1-2.
1-3 Sporting Lisbon:
Vigouroux needlessly brings down the Sporting attacker. The rest is history
Another needless foul in the box, this time by the Sporting keeper.
A garbage scored by Tottenham.
Credit is due to Michael-Percil who was in the right place at the right time to ensue jubilant celebrations at Brisbane Road.
3-4 Sporting Lisbon:
A mistake by Vigouroux
Let's not go into too much detail on this one. He should saved it.
3-5 Sporting Lisbon:
Nothing any keeper could have done about this
Absolute screamer of a goal. Even Iker Casillas (aka any keeper who is playing against Tottenham) couldn't have saved this, For some goals you just have to say; OK I'll give you that one. This was one of them.
Academy manager John McDermott said on Tottenham Hotspur.com;
NextGen Series: Tottenham Hotspur v Sporting Lisbon (via nextgenseries)