On the heels of a disappointing loss in the North London Derby last weekend, Tottenham went to Germany to face Europa League winners Eintracht Frankfurt. The atmosphere inside the stadium was electric. The football... was less so. Tottenham created a few chances, especially in the first half, but didn’t muster a single shot on target. Thankfully, Frankfurt wasn’t much better, and the two sides eked out a scoreless draw that was at times rather painful to watch.
A point away in the Champions League isn’t a bad thing, but Spurs will probably feel like they should’ve gotten more out of this match. Here are some of my takeaways.
- Spurs played pretty well! After a frustrating match at the Emirates, it was nice to see them creating chances, even if the ball frustratingly refused to go into the net. It wasn’t champagne football, but it was at least something to hang your hat on.
- Sonny had a great first half — two fizzing crosses that Kane inexplicably didn’t convert and curling shot that went just wide. His passing wasn’t always on point, but he looked super dangerous.
- Two major frustrations from the first half were Tottenham’s poor passing, especially in transition, and Spurs being weirdly ineffective in the midfield press. Someone in the writer’s chat also wondered why Kane was playing as the most forward in the front line instead of dropping deep to receive and play balls in, and I think that’s a good point.
- JEEZ COME ON BALL GO IN THE GOAL WHAT IN THE WORLD ARRRRGH
- Really surprised that handball in the box was not called upon VAR review. You can make an argument that the no-call was correct, but it sure looked like it would’ve fallen to Kane if not for the deflection.
- The story of the second half: more frustrating inability to actually do something dangerous with the ball, but this time with substantially less chance creation. Not a single shot on target in this game. Super frustrating.
- Richarlison had a poor match. The way Frankfurt set up didn’t suit his strengths, and he was frustrating out there — wasteful, not in sync with his teammates. Conte waited too long to sub him off, but at least we got to see Bryan Gil.
- But did we want to? He didn’t look especially great out there and a couple of times was chasing the ball instead of making runs towards the goal. He looked, dare I say it, pretty awful. Maybe Conte was right all along.
- As good as Son was (and he was) in the first half, he was pretty awful in the 2nd. But so was most of the team?
- Ryan Sessegnon was an instant improvement over Ivan Perisic. At this point I think Sess should be first choice at LWB for Conte.
- Something was definitely wrong with Kane today. Just not himself — missing open looks, passing was off. Was he off his TB12 regimen?
- I know blaming the ref is blasé but wow did this guy make some questionable calls over the course of this match, and almost universally against Spurs. Harry Kane got hauled down and then kicked, and earned a yellow card for it? Bizarre.
- In a vacuum an away point in the Champions League is not a bad result, but this was not an encouraging performance and will do little to assuage fans’ justified concerns about Tottenham’s overall form. Feels like we just need a passer or two in midfield to fix things, but Conte just seems intractable and stubborn. I dunno. This wasn’t AWFUL, but it sure was frustrating.
- At least Sporting lost to Marseille today (pretty hilariously) so the group remains pretty dang open. But Spurs have to win in the reverse fixture against Frankfurt next time.