Date: 8th March 2018 at 2:28pm
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It`s a difficult pill to swallow when you know you have been the better team, not just over one leg but over two, and still come out on the wrong end. Knockout football can be very harsh, and despite feeling hard done by, I feel there are a few lessons we can learn from last night:

1) Put the handbrake on

There was a stark contrast between how we dealt with going 1-0 up, and how Juventus coped when they went 2-1 ahead. You could put it down to inexperience and naivety, but it`s really more about common sense.

A 3-2 lead on aggregate is a slender one, and while it is admirable to want to put distance between us and our opponents to secure the tie, you have to play more conservatively when you are protecting such a fragile lead.

I don`t think we needed to be as offensive as we were at times. After Son put us ahead, I would have liked to have seen us put the handbrake on, break up play and slow the game down to stop Juve gaining any momentum.

2) React quicker to system changes

Allegri made two substitutions on the hour mark to try and get back into the match. I think in hindsight we reacted too slowly to the changes being made. With both Dybala and Higuain an increasing threat through the middle, and Lichtsteiner and Asamoah giving greater width in wide areas, we had to adjust our game plan.

By the time Poch reacted, it was already too late in my opinion. The cross from the Swiss substitute led to the first goal, while the two strikers combined for the second. We can blame mistakes all we like but I feel both goals may have been prevented if we had tweaked our tactics more to accommodate the opposition`s changes.

3) Concentration and decision making is key at the highest level

Clean sheets are the cornerstone of any deep run in European competition, but we failed to keep one yesterday, and it`s frustrating considering how good defensively we can be.

Teams of the quality of Juve can kill you even with a slight lapse of concentration. For the first goal, markers failed to track both Khedira and Higuain, and we paid the price.

Still, we could afford one defensive lapse but we made another costly error. Trippier tried to play offside while Ben on the other flank was standing too deep, and with the form Dybala was in, he was never going to miss. Poor decision making combined with a lack of concentration and we are out. We have to take it on the chin. We were better than Juve, just not smarter at the crucial moments.


8 Replies to “3 Things That Tottenham Can Learn From Last Night`s Defeat”

  • My big 3:

    Teams that win cups always have the footballing gods on their side at some point during the competition. They are mostly deserving of winning the trophy but can normally point to a few moments in the many rounds where luck has been on their side. Over 2 legs, Spurs were the better side but not the luckier side. Whilst Juve should have had a penalty, so should we in the first leg and perhaps 2 last night. Not mentioning the offside Hiuguain goal. We were also the team to see balls just go past the post or not fall favourably to one of our players when bobbling around in the box.

    Football matches at this level need stronger officials. We fell foul to Juve’s dark arts last night. Amazing that Juve had the entire half time to calm down about the penalty not given but still managed to coincidentally have 4 senior players in the tunnel laying into the ref as they came out in the second half. I have no time for this gamesmanship. With stronger officials and even technology, they would have been down to 10 in the first half anyway. They also got away with 2 other stonewall yellows. 13 fouls first leg, 12 fouls second leg and 3 and 4 yellows respectively show how much Juve worked the referee over the 180 mins.

    3) Regardless of whether we beat Juve or not, we’re still not good enough in the full back area. We’ve been saying it for a while now, but the current 2 were the backup of the old 2 that struck fear into the opposition in the wide areas. They are not operating at the same level, and every week we can spot errors on their part. Mostly, we win and it doesn’t punish us. It did last night. Poch has to think long and hard about how he improves full-back for next season as we can’t have another season like this in that area of the pitch.

    Anyway, moving on……let’s get a result at Bournemouth and cheer up 🙂

  • At 1-1 we were still ahead, they say after letting goal in, we need to relax as ur vulnerable after them scoring. Had we any leaders to take control and tell others to relax and re focus. Just hope top 4 we get now. Coys

  • Points 2 and 3 are dead on right, but Point 1 isn’t. Imagine if we had slowed the pace down and pulled up the hand brake and given away a goal any way. The howls would have been deafening. But we did fail to respond to the Juve change of tactics, and we did lose all concentration for those few minutes. I almost thought that Aurier at his worst was on the pitch. (Don’t get me wrong. If Aurier matures and cuts out the once or twice a match horrible moments he can become quite good.) But if we hadn’t made two bad mistakes in the first ten minutes of match 1 and two bad mistakes in those three minutes at the hour mark in match 2, we would have swept the series, as we outplayed them by a lot in the rest of the two matches. Concentration was needed for all 180 minutes, and it wasn’t. Juve changes formation and we don’t notice? Not at all good. But let’s not forget the 167 minutes of the two matches when we were the better team of the two. Pulling up the hand brake is not the way we play, and it won’t be until Poch spends a lot of time in practice setting up that way of playing.

  • We lost the game in 5 minutes. While we were on top for most of the match we weren’t carving Juve open and so were never going to score enough to put the tie out of reach. We were caught cold when they made their changes, just didn’t react. Hopefully we will learn from that but you could make a good case for the real damage being done in the first 10 minutes of the away leg.

  • I personally can’t blame the ref. I thought he officiated the same way for both teams and obviously wanted to let the play go on. We got away with some (Jan’s lunge in the box), they got away with some. The only thing you can ask for is for a referee to be consistent, either in letting play go on, or being strict with both teams. Depending on the ref’s style, it’s up to the players to adapt. Juve took advantage of the ref’s leniency on the night, we didn’t. That’s on the players. As for parking the bus after the 1st goal, it can work, but only if your team is prepared for it. Mourinho has made a career of doing so, but he drills his teams to excel at it. MP believes in open football all the time, which is perhaps a bit naive, but trying to play counter intuitive football on a big stage always backfires. Maybe it’s something MP and the team need to work on for coming opportunities – be harder to break down once we have a scoreline to defend. But to try to resort to that out of the blue against Juve probably wouldn’t have worked very well, in my opinion. As for failing to react to Juve’s changed tactics, I think that’s probably spot on. The more I think about it, the more I think MP got outclassed by Allegri. MP is a very promising manager but he’s still some ways off the very best managers on the biggest stages. Hopefully it will come.

  • I’d rather lose than play like Mourinho. Some things just are not worth it. Being like Mourinho is a Faustian bargain. Let’s not slow dance with the devil. Let’s dance our own dance in our own way.

  • That’s an opinion. I personally admire his ability to use any edge he can find to turn that into a strength. What he did with Porto was remarkable. He’s got an amaeing track record and there have to be some good things to learn from him, no matter if you like his style or not. I wouldn’t throw out the baby with the bath water.

  • That’s an opinion. I personally admire his ability to use any edge he can find to turn that into a strength. What he did with Porto was remarkable. He’s got an amaeing track record and there have to be some good things to learn from him, no matter if you like his style or not. I wouldn’t throw out the baby with the bath water.

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