Tottenham Hotspur 1 vs Inter Milan 2 Full Match Report

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 14: Jan Vertonghen of Tottenham Hotspur during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium on April 14, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 14: Jan Vertonghen of Tottenham Hotspur during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium on April 14, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images) /

Tottenham Hotspur took on Internazionale Milan on Tuesday night in one of the early big matches of the Champions League season.

Coming into the match Tottenham were not in good form.  Having disappointed in matches against Watford and Liverpool it appeared that the Londoners were a bit tepid in the early exchanges.  As many predicted with Spurs low on confidence and Inter still working hard to bed in their many new summer signings the match had trouble getting started and there was very little action in the opening half hour.

Serge Aurier looked sharp but the rest of the Tottenham team were leaving in clumsy challenges and arriving to 50/50’s late enough for a half price ticket.  That said they maintained their shape well and restricted the Italian’s to a few long-range passes and one very lucky cross that required the attention of goalkeeper Vorm who is still deputizing for the troubled Hugo Lloris at the moment.

In the 31st minute, Jan Vertonghen took a spill in his own box right in front of Radja Nainggolan and really should have been punished for it.  With only Sanchez back and multiple members of the Nerazzurri Tottenham should have found themselves down a single goal.

The game then sped up with Harry Kane played in by a Picasso-esque chipped and curling through ball from Eriksen to Kane that carried the striker through on goal.  Kane took too many touches however and then rather than putting the ball right in the back of the net he took the extra touch of a man bereft of the confidence he had last year and marched straight out of bounds.

The game then picked up with both sides delivering some heavy tackles and a fair bit of shouting happening on the pitch.  Yet neither side managed to turn their greater impetus into any useful chances.

The end of the first half continued with a more aggressive approach from both sides but no real useful chances from either side.  Tottenham could have counted themselves as slightly the better side but neither side played a half of football that they would brag to their friends or family about.

The second half then began with the right attitude.  Both clubs attacking one another and moving to attack each other before Tottenham finally broke through with Eriksen scoring his 5th Champions League goal ever.  He followed up a bullet of a long distance shot and hit the rebound that looped over a helpless Handanovic.

Inter still had trouble working their way into the game after that as it seemed the goal almost entirely revitalized the North Londoners.  They continued to break forward but misplaced passes and though at one point Perisic got a header on goal it had no real power and was directly at Vorm.

Eventually, Inter began to find some confidence in the game but play continued to go about in a broken and stop and start method.  Inter responded by bringing on Antonio Candreva for Ivan Perisic which seemed like a peculiar decision from Luciano Spaletti given that the Croatian was one of the few positive outlets for Inter.  Tottenham brought on Moura for Son in that same break in play in a like for like change.  The Korean having been a good player in the match but tiring quickly Moura would provide some threat.

Tottenham again made a ridiculous decision trying to play out from the back with the goalkeeper and Vorm when a clearance would have been smarter while up 1-0 at the San Siro was almost caught by an alert and onrushing Mauro Icardi.  When will this latest ridiculous obsession end one has to wonder?

Moura then came out attacking the right side of Inter’s defence with aplomb.  The Brazilian looked sharp and dangerous and inventive.  Though it was against tired defenders the Brazilian must be a starter in future just based of the lethal play he displayed in this match.  Tottenham are far more dangerous and his creativity was an obvious benefit for the side.

Then finally out of nowhere, it appeared that Inter were out of the contest and all of a sudden Mauro Icardi in what was his long-awaited and oddly Champions League debut scored an early wonder goal.  From the outside of the box with the outside of his boot there was not a single thing in the world that could have been done to help save that.

Finally in the 90th minute and following their goal the Inter of the 90’s appeared to show up.  At one point a solid 30 seconds of shots and blocks ensued in the Tottenham box with maybe 6 shots being taken by the Italians that resulted in another corner.

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Then it happened.  2-1 to Inter with clumsy defending from Spurs in their own box following a corner.  Matias Vecino popped up with a little header that wrong-footed Michael Vorm and put the Italians in front in the 92nd minute.  Jubilation for Inter and heartbreak for the Londoners.

The game ended and Spurs got what they deserved.  Three losses in a row for the first time under Mauricio Pochettino.  They should have put multiple chances away and simply defended better.  They were ill-disciplined and inconsistent at the back and weak in attack.  They scored one and sat back acting as if that would be enough.  Here Inter deserved to win on character.  Tottenham were disappointing.  The traveling support deserved far better.