Set Pieces Are Coming Together for Tottenham Hotspur

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 10: Gareth Bale of Tottenham Hotspur reacts. (Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 10: Gareth Bale of Tottenham Hotspur reacts. (Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images) /

Tottenham Hotspur did not score on a set piece Thursday, but one did set up the first goal and Spurs had some other dead ball chances against Antwerp.

Maybe it was the beauty of the free kick from Bale that led to the first goal. Or maybe it was the fact that Tottenham won at least four headers in the box off set pieces but never quite found the net. Whatever the reason, it just feels like Tottenham are making progress on their set pieces, or at least it appeared that way in the victory over Antwerp.

Tottenham Showing Improvement

A year ago, after every game Tottenham fans were often complaining about the inability to beat the first man with our corners. On Thursday, Gareth Bale, Harry Kane, and Davinson Sanchez all had chances from corner kicks where they won the header but missed the target. Bale and Kane both probably should have scored and likely would tell you as much.

However, with Sanchez on the corner it was really something different as it looked like he popped out higher in the box and tried to redirect the ball to the back post. In the perfect world the ball goes in, alternatively he hits Ben Davies or whomever is on the back post and they score. Thursday, the run went a step early and the ball whizzed behind Davies.

On another free kick, Son Heung-Min hit a nice, lofted ball into the box, which Davinson Sanchez won and powered toward goal. Unfortunately, the ball went a couple feet over the crossbar, but it was another chance created from a set piece.

While much is made of the all the penalties Manchester United get and Bruno Fernandes converts, the point is he converts them. Likewise, if you look at Liverpool over the last two years, particularly before Virgil Van Dyke was injured and you would see a team that was very clinical on set pieces.

The point is teams need multiple ways to score and one of them is set pieces. Further, it has been some time since Tottenham were good at set pieces. We know like United has Fernandes, Spurs have Harry Kane, and they are still working on that Liverpool side of non-penalty set-piece success.

Based on the display Thursday, Tottenham, while not there yet, are making progress on the set piece department. After all, when was the last time you complained about a corner not beating the first man?