Home » EPL, Latest » Match Report: Tottenham 1 Hull 0

Justice served, or justice denied? You could argue the case either way. But for all Tottenham’s possession, territory, pressure and chances, it was impossible not to share a little of Hull’s devastation, after a near-perfect rearguard was throttled by a penalty decision best described as debatable.

Roberto Soldado won the match from 12 yards after Ahmed Elmohamady was adjudged to have handled Jan Vertonghen’s cross. It was painfully harsh on Hull, a divine kick in the gonads that will have them seething all the way back up the A1. Captain Curtis Davies was shaking his head as he walked off. Manager Steve Bruce looked like he had just had his tyres slashed.

There was little more he could have done. As has been the case all season, Hull were organised to perfection: disciplined, positionally intelligent and posing a real threat on the break. They lined up 5-4-1 in the absence of strikers Sone Aluko and Danny Graham, and with loan signing Jake Livermore ineligible against his parent club.

Tottenham were brisk, but predictable. Under their current system, most of their attacks pivot around the corners of the penalty area, whether through Andros Townsend cutting in on his left foot, or Aaron Lennon on his right. Hull set themselves up specifically to defend these pressure points, packing the 18-year-line with bodies, refusing to be drawn out of position, forcing Tottenham into a crowded centre.

So Tottenham skirted uselessly around the edges, attempting the odd incisive through ball, with all the optimism of tossing a coin into a fountain. Every loose ball was swept up in a tide of blue shirts. Tottenham showed a curious lack of appetite for the fight. The ineffective Sandro was replaced by Moussa Dembele at half-time. Christian Eriksen was introduced for Lewis Holtby on the hour as Andre Villas-Boas desperately sought more creativity.

The closest they got in the second half was Soldado’s low shot, saved by Steve Harper. Until Vertonghen crossed from the left, the ball hit Elmohamady’s left hand, and referee Michael Oliver pointed to the spot after a moment’s hesitation.

Outrage. Blue shirts surrounded Oliver. Davies tried to reason with him. Alex Bruce tried shouting. On the touchline, his father Steve was treating the fourth official to some decidedly Anglo-Saxon language. To no avail; Soldado’s goal was his sixth of the season, lifting Tottenham back into the top four.

There was still time for some drama. Andros Townsend went over the advertising hoardings on the right byline and, for the longest five minutes of Roy Hodgson’s life, eventually emerged with nothing more serious than a bandaged wrist.

In the fifth minute of injury time, Hull won a free-kick 21 yards out. Tom Huddlestone stood over it. Glory beckoned against the club that sold him in the summer. He stepped up, thrashed the ball with his right foot, and after the longest half-second of Villas-Boas’s life, it clipped the crossbar and disappeared into the crowd. It really was that close.

Source: Telegraph

Tags: ,

Related Posts

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.