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Christian Eriksen fires Tottenham past Swansea and into FA Cup semi-finals

lør, 17/03/2018 - 15:23

On days like this there is no need for Tottenham Hotspur to worry about how they will cope without Harry Kane on the pitch. Christian Eriksen demonstrated why he is so much more than a member of the supporting cast as he scored another two splendid goals, taking his tally for the season to 11, to ease Spurs into the FA Cup semi-finals at the expense of a Swansea City side that never turned up.

It was that sort of afternoon for Spurs, who were as comfortable as it gets as they strolled into the last four of the FA Cup for the second year in succession. Eriksen accepted the freedom of the Liberty Stadium given to him by Swansea to score his seventh and eighth goals against the Welsh club in 10 matches – one would have thought they would have learned their lesson by now – and Érik Lamela effortlessly stroked home Tottenham’s second.

Related: Swansea City 0-3 Tottenham Hotspur: FA Cup quarter-final – as it happened

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Swansea City 0-3 Tottenham Hotspur: FA Cup quarter-final – as it happened

lør, 17/03/2018 - 15:11

Christian Eriksen scored twice as Spurs eased their way into the semis

2.25pm GMT

Related: Christian Eriksen fires Tottenham past Swansea and into FA Cup semi-finals

2.11pm GMT

Swansea’s dream of a third FA Cup semi-final appearance is over. Tottenham were much the better team here today, Christian Eriksen once again their star man. Spurs make it to the final four for the 21st time: their hopes of a first FA Cup since 1991, and a first trophy since 2008, remain very much alive.

2.08pm GMT

90 min: A possible sour end to an already bitter afternoon for Swansea. Olsson curls a cross in from the left. Vorm claims. Abraham goes down with nowhere near him. Has he twisted his knee? He’s able to get up after a short period of attention from the physio. Hopefully he’ll be fine, with Swansea now free to concentrate on their relegation battle.

2.06pm GMT

89 min: Narsingh bursts down the right. For a second, a hook into the centre would release Clucas and Abraham down the middle. But he hesitates, and the chance for a Swansea consolation is gone.

2.04pm GMT

87 min: This corner is a complete non-event. Spurs care not a jot.

2.03pm GMT

86 min: Eriksen goes for goal, whipping low towards the bottom left. Nordfeldt does just about enough, the ball bouncing off his chest. Llorente should poke the loose ball home, but his confidence is shot and the effort is blocked out for another corner. Before that can be taken, Routledge comes on for Dyer.

2.02pm GMT

85 min: From a short corner, Davies attempts to dribble into the Swansea box. Ki isn’t having it, and shoves him to the ground. It’s a free kick, but not a booking. Spurs load the box.

2.01pm GMT

84 min: Son turns on the jets and makes good down the left. His low cross is turned out for a corner by Bartley.

2.00pm GMT

83 min: Spurs do more of the clock-management thing at the back. Pass, pass, passity pass. Swansea let them do it. Everyone just going through the motions.

1.58pm GMT

81 min: Roberts comes on for van der Hoorn, while Lamela is replaced by Alli, who takes the stage to pantomime boos.

1.56pm GMT

79 min: Spurs open Swansea up with some crisp triangulation in front of the box. Son is released into space down the left; he drags a shot across the face of goal. Llorente didn’t make a move at the far post. That’s Tottenham’s 21st effort on goal; Swansea have managed three.

1.55pm GMT

78 min: Dier, deep on the left, very nearly releases Trippier into the Swansea area down the right. Not quite. Goal kick. There’s not much going on right now.

1.54pm GMT

76 min: Carroll plays a simple pass out of play for a goal kick down the right. That pretty much sums up Swansea today; they’ve been dreadful.

1.52pm GMT

75 min: Sissoko one-twos with Llorente down the inside left. He nearly breaks clear into the area, but Bartley reads the play well and intercepts.

1.50pm GMT

73 min: Spurs make their first switch of the afternoon. That’s the end of Moura’s match; he’s been quietly impressive today. Former Swan Fernando Llorente comes on, and is greeted with a smattering of polite applause.

1.49pm GMT

72 min: Spurs indulge in some possession football at the back. Both teams would take the final whistle right now.

1.47pm GMT

70 min: Carroll curls the free kick into the mixer, forcing Dier to head out for a corner. It’s Swansea’s first of the game ... and it’s punched clear by Vorm without too much drama.

1.46pm GMT

69 min: Olsson romps down the Swansea left and is unceremoniously hacked down by Sanchez, who is quite rightly booked for the ludicrous lunge. A free kick out on the touchline, and a chance for Swansea to load the box.

1.45pm GMT

67 min: Moura slips Lamela free down the left. From the byline, Lamela blasts an outrageously ambitious shot towards Nordfeldt, perhaps hoping for a handling error. Nordfeldt stands strong; he’s not getting beaten from there.

1.43pm GMT

65 min: Space opens up for Sissoko down the inside right. He should stride into the box and have a blast, but tries to dink the ball back towards Lamela on the penalty spot. The pass is blocked.

1.41pm GMT

64 min: This is in danger of turning into a rout. Lamela flicks a delicious first-time reverse pass down the inside-left channel to tee up Moura just inside the area. Moura should slam home, but hesitates and instead opts to tee up Eriksen again. This time the resulting low fizzer is sucked up by Nordfeldt.

1.40pm GMT

This is over. Dier and Moura nearly open Swansea up with some crisp one-twoing down the left. Dier pulls the ball back for Moura, who can’t quite get a shot away from the penalty spot. Moura plays it softly back, teeing up Eriksen, who hammers through a thicket of players and into the bottom left.

1.38pm GMT

61 min: Son has a blast from a tight angle on the left. Bartley blocks. Spurs are beginning to reassert themselves.

1.37pm GMT

60 min: The next corner sees Eriksen sashay in from the right and hammer a low ball into the six-yard box. Van der Hoorn clanks that one out for another corner. Finally Swansea clear. But Spurs had them under the cosh there. The Swans have been bright since the restart, but another goal for the visitors will kill this tie stone dead.

1.35pm GMT

58 min: Space for Eriksen down the right. Narsingh heads his cross out for a corner. The set piece is pulled back down the wing. Eriksen fires in a low, diagonal ball which has Swansea in sixes and sevens. Mawson hacks out.

1.34pm GMT

57 min: Moura is sent scampering down the left wing, released by a gorgeous crossfield pass from Eriksen. He enters the area, then takes a heavy touch that allows Nordfeldt to close him down and snaffle. This can’t end 0-2. It just can’t.

1.33pm GMT

55 min: Moura twists and turns and nearly gets the better of van der Hoorn down the inside left. The big defender cuts out a cross, albeit with his arm, though he was falling flat on his face at the time. There’s no way that’s deliberate, and the referee agrees. The resulting set piece comes to nothing.

1.32pm GMT

54 min: Eriksen pitching wedges a pass into the Swansea box, straight down the middle, for Son, who nearly gets a toe to the dropping ball. Nordfeldt gathers. There are surely more goals in this game. It’s so open.

1.31pm GMT

53 min: Narsingh turns Davies inside out, like an old sock, down the right. He chips one into the centre. Abraham tenses his neck muscles, preparing to smack a header home from six yards, but Sanchez gets his eyebrows in the way to clear the danger. Where was this Swansea in the first half?

1.29pm GMT

51 min: Eriksen bustles down the centre of the park. The ball breaks right for Sissoko, who shanks woefully wide from distance. Not ideal. “As nice as Eriksen’s golazo was, Lamela’s goal will have Spurs fans buzzing even more,” writes Dan Hamilton. “For a notoriously one-footed player, it was a pleasant shock to see him score with his right.”

1.27pm GMT

50 min: Dier, from the best part of 30 yards out, down the inside-left channel, sends a curler towards the top left. It’s heading in, a sweet out-and-in strike. But Nordfeldt tips it out for a corner at full stretch. The corner comes to nothing, but this is a game now!

1.26pm GMT

48 min: Spurs respond through Moura, who dribbles at pace down the left and nearly breaks into the box. Not quite, but for the first time this afternoon there’s a bit of cup-tie frisson in the air.

1.24pm GMT

46 min: Swansea are immediately on the front foot! Olsson, opening his legs down the inside-left channel, sends a pearler goalwards from 25 yards. It’s met by a stunning full-length save by Vorm. The rebound drops to Abraham, but quickly. His follow-up header is straight at Vorm and parried too, and the danger is over. What a shot by Olsson, and what a double save! That could have changed everything.

1.22pm GMT

And we’re off again! Swansea get the ball rolling for the second half, having swapped Naughton for Narsingh.

1.08pm GMT

Half-time reading:

Related: Sam Clucas: ‘One fan wrote: if he plays above League Two I’ll eat my hat’

1.07pm GMT

A smattering of boos as Swansea trudge off, heads bowed. Spurs are in total control: they’ve scored two, had one disallowed by VAR, and Eriksen has hit the bar. Their dream of a first FA Cup since 1991 looks good right now; Swansea’s hopes of a first semi-final appearance since 1964 are a bit more faint.

1.05pm GMT

Lamela dribbles hard down the inside-left channel. He drifts infield a bit, uninhibited by any sort of meaningful challenge from a white shirt. Swansea backing off again, like they did with Eriksen. And the result is the same. Lamela lines up his shot, and curls low and hard into the bottom right. It’s no more than Tottenham deserve for their first-half dominance.

1.03pm GMT

45 min: Yet another corner for Spurs, this time down the right. Some head tennis in the box. Son nearly gets the ball under control. It’s hacked clear. “In defense of my many folk-singing friends, there’s a good reason you see them with a finger in one ear (24 min),” writes Nigel in Toronto. “Most folk clubs have a mic and amp for the singer but do not have monitors on stage. Therefore the poor singer cannot hear him/herself over the amplified sound. A finger in the ear lets you hear yourself while singing.” Fair enough. Nobody emailing in with a similarly passionate defence of VAR, you’ll notice. Fol-de-rol.

1.01pm GMT

43 min: Dyer whips a cross into the Spurs box from the right, but Sanchez is able to clear it without too much bother and suddenly the away side are on the quick-break. Lamela and Son aren’t on the same wavelength, though, which is a shame for Spurs as Swansea were light at the back.

12.59pm GMT

41 min: It’s all gone a bit flat at the Liberty, the result of Tottenham’s total dominance.

12.56pm GMT

39 min: Another corner for Spurs, this time on the left. Eriksen takes. He whips it to the near post, where Dier flashes a header over the bar. He should have done much better. That’s a real chance.

12.55pm GMT

37 min: The resulting corner comes to nought.

12.54pm GMT

36 min: Trippier bustles and earns a corner for Spurs down the right. Lamela works the set piece up and down the wing. Then he shifts the ball inside for Eriksen, who pearls a rising shot towards the top left from the edge of the box. It’s another stunner, but this time Nordfeldt gets a fingernail to it, at full stretch, and turns it onto the crossbar. What a wonderful save!

12.52pm GMT

35 min: Swansea enjoy a little period of possession in the Spurs box. They go nowhere in particular, but that’s a bit better. Small acorns, and all that.

12.52pm GMT

33 min: Mawson and Dyer attempt to replicate the spectacular Mahrez-Vardy combination for Leicester against West Brom the other week. Full marks for ambition, if nothing else.

12.50pm GMT

32 min: Lamela leans back and has an absurd blast from 25 yards. Nope!

12.49pm GMT

31 min: Space for Lamela down the left. He whips a glorious low ball across the face of the Swansea goal. Moura lunges in, but can’t quite get a toe to it. So close to a second for Spurs. They’ve already sort of scored that second, of course, but this is where we are.

12.47pm GMT

29 min: See 27 min. Swansea’s fans are getting a little irritated with their team’s passivity.

12.45pm GMT

27 min: It’s still all Spurs. Absurdly lop-sided. Apart from Dyer’s sortie into the box in the first minute, Swansea haven’t done a thing in Tottenham’s final third.

12.43pm GMT

25 min: No goal. It would seem the pictures were inconclusive, according to the officials, so they’ve gone with the on-field decision. Thing is, Son looked onside, dead in line with the last man. Penny for Pochettino’s thoughts.

12.42pm GMT

24 min: The ref stands with his finger in his ear, like a tone-deaf folk singer.

12.41pm GMT

23 min: Eriksen, quarterbacking from deep, sends Son away down the middle. Son brings it down with a telescopic leg. He then smashes the ball into the top left from the edge of the box! What a finish! But he’s flagged for offside. There really wasn’t much in that. And so we’re going to VAR.

12.39pm GMT

21 min: The corner isn’t all that.

12.39pm GMT

20 min: A loose ball from Clucas allows Moura to zip towards the Swansea box down the right with great determination. For a second, Moura looks as though he’s going to cream a shot goalwards from a tight angle. But Mawson slides in to put a stop to that, at the expense of a corner. Wonderful saving tackle.

12.36pm GMT

18 min: Lamela goes on an elaborate dribble down the left, and nearly works a path clear towards the Swansea goal. Fortunately for the Swans, Naughton is on hand to blast clear, just in time. The home side are clinging on a bit, though.

12.34pm GMT

16 min: Swansea can hardly get a sniff. Spurs are in total control.

12.33pm GMT

14 min: Swansea were way too passive for the goal, and now they allow Moura to diddle his way into the box from the right. Some lovely ball-glued-to-toecap skills. He can’t quite sort his feet out to lash a shot goalwards, and sends a dribbler towards the bottom left that’s easy for Nordfeldt to gather. But the home side could be out of this in short order unless they snap out of their collective daze at the back.

12.31pm GMT

13 min: “Que sera sera, we’re going to Wembley!” trill the Spurs fans, eyebrows pinging up and down in the knowing fashion.

12.30pm GMT

You could see this going in from way back, because Swansea allowed it to happen. Lamela, out on the right, flicks a pass inside for Eriksen. The Danish international is allowed to run, and run, and run, and run. He bides his time, and lines up a glorious power curler into the top left from 20 yards. That’s so sweet! But Nordfeldt had no chance, because none of his defenders bothered closing Eriksen down.

12.27pm GMT

10 min: Spurs are beginning to find their range. Sissoko and Lamela swap places, the latter trying to feed the former this time, with a flick down the inside right. But Nordfeldt is quickly off his line to gather.

12.26pm GMT

9 min: Sissoko floats a pass down the inside-left channel, and Lamela momentarily looks like getting to it first and breaking into the box. But Bartley is across to shepherd it back to Nordfeldt.

12.25pm GMT

7 min: The incredibly assured Mawson rakes a pass down the left for Abraham, who takes the ball down under pressure and lays off inside for Clucas. The move is interrupted by a garden-variety foul, but that was some neat play out from the back. Both teams look confident in their own way.

12.23pm GMT

6 min: Vertonghen beckenbauers his way down the middle of the park and slips a ball through the Swansea back line for Son. The striker’s clear, and he tucks the ball away, but he was well offside and the flag goes up.

12.22pm GMT

4 min: Spurs pass and probe down the right, Eriksen and Moura seeing rather a lot of the ball. Davies flicks a pass towards Son, breaking into the box down the channel. Mawson is over to intercept and mop up.

12.20pm GMT

2 min: Abraham drives down the inside-left channel and flicks a ball into the centre for Dyer to chase after. Dyer tries to round Vorm on the right, but the keeper spreads himself to tap the ball away. Dyer goes over, and wants a penalty, but the ref isn’t interested at all. Well that’s quite a brisk start on a brisk day.

12.18pm GMT

53 secs: Spurs stroke it around the back with the confidence of a team who have never lost at the Liberty Stadium. Swansea finally get a touch and ...

12.17pm GMT

Swansea’s fourth FA Cup quarter-final kicks off! Spurs get the party started. A reminder that this tie will be decided today, after extra-time and penalties if needs be. And the VAR is in operation, which explains Pochettino’s low seethe in the pre-match interview.

12.14pm GMT

The teams are out! Swansea are in their white shirts, so Tottenham are forced into second-choice blue. It’s a cold, windy day in south Wales, but there’s a cup-tie atmosphere to warm the cockles. We’ll be off in a minute! Meanwhile the first, and possibly last, email of the day comes from Woolie Madden: “I was going to make a joke about Swansea bringing on Mulder as a fox-in-the-box, but a quick Wikipedia check tells me that the Swans’ no.25 is in fact a, er, goalkeeper. He’d still be in the box though, right?”

12.06pm GMT

Carlos Carvalhal speaks! “We have made some changes like we have done in the past in this competition. But we still have a good squad, I think it is strong. We understand it is David against Goliath, but the cup games are different. When a good team doesn’t perform at the best level, and a team that is not so good performs at a very good level, surprises can appear. We will try to do our part. So let’s try to play at our best level, with our identity and principles. We know they will have more of the ball, but we know our strong points. Even the best teams in the world have some weak points. We will try to exploit those small weak points!”

11.55am GMT

Mauricio Pochettino speaks! BT Sport’s Reshmin Chowdhury asks whether his selection reflects his confidence in his squad. “Yes of course. Just as after Juventus we made changes to face Bournemouth. I think it is about balance. It is important to provide a team with good energy, after playing in three competitions in one week. The starting XI is exciting. I hope we can go further in the competition. This is the last chance to win a trophy, it is an important game for us, for our fans, and our club. I hope the VAR is working better! It is difficult to change my mind about what I think about that system, but I hope it is working well, and that the referee will be the boss of the pitch. That is important.”

11.32am GMT

Swansea City: Nordfeldt, Naughton, van der Hoorn, Bartley, Mawson, Olsson, Dyer, Ki, Carroll, Clucas, Abraham.
Subs: Britton, Narsingh, Routledge, Mulder, Fernandez, Roberts, Byers.

Tottenham Hotspur: Vorm, Trippier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Sissoko, Dier, Eriksen, Lucas Moura, Son, Lamela.
Subs: Lloris, Alderweireld, Llorente, Dembele, Alli, Foyth, Aurier.

11.30am GMT

Swansea City make five changes to the side that ground out a goalless draw at Huddersfield Town last weekend. Kristoffer Nordfeldt, Kyle Bartley, Tom Carroll, Nathan Dyer and Tammy Abraham are recalled; Federico Fernandez drops to the bench, Andy King and Andre Ayew are cup-tied, Jordan Ayew is suspended, and Lukasz Fabianski misses out altogether.

Tottenham Hotspur also ring the changes, with only four of the XI named at Bournemouth last weekend keeping their place. Hugo Lloris, Serge Aurier, Mousa Dembele and Dele Alli drop to the bench; Danny Rose and Victor Wanyama miss out; and of course Harry Kane is injured. Stepping up: Michel Vorm, Kieran Trippier, Ben Davies, Eric Dier, Moussa Sissoko, Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura.

5.43pm GMT

This is Swansea City’s first FA Cup quarter final for 54 years. The last one was a doozy. In 1964, as struggling Second Division side Swansea Town, they went to Anfield to play champions elect Liverpool. Jimmy McLaughlin and Eddie Thomas put the Swans 2-0 up in the first half. Peter Thompson pulled one back for Bill Shankly’s men just after the hour, and the home side laid siege on the Swansea goal. But keeper Noel Dwyer was inspired, making a series of blocks. Ronnie Moran hoicked a late penalty deep into the Kop, and Trevor Morris’s side were in the semis. They succumbed to Preston North End in the last four; West Ham went on to win the cup.

Before that, we’re looking back to the 1920s. In 1926, Town were a mere 14 years old when they knocked The Arsenal, chasing the title under their new manager Herbert Chapman, out in the quarters at Vetch Field. Again they went 2-0 up in the first half, through Leonard Thompson and Jack Fowler; again the First Division behemoths pulled one back in the second, through Alec Mackie; again Swansea held on. Arsenal ended that season as runners-up in the League to the famous Huddersfield; Swansea went down 3-0 in the semi of the cup to eventual winners Bolton.

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Mauricio Pochettino says FA Cup glory is no measure of a winning culture

fre, 16/03/2018 - 23:30

• Only Champions League or Premier League matters, says manager
• ‘Premier League is truest test, 38 games over 10 months’

Mauricio Pochettino believes a domestic cup triumph means nothing to a club in terms of the creation of a winning culture. The Tottenham manager knows the FA Cup represents his only chance of a trophy this season and his team play at Swansea City in the quarter-finals on Saturday.

Pochettino wants to win but, even if Tottenham were to claim the trophy, which would be his first as a manager, he would not consider it a decisive step in what he is building at the club.

Related: Are Brighton the Premier League’s shrewdest buyers? | Nick Miller

Related: José Mourinho launches 12-minute defence of his Manchester United record

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Swansea City v Tottenham Hotspur: match preview

fre, 16/03/2018 - 17:00

Carlos Carvalhal, Swansea’s manager, has a way with words and it was interesting to hear him say that if Tottenham lose this game it will be “like the end of the world” for them. Tottenham’s progress under Mauricio Pochettino is there for all to see but sooner or later he needs to win a trophy, with the FA Cup their only chance of silverware this season. Spurs will have to do without Harry Kane, although Swansea’s list of absentees is much longer and leaves them desperately short of attacking options. Stuart James

Saturday 12.15pm BT Sport 1

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Dele Alli is best of his age in the world game, claims Tottenham manager

tor, 15/03/2018 - 23:30

• Mauricio Pochettino effusive in praise for England man
• Alli expected to sit out Saturday’s FA Cup tie at Swansea

Mauricio Pochettino has acclaimed Dele Alli as the best player for his age in world football. The Tottenham manager betrayed an element of frustration when asked whether Alli – who turns 22 next month – needs to step up in the injury-enforced absence of the club’s talisman, Harry Kane.

Pochettino preferred to talk up Alli’s quality and offer a reminder of what the attacking midfielder has achieved. He has been voted as the PFA’s young player of the year in each of his two full seasons at Spurs following his £5m move from MK Dons in 2015, and has established himself as a first choice in the England team.

Related: Harry Kane will return in four weeks, say Tottenham, in boost for England

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Mauricio Pochettino praises Harry Kane's bravery after ankle injury – video

tor, 15/03/2018 - 16:09

The Tottenham manager, Mauricio Pochettino, praised Harry Kane’s bravery, suggesting the striker would ‘put his leg in a washing machine’ to help his side score. The England forward is out until April with ankle ligament damage following Spurs’ win at Bournemouth on Sunday

Kane set to return to fitness within four weeks

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Harry Kane will return in four weeks, say Tottenham, in boost for England

ons, 14/03/2018 - 19:10

• Spurs say striker ‘damaged lateral ligaments in his right ankle’
• Recovery timeframe good news for England before World Cup

Tottenham Hotspur expect Harry Kane to be back in training next month and to return to action in about four weeks after a scan revealed the extent of the injury he suffered at Bournemouth on Sunday.

The club announced that “preliminary assessments have confirmed that Kane has damaged lateral ligaments in his right ankle.” The statement added: “He is expected to return to first-team training next month.”

Related: Tottenham apologise for survey asking if ‘a woman’s place is in the home’

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Tottenham apologise for survey asking if ‘a woman’s place is in the home’

ons, 14/03/2018 - 11:48

• Question was included on club email sent to fans in United States
• Spurs say survey was compiled by third party and has been changed

Tottenham have apologised after a “wholly unacceptable” question asking whether “a woman’s place is in the home” found its way into a survey sent to fans in the United States.

Posts on social media emerged from Spurs supporters in the US revealing they had received a club email on Tuesday with the subject heading: “Calling all US Spurs fans: tell us what you think.”

Hey, @SpursOfficial, a few of the questions in this survey you just sent out are...unforgivable. #coys

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Fears continue over Harry Kane’s fitness after delay hits scan on right ankle

tir, 13/03/2018 - 17:48

• Tottenham striker’s joint was meant to be assessed on Monday
• Gary Lineker and Spurs fans denounce ticket prices at new stadium

Harry Kane has still not undergone a scan on his right ankle having hurt it during Tottenham’s 4-1 victory at Bournemouth on Sunday. The 24-year-old had to be withdrawn on 34 minutes having sustained the injury and was due to have it assessed on Monday. However, 24 hours later that still had not happened, with swelling believed to behind the delay.

Kane has injured the same joint twice previously in the past 12 months and missed 14 matches as a consequence. In the absence of an official statement from Tottenham, there were continued fears that Kane faces an extended layoff.

Related: New era edges closer as Tottenham seek to draw a line under austerity years | David Hytner

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Harry Kane set for scan on ankle injury with fears for lengthy absence

man, 12/03/2018 - 16:11

• Pochettino refuses to put time limit on how long striker will be out
• ‘We hope it is not a massive issue but need to wait until the scan’

Harry Kane is facing a prolonged period out of action and could potentially miss the World Cup after sustaining an injury in Tottenham Hotspur’s 4-1 victory over Bournemouth yesterday that resulted in the striker departing from the south coast on crutches and in a protective boot.

Kane collided with Bournemouth’s goalkeeper, Asmir Begovic, after 34 minutes and during a subsequent tangle of legs, twisted his right ankle. The 24-year-old received treatment but was unable to continue. An update on the extent of the damage had been anticipated on Monday but the swelling was too great to allow this and Tottenham said it would not be possible until Tuesday at the earliest.

Related: Son Heung-min hits two but Harry Kane limps off in Spurs win at Bournemouth

Related: Son Heung-min hits two but Harry Kane limps off in Spurs win at Bournemouth

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Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

man, 12/03/2018 - 10:02

Alex Iwobi is drifting, Pellegrino is on dangerous ground and Manchester United produced a classic performance

It always feels unfair to single out a young player, not least one who seems with each performance these days to become a one-man Arsenal social media event, a living banter-meme. Just check out Alex Iwobi on Twitter the next time Arsenal are playing – and hope he never makes the mistake of searching his own name. But watching him against Watford it was tempting to wonder about stalled progress, and a comfort zone at the wrong moment in his career. He has been more productive since Christmas, has made an effort to make more decisive forward runs. But he remains a strange footballer, a creative midfielder who seems to be always shuttling in vaguely the right area, but who somehow ends up doing very little actual creating. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has shown the fruits of moving on to develop. Iwobi still seems unsure of his place in the pecking order, too mannered to have any real sharp edges, and in danger of becoming a poster boy for late-Wenger drift. Barney Ronay

Related: The Dozen: the weekend’s best Premier League photos

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Son Heung-min hits two but Harry Kane limps off in Spurs win at Bournemouth

søn, 11/03/2018 - 19:20

To say this was a mixed occasion for Tottenham Hotspur would be an understatement. There was a battling victory for the visitors to enjoy, one that moved them up to third and allowed all concerned to clear their heads following their eviction from the Champions League by Juventus last Wednesday. But a gloomy afternoon on the south coast was not without a gloomy moment, namely the injury to Harry Kane that threatens to rule Spurs’ top scorer out for the rest of the season and places questions over his involvement at the World Cup.

The prognosis does not look good given he departed the stadium with the aid of crutches and a protective boot following a collision with Asmir Begovic. The pair tangled in the 34th minute as Kane converted a cross only to be ruled offside, with his right ankle taking the brunt of the impact.

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Bournemouth 1-4 Tottenham Hotspur: Premier League – as it happened

søn, 11/03/2018 - 18:56

Bournemouth took an early lead and will have fancied themselves to take the points, especially when Harry Kane limped off injured, but Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen and Son Heung-min stepped up to send Spurs above Liverpool into third place

6.43pm GMT

Related: Son Heung-min hits two but Harry Kane limps off in Spurs win at Bournemouth

5.56pm GMT

So there we go. Bournemouth showed plenty this afternoon, particularly in the first half, and I’m sure they’ll stay up. Spurs, though, played with the confidence of a side which properly rates itself, and eventually their class told. Thanks for your company and comments – sorry I couldn’t use them all – and enjoy what’s left of the weekend. Ta-ra.

5.54pm GMT

Excellent from Spurs, who go above Liverpool by a point and now sit third. Bournemouth stay 12th.

5.53pm GMT

90+5 min Spurs enjoy the closing seconds, while Bournemouth do not.

5.51pm GMT

90+3 min This has been a really good effort from Spurs, who lost their best player and talisman when a goal down. Alli, Son and Eriksen have really taken responsibility, while Pochettino made a very good call to bring on Lamela when he could easily have gone for Llorente or Moura.

5.50pm GMT

Sissoko trips over the ball 30 yards out, but recovers it in time to roll nicely into the path of Trippier. He caresses a fair cross into the middle but Begovic really should do better than palm towards the back post - where Aurier nods home from an acute angle.

5.48pm GMT

90 min There shall be five additional minutes.

5.48pm GMT

89 min “Nice one Sonny” sing the away fans with all the gusto of a support who’ve happened upon a new tune. Surely it hasn’t taken this long to come up with that?

5.47pm GMT

Lewis Cook overruns possession and all it takes is once pass from Eriksen, well inside his own half, to send Son in on goal, at inside-left. Alongside him, Lamela is pounding through the middle so he shapes to roll him in, then drags the ball around the keeper the other way - we don’t see enough keeper roundings these days - then rams a finish high into the net. Great finish, fine player.

5.45pm GMT

87 min Sissoko is basically that kid in the playground who hits puberty first and chases faster and harder than everyone else. He’s already conceded a free-kick.

5.43pm GMT

85 min Alli has hurt himself so is replaced by Sissoko, after taking roughly 69,027 minutes to amble off the pitch, loving each and every one of them individually.

5.43pm GMT

84 min Ball launched towards the box and Ake wins it; Wilson shoves Sanchez and pokes home, but fails to hoodwink Mikey Dean. Oh, you’ve to get up very early in the morning to pull that one off, yes you do.

5.40pm GMT

82 min Francis humps long and Wilson sets off in pursuit; that Alan Parry alters the pitch of his voice tells you how threatening Bournemouth have looked this half, and Lloris collects easily.

5.39pm GMT

81 min Danny-danny Rose has hurt himself, so Kieron Trippikiyay comes on. He goes to right-back, and Aurier steps across to the lleft.

5.37pm GMT

79 min Ibe floats in an absolute dog, and Spurs clear easily.

5.37pm GMT

78 min Spurs are sitting a bit deeper now, but Bournemouth are struggling to use the extra space. But they find Ibe, who darts a clever pass into Wilson; Vertonghen opts to slide in and cede the corner.

5.34pm GMT

76 min Eddie Howe sends on Jermain Defoe for Junior Stanislas; he comes on with a note for Dan Gosling which seems to read “YOUR MUM”.

5.33pm GMT

74 min Nice from Smith, jinking by a couple of men down the left and moving it onto Cook, who squares for Francis. 20 yards out, he has a decent sight of goal, but flings his whole body into a drive which wafts over the top.

5.32pm GMT

72 min Lovely feet from Dembele, three lovely touches in a confined space setting an attack away. Nothing comes of it, and in any case I wonder if his hot streak is over now; at 30, does he still have scope to find the consistency he needs to be a top player?

5.30pm GMT

71 min Rose is coming onto a game, and he weaves forward, rushing the ball into Alli, who finds Son. He shoots and the effort is deflected behind, but the prospect of a corner doesn’t spare him a telling for not having passed.

5.28pm GMT

69 min What kind of player is Dele Alli going to be? He can be great in a free role, but if he’s not scoring or creating, doesn’t contribute much. I’ve always thought that a player with his attitude and physique needs to be involved in the game as much as possible, so should play in midfield.

5.26pm GMT

68 min A double change for Bournemouth: off go Daniels and Mousset, on come Ibe and King.

5.25pm GMT

66 min Lovely from Lamela, beating Stanislas along the by-line then rolling his studs over the ball to take it away from Daniels before prodding against Ake, whose unwitting deflection concedes another corner. It comes to nothing.

5.24pm GMT

64 min Son has, over the last couple of months, progressed from useful accessory to must-have staple. Not many players can play across the front line and fewer still are as two-footed; he now has six in four games, and there he is again, running the channel on the right of the box, stealing a march on Cook and rattling a shot into the near post which Begovic shovels around the post.

5.21pm GMT

Spurs have passed it really well this half, showing great composure. Son is involved in the move early, and in the middle when the ball arrives at Alli, loitering on the left of the box. He looks up and picks over a lovely pass, which Son volleys into the ground, a dodgy contact enough to deceive Begovic.

5.19pm GMT

61 min Rose reaches a loose ball before Gosling who, committed to the tackle, has no option but to foul him. He’s booked.

5.18pm GMT

60 min How long till Pochettino makes another change? On the one hand, Spurs are playing pretty well, but on the other another body in the box might help. Do they really need Dembele and Wanyama?

5.17pm GMT

58 min Lovely from Stanislas, nipping the ball away from Aurier, who sells himself for a burton because he simply cannot help it. As 63 defenders rush over to resolve the situation, Stanislas knocks it square to Gosling who, faced with a lunging Rose, drags a low shot wide.

5.16pm GMT

58 min Eriksen plays into Lamela and glides forward, accepting a square pass and immediately whipping a low shot which Begovic saves.

5.15pm GMT

56 min Alli turns up on the left wing, nicking the ball away from Francis who ploughs through him. No foul, reckons Mikey Dean – we don’t see it, but I’m hoping he indicates as much by uncrossing his arms – let’s assume.

5.13pm GMT

54 min Son plays a delicious little pass out to Alli, who lankily saunters inside before feeding a return into the box. As he accepts the ball, Daniels kicks through him and down he goes, but Mikey Dean sees nothing; fair enough in a sense, it probably didn’t hurt much, but it did probably contravene the laws of the game.

5.11pm GMT

53 min Spurs are back to dominating possession, sweeping the ball from right to left via Eriksen and Son. But Rose can’t control his cross on the run, which sails behind.

5.10pm GMT

52 min This is fantastic. Football is the greatest.

The game comes to a stop in the 13th minute as everyone pays tribute to Davide Astori.


5.09pm GMT

50 min Eriksen swings in a cross from the right and Alli shapes to hook it home, but Cook, after reacting slowly, does superbly to insinuate himself between man and ball, his crucial touch allowing Francis to slam clear.

5.06pm GMT

49 min The ballboy who got telt in the first half has an identical twin sat on the opposite touchline.

5.06pm GMT

47 min Bournemouth have started then second half as well as they started the first, and when Sanchez tickles a clearance, Francis puts his foot through it swiping hard; Lloris saves easily enough, and from the resultant corner, curled in by Stanislas, Aurier heads against Ake’s face. The ball flies wide, and Ake stays down for treatment.

5.04pm GMT

46 min Francis curls a long pass into the channel, missed by both Vertonghen and Wilson. But Smith can’t pick it up, and Spurs clear.

5.03pm GMT

46 min Off we pootle once more.

5.03pm GMT

Kane has diddled his right angle – possibly the ligaments of. That’s bad news for Spurs, but might be ok news for England, provided it’s not too serious.

5.01pm GMT

“Speaking of stepping up, it really feels like Bournemouth is just one top-drawer attacking player away from challenging for European places,” emails Kari Tulinius. “I wasn’t too convinced by them last season, but they seem to have adapted really well this time around, but they need to score more goals.”

Easier said than done, but I really like Wilson, who must be a proper aggravation to mark, and Lewis Cook.

5.00pm GMT

“Not sure four sub appearances, one goal & two assists makes Moura an inferior player to Lamela,” tweets Mike, “who needed two seasons to ‘settle in’ to his ‘form’, which seems to involve a lot of clumsy fouls and very few goals. Problematic favouritism from MoPo. Is it cos he is Argentinian?!”

I very much doubt that. As far as I can see, Lamela leads the press and offers clever passing and balance.

4.55pm GMT

Looking at the Kane injury, Begovic’s whole body went through his ankle looking to smother the shot. He’ll be resting up for a while, I shouldn’t wonder.

4.49pm GMT

That was a really good half of “Premier League football”. Bournemouth set about Spurs early and their goal reflected the balance of play, but Spurs slowly inched into things and were in the process of improving when Kane went off. They then equalised and more or less dominated thereafter; the second half should be decent.

4.47pm GMT

45 min There’ll be two additional minutes.

4.46pm GMT

45 min Eriksen in low and fast to Lamela, who tees him with a deft touch - the shot scoots wide.

4.46pm GMT

45 min Vertonghen steps forward and misplaces his pass, Wilson snapping into it and heading for the vacated space. But various defenders converge upon him and the danger is averted.

4.44pm GMT

43 min Peter Raleigh is back, and he says: “Fair play, this step certainly doesn’t get to last forever, but I think it can reasonably last longer than it has. Your intro says it is ‘long since time’ that Spurs seriously contended for top honours - so when did that time arrive? Their first season in the top 4? Their second? Maybe this is the reality of modern football, but that seems like it’s permitting them a very small window in which to develop. It’s not as though there aren’t already signs of year-on-year improvement.”

Naw, not a reality of modern football, simply that teams generally operate in four-year cycles. In that context, if it’s a season overdue, that’s significant.

4.43pm GMT

41 min Spurs look really confident in possession now, Eriksen doing his best David Silva impression by popping up all over the show. Bournemouth are sitting pretty deep now, rather than engaging the men with the ball.

4.41pm GMT

40 min Wilson is a really good player, and he moves the ball onto Smith, over towards the left from the right flank. But he deices not allow it across his body, the shape of which forces him to sweep wide.

4.39pm GMT

38 min That goal will have shaken Bournemouth, who had been comfortable until that point. But three quick passes can be enough to undo any team.

4.37pm GMT

These is a beautifully constructed goal. On the right, Lamela feeds Son, who snaps a pass into Aurier’s stride and suddenly Spurs are around the back for the first time. Immediately, Aurier curls in a low cross between keeper and back four, and Alli cleverly controls a finish for his first goal since Palaeolithic times. He celebrates in the correct manner, goading the home fans via hand cupping ear.

4.35pm GMT

33 min Lamela is stripped and ready, and on he comes. That doesn’t say much for Fernando Llorente, and I’m also surprised that he comes on ahead of Moura, an inferior player but one who might ask Bournemouth a few different and more pertinent questions.

4.33pm GMT

32 min Spurs have Bournemouth pushed back now, but Kane, off to get treatment, slopes down the tunnel! Where’s Vincent Janssen when you need him? Anyway, Eriksen and Aurier combine, the former teeing up the latter to cross, and as the ball drops, Alli swipes at fresh air to widespread mirth.

4.32pm GMT

30 min Kane hurt himself colliding with Begovic, so accepts treatment. In the meantime, here’s Matt loten: “Perhaps one thing Spurs need is more of a ‘Lads, it’s Tottenham’ quality: an almost arrogant self-belief that they are going to go out and dominate a match against inferior opposition. They often turn up against the big teams, but they seem to sleepwalk through the opening months and drop silly points against teams that title winners would swat aside, like they’re threatening to do today. I don’t buy into the theory that they ‘have’ to win a trophy to breed that confidence; I think a few of their players (Eriksen and Alli are prime examples) need to look at Harry Kane, and take heed of his desire to leave his mark on every single match, regardless of the opposition.”

I think they have that – what they don’t have is the attacking options that redeem a poor performance, or a first XI quite good enough to beat a good team playing well.

4.30pm GMT

28 min Clever, disguised pass from Son, gently down the line for Alli. He keeps things moving, the ball reaches Aurier, and when his square ball is wayward, Spurs are quick to regain possession. This is much better from them, and when Son finds Eriksen on the right, he curves a clever pass into the middle for Kane to turn home. He’s offside, but the flow of this game has changed.

4.28pm GMT

27 min Son wins Spurs a corner down the left, and when the ball is cleared back to him, a low cross finds Vertonghen. He drags a shot from around his spectacular buttocks, but Daniels flings himself into a challenge which is enough to force him to fire high.

4.27pm GMT

26 min “If Spurs thinks they can afford to let Alderweireld go,” emails Paul Binns, “Wednesday and today is proof that they are deluded. Sanchez has been good but can’t compare to Alderweireld’s commanding composure and organisation.”

I doubt Spurs think they can afford to let him go, but that probably isn’t in their control - if a better team, or one with more money make an offer, chances are he’ll take it, and who can blame him?

4.25pm GMT

24 min The game’s gone a little quiet, which might suit both teams. Bournemouth will happily see time elapse in its characteristic style, while Spurs have a chance to find themselves. Feel free to send in any further existentialist thoughts.

4.24pm GMT

22 min “Peter Raleigh and other similar thinking members of the fanbase are the reason we won’t push on,” reckons Alistair Donegan. “Having the sixth-biggest spend and finishing above sixth is nothing to celebrate - winning is. The point is, spend a bit more and we could win it. By celebrating noble failure you’re enabling Levy and ENIC to always, ALWAYS sell us short.”

I agree with this, more or less. Of course it’s great to finish above teams with bigger budgets, but that’s not what the competition is there to measure.

4.22pm GMT

21 min We’ve not seen Kane, Eriksen or Alli yet, largely because we’ve barely seen Wanyama or Dembele yet. Bournemouth are giving them very little time or space, while Wilson and Stanislas are sending for Sanchez and Vertonghen. Meanwhile, a ballboy gets a mapolleh for chucking one at Vertonghen’s knees.

4.20pm GMT

19 min “Admittedly, I am an absolute outsider with no investment,” emails Matt Dony, “but I think patience and development are the key necessities for Spurs, for Pochettino as much as anyone else. He rightly gets plaudits as a manager, but he’s still relatively young, and before the Spurs gig hadn’t worked at any great length with players of an Eriksen/Kane sort of quality. He will improve and learn, which will bring more out of his players. The first XI might not be comparable with, say, City, but they are certainly good enough to win a few trophies.”

I think that’s fair, provided he keeps the team together. But if the aim is to challenge for the big pots, there’s work that needs doing.

4.19pm GMT

18 min A long ball out to the right finds Wilson, sealing in front of Sanchez, who consolidates his error by selling himself, forcing Rose to foul. He’s booked, but the free-kick from close to the right touchline, is rubbish and Spurs clear.

4.18pm GMT

16 min Spurs knock the ball along the back four before finding Son down the left. He’s really stepped things up this season - perhaps his incremental improvement will obviate the need to sign another winger – and his low cross is decent, but shoved away by Begovic.

4.15pm GMT

14 min Spurs are gently easing themselves into this.

4.15pm GMT

12 min “Why can’t Spurs finish taking THIS step before we start asking why they can’t take the next one?” asks Peter Raleigh. “Spurs have never finished top 4 in consecutive PL seasons before, let alone three in a row as they may do now. I suppose I should be grateful for the rapid promotion to ‘team which ought to be criticised for not winning the league,’ but we’re resolutely 6th in revenue and wage spending, and clearly punching above our weight as it is. An upward trajectory needn’t have reached the very top to be recognised as such.”

I think you’re conflating two things here. Obviously they’re doing very well for what they’ve spent, but that’s not really relevant when discussing the need to improve. And how long does this step last? Inferior teams to Spurs have won competitions they’ve been in recently.

4.11pm GMT

10 min “I’m a Spurs fan and am very proud of what the club have achieved in the last few seasons,” emails Mike Rayment. “However there are definitely replaceable players in that first XI. Going forward we’re incredible, it’s the foundations at the back that are questionable. Dier was poor on Wednesday night and Dembele’s form dropped off significantly in the second half when Juve pressed.

Man City, Chelsea and Man Utd (the three most successful English clubs of recent years in terms of trophies) aren’t afraid to get rid of players who don’t cut it, Spurs should be the same. The problem for Spurs is that we don’t have the luxury of endless money to replace players on a whim.”

4.09pm GMT

8 min Bournemouth have started really well here; Spurs haven’t even started. And though they’re the only side in the league not to lose in 2018, they have yet to win from a losing position this season.

4.08pm GMT

No mistakes this time! Smith takes a great touch down the right, back to Rose - he flicks the ball around him, turns, fetches, and crosse on the runs. Meanwhile, in the middle, Sanchez is out of position, Aurier doesn’t call him back, and Stanislas chests down to spank a low drive just inside the far post!

4.07pm GMT

4 min What a miss! Exceptional! Bournemouth break and one pass is all it takes to send Mousset screeching away down the middle, Stanislas alongside. Sanchez is in pursuit so he squares to leave Stanislas a tap-in ... except Lloris does really well to get over and dive in front, forcing a lifted finish ... of which Stanislas gets too much, and the ball bashes the face of the bar!

4.04pm GMT

3 min Today represents a big chance for Danny Rose. There aren’t many places better to play than Spurs, fewer still who want and can afford him, so he may have to stay where he is - in which case he’ll be wanting to nail down a spot in the side.

4.02pm GMT

1 min Christian Eriksen is into the game immediately, prompting around the Bournemouth box. But he’s crowded out and the home team are away.

4.01pm GMT

1 min Bournemouth set us away.

4.00pm GMT

Bournemouth huddle, to discuss whether entry to the single market is possible after Brexit.

3.59pm GMT

The crowd sing Sweet Caroline. Is Daryl Gurney in attendance?

3.58pm GMT

I remember thinking similar about Rio Ferdinand who, towards the end of his career stayed back while Patrice Evra went up and revealed a talent for scoring with headers.

Vertonghen hasn’t scored in 5 years for Tottenham! They have had 1182 corners in that period. He is coming up at all corners...

Great points by @SimenAxel at TV2-studio

3.57pm GMT

The players are ready in the tunnel, tracky tops on and everyfink. Here they come!

3.54pm GMT

On the same topic, here’s William Hargreaves: “As a Gooner, I enviously admit they need only to carry on as they are and ensure that spirit grows. Wenger has tenacity, ability to embody the spirit needed to win a trophy. Poch et al will get there soon, I fear.”

I’m not sure the team is strong enough not to need strengthening. The question for me is in what position – perhaps alongside Dembele.

3.52pm GMT

“In answer to your question,” tweets Mike, “not playing Aurier and playing Moura would be a start! MoPo’s done pretty well, but often seems a bear of little brain, especially his lack of tactical flexibility and defending cheating. His own red card record (13) isn’t inspiring.”

Not sure about that last bit – the best side is rarely the cleanest side – and not sure Aurier is the reason Spurs haven’t taken the next step.

3.50pm GMT

Eddie Howe explains that Josh King has a neck problem, and hopes that his players will start the game well. Asked about controlling Harry Kane, he explains that “As I always say, when you’re dealing with individual players it’s about the team.” Not sure I’d be so keen to assert ownership of that insight, but there we go.

3.45pm GMT

“Is this about character for Spurs today, Tim?”

“Yeah, it’s about dusting themselves dahn.”

3.44pm GMT

Mauricio Pochettino accepts Sky’s commiserations for Spurs’ European exit – it’s a touching moment, I can tell you. He explains that Davies is fatigued but says Rose is ready, and that he’d like his team to improve their position - “the competition does not wait” for them to finish mourning the loss to Juventus.

3.39pm GMT

Tim Sherwood is in the Sky studio.

3.33pm GMT

I ask this question a lot, because I don’t know the answer, so: what do Spurs need to do take the next step? Their first XI is nailed down with high-quality players, so it’s tricky to advocate replacing any of them. Yet, quite clearly, it’s not been good enough to contest the major prizes, so does Mauricio Pochettino just wait for his younger players to improve sufficiently? Or change something, whether personnel, formation or both?

3.22pm GMT

So Bournemouth make one change, Mousset replacing King. Spurs, meanwhile, make three changes from midweek, Trippier, Davies and Dier stepping out to be replaced by Aurier, Rose and Wanyama.

3.11pm GMT

Bournemouth (a studied 4-4-1-1): Begovic; Francis, Cook S, Ake, Daniels; Smith, Cook L, Gosling, Stanislas; Mousset, Wilson. Subs: Boruc, Sermon, Arter, Fraser, Ibe, king, Defoe.

Tottenham Hotspur (a drilled 4-2-3-1): Lloris; Aurier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Rose; Wanyama, Dembele; Eriksen, Alli, Son; Kane. Subs: Vorm, Trippier, Dier, Sissoko, Lamela, Moura, Llorente.

12.05am GMT

Not many of us marry our first, second or sixty-second love, let alone make a go of it. Rather, we learn from experience, hope to get there in the end, and either do or don’t.

So it makes little sense to chastise Spurs for their naivety in losing to Juventus, nor to decry them as bottlers. It is possible for one good side to shade another just because, because football is like that; it is also possible for one good side to shade another because they have better players, able to turn it up at clutch beyond the scope of their opponents. And for all Spurs’ virtues, they don’t have a defender as good as Giorgio Chiellini, nor an attacker as dynamic as Paulo Dybala.

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Jan Vertonghen: the hangdog warrior who keeps Tottenham thinking big

lør, 10/03/2018 - 23:29
The Belgian has become the complete centre-back under Mauricio Pochettino and is desperate for trophies even if he doesn’t show it like Giorgio Chiellini

For Jan Vertonghen and his Tottenham team‑mates the inquest began in the minutes after full-time at Wembley, continued over breakfast at Hotspur Way the following morning and carried on into the dressing room before training. The ghosts of Juventus will not disappear easily; nobody could really expect them to, but times like this demand that balance quickly overrides emotion. Paulo Dybala’s dead-eyed finish and the Chiellini‑Buffon rockface on which Spurs dashed their heads thereafter had provided object lessons; then again, Tottenham had convinced themselves of a few things too.

“If you see how they approach the games, and how they live and play the game, you can definitely learn from it,” Vertonghen says of that weatherbeaten Juve core. “I don’t think we are far away from that but they have the experience over us and the way they approached the game is impressive.”

Related: Mauricio Pochettino says Juventus dark arts a huge lesson for Tottenham

Related: Giorgio Chiellini says Spurs lacked mental toughness to beat Juventus

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Bournemouth v Tottenham Hotspur: match preview

lør, 10/03/2018 - 10:00

Bournemouth become the first team to take on a wounded Tottenham who are nevertheless undefeated in 11 league games and desperate to take another step towards qualifying for the Champions League for the third season in a row. “The competition doesn’t wait for you,” said the manager, Mauricio Pochettino, reflecting on their calamitous midweek loss to Juventus. “If you’re happy or sad, the team has to move on and think about the weekend.” Bournemouth have been doing little else since their draw at Leicester last time out, with Jermain Defoe, scorer of 91 league goals for Spurs, likely to be on the bench again. “Since Christmas we have been very strong and have beaten some big teams here,” said the manager Eddie Howe, who would probably be delighted with a point this time. Mark Tallentire

Sunday 4pm Sky Sports Premier League

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Mauricio Pochettino says Juventus dark arts a huge lesson for Tottenham

fre, 09/03/2018 - 23:30

• Spurs manager says Juve chief executive put pressure on referee
• Juventus ‘have the habit to win’ while ‘we were very nice people’

Mauricio Pochettino says Juventus are “specialists” in football’s dark arts as he described how they put pressure on the referee at half-time in Wednesday’s Champions League last-16 second leg at Wembley.

The Tottenham Hotspur manager, who watched his team lose 2-1 for a 4-3 aggregate exit, said he saw Giuseppe Marotta in the tunnel during the interval and that the Juventus chief executive had complained to the Polish official, Szymon Marciniak.

Related: Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

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Like Juventus, Boris Johnson just can't be knocked out | John Crace

fre, 09/03/2018 - 13:51

The foreign secretary blunders again and survives, while Spurs are sent gloriously packing

Boomerang kids – adult children who return to their parents’ home because they can’t afford a place of their own – are seldom out of the news these days. One recent report tried to work out a formula for how much parents should charge a child who turns up announced, while another concluded that parents’ quality of life nose-dived every time a kid boomeranged. I have rather mixed feelings about this. My daughter is currently sharing a flat with her boyfriend and has just announced they may move to Minneapolis for a few years, while my son, who is about to finish university, says he would rather live in the back of a van and travel round Europe for a year picking up odd jobs rather than come home for more than a few days at a time. Plans may change and hard financial realities may kick in at some time, of course, but part of me is thrilled both that my wife and I have brought up two children who have the confidence to leave home and that everything that was in the fridge when I left the house will still be in it when I get back. But I also miss them a great deal. Even when they are annoying. It’s sod’s law. When they were young I spent a long time wishing they were more independent and now that they are I wish they were a little less so.

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Wojciech Szczesny: ‘The vocal Spurs fans went missing after 80 minutes’

tor, 08/03/2018 - 23:30

• Juventus’ back-up goalkeeper has lighthearted dig at old rivals
• ‘Where others crumble, we manage to get out on top’

Wojciech Szczesny made the point that “where others crumble” Juventus found a way to win, as the former Arsenal goalkeeper aimed a few lighthearted digs at Tottenham Hotspur.

The Pole was an unused substitute in Juventus’s Champions League victory over Spurs at Wembley on Wednesday and it is fair to say he enjoyed himself after the second-half goals from Gonzalo Higuaín and Paulo Dybala turned the last-16 tie in his team’s favour.

Related: Juve were mentally strong and ruthless. Does that mean Spurs bottled it? No … | David Hytner

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Juve were mentally strong and ruthless. Does that mean Spurs bottled it? No … | David Hytner

tor, 08/03/2018 - 18:28
Tottenham failed to deal with Max Allegri’s second-half tactical switch after his side went one down in the first and again Spurs came up short despite having most of the play

The pain was etched on the face of Son Heung-min and when he stopped to speak, he poured it all out. “Disappointed, sad, everything,” the Tottenham Hotspur forward said. “After the game the dressing room was quieter than normal, but it’s football. It’s about winning and losing. It’s a bad feeling when you play better than them and you lose. This hurt me a lot. I can’t sleep tonight.”

Moments earlier, Harry Kane had marched through the Wembley mixed zone without breaking stride, shaking his head when asked by journalists for a chat. The striker always stops. Not this time. Kane was clearly frustrated.

Related: Magic and workrate of Dybala and Chiellini edge Juve past Spurs | Barney Ronay

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