The JimmyG2 Column.
I did suggest that the return leg against Wolfsberger, like the first leg, would provide us with at least some temporary cheer. For how long and how much remains to be seen. It didn't help lift us for the West Ham game and it may not give us the lift needed for the Burnley game and beyond.
Few of tonight's starters will start on Sunday . A routine win against a team of Championship level at the very best is ill preparation even for our next three Premier League Games against teams in the bottom half of the table (Burnley, Crystal Palace) and another against Fulham who are under relegation pressure
So let's not get carried away but take the positives where we can. Dele started and starred with a spectacular goal, two assists and plenty of graft, all part of a very good night's work. Not quite the old Dele but a passable imitation at least. (See video)
Vinicius grabbed another couple to bring his tally up to nine goals (6 in the Europa and 3 in the FA Cup and 3 assists. Bale got some welcome minutes and set up by Dele scored a beauty: 3 youngsters (Marcel Lavinier, Nile John and Dane Scarlett) got invaluable game time.
Dane Scarlett got an assist for Vinicius 2nd on 83 minutes within 2 minutes of coming on. It made him the first 16 yr. old to assist a Europa League goal since Kylian Mbappe for Monaco under Thomas Touchel against us in 2015. A name to conjure with.
José was more than generous in his assessment of his potential and fulsome in his praise for the return hopefully of the real Dele Anything Giroud can do.... But can he do it on a Sunday afternoon against Burnley? I hope he gets the chance.
He was prominent in the positively Pochettinoesque press, putting out fires before they had even started along with Vinicious and Bergwijn. Hart had virtually nothing to do until the second half when he was forced into a routine save or two.
The ref got a bit card happy late on but ignored a clear foul by Dier in the box. He was fortunate not to get a red card and concede a penalty. Doherty was uninspiring but got an assist for Dele's classic. Vinicius should have had a hat-trick but under-hit his shot after rounding the keeper and it was cleared.
I though Winks and Sissoko had decent games apart from Moussa's usual miscontrols, but both drove forward to back up the press. This performance was just as good as it needed to be. Lamela and Dele stood out, the defence wasn't really tested.
The centre back pairing against Burnley will be interesting as both Dier and Toby played 90 minutes here. Tanganga and Sanchez probably not as both need a senior partner. Barnes and Wood can be a real problem as Burnley push up the league.
We edged possession but had 18 shots with 8 on target. Pellets (6 shots 3 on target) like most professional clubs at this level had one or two decent and experienced players but their defence was poor against a talented attack and they barely functioned as a cohesive team.
Even in the context of Wolfsberger's lowly status an 8-1 aggregate is still impressive. We are the first English team to score 4 goals in each leg of a European tie since Newcastle 25yrs ago. Credit to Mourinho we played some attractive football, went on the offensive and the youngsters got more than a mere token minute.
It was a welcome break from the rigours of the Premier League, key players rested, others stepping up but it could be the last one we get this season as games follow with increasing frequency and importance.
It will obviously get much harder from here and our luck of the draw has reached its end. We are in the last 16 for the first time since 2015/2016 when we were knocked out by that man Tuchel then Manager of Borussia Dortmund.
Winning the Europa looks to be our only route into next years CL and would be two birds with one stone, a trophy and back at the highest level but I wouldn't advise holding your breath.
The draw for the last 16 is this Friday at 12pm GMT. There is no seeding or country protections now. Games will be played on the 11th.and 18th. of March.
And our draw is: Dinamo Zagreb v Tottenham Hotspur . *First leg at Home to avoid the Arsenal clash.. Could have been a lot worse. * To be Confirmed.
Tottenham last met Dinamo Zagreb in the old Uefa Cup
on 6 November 2008. It was an easy win for Spurs, who won 4-0 courtesy
of a Darren Bent hat-trick and a goal from Tom Huddlestone. (From the Guardian)
- Ajax v Young Boys
- Dynamo Kyiv v Villarreal
- Roma v Shaktar Donestsk
- Olympiakos v Arsenal
- Dinamo Zagreb v Tottenham
- Manchester United v AC Milan
- Slavia Prague v Rangers
- Granada v Molde
Premier League. Home to Burnley this Sunday 28th. February at 2pm.
Jimmy's Video Spot.
Any excuse to show off my favourite Spurs player of recent years. Smiling, working hard, that goal and two assists. Love him.Welcome back the real Dele Alli. Poorly edited but the best I could find .Needs another Eriksen to play with but remember him and Harry Kane were a pretty useful combination once.