Manipulation of both man and ball repeatedly opened up the inside right channel as it finished Huddersfield 0-4 Spurs in our Premier League clash.
The Terriers were terrorised by an all out Spurs assault at the John Smith’s Stadium. Three goals in the first 23 minutes were a direct result of Tottenham attacking the inside right channel. The match ended Huddersfield 0-4 Spurs as Harry Kane and Dele Alli manipulated the centre back pairing.
Running the inside right channel
The Terriers determination to play their pressing, hounding and attacking game against a strong Spurs team had to be commended. However, over-committing men to attack ultimately turned out to be their downfall. Spaces were left and the centre backs were exposed, rife for picking apart.
What’s more, centre backs Christopher Schindler and Mathias Jorgensen took their man-marking plan too seriously. The pairing was pulled around and manipulated by the movement of Dele Alli and Harry Kane. The inside right channel ultimately became Tottenham’s avenue to success as Christopher Schindler was too often removed from it.
Huddersfield was given an early warning with just 33 seconds on the clock. Christopher Schindler was attracted by the run of Christian Eriksen, removing himself from the inside right channel. Harry Kane steamed through this now vacant space to receive the ball from Kieran Trippier and force a corner.
Minutes later and Kane was almost in again. Once more Schindler was removed from the channel by tracking Dele Alli too far from his goal.
Trippier again looked for Kane’s run in to the oceans of space that Schindler had left. However, Kane went too early and was adjudged offside.
Schindler had a bad start to the game, but the high positioning of his left-sided full back, Chris Lowe, didn’t help him. He was having difficulty coming to terms with Kieran Trippier operating as a wingback. Lowe was tasked with getting forward in to the attack, but equally struggled defensively with Trippier stretching him too far out wide.
Spurs take the lead
With warning signs coming through the inside right channel, it was only apt that we would take the lead through this avenue, aided by some poor defending.
Christopher Schindler and Mathias Jorgensen ambled back from a Huddersfield corner. Covering full backs Chris Lowe and Tommy Smith were on the half way line to defend a quick Tottenham counter, but were far too wide apart. Harry Kane was in the ocean of space between the pair when Kieran Trippier headed goalkeeper Jonas Lossl’s clearance forwards.
Lowe then compounded his positional error by trying to go for the ball with his natural, but off foot. It ran through perfectly for Harry Kane to pull under his spell and rifle in at Lossl’s near post, 1-0.
Inside right channel raids add a second goal
Tottenham continued to pound the inside right channel after taking the lead. A second goal was soon to follow as Spurs once more removed Schindler from this avenue in a scintillating spell of one-touch football.
Schindler’s decision-making once more had to be questioned as he tracked Dele Alli out to the touchline. Once again an ocean of space appeared in his absence for a Spurs player to run through. Christian Eriksen wasted no time and headed straight for it.
Schindler’s positional error was once more compounded by another Chris Lowe mistake on the ball. An unfortunate tackle that turned in to a perfect pass for the arriving Ben Davies saw Lowe unintentionally assist another Tottenham goal.
And a third…
Seven minutes later and Harry Kane added a third as more neat Tottenham movement in the inside right channel was aided by poor Huddersfield defending.
Chris Lowe was unnecessarily attracted out to the touchline where Kieran Trippier was taking a throw-in. Defensive midfielders Aaron Mooy and Jonathan Hogg had pushed far too high to leave a nice space between the lines for Harry Kane and Dele Alli to work in.
What followed was a spectacular left footed curling goal from Harry Kane, but also astute play from Dele Alli.
Both Spurs players were being picked up by their respective centre back man markers as Harry Kane received the throw-in. As Kane turned to dribble inside with the ball, Dele then made a smart move towards him to hinder Kane’s marker. The extra steps Christopher Schindler had to take to go around Dele gave Kane the space he needed to get his unstoppable shot away, 3-0.
Three goals up and Huddersfield still didn’t heed the warnings. The inside right channel was once again the focus as Dele Alli almost added a fourth goal. Alli was denied by the inside of the post, but once more Schindler was attracted out of the inside right channel, opening the space for the Tottenham runner.
Second half slowdown
Fearing a cricket score, Huddersfield then abandoned their energetic closing down and attacking game. The Terriers instead played deeper and turned to a counter approach.
The ploy saw them spring Laurent Depoitre on a quick break. The striker took aim and rifled a fizzing shot off the top of the crossbar just before the interval. The tactic served Huddersfield better, but chances were difficult to come by.
Sissoko enters a stretched game
Three goals ahead, the second half meandered until Moussa Sissoko entered what was becoming an increasingly stretched game.
Huddersfield was committing heavy numbers in to attack sensing that Spurs’ energy levels were dropping after a long trip to Cyprus. However, a midweek rested Dele Alli and a newly introduced Moussa Sissoko made the score Huddersfield 0-4 Spurs.
Seven Huddersfield players were out of the game as Dele Alli won the ball and raced forward to release Moussa Sissoko through the inside right channel. Cutting back inside on his weaker left foot saw Sissoko’s shot easily saved by Jonas Lossl.
Seconds later and Dele Alli was picking pockets once more as Huddersfield had six players committed forward this time. Elias Kachunga was relived of possession as Alli swiped the ball and released the newly introduced Son Heung-Min.
Son raced at the skeleton defence with the impressive Ben Davies marauding forward on his outside and Moussa Sissoko through the inside right channel.
Son played Davies through who in turn picked out Sissoko with a deftly chipped pass. A poor connection with his left foot had seen Sissoko’s first shot saved. Christopher Schindler would deflect his effort this time in to the corner of the net. With the score now Huddersfield 0-4 Spurs it was a slice of luck for Sissoko and a bad end to Schindler’s already poor day.
Huddersfield 0-4 Spurs overall
A perfect performance to pick and pound an opponent’s weakness. Spurs ruthlessly attacked and opened up the inside right channel, exposing the positioning of Christopher Schindler and the players around him.
A first goal for Moussa Sissoko was apt reward for his improved performances. Harry Kane naturally took the plaudits for two wonderful goals, but Ben Davies was the star of the show. How far the full back has come since being tentative to even cross the halfway line is testament to Mauricio Pochettino’s fine work as a coach.
Final Score: Huddersfield 0-4 Spurs.
MOTM: Ben Davies.