Harry Kane scores a hat trick during Hull City 1-7 Spurs in the Premier League match at the KCOM Stadium.

Hull City 1-7 Spurs: long ball, through ball, attack the left back

The Tigers were forced to retreat and then opened up in the left back zone as it finished Hull City 1-7 Spurs at the KCOM stadium.

After six goals at the King Power Stadium, Spurs went one better at the KCOM. The Tigers were simply powerless to stop a swift and clinical Tottenham side. The score ended a brutal Hull City 1-7 Spurs and it could’ve been more.

Tottenham went about destroying Hull in three ways. Firstly, Spurs used long passing to force Hull’s attempt to squeeze up the pitch backwards. Once driven towards their own goal, Tottenham could go about the second part of the plan. Spurs used pressing of their own to hem Hull in and then short, neat passing to open them up. The third and most clinical part was to attack Hull’s left back zone. Eighteen-year-old Josh Tymon was starting here and Tottenham wanted to exploit him.

Long ball Spurs

Hull opened the game by playing a 3-5-2 formation. The Tigers tried to use their front two, Oumar Niasse and Sam Clucas, to push up on our centre backs. Behind the pressing strikers, Hull wanted to move up the pitch and condense the playing area.

In response to this tactic, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen, played long passes in order to force Hull backwards. Alderweireld was unerringly accurate in his passing and switches of play. The centre back completed a ridiculously good 52 of his 59 total passes. Spurs an obscenely excellent 40 of 55 long balls overall.

Toby Alderweirled passing and Tottenham overall long balls played during Hull City 1-7 Spurs in the Premier League at the KCOM Stadium.

Toby Alderweirled passing and Tottenham overall long balls played during Hull City 1-7 Spurs.

The long passing forced Hull to turn back. The fact that Spurs were so often completing the first pass or even winning the second ball, meant that we gained possession high up the pitch and could directly attack the Hull back line.

Attacking the left back

The next port of call was to attack the space around stand-in left back Josh Tymon. Spurs would hit this space and then often press to try and win the ball back.

Eleven minutes were on the clock when Toby Alderweireld played a long ball across the deck in to feet of Harry Kane.

Alderweireld long pass to Kane penetrates the defence during Hull City 1-7 Spurs in the Premier League at the KCOM Stadium.

Alderweireld long pass to Kane penetrates the defence.

Alderweireld’s pass got play straight on the Hull back line. Kane sent a lobbed pass out towards Dele Alli, but Tymon got their first. Spurs then pressed and Eric Dier won the ball back. Retrieving possession high up the pitch, the through passes could begin. Christian Eriksen coming short and Son Heung-Min running in-behind stretched Hull’s defence. The pair’s movement created enough space for Harry Kane to rifle home.

Eriksen and Son drag the 3 centre backs to create space for Kane to score a goal during Hull City 1-7 Spurs in the Premier League.

Eriksen and Son drag the 3 centre backs to create space for Kane.

Two minutes later and Tymon was the focus once again. Eric Dier’s long pass this time over two lines of the Hull defence found Kieran Trippier on the move beyond the left back.

Trippier races behind isolated Tymon during Hull City 1-7 Spurs in the Premier League.

Trippier races behind isolated Tymon.

This back door cut is a move we’ve frequently seen under Pochettino. Trippier and Dier executed it perfectly. The Hull defence was dragged over towards Dier’s side, isolating Tymon against the run. Trippier kept his composure to square for Kane to tap home, tightening his grasp on the golden boot.

Press, recover, counter

Pressing has been our calling card under Mauricio Pochettino and it played a huge part in three of our goals. The reason it was so effective in this match was that at the time of recovery, Hull had too many men in advance of the ball. This proved to be the case on our first goal and again on our third.

Eric Dier was our presser in chief on our opener. Dier proved to be once again on number three. Recovering the ball just inside the Hull half, the Tigers were caught with all but their three centre backs ahead of the play.

All bar 3 ahead of the ball as Dier recovers to play up to Kane during Hull CIty 1-7 Spurs at the KCOM Stadium in the Premier League.

All bar 3 ahead of the ball as Dier recovers to play up to Kane.

Michael Dawson was ludicrously deep behind Andrea Ranocchia and Curtis Davies. Harry Kane was thus afforded oceans of space to receive Dier’s pass. Kane could then easily play in Son Heung-Min who in turn found Dele Alli to score.

Hull formation change

Receiving a battering on Thursday night, Leicester changed their formation at half time. Hull also adapted at the interval. The Tigers went to a back four, but after a brief response, continued to get mauled.

Sloppy Spurs

Three up and cruising, Spurs started the second half very casually. A number of loose touches and passes short of their intended targets indicated a loss of focus.

Ben Davies had a moment of concern in our penalty area that almost led to a goal. Jan Vertonghen was then caught on the ball and it did. Sam Clucas robbing him as he pondered and then finishing from Niasse’s back heel in the box. Hugo Lloris’ chance of a share of the golden glove was frustratingly gone.

Left back attack response

The goal slapped Spurs back in to action. Immediately we went back to attacking the space around left back Josh Tymon.

Three minutes after conceding, the three-goal advantage was restored. A long pass up the line to Harry Kane got him in to the left back zone. Kane then laid the ball off to Christian Eriksen who was fouled by Tom Huddlestone.

We’d looked at Hull’s zone marking in the Hull City vs Spurs match preview. Untracked Victor Wanyama had a free run straight through the zone to the back post. Eriksen’s delivery found him for the simplest of headers.

Unmarked Wanyama runs straight through the zonal defence to score a goal during Hull City 1-7 Spurs at the KCOM Stadium in the Premier League.

Unmarked Wanyama runs straight through the zonal defence.

Three minutes later and the score would surge to Hull City 1-5 Spurs. Again, unfortunate left back Josh Tymon was the target. A poorly over hit pass by Alfred N’Diaye put him in trouble. Tymon was unable to control the powerful pass and Dele Alli swept in to recover.

Seeing Dele with the ball, Harry Kane wheeled off in to the space that Tymon had originally been occupying. Seconds later the ball was in the back of the net from another neat left foot finish.

Dele steals the ball from Tymon and plays Kane in to score his hat trick during Hull City 1-7 Spurs in the Premier League at the KCOM Stadium.

Dele steals the ball from Tymon and plays Kane in.

Left back change makes no difference

Down 5-1 and with his left back under relentless attack for four of the goals, Marco Silva brought him off. Andrew Robertson replaced Josh Tymon, but Spurs went straight at him.

Robertson conceded the foul that saw Ben Davies score a well-deserved goal. Again at the set piece, Victor Wanyama ran untracked straight through Hull’s zonal marking.

Wanyama runs untracked through the zonal defence during Hull CIty 1-7 Spurs in the Premier League.

Wanyama runs untracked through the zonal defence.

Wanyama was offside, but fortunately Vincent Janssen touched the ball first. Davies could then unleash a rocket of a drive and the score swelled to Hull City 1-6 Spurs.

The rout was complete at Hull City 1-7 Spurs with Toby Alderweireld getting on the score sheet. The goal was created through the left back zone once again. Andrew Robertson was attracted by Son Heung-Min’s inside run. Kieran Trippier was thus left in acres of space to receive the pass from Christian Eriksen and deliver the cross.

Trippier in the left back zone crosses for Alderweireld to score the goal to make the score Hull City 1-7 Spurs in the Premier League match at the KCOM Stadium.

Trippier in the left back zone crosses for Alderweireld.

Toby Alderweireld ran off the opposite full back, Ahmed Elmohamady to make the score a staggering Hull City 1-7 Spurs in front of the jubilant away fans.

Hull City 1-7 Spurs overall

A remarkable performance to finish the Premier League season. Following Thursday night’s blistering show at Leicester, Tottenham were absolutely breathtaking in sweeping aside Hull.

Putting back-to-back performances like this together in three days is quite simply astounding. The only blemish was conceding a sloppy goal to deny Hugo Lloris a share of the golden glove.

Harry Kane won the golden boot. However, withdrawing Kane with ten minutes to go so that he couldn’t get to the landmark of 30 Premier League goals this season was disappointing. Finishing on 29, maybe this is Pochettino’s way of keeping him hungry to break this barrier next season?

The Tottenham tactics were perfect in this game. The use of the long ball to push an initially resistant Hull team back was adept. Once Tottenham had gained ground and forced them back, the pressing and through balls took their toll. The left back was our key target. Spurs battered the zone around stand-in full back Josh Tymon and subsequently Andrew Robertson.

Final score: Hull City 1-7 Spurs.
MOTM: Toby Alderweireld.

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6 Responses to Hull City 1-7 Spurs: long ball, through ball, attack the left back

  1. Baz 22nd May 2017 at 5:41 pm #

    Strictly speaking, it wasn’t four days.
    10pm Thursday to 5pm Sunday is five hours short of three days ! ?

    • Spurs Fanatic - Mark 22nd May 2017 at 6:06 pm #

      Even more impressive then!

  2. Reinert 23rd May 2017 at 11:03 am #

    Thanks for this season, Mark! Great job. Are you going to continue writing during the summer?

    • Spurs Fanatic - Mark 23rd May 2017 at 4:45 pm #

      Hi Reinert. Yes i’ll be doing a few pieces across the summer on new signings as they happen and other stuff. New posts will go on the Twitter and Facebook pages as well as email.

  3. Toby4eva 24th May 2017 at 1:51 pm #

    Thank you Mark and your community for delivering even greater enjoyment from a wonderful season.

    Your pre and post match analysis has been superb – as have our lads.

    Can’t wait for next season.

    Let’s get..


    Funded by


    Lamela and Rose are de facto new signings.



    New RB/RWB




    Suddenly seems like a lot of depth.

    12 weeks of madness beckons!


    • Spurs Fanatic - Mark 24th May 2017 at 4:27 pm #

      Thank you Toby4eva. Very much appreciate all the comments.

      It will be weeks of madness, especially with the media trying to sell all our players. You’d think they were in for an Mino Raiola size agent’s cut of any deal done!

      Veltman is an interesting one that has popped up recently. He certainly looks the part as a right back, and can stand-in at centre back, so offers that positional versatility that Pochettino likes. It means he could play on the right of the back three or play as a wingback. Although this does appear to limit Cameron Carter-Vickers progression if he comes in more with a focus to play as a right-sided centre back. I will be watching him during the Europa League Final with interest.

      Schick has reportedly just signed with Juventus so he’s a no go now. Although, if these rumours are true then Poch must be shopping in this area. I’m still a fan of Josh King. He offers that positional versatlity Poch likes as he can play either as a striker or in the Dele Alli role. The only stumbling block maybe price as he’s scored a ton of goals this season and reports are in the £15-£18 million bracket.

      I do wonder if Poch can do for Ross Barkely what he did for Adam Lallana. He has gone stale at Everton, but does have plenty in his locker for Poch to work with. Again price may be the biggest stumbling block.

      Sessegnon is a no brainer for me and needs snapping up before someone else gets him and we end up missing out. Just as we did with the other Moussa Dembele when he was at Fulham and who has now a massive transfer fee to move away from Celtic.

      With no Euros or World Cup for the media to cover, let the silly season begin!