Beating the full backs saw the Eindhoven defence opened up, but individual errors cost us dearly as our Champions League match ended PSV 2-2 Tottenham.
Spurs played some glorious football at times. However, horrendous mistakes gifted two goals and saw us reduced to ten men as it ended PSV 2-2 Tottenham in Eindhoven.
Spurs beat the full backs
PSV played their usual 4-3-3 formation. Given their central trio wanted to push up behind their forwards, it left a huge amount of space between the lines. Lucas Moura drifted in to this space from his wide starting position.
As a result PSV left back, Angelino, got drawn in to cover him. This opened up room out wide for Kieran Trippier to gallop in to.
Trippier became the key chance creator in the match. His constant forward runs saw him often get the ball with space to deliver telling passes.
This constant movement of Moura drifting infield to draw the full back and Trippier benefiting from the space outside was a consistent theme and the source of many good Spurs attacks.
The other major theme in this Champions League tie was Tottenham errors. We gifted two goals from them and were also reduced to ten men after Christian Eriksen lazily gave the ball away.
Smart play from Lozano loitering on the halfway line created his chance. The forward was itching to close down Alderweireld, but held off until he saw the pass going towards the defender. Toby should’ve easily dealt with the situation. However, he turned straight in to the PSV man.
Lozano tore off towards goal, but Alderweireld recovered superbly. As he challenged for the ball it seemed as if he had dug himself out of an embarrassing hole. However, Lozano’s shot somehow deflected up in the air and looped over the helpless Hugo Lloris. PSV was in front against the run of play.
Spurs set pieces
Tottenham created havoc at set pieces. The first two corners saw Harry Kane fire a shot that was deflected just over the bar. The resulting corner saw Kane head against the post.
The tactics from Spurs were simple. Miss out the crowd at the near post and live off the chances where PSV were one-versus-one or outnumbered at the far post.
Tottenham had created chances for Kane this way and then had the ball in the net. Trippier’s corner missed out the congested near post. Toby Alderweireld saw his header saved, but Davinson Sanchez was free at the back post to steer the ball home. The passage of play was Spurs reward for a continued tactic. However, the linesman raised his flag and shockingly gave Harry Kane offside for supposedly interfering somehow.
Spurs continued to be a threat from set pieces. The best chance from a number of them saw the PSV goalkeeper, Jeroen Zoet, clearing off the line from another Kane header.
Spurs beat the full backs to score
The movement between Lucas Moura and Kieran Trippier was Spurs way to goal during open play. It was this tandem that got us back on level terms.
Lucas Moura had drifted infield to take Angelino with him once again. Trippier was therefore left in space out wide.
Christian Eriksen had drifted in to that pocket between the PSV midfield and defence. Eriksen’s pinpoint pass played Tripper in. Moura arrived on cue to fire the cutback in to the net via a deflection. A return to parity at PSV 1-1 Tottenham.
Spurs continued to push this attacking ploy against the PSV full backs who insisted on tracking our wide forward.
A second goal was added by doing the exact same thing on the other flank. Son Heung-Min drifted infield to drag right back Denzel Dumfries with him. Ben Davies and Christian Eriksen were therefore left free as a result.
Eriksen burst in to the space and picked out Harry Kane at the far post. Kane cushioned the header in to the goal to make the score PSV 1-2 Tottenham. There only looked to be one winner at this point.
Spurs stupid errors
Tottenham were cruising and should’ve added more. The only major worry was Mousa Dembele and his run-ins with the referee who didn’t like his heavy-handed approach. Hirving Lozano throwing himself around at every opportunity when Dembele was in the vicinity equally didn’t help.
Dembele being replaced by Harry Winks seemed to quell any chance of a red card until we shot ourselves in the foot once again. Pablo Rosario easily intercepted a casual flick pass from Christian Eriksen. Rosario instantly released Lozano who was taken out by the onrushing Hugo Lloris.
Lloris was given his marching orders and we were left to play out the remaining ten minutes with ten men.
Spurs down to ten men
Playing with ten saw even more naivety from Spurs. Defensive shape when down a man must have been worked upon in training. All teams practice it should the situation occur.
However, Spurs continued to play Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen in advanced positions. The formation was in effect a 4-2-1-2 as Eriksen played in front of Harry Winks and Eric Dier. Erik Lamela then pushed up alongside Harry Kane.
The setup was madness with the time left and protecting a one-goal lead. The formation congested the centre of the pitch, but left space out wide and therefore no help for Kieran Trippier or Ben Davies.
Errors lead to equaliser
Trippier then needlessly went through the back of wide forward Donyell Malen to concede a free kick.
The resulting set piece defensive setup wasn’t good. Erik Lamela was a one-man wall in no man’s land. With eleven this can be acceptable, but with ten men, he had to be in the box defending. Lamela was then slow to run back and deal with the partial clearance by Davinson Sanchez.
Equally at fault was Christian Eriksen. The Dane looked exhausted at this point and should’ve been replaced, but Mauricio Pochettino was out of changes. Eriksen was supposed to have been sweeping the edge of the box for second balls and should’ve picked up Rosario as he drifted in late.
The combination of Eriksen and Lamela let Rosario waltz in and get his shot away. In the middle Luuk de Jong had drifted away from his marker, Ben Davies. De Jong flicked Rosario’s miss-hit effort past Michel Vorm to make the score PSV 2-2 Tottenham as a gaggle of defenders watched on.
It was poor play all round and yet another error in an evening that was filled with them.
Despite throwing away the lead, Spurs had the chance to win the game. Kieran Trippier once more the provider from wide. However, Harry Kane couldn’t get his shot away quickly enough after superbly bringing down the initial ball.
The score remained PSV 2-2 Tottenham and two precious Champions League points thrown away.
PSV 2-2 Tottenham overall
At times Tottenham looked back in top gear in this match. The movement of Moura and Trippier was carving the PSV left side open. What’s more, Christian Eriksen was buzzing around and dictating the tempo like he’d never been away.
However, errors cost us dearly once again. Our best defender, Toby Alderweireld, continues to struggle when asked to play left centre back. Hugo Lloris looks a yard slow. He made yet another rash decision to hurtle from his line when staying back may well have seen the situation dealt with by those in front of him.
Our position in the group looks precarious. Two wins are imperative from the next two matches. Favours will also still be needed elsewhere in the final group game.
Final score: PSV 2-2 Tottenham.
MOTM: Harry Kane.