1 Danijel SUBASIC
Eric ABBIDAL (c) (
Yannick Ferreira CARRASCO
James RODRIGUEZ (15
Jose OCAMPOS 46
Kevin STEWART 89)
Danny ROSE (16
Kyle NAUGHTON 66)
Scott PARKER (c) (42
Nabil BENTALEB 89)
Aaron LENNON (46
Tom CARROLL 80)
Nacer CHADLI (31
Andros TOWNSEND 61
Jermain DEFOE (37
Harry KANE 9
Watching from home on TV, this looked like a game that Spurs felt
they could have done without. The team was patched up, with
Tottenham missing players who had been sold, want to be sold, were
injured or were off on compassionate leave.
With Caulker sold and Vertonghen and Dawson both injured, the team
lined up with Zeki Fryers and Jake Livermore in the middle of
defence. Neither of them in their normal position. Up front Jermain
Defoe lead the line with Roberto Soldado's deal still going through,
Emmanuel Adebayor grieving for his dead brother and Clint Dempsey on
his way to Seattle Sounders. The midfield was the most populous part
of the Spurs squad, with the team lining up in a 4-2-3-1 formation,
as the players were not available for AVB to play his preferred
The game started with the home team looking more comfortable, with
the Spurs team finding it hard to build up play. A weak clearance by
Livermore from a cross gave Obbadi chance, but it was fired over the
bar, while Walker had to be quick to stop Falcao getting through.
In the ninth minute, things got worse for Tottenham on the injury
front, when Defoe limped off holding the back of his thigh. This
brought Harry Kane into the action, playing up front against an
Things got worse on the match front when Monaco went ahead in the
15th minute, Rose was sucked into the middle to try and make a rash
interception, but James Rodriguez played the ball wide to Andrea
Raggi to hit an early volley inside the right side of the box that
caught out Hugo Lloris at his near post. The ball did bounce just in
front of him, but the French keeper should have done better with the
A neat one-two between Falcao and Moutinho almost saw the Colmbian
striker in on goal, but Lloris was quick off his line to grab the
ball at his feet. Tottenham's first chance came in the 36th minute,
with a high ball out of defence brought under control by a good
touch from Kane, who hit a first time shot that fizzed about a yard
wide of Subasic's goal.
With Sigurdsson's shot curling wide and then Walker's 25 yard free
kick causing Subasic to scramble the ball around his post, the half
came to an end, with Tottenham having been barely in the game.
The second half saw Monaco make three substitutions and Spurs none.
The changes worked for the French side, as they doubled their lead
within two minutes of the restart. A free kick was conceded by new
signing Nacer Chadli, who had a quiet first game for Spurs. The ball
was played in from the right with pace and it went over Zeki Fryers
and Jose Ocampos got ahead of Harry Kane to glance a header past
Lloris who had no chance of stopping it.
Spurs hit back straight away, with Kane played in on the right side
of the box, but his touch let him down and the chance was gone. At
that end … but Monaco moved straight to the other end to score their
third. A break saw them three on two, with Falcao sliding home
Ocampos' low ball in from the right, putting the ball high into the
net from eight yards out.
The defence were getting stretched and up against a striker like
Falcao, they were finding hard when he dropped off to find space to
receive the ball. Going forward, Tottenham were getting a bit
better. Closing the opposition down quicker and being sharper in
their passing, Danny Rose went close with a shot over the bar, when
he picked off a pass inside the Monaco half and moved into the space
in front of him.
Then, out of the (capri) blue, Spurs got a goal. Mousa Dembele made
a strong run through the middle of the Monaco half, with a defender
pulling his shirt as he went (although Mousa had a handful of
polyester too), then was he was finally eased off the ball and it
fell to Fabinho, who was on the floor. He had obviously lost his
bearings, as he dug the ball out sideways, but straight to Harry
Kane, who almost fell over, but steadied himself to slide it past
Subasic to reduce the deficit to 3-1 in the 57th minute.
On the hour, Lloris was alert to stop Carrasco scoring when he made
room to get a shot away in the area. Spurs brought on Townsend for
Chadli, but it was just before Falcao got his second, pulling back
to receive Ocampos' low ball in from the right again, with his low
shot going through Lloris.
At 4-1, the game was over and done, but in the 71st minute, another
break saw Falcao release Obaddi inside the box on the right, from
where he drilled a low shot past Lloris, who was left exposed.
With just under 20 minutes left, it looked like it could end up
embarrassing for Tottenham, but Huddlestone came on to fire a shot
with little back-lift a couple of feet wide with the goalkeeper
rooted to the spot. Falcao missed out on a hat-trick, when he had a
free header when he got on the end of Fabinho's cross, but could
only direct it low and straight at Hugo.
The game ended with Spurs salvaging a little more pride (and I mean
a little), as Andros Townsend picked the ball up inside the Monaco
half and set off on a pacy run that the defence could not deal with
and he let fly with a low shot from 30 yards out that beat the
keeper low down to his left, just inside his post. It was a good
piece of play by the winger and one which bodes well, should we lose
Gareth Bale this transfer window.
The game then fizzled out in the heat of the sun, but Spurs had
found the second half particularly frustrating, as every time they
zipped past a Monaco player they would be pulled back or brought
down. Not that that was the reason for the defeat, it is just that a
full strength Monaco side faced a disjointed Tottenham team, who
were trying out two players in vital positions for the first time
and then lost our main striker after less than 10 minutes. Monaco
were sharper and keener, but a full strength Spurs side might have
made more of a match of it.
Not many Tottenham players came out of the game with much credit, as
the team looked off the pace and without much cohesion. Once the
Bale saga is sorted and AVB can bring in players with the transfer
fee (or as part of the deal), then maybe the side will take shape
and hopefully before the big kick off at Selhurst Park.