OPPONENTS AS Monaco (France)
COMPETITION Europa League  Group J
DATE Thursday 1st October 2015
VENUE Stade Louis II






Having won three out of nine games at the start of the Ligue 1 season, AS Monaco are some way off the third place they finished in last season.  Having lost a few player sin the summer, including Anthony Martial to Manchester United, the French side, who have been the subject of controversy over their requirement to pay no tax, are looking to settle the side and find some form.

Monaco lost the lead three times to Guingamp in their last game, but they are strong up front with AC Milan's Stephen El Shaarawy on loan, who joins up with Thomas Lemar, who is their current top scorer.  Their chances are mostly supplied by Bernard Silva, a creative midfielder and Portuguese midfielder Joao Moutinho, who AVB was very keen on signing a few years back.  Not knowing too many of the players we will face there are some familiar faces, with Jeremy Toulalan the captain and French international midfielder; another player we tried to sign in Real Madrid loanee defender Fabio Coentrao; Ricardo Carvalho, the ancient ex-Chelsea central defender and two players we have been up against in Europa League opposition, namely, Benfica's Helder Costa (on loan) and Lofty striker Lacina Traore, who was on loan at Anzhi Makhachkala at the time and was subsequently loaned to Everton.

There is no doubt that the squad of players they have available, which also includes Brazilians, a couple of Croatians, more Portuguese, a couple of Italians and a handful of African players is large, but what the quality is like, we will find out.  Currently managed by Leonardo Jardim, installed by the President Dmitry Rybolovlev, who bought the club in 2011 and oversaw a period of big spending, which has now had to be cut back, the Portuguese coach has brought in many of his fellow countrymen.  Having beaten Young Boys of Bern in the CHampions League qualifying round, they were knocked out by Valencia ain the next qualifier and have found themselves in the Europa League. 

It may not be the competition they have been used to, but their reduced squad might find it more to their liking, as they strive to find a pattern of play that suits them.  As for Tottenham, they go into the game without our new signing Son and with limited forward options, this may hamper the side's ability to bring home three points from the Principality, but they should have enough about them if they play like they did at the weekend to earn at least a point.

PREDICTION AS Monaco    1         Tottenham Hotspur    1
Spurs travel to France without Heung-Min Son (foot), Mousa Dembele (foot), Ryan Mason (knee) and Nabil Bentaleb (ankle).

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AS Monaco  1 (0)                                                                       
Europa League  Group J
Thursday 1st October 2015
Stade Louis II
Tottenham Hotspur  1 (1)

Kick off 18:00
El Shaarawy  80m 02s Lamela  34m 22s
Toulalan (foul on Dier)  59  




Crowd :   7,216 Weather :  Wet, rainy
Referee :  Artur Dias (POR) Assistant Referees :  Rui Tavares; Alvaro Mesquita (POR)
Fourth Official :  Nuno Pereira (POR) Additional Assistants :  Hugo Miguel; Cosme Machado (POR)
Monaco kicked off the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 6 minutes.
AS Monaco : kit Tottenham Hotspur : kit
  1  Daniel SUBASIC

24  Andrea RAGGI
  Ricardo CARVALHO  (  7  Nabil DIRAR 76)
  4  Fabio COENTRAO

28  Jeremy TOULALAN (c)      

  8  Joao MOUTINHO
  Thomas LEMAR  (22  Stephan El SHAARAWY 60  )
23  Adama TRAORE

19  Lacina TRAORE  (11  Guido CARILLO 68)
10  BERNARDO da Silva

Unused subs: 
16  Paul NARDI
20  Mario PASALIC
10  Tiemoue BAKAYOKO

    1  Hugo LLORIS (c)

16  Kieran TRIPPIER
  3  Danny ROSE

15  Eric DIER
20  Dele ALLI

11  Erik LAMELA  (14  Clinton N'JIE 65)
23  Christian ERIKSEN (28  Tom CARROLL 91)
22  Nacer CHADLI (17  Andros TOWNSEND 70)

10  Harry KANE

Unused subs: 
13  Michel VORM
Federico FAZIO
27  Kevin WIMMER
29  Harry WINKS

Manager :  Dmitry Rybolovlev Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino
Sponsor :   FEDCOM Shirt sponsor :  AIA
Kit Supplier :  Nike Kit Supplier :   Under Armour
Match report

Tottenham emerged from a deserted Louis II with a Europa League point, but were left thinking it could have been more than the 1-1 draw they played out against AS Monaco.

There were no changes were made from the 4-1 victory over Manchester City, but the team they faced had been struggling in the French League and gained a point at Anderlecht in their first group game, but despite losing a number of big names in the summer, they still had enough familiar stars to make things difficult for Tottenham.  And so it proved from the start, as within two minutes, defender Andrea Raggi won a header at a corner and put it wide, but Spurs moved to the opposite end of the pitch when they launched an attack that saw Dier take the ball forward, play it to Eriksen, who helped it on to Trippier and the right back's low ball in to the near post was nudged just wide by annoying ex-Chelsea defender Ricardo Carvalho for a corner.  He has lost none of his whingeing, claiming a push on him as he slid the ball off.

One of the Monaco players known to us was the lanky forward Lacina Traore and he showed that he had an eye for goal, when he hit a first time shot as he was played through on the left, but it was way off a target and ended up a long way behind the goal in the vacuous stadium.  Both sides were probing in wide positions, but the final ball into the box was invariably cleared away, although in the 20th minute, Kane received the ball through the left side of the penalty area and took the ball away from Subasic, as the keeper came out to him.  Harry sensibly laid it back to Chadli, who was following up behind him and the Belgian international dinked a shot at goal that just cleared the bar, with defenders getting back onto the goal-line to cover for the out of position goalie.  Hugo Lloris was called into action when Adama Traore strode forward with the bal and let go a low shot from 28 yards out that swerved and bounced just in front of the Spurs captain, but he got his body behind it  and kept the effort out, with Jan Vertonghen clearing away the loose ball.  The other Traore had a headed chance, which he put over the top from an offside position.

In the 35th minute, Erik Lamela took the ball past a couple of Monaco players and passed up the right wing to Nacer Chadli, who went between two opponents with a nutmeg.  Running infield, he passed across the pitch to Dele Alli, who hit a shot at goal, the goalkeeper's save took a touch off Raggi and falling behind them, Lamela, who had raced up the pitch, had the simple task of knocking the ball into the empty net from the edge of the six yard box.  It was a well-worked goal and Lamela indicated his growing confidence by keeping up with play from a deep position to finish it off.

The expected response from Monaco came quickly, with Lemar trying a shot that Hugo pushed wide and from the corner, Coentrao was stretching to get a header on target, which he failed to manage. The game moved from end to end, with Spurs having a good opportunity to score, with Alli playing the ball into Kane's path, but his shot was deflected by defender Fabinho and blocked by keeper Subasic, denyign the Spurs striker who may have done better. Then it was Monaco's turn, with Lacina Traore, who put a diving header wide from close range at the far post following a long cross. Vertonghen denied Lacina Traore at a low ball to the near post and he and the Ivory Coast forward challenged for the ball.

Despite Monaco slinging in a few high balls into the Spurs area, there was little danger resulting from them, so the half-time whistle saw Spurs leading by a single goal.

The start of the second half was quite subdued with neither team getting forward with any urgency and Eriksen's dipping free-kick that hardly troubled Subasic the only effort worth mentioning. Ten minutes into the half, a nasty incident occurred when Rose slid into a challenge and Fabinho stood on his hand as he hurdled him, leaving the Spurs man with a bleeding finger thanks to the Monaco player's studs.

Just before the hour Leonardo Jardim brought on AC Milan striker Stephan El Shaaraway and it was the move that changed the game. Vertonghen blocked a shot on the left side of our box from the loanee before Alli and Townsend linked ot set up Kane, whose shot was deflected wide. From the resulting corner, Dier won a header and glanced it at goal, with the keeper saving well low down on the goal-line, with another header a minute later from Harry Kane, getting on the end of a cross from the right by Trippier that he put straight at Subasic.

Dier did well to get a block on a shot by Adama Traore, with the ball looping high into the air before dropping over the bar. Clinton N'Jie had come on as a sub for Lamela and looked sharp, but was often out-numbered when he got forward. As it was, it was Monaco's sub who had a vital involvement, getting on the end of a right wing cross from Dirar, nodding it down from the edge of the six yard box and the ball squirmed under Lloris to record the equaliser. It was a disappointing goal to concede when things looked fairly comfortable and Monaco rarely threatening. However, a one goal lead needs to be protected robustly and chances that came our way needed to be put away. They weren't and the home side got a leveller.

Within minutes, only good defending kept the score at 1-1, when Dirar let fly with a swerving low shot from 25 yards and Lloris saved it, but it spilled in front of goal. Cue Danny Rose, who darted in to clear the ball away from the danger zone as substitute Carillo closed in on what must have looked to him like a simple opportunity. It was good reading of the play by Rose, but also a brave tackle, as he got hurt again when he collided with the Monaco winger.

A goalmouth scramble in the Tottenham penalty box came to nothing and Eriksen hit a free-kick, but it struck the wall and went off for a corner. There was little goalmouth action following that and the last chance fell to Adama Traore, who had a long range shot that went a long way wide.

A draw is not a bad result, but I am sure the players will be thinking that they should have been out and in the clear at the top of the group with two wins rather than having Qarabag at our heels after they beat Anderlecht. Hopefully that bodes well for our next match, but the performance showed that the team are growing in understanding and fluidity. Our play on the break gave Monaco problems, but the next step is learning to finish off matches like this to make sure the other side don't have a chance of getting back into them.

Erik Lamela showed something approaching the form we were hoping from him and with a sound base of Alli and Dier, the team can launch attacks from deep, with our players making good runs and passing effectively to cause the oppo damage.

Here's to more of the same and the sooner we qualify for the knock-out stages, the sooner we can rest some of our stars.

Pete Stachio




AS Monaco had their name taken from a Tourism slogan that read "Nowhere is as good as Monaco".


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What you thought
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Other scores during this round of matches :
Group A
Molde (NOR) 1 Ajax (HOL) 1 Thursday
Glasgow Celtic 2 Fenerbahce (TUR) 2 Thursday
Group B
Liverpool 1 Sion (SWI) 1 Thursday
Rubin Kazan (RUS) 0 Bordeaux (FRA) 0 Thursday
Group C
PAOK (GRE) 1 Borussia Dortmund (GER) 1 Thursday
Krasnodar (RUS) 2 Qabala (AZE) 1 Thursday
Group D
Legia Warsaw (POL) 0 Napoli (ITA) 2 Thursday
Club Brugge (BEL) 1 Midtjylland (DEN) 3 Thursday
Group E
Dinamo Minsk (RUS) 0 Rapid Vienna (AUS) 1 Thursday
Villarreal (SPA) 1 Vitoria Plzen (CZE) 0 Thursday
Group F
Sporting Braga (POR) 1 Groningen (HOL) 0 Thursday
Marseille (FRA) 0 FC Slovan Liberec (SVN) 1 Thursday
Group G
Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk (UKR) 1 SS Lazio (ITA) 1 Thursday
St. Etienne (FRA) 2 Rosenborg (NOR) 2 Thursday
Group H
Lokomotiv Moskva (RUS) 2 Skenderbeu (ALB) 0 Thursday
Besiktas (TUR) 1 Sporting Lisbon (POR) 1 Thursday
Group I
Belenenses (POR) 0 Fiorentina (ITA) 4 Thursday
FC Basel (SWI) 2 Lech Poznan (POL) 0 Thursday
Group J
Qarabag (AZE) 1 Anderlecht (BEL) 0 Thursday
Group K
Schalke 04 (GER) 4 Asteras Tripolis (GRE) 0 Thursday
Sparta Prague (CZE) 2 Apoel Nicosia (TUR) 0 Thursday
Group L
Augsburg (GER) 1 Partizan Belgrade (SER) 3 Thursday
AZ Alkmaar (HOL) 2 Athletic Bilbao (SPA) 1 Thursday



Group J Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Tottenham Hotspur 2 1 1 0 4 2 4 +2
2 Qarabag 2 1 0 1 2 3 3 -1
3 AS Monaco 2 0 2 0 2 2 2 0
4 Anderlecht 2 0 1 1 1 2 1 -1


Position before match :  N/A
Position after match :  1st


Position before match : 
Position after match : 
Position after the weekend :


* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone will think so.


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