AS Monaco  5 (1)                                                                                     Tottenham Hotspur  2 (0)
Saturday 3rd August 2013                               Kick off 17:30 (UK time)
Stade Louis II
Raggi 15
Ocampus  47
Falcao  49
Falcao  65
Obaddi 71
Kane  56
Townsend  84





Crowd :   , Weather :  Warm, sunny
Referee :  M. R. Buquet Assistant Referees :  - (-)
Fourth Official :  - -
AS Monaco kicked off and played towards the - end in the first half.
AS Monaco : kit Tottenham Hotspur : kit
  1  Danijel SUBASIC

24  Andrea RAGGI 
22  Eric ABBIDAL (c) (  2  FABINHO 46)
6  Ricardo CARVALHO (32  Marcel TISSERAND 46)
  3  Layvin KURZAWA

17  Yannick Ferreira CARRASCO
28  Alain TOULALAN
  Mounir OBBADI 

 10  James RODRIGUEZ  (15  Jose OCAMPOS 46  )
   9  Radamel FALCAO   

Unused subs: 
20  Nicolas ISIMAT-MURON
27  Delvin NDINGA
39  Emmanuel RIVIERE 

  24  Hugo LLORIS

28  Kyle WALKER  (59  Kevin STEWART  89)
35  Zeki FRYERS 
  3  Danny ROSE  (16  Kyle NAUGHTON 66)

  8  Scott PARKER (c)  (42  Nabil BENTALEB  89)

  7  Aaron LENNON  (46  Tom CARROLL  80)
21  Nacer CHADLI  (31  Andros TOWNSEND  61  )
19  Mousa DEMBELE  (  6  Tom HUDDLESTONE  76)

18  Jermain DEFOE  (37  Harry KANE  9  )

Unused subs: 
24  Brad FRIEDEL

Manager :  Claudio RANIERI Manager :  Andre Villas-Boas
Sponsor :   FED COM Shirt sponsor :  Hewlett Packard
Kit Supplier :  Macron Kit Supplier :   Under Armour
Match report

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 4-3-3 style.

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 experienced defence.

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 effort.

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.

Pete Stachio


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