Tottenham held Sunderland to one shot on target. The team tested Black Cats `keeper Vito Mannone six times while holding 63 percent of the ball.
But they also conceded two minutes after their opener, and when Harry Kane’s own goal pulled Sunderland back even, Tottenham was destined to leave the Stadium of Light with a 2-2 draw.
“When you create a lot of chances, like today, it’s difficult to accept the result, the draw,” Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino said, after the game. “We need to improve. After we scored the first goal, we need to be more aggressive, to be more focused, because in the next action, we conceded the goal …”
That was in the fourth minute. Over the next 86 minutes, Tottenham dominated play, but come full time, Spurs were sharing points, a result Pochettino chalked up to both luck and his own team’s failings.
“You need to have luck in different moments in the game,” he explained. “And it’s true, that Sunderland today had luck …
“But you need to kill the game. Today, we [lacked that].”
You can see Pochettino’s full post-match comments, above.
Swansea has been one of the best stories of the young season, but during Saturday’s trip to Stamford Bridge, that story took a turn, with the Blues handing the Swans their first loss of the season.
Despite the 4-2 result, Monk took a number of positives out of his team’s performance at the Premier League’s leaders. Lauding a first half-hour when he saw “some of the best [soccer Swansea’s] played this season,” Monk saw the loss as a measuring stick – a chance to see how his team compares to one of the title favorites.
“I talk to the boys a lot about game management, in terms of where we are as a group right now and how we’re trying to work right now,” Monk explained, post-game. “This is part of the process.
“The good thing is that when you play these type of teams — the top teams — is you kind of gauge where you’re at and what you need to work on. It highlights that a lot, which is great for us.”
What the result highlighted as the obvious: Swansea just isn’t on Chelsea’s level, right now.
“It just showed us the world class quality that they have,” Monk said. “The second half, it took its toll on us, a little bit. Their power and strength were just a little bit too much for us to handle. Although our effort and commitment was very much there until the very end, their quality just told, in the end.”
Monk’s full post-game comments cane be seen, above.
Ten days after the passing for his newborn son, AJ DeLaGarza will return to the field. According to today’s report on Major League Soccer’s website, the LA Galaxy defender will be available for the team’s game on Sunday in Santa Clara, Calif., against the San Jose Earthquakes.
DeLaGarza has missed the team’s last four games after the birth and passing of his son Luca, who was born with the congenital heart condition Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. After six days on life support, Luca passed away in preparation for surgery on Sept. 4.
According to the league’s website, AJ and his wife, Megan, have spent the past week in their native Maryland, where they put Luca to rest and grieved with family. The child was the couple’s first.
DeLaGarza, a highly respected sixth-year player, has made 22 league appearances this season (21 starts). Since coming out of Maryland in 2009, the Guam international has made 149 appearances for the Galaxy, scoring two goals while winning two MLS Cups.
Without DeLaGarza, the Galaxy went 3-0-1, though over the last two games, Bruce Arena’s team has been forced to utilize a three-man defense, with injuries at fullback preventing LA from playing its normal 4-4-2 formation.
With the return of one of its core pieces, the defense can return to its normal alignment as the Galaxy try to track down first place Seattle in the Western Conference.