Giovani Lo Celso

Own goal pushes Tottenham past Everton

Leave a comment

A first-half own goal sent hosts Tottenham Hotspur to a 1-0 win over Everton in North London on Monday.

[ MORE: Premier League summer schedule ]

Giovani Lo Celso’s shot took a wicked deflection off an unknowing Michael Keane to fool Jordan Pickford and give Spurs a much-needed win.

TOTTENHAM – EVERTON FULL MATCH REPLAY

Spurs move onto 48 points, seven back of fifth-place Manchester United. The North Londoners are one point behind Arsenal ahead of this weekend’s big derby (though there’s still a Thursday visit to Bournemouth for Spurs).

It was the first defeat since the restart for Everton. The Toffees’ 44 points have Carlo Ancelotti’s men 11th, four points off the Europa League spots.


Three things we learned

1. Mourinho peak-Mourinho versus Ancelotti: We can’t judge either manager’s tenure at their new club yet, but the home team’s boss used the tools at his disposal to frustrate Everton’s attack. Hopefully we get to see two Spurs-Everton duels next season with new weapons at both clubs. Odds are Spurs still might look a lot like this even with new pieces. That’s how Mou like to fight his way out of a slump.

2. Everton generates little: Maybe Richarlison isn’t at full fitness or perhaps the midfielders just didn’t have danger in them today. Maybe both, but key scorer. Dominic Calvert-Lewin joined strike partner Richarlison in struggling to produce good chances in an ugly-enough loss.

3. Tempers rise for Lloris, Son: All might seem well for a team leading a very decent visitor at halftime, but Hugo Lloris had to be restrained from Heung-min Son on the way off the field after 45 minutes. It was unclear why the South Korean star became a target of the French backstop’s ire, the broadcast team later showing that Lloris may have been angry with the forward not tracking back after a stoppage-time error.

The pair were then shown hugging in the tunnel before returning for the second half, and then again after the final whistle. In case you’re wondering, Mourinho loved all of it.

Man of the Match

Lo Celso — And not because of the goal considering his shot was heading wide when it turned off Keane. Clearly comfortable at the PL level now, Lo Celso was a joy to watch on Monday. An early flubbed possession was an outlier, the 24-year-old Argentine showing a good range of passing while getting stuck into duels and making three tackles.


Tottenham – Everton recap

A sleepy, feeling-out first 20 minutes yield to excitement in an instant when Lucas Moura snapped a hard shot from distance past Everton keeper Jordan Pickford but also the post.

Spurs’ opener came after Everton blocked two successive shots only to see the third shot take a hard turn off Michael Keane to defy Pickford for 1-0 just before the first half water break.

Lo Celso then won a free kick off Mason Holgate on the edge of the 18, the English defender earning a yellow for his hard sliding challenge.

There was little to love in the second half, a cagey affair indeed. Pickford made a nice save on Son, while Moise Kean’s late shot through Eric Dier’s legs was scooped up by Lloris.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

Kane scores as Tottenham beats West Ham

Tottenham West Ham recap
Photo by KIRSTY WIGGLESWORTH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Leave a comment

Tottenham Hotspur kept working until they found a deserved breakthrough in a 2-0 win over West Ham United on Tuesday at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

A Tomas Soucek own goal was joined by Harry Kane’s 12th goal of the Premier League season to give Spurs a first win in five PL outings.

[ MORE: New PL TV schedule ]

Tottenham rises seventh, a point back of fifth-place Manchester United and six behind Chelsea.

West Ham’s 27 points is a point ahead of 18th place Bournemouth, who has a match-in-hand. The Irons goal difference is now just one better than the Cherries.

TOTTENHAM – WEST HAM FULL MATCH REPLAY


Three things we learned

1. Sputtering Spurs attack set right by subs Lamela, Bergwijn: Heung-min Son had the ball in the back of the net before VAR intervened and Harry Kane had a moment or two, but both underwhelmed and were joined by a rusty Dele Alli in producing very little real danger for an hour.

There will be those who rely on the storyline of Jose Mourinho not setting up the players to succeed, but this match feels like the wrong occasion to make that point. The finishers didn’t perform, and it was fitting that an own goal got the North London side on the board.

No sooner had Mourinho lifted Dele for Lamela that the game took steps in Spurs direction. Lamela broke up two West Ham plays, the second springing Kane for a much-needed breakaway goal (off a Son pass nonetheless). The finish was quality and a very-relieved Kane and Son will hope the play is a springboard to a hot streak.

2. Sissoko, Lo Celso deserve better: Jose Mourinho loves his defensive or holding midfielders to drive play and deliver the ball to the danger men. Giovani Lo Celso and Moussa Sissoko did that again and again on Tuesday, the former dealing out a couple of absolute dimes while Sissoko was credited with three key passes.

3. Bowen impresses but Irons in trouble: The NBC broadcast team said before the game that West Ham’s best chance to stay up is if three other teams manage to be worse than them. Straightforward but true, David Moyes men had little hope aside from Jarrod Bowen’s peskiness on and dangerous work on the right flank. Declan Rice was pretty good at defensive mid, but the Irons look rudderless at the moment.

Fun fact: Moyes is now 0W-5D-9L in his career against Mourinho.

Man of the Match

Lo Celso. He had two key passes and carried the ball fluidly through the midfield. The Argentine converted three of four dribbles and won 6-of-11 ground duels (SofaScore). He had two inteceptions and a tackle and certainly showed some naivete at times, but overall it was another step in a starring direction for the 24-year-old.


Tottenham – West Ham recap

Mark Noble wanted a penalty after he couldn’t quite keep hold of a clever Michail Antonio set-up in the second minute.

Serge Aurier darted down the right of the box to cross a Lucas Moura pass into the mix, but the Irons pawed it out for a corner.

Heung-min Son nearly snapped a ho-hum game to life with a terrific finish just before halftime, but VAR spied the South Korean forward as offside en route to the goal.

Spurs had six of the match’s seven shots. Would a change help them get on the board?

VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Eric Dier led a 49th-minute charge up the heart of West Ham’s midfield before curling a shot just wide of a diving Fabianski.

West Ham had a nice mini-period culminating with Pablo Fornals flubbing Jarrod Bowen’s cross in the 54th minute.

Spurs broke down the field with vigor in the 59th, and Giovani Lo Celso sent an assist-worthy pass that Kane dragged wide of the goal.

Michail Antonio fired a chance over the Spurs goal at the hour mark with everything still very much in the balance.

Tottenham sub Erik Lamela cut into the 18 but was flummoxed by well-positioned Issa Diop and fired into the outside of the goal.

Of course it took an own goal to get a finish for Spurs, Soucek unable to see the ball before a corner kick clattered off his leg and behind Fabianski.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Ranking every Tottenham Hotspur player

Tottenham Hotspur
Photo by Mark Leech/Offside/Offside via Getty Images
2 Comments

It’s been a weird season, amirite, Tottenham Hotspur supporters?

No, we’re not talking about the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen your club step its game up to stadium-as-hospital levels, rather the on-field ride from Mauricio to Mourinho.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Below we give each Spurs player a grade, ranking and group them together based on their season(s) so far.

If a Tottenham player is listed in this ranking it is because they’ve played in more than five games in all competitions.


A-GRADE

Harry Kane: Injury absences make it easy to forget how strong a player is, and Kane delivered 17 goals in 25 matches across all competitions (Eleven in 20 Premier League outings).

Steven Bergwijn: Very small sample size, but the displays are strong enough that you’d be on him to be a long-time contributor at the PL level.

Heung-min Son: Don’t let his pair of red cards — which matter — detract from his performance in the PL: Nine goals and seven assists in 1750 minutes, including the league’s Goal of the Season.


B-GRADE

Hugo Lloris: Looked to have put it together after his long injury absence. Stellar in the defeat of Man City.

Japhet Tanganga: Mourinho’s latest “look at this youngster,” following in the footsteps of Scott McTominay at Manchester United. Debuted as a starter in a huge spot and did not disappoint.

Dele Alli: He has not fulfilled the expectations of a star, but he’s still been a functional player capable of the elite (See the 3-2 defeat of Bournemouth).

Lucas Moura: Overlooked and maybe a bit underappreciated, Moura hasn’t hit the heights of 2018-19’s 15 goals across all competitions but has still been productive over 1700 minutes.

Toby Alderweireld: Top ten in the Premier League for blocks and clearances per game.

Serge Aurier
Jan Vertonghen


C-GRADE

Giovani Lo Celso: A big part of the future with plenty to like — he’s been significantly better in the Champions League — the Argentine has not adapted quickly to the Premier League.

Moussa Sissoko: Much better in the weeks leading up to the league suspension, but the first two-thirds of the season were not ideal. Defensively, he’s back slid.

Tanguy Ndombele: Talk about feast or famine. When Ndombele’s played well, he’s looked the part of a transfer record buy. When he’s looked poor, he’s looked the part of a record bust. Someone’s gonna get him more consistent, and Mourinho might be the guy (if both take the chance).

Ben Davies
Paulo Gazzaniga
Davinson Sanchez
Erik Lamela

Tanguy Ndombele (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

D-GRADE

Eric Dier: One of the beneficiaries of the Jose Mourinho hiring, he’s suddenly a part of the future again. Still, he’s not often looked like the player of two and three seasons ago.

Harry Winks: A whole box full of “meh.” Not exactly fulfilling the prophecy of a 10-year star homegrown midfielder.

Ryan Sessegnon
Christian Eriksen
Danny Rose


INCOMPLETE

Kyle Walker-Peters, Oliver Skipp, Gedson Fernandes, Georges-Kevin Nkoudou, Juan Foyth, Troy Parrott, Victor Wanyama.

Burnley, Spurs split spoils at Turf Moor

Burnley v. Tottenham Hotspur recap and video highlights
Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Chris Wood and Dele Alli scored as Burnley and Tottenham Hotspur split the points at Turf Moor on Saturday.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Burnley is now unbeaten in seven Premier League outings and sits 10th on 39 points.

Spurs are two points clear of Burnley, but will finish the weekend at least four points back of the top four.

Tottenham gets its first result in five outings with the draw.


Three things we learned

1. Lo Celso changes the game: Tottenham was absolutely dreadful in the first half, and Burnley’s lead was well-earned. Jose Mourinho took out a pair of center midfielders and introduced Giovani Lo Celso, who was very good from Moment No. 1 and drove the play that led to Spurs’ penalty.

2. Burnley bolsters UEL hopes: The Clarets have a point or better in seven-straight league matches. While they failed in a bid to leapfrog Spurs, Sean Dyche‘s men are three points back of the top seven. Could tiny Burnley really make two European runs in three seasons?

3. Lucky Dele: Jose Mourinho again deployed Dele Alli as a center forward, and the player struggled in the first 45 minutes. Dele’s pass completion rate was barely above 50 percent and he lost all of his nine duels. His penalty finish was cool, though, and may jumpstart his stagnant month ahead of Bayern Munich.

Man of the Match: Burnley’s Dwight McNeil was consistent and thrilling on the wing, producing the match’s lone assist.


Chris Wood rocketed a 17-yard shot over the bar early to send a warning to Hugo Lloris and Co.

A Jay Rodriguez header off from the back post led to an unholy scramble in the box minutes later, but Spurs again cleared the danger.

It was all foreshadowing; Burnley went ahead when Dwight McNeil got two chances to send in a cross that bounded to Rodriguez. His laser was saved by Lloris but Wood pounced on the rebound for 1-0.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Spurs got a chance to level the score as Lo Celso paid immediate dividends. The Spanish midfielder stole the ball and played a wonderful ball to Lamela, who was cut down by Ben Mee inside the edge of the box.

Dele Alli strode to the spot and stroked the ball past Nick Pope for his 50th Premier League goal.

Burnley had a strong chance when Matej Vydra was slid into the box, but Eric Dier intervened to push the ball away from danger.

Lo Celso then led a 60-yard charge upfield that fell apart when Dele couldn’t get the ball through traffic.

Wood then thumped a shot to Lloris, who was wise to the bounce. Vydra then knocked down a ball for Wood that the Kiwi hit to Lloris in the 81st.

Lo Celso came close to bending a shot inside the far corner a minute later.

A funny bounce forced Lloris to make a prime save of Vydra after the latter’s shot took a turn off the bottom of Toby Alderweireld‘s boot.

Jose Mourinho defends players ‘trying to do miracles,’ explains Dele move

Jose Mourinho
Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho says he can have no complaints with his shorthanded men following a 2-1 loss to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Mourinho pointed to the absence of strikers Heung-Min Son and Harry Kane as well as a Champions League match in midweek.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

“Look at Chelsea they played a World Cup-winning striker up front, England’s second striker on the bench, and Belgium’s second striker in the stands,” he said, via Football.London. “We had no strikers on the pitch, no strikers on the bench and two in the hospital.”

Chelsea were the much better side on the day, with Olivier Giroud making a statement to Frank Lampard about his ability as a center forward.

And Mourinho felt sufficiently shorthanded on the day, especially given the exhausting 1-0 loss to RB Leipzig at midweek.

“Lucas, Lo Celso, Bergwijn,” he said. “These boys that are playing every minute and trying to do miracles in positions that are not their positions. I cannot complain.”

Mourinho also defended keeping Dele Alli on the bench for the first time in his tenure as Spurs boss.

“We had strange game plans but we needed to have them. Like Lamela who played well, people think I’m stupid that I don’t play him, but he’s constantly communicating with me in the warm-up, can I play or not. He was telling me his feelings.”

Spurs will finish the weekend four points back of the top four and as many as two back of fifth. They have eight days until another big match, March 1 versus Wolves.