With Tottenham wanting to get off to a good start, have a solid half and push for a goal they couldn’t have achieved the opposite more than they did. Before the match they had to change the team about with Jenas replacing Lennon and when the game got underway within 15 minutes they were a goal down and with 10 men. By the end of the match their Champions League dream was over.
Madrid started the game well and in 4 minutes Adebayor continued his good goalscoring record against Tottenham with a typically stong Adebayor header, Modric on the goal line was unable to get the ball from under his feet and it went in. Being a goal down and away from home, Tottenham needed to keep their heads, but Crouch seemed to lose his as he seemed to think he was a defender and decided to tackle rather than attack. He got his first yellow for a sliding tackle on Sergio Ramos. Casillas passed it to Ramos, and understandably Crouch was closing him down, but to slide in two footed like that was idiotic, some referees would have sent him off just for that challenge, but minutes later to do a carbon copy on Marcello makes no sense. He slid in and didn’t make contact but Marcello went over and the Referee had no choice but to sent him off for a second bookable offense. With him off, it left Van der Vaart up-front on his own, with everyone back, and against Real Madrid, you don’t just want to sit back and let Madrid attack. But even though Madrid had possession they didn’t look to attack full throttle, but were probing. Madrid had chance, and whenever Ronaldo received the ball on the left or on the right with Di Maria their trickery caused Tottenham’s defense problems and kept them on high alert. Just before the half hour mark Bale finally got a chance to break away but as he passed Pepe, his shot went into the side netting. Adebayor was inches away from scoring a second when Ramos’s diving header bounced off the ground and across goal but as high as Adebayor jumped couldn’t reach it. As the game went on Tottenham started to become more adventurous and looked to set Bale on the run whenever they could with Modric being that outlet. Pepe was booked for his tackle on Bale to break up the counter attack, and Tottenham were unable to do anything with the resulting free kick. When Tottenham needed to fall back they did, and did well, with two flanks of four, but Madrid were happy to run at them and take on the shots. Madrid were enjoying the pressure they were applying but couldn’t help fall at every tackle, and managed to get some dangerous free kicks out of it, and with shouts for two penalties also, but rightfully not given. Tottenham had a great chance near the end of the half when Casillas gave away a corner, when he miss hit the back-pass. Van der Vaart corner was met by nobody and passed everyone to go outside of the box, Tottenham put it back in, but to no avail. The half ended 1-0, and Tottenham have defended well, but also, Madrid look like they are looking to score, but are not doing so with 100%
Defoe was on for Van der Vaart, but that didn’t change anything as Madrid started the half strong and kept Tottenham in their own half, well, their own penalty box for a good 7 minutes. The Tottenham defense did well to keep on their feet and not give away any fouls or penalties, and Dawson in particular stole the ball from Adebayor and co on more than one occasion to keep Madrid at bay. With being a man up Madrid and Marcello in particular took the opportunity to stay forward and was more of an inside forward than a full back, crossing or shooting from just outside of the box. It wasn’t long before that man again, Adebayor, scored. A short cross was guided in with his head to give Madrid a two goal lead, and took his personally tally against Tottenham to 10. Poor defending to leave Adebayor unmarked and unchallenged to score a header, knowing what he is like in the air from previous encounters but also from the 4th minute in the same game, really Tottenham should have defended better. Gomes saved well to deny Adebayor a hat-trick as he again won the header, but at least this time he was challenged for it. Madrid got a corner, but were unable to score directly from it, but did keep possession and managed to a ger a few shots away, but they were all blocked by the wall of blue shirts in-front of the box. Ozeil had a good chance to score when Marcello put the ball into the box for him, ut his poor first chance let Tottenham close him down and take any chance away from him. When Tottenham did get the ball, Bale again was the outlet, but Tottenham just could keep the football and Madrid were happy to go back on the attack. Bale did go down and received treatment on the pitch before going off to receive more. With Bale off Tottenham needed to keep the bal betterl, but they just couldn’t, and thanks to Gomes, who made a great save against Ozeil, the game stayed at 2-0, but moments later Angel Di Maria scored an absolute stunner! From outside the box he smashed it into the top corner, leaving Gomes no chance at all. With Madrid 3-0 up Higuain was brought on for the last 30 minutes to get some playing time after coming back for his injury. Adebayor made way for him and came off to a rousing standing ovation, Adebayor no doubt will love that, until she leaves Madrid saying how the fans also never loved him. Not long after did Higuain come on was Kaka brought on for the other goalscorer Di Maria. It was almost like Mourinho was doing it just to show off his squad. Even though Madrid were winning 3-0 Mourinho was still coming to the touchline shouting at his team with disgust when they did something he didnt like. With 10 minutes left, Madrid were having fun, with Kaka and Ozeil passing it back and fourth to each other a couple of time, not even moving forward. Madrid were just passing it around moving it foward occasionally, but when Kaka crosses it over to Ronaldo, they scored their 4th. Ronaldo scored his 38th of the season in all competitions, but maybe Gomes could have down better with the shot, but that goal killed the Tottenham players on the pitch, heads that hadn’t already dropped did and you could see they all just wanted the referee to blow for full-time. It was a shame as they had defended well under the circumstances, but as soon as they were down to 10-men they were always going to lose.
Tottenham only have pride to play for in the return leg, and I am sure Redknapp will have his team fired up to make a game of it. With the tie being 4-0 it seems all over, but if Tottenham get a few early goals, they will start to have that belief they can go on and win, and Redknapp will be putting that into their heads on the training ground.
I liked how they played highlights of Tottenham scoring against Arsenal for the fans that were still in the ground after the game. Little consolation after losing 4-0 like that, but I guess it’s the thought that counts.
Here’s Di Maria’s wonder goal