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Friday, 11 December 2015

African Eriksen would be a good draw for us


The 'African Eriksen' Pione Sisto scored the first-half goal that was enough to secure a 1-1 draw for Midtjylland and dump Belgian side Club Brugge out of the competition. The Danish side had to play a qualifying game just to get into the UEFA Europa League so to knock out bigger league opponents is a feather in their cap. To put the pressure of the game into perspective, this is the first time Midtjylland have qualified for the knockout stages.

I revealed yesterday (link below this paragraph) that we would be watching this game with a couple of players of particular interest, Midtjylland midfielder Pione Sisto and Club Brugge centre-back Brandon Mechele. The pressure of the winner game takes all made it one not to miss, these pressure games don't come around every day and how players react on a big occasion can indicate whether they are likely to be able to handle a bigger stage.

Big game for Spurs tonight, in Denmark

Pione Sisto has only made 72 Danish Superliga appearances for Midtjylland scoring 16 goals and scored 3 goals in one Landspokal Cup game. It was his national coach who compared him to Eriksen, not journalists looking for an angle. 

Clubs around Europe are watching him regularly and several have spoken to his father. Last season he played 2 UEFA Europa League games, this season he has played 4 UEFA Champions League qualifying games and 7 games in the Europa League, scoring two goals, none more crucial than the one last night. 

The game was played with Midtjylland building-up play slowly using possession football and tClub Brugge using lightning-fast counter-attack tactics. The notable moments for each player were recorded thus:

Pione Sisto (Midtjylland)
12 minutes - Pione Sisto perfectly skips past challenges but misdirects his shot from the edge of the box. The ball flies a few yards wide of the left post.
16 minutes - Half-chance. Sisto plays a pass into the box, but Sebastien Bruzzese (Club Brugge) reacts well to thwart the attack.
20 minutes - A pass by Sisto ends up in no man's land and the attacking effort comes to an end.
27 minutes - What a spectacular moment. Pione Sisto (Midtjylland) skips past the defenders and as he gets more space, he blasts a long-range strike at goal. The ball flies into the top right corner. 1:0.
Other reports call this a cross-cum-shot and from his position on the left a cross that went over the keepers head is more likely.
74 minutes - Marcos Urena (Midtjylland) is brought on as a substitute for Pione Sisto (Midtjylland).

Brandon Mechele (Club Brugge)
6 minutes - Mechele was trying to get to the ball but hit the legs of the opponent as well. Midtjylland free kick in a promising position.
26 minutes - a superb challenge by Mechele stops Martin Pušić putting the danish side ahead
50 miutes - Brandon Mechele (Club Brugge) displays a brilliant individual play, gets inside the box and pulls the trigger. His promising effort is blocked by one of the defenders.
81 minutes - Brandon Mechele (Club Brugge) is replaced by Bjorn Engels (Club Brugge).

The draw for the Round of 32 takes place on Monday and a favourable draw against the Danish side would be welcome. We could then watch Sisto at close range over a couple of games and see how he reacts to a higher standard and the occasion of coming to White Hart Lane.
Links to further articles below
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CHRISTMAS GIFTS
For all your football gifts head on over to Football-Shop.net and grab a gift you know they will enjoy, no need for acting when you shop for a sports lover.

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You can read further TOTTENHAM NEWS, VIEWS from THBN, the site readers consistently say is the best Spurs site on the web, as well as articles covering areas of the game you won't find on other Spurs sites, at the links below.

Battle for Argentinian star - good to this morning seeing people adding to last night's story
Soldado's European stats are surprising - nothing wrong with his strike rate
Training - which type of trainers do we have, vanity or appeasement?
Harry Kane - link for a page full of Harry Kane statistics

Don't forget your Christmas shopping for the football fan you know. Pop on over to Football-Shop.net and select from a range of gifts for various teams and various other sports.



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