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Thursday, 14 September 2017

We almost bought Aubameyang, now we have Kane

We can breath a sigh of relief after we won our tough opening  UEFA Champions League campaign with a 3-1 victory against a ide we had never beaten, in fact we had never taken a point off them.

We had played Borussia Dortmund twice in Europe and lost both times, scoring one goal and conceding 5. That was in the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League where we lost 2-1 at home and 3-0 away in the Round of 16.

We managed to change that last night, but it wasn't easy, especially in the first half when Dortmund were showing u how to pass and move with the ball. They also showed us the pace at which to pass and looked very dangerous. We had several last ditch interceptions, but then we are playing in the best competition in Europe, it wasn't meant to be easy.

The poor referee for the game  was the same referee who was in charge of our opening UEFA Champions League game against semi-finalists Monaco at Wembley last season, Gianluca Rocca. His Italian team of consist of Elenito Di Libertore and Mauro Tonolini with the 4th referee being Alberto Tegoni. Jab Vertonghen was unlucky to be sent off for a flailing arm, nobody else was booked for one and he was shown a straight red.

I believe he is going to get a 1 match ban and not a three for a straight red as the referee didn't follow the correct procedure and show a yellow before the red. The Dortmund player was caught with a flailing hand, not an elbow as one website dishonestly shouts it.

That will mean in the next game Eric Dier stepping into the back three and someone replacing him in defensive midfield. I'd be surprised if Foyth played although it is APOEL so he could make his debut. The game isn't until the 26th September (Tuesday), but even so, Wanyama is unlikely to be ready so Harry Winks may get a start.

We faced a striker who we tried to purchase 5 years ago and he wasn't far off joining. In his five years at Dortmund, 28-year-old (29 next June) Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored a total of 126 goals in 194 competitive game and his finishing last night was superb, fortunately he was given offside.

Pulisic showed why everyone wants to buy him, but fortunately we showed ourselves to be dangerous on the counter attack as we tore them apart again and again. With better finishing we could have scored 6 or 7 but games rarely go that way.

new buy Serge Aurier showed he is every bit as good as Kyle Walker so perhaps those fans moaning about his sle, a sale he wanted, will realise we did the right thing waiting for him all summer.

I'm delighted we won, as we all are, but feel we dodged a bullet, it was a game we could so easily have lost and certainly one our youngsters can learn from. Dele Alli would have had a field day and he may be important in the away tie, where we will need away goals, unless we have already secured passage of course.



1 comment:

  1. Rocca was absolutely rubbish in that game too if I remember correctly. Monaco were very good on the day but were flattered by the result. I was pleased to see that, despite all his extensive efforts, he wasn't able to engineer a repeat for us last night.




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