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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Wild Spurs-Chelsea fracas proves ‘Angeball’ is right here to remain

LONDON — Essentially the most chaotic, frenetic and mesmeric sport of this — and presumably any — Premier League season ended with Tottenham Hotspur followers singing tributes to their supervisor, Ange Postecoglou, after dropping 4-1 at dwelling to Chelsea on Monday.

Spurs’ dedication to “Angeball” is absolute, it doesn’t matter what mayhem it delivers. If any sense might be taken from this totally absurd 111 minutes — sure, there have been 21 minutes of added time — it’s that Postecoglou’s insistence on taking part in his manner is not going to be compromised by any occasion conceivable inside the parameters of a soccer match.

Having sat by the dour Antonio Conte period through which Tottenham usually regarded allergic to attacking, supporters on this a part of north London have embraced Postecoglou’s high-octane, high-wire type that had taken them to the highest of the Premier League after 10 unbeaten video games.

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It’s, subsequently, tough to quibble together with his philosophy given the returns so far — however this was arguably one of the best and worst of Postecoglou’s type encapsulated in a single ludicrous evening, which featured 9 VAR checks, 5 disallowed targets, two accidents, two crimson playing cards, one hat trick, one penalty and one supervisor booked.

“It’s fairly exhausting to course of,” stated Postecoglou, who joined Spurs in the summertime. “It’s nearly inconceivable to analyse the sport as a result of it simply appeared to get uncontrolled for giant elements of it. Upset by the outcome however actually pleased with the gamers, they gave every little thing and that’s the optimistic we’ll take.”

Dejan Kulusevski opened the scoring in what has now turn out to be a customary quick begin by Tottenham, his sixth-minute shot deflected in off Chelsea defender Levi Colwill to spark a stage of pandemonium which didn’t subside all night.

How various things might need been had the Thirteenth-minute strike from Tottenham ahead Heung-Min Son counted. The South Korean deftly side-footed dwelling Brennan Johnson‘s left-wing cross because the cacophony of noise inside this beautiful enviornment threatened to eat Chelsea — however a decent offside name accurately went of their favour.

What adopted was a gradual lack of management from Tottenham. Future Udogie was lucky to obtain solely a yellow card for a two-footed problem on Raheem Sterling, whereas Cristian Romero was additionally fortunate to flee any type of sanction for kicking out at Colwill.

Postecoglou additionally bought caught up within the feral environment. Normally an unflustered presence on the sideline, Postecoglou was incensed when the officers flagged for an offside however tried to play a bonus just for Spurs to offer the ball away underneath strain. Referee Michael Oliver booked Postecoglou for the supervisor’s first time since he joined the membership.

Sterling had a purpose disallowed, as did Moisés Caicedo, however within the build-up, VAR noticed Romero’s use of extreme pressure in tackling Enzo Fernández. Romero was despatched off and Chelsea had a spot-kick, which Cole Palmer transformed.

Jackson had one other purpose disallowed for offside earlier than Spurs misplaced Micky van de Ven to a hamstring damage and James Maddison to an ankle drawback. Actually, after all of the substitutions — and Udogie’s Fifty fifth-minute second yellow for one more reckless, silly lunge on Sterling — Spurs ended this sport with solely 4 of their beginning 11 gamers on the sphere.

However Tottenham wouldn’t be bowed.

Regardless of having 9 males and a again 4 containing Emerson Royal at left-back and a centre-back pairing of Eric Dier — on his first look of the season — and midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Spurs continued to play with an absurdly excessive line of defense. And regardless of the reply being comparatively easy — ball excessive to attach with a well-timed run — the mixture appeared to flummox Chelsea, who’ve discovered targets tough to come back by this season.

The actual fact Spurs lasted so long as they did with 9 gamers, ultimately succumbing to a easy Jackson end from Sterling’s move on 75 minutes, owed to a mix of Chelsea’s lack of cohesion and a few heroic goalkeeping by Guglielmo Vicario, who didn’t deserve to finish the evening conceding 4. However that is a product of Spurs main with their chin, persevering with with a excessive line that allowed Chelsea to attain the identical purpose twice extra, the primary assisted by Conor Gallagher, the second by Palmer and each transformed by Jackson.

“It’s simply who we’re, mate,” Postecoglou stated. “It’s who we’re and who we will likely be for so long as I’m right here. If we go down to 5 males, we may have a go.”

Chelsea’s much-maligned ahead, Jackson, will take confidence from his hat trick on this lopsided outcome, however this was a uniquely absurd set of circumstances that successfully allowed the guests to play an attacking coaching train for the ultimate 35 minutes. The actual fact it took Chelsea so lengthy to translate their numerical superiority to the rating line tempers enthusiasm in regards to the remaining margin of victory.

The fallout from this might be extreme for Spurs. Van de Ven left the stadium on crutches, Romero is banned for 3 video games and Maddison’s return date is at present unknown.

The final phrase right here ought to go to Mauricio Pochettino. All of the pregame speak centered on the ex-Tottenham coach’s emotional return to the workforce he used to handle, however other than just a few offended outbursts as Chelsea laboured to shut this out, this was a satisfying return on an evening that epitomised the fantastic bedlam that’s the Premier League.

“I’m so pleased as a result of the three factors means loads for us,” Pochettino stated. “We’re in a state of affairs when we have to win factors. I’m pleased to come back again and see folks I did not get the prospect to say bye too. Most necessary for me is the win. It’s Tottenham and it’s not extra particular due to that.”

After a win that eases a bit of of the strain on him after Chelsea’s underwhelming begin, he greeted a number of of Tottenham’s teaching employees with a prolonged embrace — none extra so than assistant coach Ryan Mason — earlier than a hug with Son in the course of the pitch he used to name dwelling.

That is Postecoglou’s home now, nonetheless, and if affirmation of that was wanted, the PA system opted for Robbie Williams’ tune “Angels” as followers drifted out, the reworked lyrics paying homage to their new supervisor.

Tottenham followers could have misplaced to their bitter rivals, however with Pochettino in the home, they’re loving “Large Ange” as a substitute.

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