Spurs 1-0 Inter
Match report by John Ellis at Wembley
After an Inauspicious opening, the game burst into life when Kane meandered on a weaving run in from the left…. Just when the angle seemed too acute he got in a shot which came back off the post.
Immediately after Moura went down but strong appeals for a penalty were waved away.
In the 12th minute Vertonghen strode forward from the back in his own commanding inimitable style to release Kane to go on another Messi like dribble for Dele to fire over.
Spurs were in the ascendency.
Another good from right to left ended with Dele surprisingly overhitting a through pass to Davies which went out harmlessly for a goal kick.
In the 19th minute excellent play from Sissoko set up Lamela whose shot fizzed by the right hand post.
Then came an almost a calamity goal when Lloris almost conceded a goal by playing the ball straight to a Milan attacker inside the box but fortunately it came to nothing.
Alderweireld then had to commit a professional foul to stop a break through on goal and was rightly yellow carded. The warning signs were there though – Milan were coming into the match.
On the half hour mark Sissoko intercepted deep inside his own half to set off on a trademark gallop to set up Moura whose shot was comfortably saved.
Dele then went on a mazy dribble down the left wing, his cross was cleared and Sissoko’s follow up shot was comfortably saved.
Winks had also driven at the heart of the Italian defence in a clear ploy to cause confusion in the Inter defence.
Spurs through Winks went desperately close to breaking the deadlock with a curling shot from fully 25 yards which bounced back off the bar with the keeper beaten.
The match was on a knife edge. Realistically one Inter goal would have meant Spurs needed to score three as well as the little matter of course of an away win in the Nou Camp!
In first half added time, only two crucial last ditch interceptions, the second by Aurler saved Spurs a second half mountain to climb.
The opening minutes of the second half passed without incident until Kane shot into the keeper’s arms. This brought Spurs to life, Moura sprinted clear down the right from a suspiciously offside position to force a corner.
The Inter defence though stayed firm and resolute but also with an eye on a breakaway attack being launched.
Davies was in the action at both ends of the park. Firstly being fouled on the left wing before then vitally intercepting a free kick and just after heading a cross clear.
As time ticked by the tension built in the stadium.
Vertonghen stretched to cut out a cross at the cost of a corner. The play ended with an Inter effort just going over the bar.
Son on for the largely ineffective Moura forced yet another corner which again came to nothing.
A fine move in the 68th minute involving Son and Lamela ended with a Davies nod down but brought further frustration with Dele’s effort going over the bar.
In the 70th minute Eriksen’s first touch as a substitute for Lamela was a free kick onto the head of Vertonghen but sadly his effort went wide.
In the 76th minute Hugo Lloris without question kept Spurs in the Champions League with a point blank reflex save for a corner to deny Inter the lead and what would have been a pivotal away goal.
The Spurs fans did their best to get behind the team in the sterile atmosphere of Wembley. Thousands more fans but due to the acoustics half the noise.
In the 80th minute Sissoko broke powerfully down the right wing and a quick release of passes inside the area released Eriksen to skilfully lift his shot over the keeper and into the net! 1-0 Spurs!!!
The drama wasn’t over though and in the 84th minute Lloris dived full length to save and parry well wide of any danger.
In the 87th minute the ever reliable Sissoko – did I really write that yes and of late yes he is snuffed out danger. Sissoko is a player reborn and putting in powerhouse performances match after match.
The board went up to signal the inevitable and almost obligatory three minutes of added time.
Spurs played keep ball but in the last minute of added time Inter won a corner to notch the stress levels a couple of levels higher. From the clearance a ferocious shot headed goal wards but was thankfully blocked. The danger hadnt gone away though as the ball deflected out towards the left wing for a cross to be played in…. a free header… surely not….. the ball flew wide of the far post….Phew!!
The referee blew the final whistle! Spurs go to Barcelona with qualification in their own hands. After the PSV away game Spurs were quoted at 50/1 to qualify from the group. Spurs fans who took a punt could be in for a very merry Christmas!