Inter Milan (h)

8 Nov

match reportForget the stars. This result was written in the first 10 minutes at the San Siro two weeks previous. Whilst pundits and the more histrionic fans were lauding Inter’s magnificence or questioning Tottenham’s worthiness, the savvy viewer saw something different.

They would have seen that although Inter had scored a fabulous goal and although Tottenham were understandably shell-shocked, they nevertheless managed to put together their own impressive little move and carve out a chance. They would have seen how Modric was at his semi-disembodied best; able to ghost past opponents as if he were made of smoke, able to re-materialise at will and reclaim the ball. The savvy viewer would have known, as Eto’o converted the penalty and the little Croatian hunkered down on the bench, that Inter were going to be annihilated at White Hart Lane.

There’s not much say that hasn’t been said already. It was a shame that Crouch connected with Bale’s first half cross in the way that he did. It was such an anaemic effort that he’ll probably be judged more for his miss than his goal. Some of the less obvious highlights were the burgeoning relationship between Van der Vaart and Modric and Huddlestone’s captain like performance. He was supremely disciplined, almost patriarchal, encouraging his charges to go play whilst keeping a keen eye out for danger. Redknapp made Huddlestone a first team regular last season and he came on leaps and bounds. This year his responsibilities have increased further and he’s thriving.

But at the end of day, as Van der Vaart said, it was just three points. Three points in a competition we’re probably not going to win. Even so, us fans don’t take home the trophies or the medals, just the memories – and this one was as shiny as they come.

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