Tottenham came into this game still searching for their first win of 2021 after last weeks defeat to Arsenal at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, highlights of that match can be seen below.
Tottenham welcomed City to the Hive having not won in 7 games, the last time Tottenham faced City was back in October where City ran out 4-1 winners. Last season City ran out 4-1 winners at the Hive with Rianna Dean scoring from the spot for Tottenham. It is no question that Tottenham is going through a rough patch and the fact that our Lilywhites face the top 4 teams back to back doesn’t help BUT this problem has been there since the turn of the year with games in which we should have won on paper and have only managed to take 2 points out of 24 including points being dropped to West Ham, Bristol, and Villa all teams that were below us.
The season is coming to a rapid end and for many of us, we can’t wait for this season to be over, not because we don’t support our inspirational Tottenham women’s team but because we want to be back in the stands making as much noise as possible to inspire out Lilywhites and because for us fans this season has been tough to watch. We just want to see what recruits the club can make and see if we can follow in Manchester United’s footsteps and push the top 3.
Tottenham lined up in a 4-3-3 with Spencer in goal, Morgan in at right-back, McManus and Zadorsky in the centre of defence with Worm in a left-back. The Tottenham midfield was made of Cho, Graham and Kennedy with the Tottenham attack being made of Quinn down the right-wing, Dean down the left-wing with Williams in the centre.
City also lined up in a 4-3-3 with Roebuck in goal, Stanway in right-back Mannion and Dahlkemper in the centre of defence with Morgan in at left-back. The City midfield was made of Mewis, Walsh and Weir with the City attack being made of Kelly down the right, Beckie down the left and White in the centre.
Last season it took City just 2 minutes to take the lead and this time City started in the same manner by taking control from the first minute with Dean losing the ball to Weir who shot from distance and hit the bar with a thunderous shot before McManus put the loose ball out for a city corner. Kelly took the corner for City and the ball seemed to go straight in from the corner without any player touching the ball. City kept coming at Tottenham and in the 5th minute Kelly latched onto a Mewis ball, centred into the Tottenham box but Beckie was unable to reach the ball in time. City just kept pushing Tottenham back with chance after chance and in the 6th minute Beckie got in behind Morgan and shot from distance but her effort went wide of Spencer’s goal. 2 minutes later City had a free-kick after a foul by Worm on Kelly which was taken by Weir, Dalhkemper rose unchallenged but couldn’t connect well as the ball went wide of Spencer’s goal. Tottenham almost had a bit of good fortune in the 11th minute when a back pass by Dahlkemper put Roebuck under pressure but Williams was unable to connect with Roebuck pass.
In the 20th minute, things almost went from bad to worse when Cho tried to let the ball run out for a Tottenham corner but Mewis stole the ball before rolling out, centred into the Tottenham box finding Ellen White but White put her effort wide as Tottenham were let off after some sloppy play. Tottenham did start to come out slightly from the 25th minute but failed to create any chances at all. City came back at Tottenham and in the 28th minute Kelly twisted and turned down the left before getting a cross/shot away but her effort was too long and went wide of Spencer’s left-hand post. City saw Tottenham were started to grow slightly so City began playing with Tottenham and just passed the ball around, controlling possession as Tottenham struggled to get the ball back. Esther Morgan was having a tough match being targeted by Kelly and Beckie and in the 37th minute despite her best effort Beckie got the best of Morgan after Beckie latching onto a long Mewis pass and slotted past Spencer before McManus was able to come over to cover. City won the ball easily after the restart and again countered Tottenham, passing the ball confidently until City saw an opening with Weir spotting Beckie unmarked who passed back to Weir who shot from the edge of the box but her effort went straight at Spencer. City finished the half the strongest of the two teams and in the 43rd minute, City again threatened with Kelly down the right who centred unto the Tottenham box trying to finding White but her cross went straight into Spencer’s hands before referee Amy Fearns brought the half to an end.
Skinner made 1 change at half-time with Harrop coming on for Worm, City again started the brightest and 1 minute into the restart it was Esther Morgan who had to come to Tottenham’s rescue after she cleared a Beckie shot off the line as the ball went out for a corner. Tottenham tried to not make the same mistake as the first half and just sit back. Tottenham tried to come out and play more and in the 53rd minute Kennedy stole the ball on the edge of the City box, passed to Dean who shot but her effort went off target. City quickly countered Tottenham with Beckie again the threat latching onto a Mewis pass but Spencer came for the ball and beat Beckie to the ball to gather safely. Tottenham kept pushing forward finally finding some rhythm in their play and just as Tottenham were starting to play better they were punished in the 60th minute after Harrop failed to deal with a Beckie cross which came to Kelly, who passed to Weir all alone in the centre who tapped past Spencer to make it 3 for City. If things weren’t difficult enough for Tottenham, City then introduced Rose Lavelle who was making a nuisance of herself.
In the 68th minute, good play by Lavelle from City’s half led to Lavelle playing through to Kelly before receiving the ball back in the Tottenham area and centring but Weir and Beckie were unable to get a touch on the cross. Lavelle was again after Weir stole the ball from Kennedy, she found Lavelle who split the Tottenham defence and got a shot away but Spencer stopped well to deny Lavelle. Even though Tottenham improved lots from the first half the Lilywhites needed to create more clear chances and in the 80th minute, Tottenham got that opportunity when a poor pass by Morgan was intercepted by Graham who turned Mannion could have shot but instead passed to Naz who shot straight at Mannion before Green put the rebound over the bar. City came straight back at Tottenham with Beckie breaking down the right, crossing into the box to find Weir sliding in but put her effort wide of Spencer’s goal. Tottenham did look better in the 2nd half but the difference between the two sides was the final ball. City has more class in that area as Tottenham continue to struggle in getting the ball to the forwards and score goals. City was happy to pass the ball around in the final few minutes of the game but in the 86th Minute Tottenham had a final chance when Naz intercepted a poor pass by Dahlkemper but Naz rushed her shot and put her effort wide un-troubling Roebuck.
Player of the match.
This is the first time in a long time we feel we can’t pick a player of the match. Zadorsky and Kennedy were outstanding as always, Quinn played her socks off and ran the whole game but things just didn’t go right for her and Dean fought really hard while playing out of position. Therefore our player of the match goes to Rianna Dean for fighting hard for the badge despite playing out of position against one of the best teams in the World.
Post match analysis.
As usual this was a game of two halves. The first half was all City, let’s not get things confused City controlled all the possession and had all the chances, City was good but nothing out of this world they weren’t as dangerous as West Ham were in January or even Arsenal last week at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium and truly believe had we attacked City like in the final 20 minutes we could have made it a very uncomfortable game for City. Why can’t our team play like that from the start? are the tactics wrong? can we only play well when a team takes their foot off the pedal? or do we have to wait for a team to be tired?. We do not know the answer but it’s a growing concern, our team needs to start games how they end them and pressure teams from the first minute not in the final 20/30 minutes when games are usually out of our reach.
Like last week Tottenham looked the most dangerous in the final quarter of the game but once again it was too late as we were trailing by 3 goals. I feel the line up was the one we should use every game except Addison should be down the left. The 4-2-3-1 works perfect with Kennedy and Percival in front of the defence, Quinn down the right, Graham behind the forward, Addison down the left and with Dean upfront, but in games with more physical defences Williams would be better suited.
A break from the WSL due to an international break will do the players good and the fact that our next game is in the FA Cup could prove to be a huge confidence boost for our players if we can get past Reading in the 4th round. We showed in the last WSL match that we can be better than them on our day we just need some luck in getting the ball in the back of the next. I believe our Lilywhites will overcome Reading which will give this group of players a huge boost before the United game in the WSL we believe in you COYS!!!
There is no WSL action now for 2 weeks due to an international break, our next match is an FA Cup 4th round match away to Reading on April 18th before we return in the WSL against Manchester United on April 25th.
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FA Cup 4th Round: Reading vs Totenham