Matchday 13: Tottenham vs Brighton.

FA Cup.

Our journey in the FA Cup has sadly come to an end after a hard-fought match against Leicester City. A game in which Tottenham dominated the game but a Tottenham error resulted in Leicester drawing level with 9 minutes to play. Two more defensive errors saw the Foxes clinch a famous 3-1 victory and a place in the 5th round of the FA Cup. Highlights of last weeks FA Cup defeat can be seen below. 

Video by Spurs TV.

Where is it going wrong.

So 2022 has not been kind to Tottenham and has seen our Lilywhite dip in form, so where is it going wrong for Tottenham. The answer is simple, there is not enough depth in the squad and with players away on international duty Tottenham looks like they are losing momentum. Being involved in 3 competitions as well as pushing for a Champions League place may have been a big ask and we are now seeing that the team may have run out of steam coming into the second half of the season.

Many positives can be taken from how Tottenham started the season and we are sure Skinner and Jepson will know the areas that need strengthening for next season to ensure Tottenham can carry the momentum we saw in the first half of the campaign. Despite the dip in form, Tottenham fans can still be proud of what the team has achieved so far and with 22 points we can already look forward to another season in the WSL.

Transfers.

Tottenham announced this week that our very own Esther Morgan has joined Leicester City until the end of the season. 

Photo: @spurswomen Twitter.

We hope Esther gets the playing time that she deserves at Leicester and that she will return to Tottenham next season and start getting back into the first team. We need to keep young players and nurture them not leave them out in the cold. We wish Esther the best of luck and hope to see her in a Tottenham jersey again very soon.

In other news, Tottenham new signing Evaliina Summanen and Viktoria Schnaderbeck made their debuts last week in the FA Cup 4th round match against Leicester. Although Summanen did not get much playing time Schnaderbeck looked good in defence but, it resulted in Molly Bartrip having to move up to midfield and take over Clemaron’s role. It’s always good to strengthen the team but a centre back is not a position we needed to fill, instead, a left-back and forward is what we need the most. It will be interesting to see where the new arrivals will fit in Skinners plans. 

Viktoria sat down earlier this week with Spurs TV to speak about her move in an interview which can be viewed below.

Video: @spurswomen Twitter.

Conti cup.

Our search for silverware, unfortunately, came to an end this past Thursday as Manchester City ran out 3-0 winners in the second semi-final of the Conti Cup. Despite a disappointing week for our Lilywhites, the positive we can take is that this team reached its first major semi-final for the first time in its history. Deep down we all knew that it would be a huge ask considering our recent run of results but we always have to believe. Tottenham could have taken the lead when Naz found herself one on one with Roebuck but put the ball wide. Had that chance gone in it could have been a completely different story.

You can’t let teams like Manchester City off the hook and once again we saw what devastating impact those missed chances have on a result. City looked comfortable throughout with our Lilywhites struggling to trouble Manchester City. Sometimes you need to face facts and the truth is Tottenham have overachieved in the first half of the season. Tottenham wasn’t winning games convincingly, they were lucky in many games, bigger clubs like City got off to a slow start and now the lack of depth is showing. Tottenham is still a new club in the WSL, Rome wasn’t built in a day but Tottenham are already showing what the future can bring if they continue to invest in the club. Highlights of Tottenham’s Conti Cup Semi-Final match can be viewed below.

Video: Spurs TV.

Tottenham made some signings in the summer that just haven’t cut it for us and that’s no fault of Skinner or the coaching staff as it happens everywhere. Just look at the likes of Barcelona who signed Dembele and Coutinho and haven’t been the players they expected. The same has happened at Tottenham, Chi, Cho, Simon have not been the players we expected. Tang hasn’t had enough minutes to prove herself whilst Clemaron and Bartrip have been major hits and become key players for our club. Dean was never WSL quality but if you are going to trade Dean you must bring in someone better, what you can’t do is have one natural striker with no backup. How players like Dean are allowed to leave and Ayane is given a new contract is a mystery. Even though there is still plenty to play for this season, Tottenham needs a shake-up and at least 4 players need to be traded with a minimum of 5 new players bright in with a forward and winger as a priority. 

We have heard recently that the defence is letting too many goals in, we don’t feel the issue is the defence. The issue lies upfront if those chances we miss regularly was turned in, games would be finished, teams would be broken and our defence wouldn’t need to work so hard. It’s not the same being 2 or 3 up as opposed to finding yourself 0-0 or barely 1 up. However, we are proud of the team’s achievements so far and we just hope this slow start 2022 won’t have a negative effect on the team for the rest of the season as we now turn our focus back to WSL action and welcomed Brighton to the Hive.

Lineups.

Tottenham 4-3-3: Spencer in goal, Ale in at right-back, Bartrip and Zadorksy in the centre of defence with Harrop in at left-back. The Tottenham midfield was made of Summanen, Clemaron and Percival. While the Tottenham front 3 was made of Simon down the right, Williams in centre and Addison down the left.

Brighton 4-3-3: Walsh in goal, Le Tissier in at right-back, Kerkdijk and Williams in the centre of defence with Kullberg in at left-back. The Brighton midfield was made of Zigiotti, Connolly and Koivisto. Whilst the Brighton front line was made of Kaagman, Brazil and Carter.

First Half.

The game started quite evenly matched with both teams looking to gain control of possession. Tottenham had their first clear chance in the 11th minute when a long Bartrip ball beat the Brighton defence. Simon reacted the quickest chipping the ball over Walsh to give Tottenham the lead. Brighton almost got back on level terms in the 18th minute when a long Brighton ball led to a heavy touch by Bartrip, Kaagman was first to react but her effort was easily gathered by Spencer in the Tottenham goal. Brighton was very physical with their challenges as V.Williams saw a yellow card in the 22nd minute for a heavy challenge on Percival. 

Photo: @spurswomen Twitter.

Summanen took the Tottenham free-kick but her effort hit the Brighton wall before they began a counter with a long ball. Quick defending by Bartrip prevented Brazil from latching onto the long ball and regained possession for Tottenham. Tottenham almost doubled their lead in the 27th minute when a Summanen corner was met by Williams but her header smashed against the Brighton bar before being cleared to safety. Tottenham continued to dominate possession, passing the ball around trying to pick out an opening to release Addison down the left, but Le Tissier was alert and stuck close to Addison.

Tottenham again came close to a second in the 32nd minute when Percival played through Summanen who raced between then the defence, Walsh was quickly off her line to tighten the angle and Summanen put her effort just wide of Walsh’s right-hand post. Brazil moved over to the right and began to cause Harrop some problems before skipping past 3 challenges and getting the ball into the Tottenham box but Zadorksy was alert and was able to get to the ball before Carter to get the ball away to safety.

Brighton began to gain control of the midfield towards the end of the half, pushing their lines further up but Tottenham took advantage and broke on the attack with Addison who took on V.Williams and Kullberg before shooting from distance but her effort was easily saved by Walsh. The 4th official indicated a minimum of 2 minutes added time and Brighton almost snatched an equaliser in the 47th minute. Le Tissier made a good run and crossed into the Tottenham box, the ball was missed by everyone but Spencer reacted quickly to make the save and deny Brighton a freak goal. 

Second Half.

Brighton started the strongest in the first few minutes of the second half with Kaagman shooting from distance after latching onto a long ball but her effort flew over Spencer’s bar. Skinner made a substitute in the 53rd minute with Neville coming on for Addison as Tottenham looked to hold out the Brighton attack. Neville had an instant impact on the game by doubling Tottenham’s lead in the 56th minute. Percival was again involved in the build-up as she picked Neville out with a pass before the substitute slotted past Walsh to double Tottenham’s lead.

Photo: @spurswomen Twitter.

Tottenham continued to push forward and looked in an unforgiving mood. In the 61st minute, a Percival corner was met by Williams who headed across the face of the goal. Summanen reacted first and got a touch but Walsh made a fine save from close range, Zadorsky reacted the quickest and tapped in the rebound to make it three for Tottenham. A minute later Tottenham won possession again with Neville winning the ball outside the Brighton box, she got a cross in, across the face of goal finding Simon who knocked the ball past Walsh for her second of the game and Tottenham’s 4th.

Brighton began to gamble and push everyone forward as they looked for goals, in the 69th minute, Kaagman found herself clear on goal from a long ball but a great run back and last-minute tackle by Bartrip denied the Dutch forward before she was able to get her shot away. Tottenham began to slow the game down in the 80th minute as they passed the ball around the backline keeping possession and patiently waited for an opportunity to break on Brighton. Brighton looked to open up Tottenham down the left flank but Bartrip and a substitute Schnaderbeck was alert and prevented any crosses causing any danger in the Tottenham box.

Tottenham had a penalty claim turned down in the 88th minute when Williams and Le Tissier both chased a ball into the Brighton box. Le Tissier seemed to nudge Williams in the box as the Tottenham forward went down but the referee waved play on. The 4th official indicated a minimum of 4 minutes injury time, Brighton caught Tottenham on the counter-attack and almost came close in the 91st minute when a counter led to a shot from the edge of the box but the ball was well deflected out for a corner as the Tottenham defence held strong before the game was brought to an end.

Player of the match.

Our player of the match goes to Ria Percival who was everywhere and was involved in three of the Tottenham goals. Percival was a victim of a few heavy challenges and at one point looked like she would go off injured but the Kiwi pushed on and was instrumental in Tottenham’s victory.

Photo: @spurswomen Twitter.

Post match analysis.

Tottenham bounced back from what has been a slow start to 2022. Tottenham seemed to have found their rhythm again and dominated Brighton from the start of the game. Summanen looked good in the Tottenham midfield causing the Brighton defence a lot of problems and could have grabbed a couple of goals. For the first time this season, Tottenham looked lethal in front of goal and did not miss clear chances. Percival was key for Tottenham, being involved in three goals and numerous other chances for Tottenham. For a team that’s played 3 big games in a week, our Lilywhites looked fresh and maybe the disappointment of two cup exits motivated Tottenham in the game against Brighton.

Maybe just maybe Skinner has found her right lineup for the second half of the season. Cho and Tang still need to return after the Asia Cup final but Tottenham looked much more of a threat with Addison down the wing and Summanen looked very impressive in the Tottenham midfield. Tottenham have never replaced Rachel Furness but with Clemaron, Percival and Summanen Tottenham seem to have finally found the perfect midfield with Percival and Summanen liking to get forward and give the forwards support.

Things finally look like they are getting back on track, but it’s only one game and we can’t get too ahead of ourselves. Tottenham’s next match is away to bottom of the table Birmingham City. On paper it should be another 3 points for our Lilywhites but Birmingham are fighting for survival and will no doubt make it tough for Tottenham. United take on City in the Manchester derby so a draw in that match and a victory for our Lilywhites will put us back in contention for a Champions League spot. It’s onward and upwards now for our Lilywhites COME ON YOU SPURS!!!

Next Match.

Tottenham now face two away matches with Reading and Birmingham our opposition before our next home game at the Hive where Tottenham will take on Manchester City on March 13th. Tickets for our next home game can be purchased over at https://www.tottenhamhotspur.com/tickets/buy-tickets/women/match-tickets/

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Tottenham vs Manchester City

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