Matchday 14: Birmingham vs Tottenham.

Tottenham travelled to St. Andrew’s to meet 12th placed Birmingham City. The last time the two teams met back in September Tottenham ran out 1-0 winner with a goal from Kit Graham. Tottenham was looking to build on last week’s 4-0 at the Hive and remain in the hunt for Champion’s League football. Highlights of last weeks match with Brighton can be seen below.

Video: Spurs TV.

Lineups.

Birmingham 3-4-3: Ramsey in goal, Lawley, Quinn and Holloway made up the three centre-backs. Finn and Robertson were in wing-back positions with Murray and Sarri making up the Birmingham midfield. The Birmingham front three was made of Pennock, Smith and former Tottenham player Lucy Quinn.

Tottenham 4-3-3: Spencer in goal, Ale in at right-back, Bartrip and Schnaderbeck in the centre of defence with Zadorsky in at left-back. The Tottenham midfield was made of Neville, Clemaron and Percival. The Tottenham front line was made of Simon down the right, Naz down the left and Williams in the middle.

First Half.

The game started quite scrappy with both teams giving the ball away cheaply and unable to hold possession. Birmingham had the first chance of the game in the 10th minute with a wonderful shot by Sarri but Spencer made a goal-saving stop to deny Birmingham the opener. Birmingham grew into the game and looked the most comfortable, enjoying most of the possession. In the 18th minute, Pennock broke from midfield unchallenged but her effort went over Spencer’s bar. Tottenham countered straight from the restart with Bartrip playing Naz through with a long ball. Naz hesitated and went wide of the goal, Naz did manage to get cross the ball in but Quinn was able to get the ball out for Birmingham before Tottenham won the ball again and got the ball back into the Birmingham box which found Naz but headed wide as a good opportunity was wasted.

Tottenham found themselves in another good position to take the lead in the 23rd minute when some lovely play by Naz found Clemaron who played through Simon but Simon also hesitated and her effort was blocked as another good chance was wasted. Tottenham tried to find their feet but was finding it hard to break down a well organised Birmingham defence. Birmingham was the better side in the first 40 minutes, except for a couple of half-chances for both sides, neither team was able to trouble the keepers. 

Photo @spurswomen Twitter.

Tottenham could have grabbed an opener in the 42nd minute when a Bartrip corner found Zadorksy at the back post but her header was just wide of Ramsey’s left-hand post. Birmingham finished the half the strongest as they regained control in the final few minutes of the half. They piled on the pressure and tried to grab a goal before the break but a well organised Tottenham defence was able to keep out the Birmingham attack before the first half came to an end.

Second Half.

Tottenham made two changes at halftime with Harrop and Summanen coming on for Simon and Schnaderbeck. Tottenham came out in the second half like a new team and the substitutions had an immediate effect. Tottenham gained control of the game and in the 52nd minute, Tottenham came close to getting the opener when Ale broke down the right-wing, she managed to get her cross into the Birmingham box but Williams somehow missed the header from point-blank range. Birmingham had calls for a penalty turned down two minutes later when Clemaron and Quinn seemed to come together in the Tottenham box but the referee waved play on despite protests from the Birmingham players. Tottenham came close again in the 59th player after passing the ball around looking for an opening. Summanen and Ale played some wonderful football, before playing Percival through one on one but Ramsey was quick off her line to deny Tottenham an opener.

Tottenham finally got their breakthrough in the 65th minute when Percival and Bartrip played a one-two from the corner, Bartrip found Naz with a pass who centred into the Birmingham box. Percival missed the header while Ramsey misjudged the cross before Neville turned in the loose ball to put Tottenham ahead. Tottenham came close to a second 2 minutes later when a Harrop cross found Summanen but she could direct her diving header as Ramsey made an easy save. Tottenham continued to pile on the pressure and in the 69th minute, Tottenham again came close. A Bartrip corner was hit by Williams but her effort was cleared off the line. Summanen latched onto the loose ball but her thunderous shot hit the Birmingham bar as Tottenham looked for a second.

Photo @spurswomen Twitter.

Tottenham should have had a second in the 72nd minute after Naz broke down the wing and crossed deep into the Birmingham box, the ball was missed by everyone but Neville managed to get a touch at the back post but her effort somehow went wide of Ramsey’s right-hand post. Tottenham continued to dominate the game and should have had a 2nd in the 81st minute after Harrop broke away and shot from distance, Ramsey made a good save, the loose ball came to Neville but her effort went wide as she was unable to turn in the loose ball. Tottenham came straight at Birmingham as Naz broke for Tottenham, she found Neville with a pass but Ramsey and the post somehow kept the ball out as Tottenham was awarded a corner. Tottenham finally got a second 6 minutes from time when a Neville cross was touched by Williams to Percival who tapped in from close range to give Tottenham a second. Birmingham protested for offside but the goal was given as Tottenham sealed all 3 points before the game was brought to an end.

Photo @spurswomen Twitter.

Player of the match.

Summanen had a fantastic 45 minutes and made a huge difference to how Tottenham played but we have to give our player of the match to Neville for getting the opener for Tottenham and coming close to bagging a couple more for our Lilywhites.

Photo: Tottenham Hotspur.

Post match analysis.

This match was certainly the opposite of last weeks match against Brighton. We always knew that Birmingham was going to be tough especially as they are fighting for survival. Once again the biggest problem for Tottenham this season is goals, goals, goals, too many opportunities are being missed by the front line once again. We feel that Skinner got the lineup wrong, Summanen should have started alongside Percival and Clemaron, Tang should have started in place of Naz. But credit goes to Birmingham who had a game plan and stuck to it and caused our Lilywhite a lot of problems in the first half.

We once again saw a game of two halves, Birmingham was the better side in the first half but the introduction of Harrop and Summanen made a huge difference. Summanen was all over the pitch and was unlucky to not have gotten a goal. Tottenham looked like a new team in the second half and finally was able to break down Birmingham and dominate the game. We saw in the second half the lineup that should be starting weekly. Tang didn’t get much playing time once again but should be starting for Tottenham otherwise we can’t see her extending her loan deal.

After what has been a tough start to the year, its good Tottenham have been able to get two wins before the international break. Tottenham now sits in third place before facing Reading away in a couple of weeks. We hope Tottenham have gotten their confidence back and can continue in their winning ways. We are looking forward to seeing Tottenham take on Reading in March and hope they can take all three points before facing City and Chelsea in two tough WSL matches that can decide Tottenham’s Champions League fate. We believe, we have faith and will back this team until the end COME ON YOU SPURS!!!

Next game.

Tottenham will now be on a 2-week break as the sides break for an international break. Tottenham’s next match will take place on March 6th as Tottenham travel to Reading before welcoming Manchester City to the Hive on March 13th. Tickets for Manchester City and the remaining WSL home matches can be purchased at https://www.tottenhamhotspur.com/tickets/buy-tickets/women/match-tickets/. The game will also be shown live on BBC 2.

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Tottenaham vs Manchester City.

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