Last time I try and tell Harry Redknapp what to do. I kept thinking all match about Peter Crouch and how he should be coming off the bench at around the 60th-70th minute. He’s much more effective that way. Oops. Peter Crouch scored the only goal in Tottenham’s 1-0 win over AC Milan at the San Siro. It was more of Aaron Lennon’s brilliance and pace that created the goal, but tapping in from 12 yards takes some degree of skill.
Tottenham were the better side during the first half, with the game going through Lennon and Van der Vaart every time, keeping the Milan defense on its heels. Things changed in the second half as the home side became much more aggressive and even violent (Flamini with a terrible two legged slide on Corluka) without a proper reaction from the ref. Milan sent more players forward and Mario Yepes, their Colombian centre back, tested Gomes twice with fantastic headers, dealt with brilliantly. On pretty much the first counter attack Tottenham managed to create, finally getting the ball to Lennon, leading to the 80th minute goal.
Harry Redknapp acknoweledged his defense first and most. Gomes with a responsible and confident display but above everyone else was Michael Dawson, not letting Zlatan Ibrahimovic create anything for Milan. Zlatan is pretty much the entire Milan attack, especially when Pirlo isn’t playing. He’s the only who creates chances. There’s no creativity in the midfield – just two bullies – Flamini and Gattuso, who both should have been sent off. Gattuso seems to hit, push and pretty much do whatever he wants, knowing that red card won’t be coming. I really hope UEFA deal with this player who had nothing to do with football this evening.
Tottenham showed they’re not all about offense this evening. The team did push in the first half but defended wisely in the second half, enjoying Milan stagnant and obvious style, which really means hoping Ibra puts his genius hat and makes something happen. Not starting with Pato wasn’t wise as well. Seedorf just messed up every time he touched the ball, and Milan work much better when there are three forwards on. But they need some spark. Be it Pirlo or a much better night from Seedorf. Tottenham have a huge advantage going into the second leg in London (Bale also returning), but don’t count Milan out yet. The right tweaks, and they can get the result they need to make up for their 0-1 home defeat.
And Gattuso wasn’t finished with Joe Jordan, going for the kill after the final whistle.