Match report: Tottenham Hotspur 2 Hull City 0

May 17, 2015

Mark Sellers reports on the penultimate game of the season, with much the usual story to tell.

So as this largely miserable season draws to its conclusion City supporters made the final away trip of the year to White Hart Lane. The pre-match discussions down the Seven Sisters Road were dominated by Friday’s unwelcome revelation that Jake Livermore had failed a drugs test after the Palace match. This latest piece of “whatever next” news must have exasperated the manager as much as the fans, and obviously forced his hand in the team selection with Meyler replacing Livermore and Jelavic coming in for Aluko. Otherwise the side was unchanged in personnel and formation from the eleven that started against Burnley.

The game kicked off in bright sunshine and City had the lion’s share of the opening possession with Elmohamady making a number of forays down the right. Spurs strolled around, but aside from a chance on 15 minutes when Dier put his header wide, Harper’s goal was relatively unthreatened.

City’s pressure continued and Jelavic has two great chances in as many minutes. The first on 18 minutes came from a poor Spurs clearance, which fell to N’Doye who whipped the ball across the box. Jelavic was in loads of space, but got underneath the header and put it way over the bar. Two minutes later Elmohamady crossed the ball and again found Jelavic unmarked in the same position as before. This time he strikes it cleanly but the ball crashes against the bar.

On 29 minutes a jinking run from Christian Eriksen had the City defence back peddling, and his well-weighted lay-off found Harry Kane free in the box. He seemed to be caught in two minds though as his cross-cum-shot rolled weakly across the City goal.

The response from City was good as another ball in from Elmohamady found Jelavic again on 39 minutes. This time a spectacular overhead kick from the Croatian sailed over the bar.

Spurs had more of the pressure in the closing stages of the first half with Lamela missing the target from close range. News also filtered through that Newcastle had gone a goal up. Not that any of this dampened the enthusiasm of the away support, which was in excellent voice throughout the game backing the team to the full.

The second half started with more City possession and series of corners, all of which City are unable to covert into goals. It’s beginning to feel like犀利士
“one of those days”. And then on 54 minutes Spurs break the deadlock. A cleverly disguised pass from Lamela finds Chadli in the box who rounds Harper to score. Then just after the hour mark they strike again as Mason lobs the ball over the City defence for Rose to beat the offside trap and volley the ball into the roof of the net.

Hernandez replaces Jelavic and on 72 minutes is involved with N’Doye is a game of goal mouth pinball but neither can get the ball in the net, and eventually N’Doye steers the ball wide.

From then on the game peters out, Spurs having done enough, and City ending the day with more of a whimper than a bang.

After three added minutes the final whistle was blown, and the only crumb of comfort for the exiting City fans was that QPR had beaten Newcastle. This leaves City having to beat Manchester United in the last game of the season (and Newcastle not winning) to avoid the drop. Stranger things have happened in football, but it’s not looking good.

The performance was something we’ve seen far too much of this season, City having chance after chance but not putting them away. As before, it came back to bite them. None of the strikers that played had a good game, and only Elmohamady, Quinn and Brady left the field with any real credit.

The next City squad to make a trip to the capital could well be made up of very different in personnel – whether the destination is Griffin Park or The Valley as opposed to Stamford Bridge or the Emirates will be decided in a week’s time.

 

Tottenham Hotspur

  • 01 Lloris
  • 15 Dier
  • 21 Fazio
  • 05 Vertonghen
  • 03 Rose Booked
  • 38 Mason Booked (Stambouli – 79′ )
  • 42 Bentaleb Booked
  • 11 Lamela
  • 23 Eriksen (Dembélé – 58′ )
  • 22 Chadli
  • 18 Kane (Soldado – 90′ )

Substitutes

  • 08 Paulinho
  • 09 Soldado
  • 12 Yedlin
  • 13 Vorm
  • 17 Townsend
  • 19 Dembélé
  • 25 Stambouli

 

Hull City

  • 22 Harper
  • 05 Chester
  • 21 Dawson
  • 15 McShane
  • 27 Elmohamady
  • 07 Meyler Booked
  • 08 Huddlestone (Robertson – 71′ )
  • 29 Quinn
  • 11 Brady
  • 28 N’Doye
  • 18 Jelavic (Hernández – 62′ )

Substitutes

  • 01 McGregor
  • 02 Rosenior
  • 04 Bruce
  • 09 Hernández
  • 20 Sagbo
  • 24 Aluko
  • 26 Robertson

Ref: Anthony Taylor

Att: 35,857

 

Mark Sellers @mrmarksellers