Spurs put in a brilliant performance tonight, one completely un-reminiscent of the Spurs I've come to know and love since I was a teenager. They needed to bring their A game and play with focus and intensity tonight, and they did just that. Not a single starter for Spurs had a poor game, although Gomes went unchallenged and injured himself anyway. Young Boys obviously made shutting down Aaron Lennon their #1 priority, and as a result, the other players on the pitch were able to shine.
The match will be most remembered for Peter Crouch's brilliant performance. He rarely lost a header and when he did, it was because he was fouled. His hat trick was capped off by a well taken penalty kick after two headed goals. You can teach a player technical skills and tactical acumen, but you can't teach 6'7".
Gareth Bale was credited with all four assists as he gave Crouch a run for his money for man of the match. As good as Bale and Crouch look on the stat sheet, Huddlestone and King were just as good. Neither fullback made a mistake, nor did Palacios. Lennon was very dangerous despite being the focal point of Young Boys' defense. Everyone did their job. It was a complete 180 from the performance in Bern.
I said two days ago that tactics wouldn't be the difference. They weren't. The better players came to play and outplayed inferior players. Jose Mourinho and Alex Ferguson couldn't have gotten Young Boys to defeat Spurs today. The team showed up in a big game and played to the best of their abilities under major pressure.
So, what's the scenario going forward in the Champions League? One of the other sites I write for, World Soccer Reader, was nice enough to post the information on tomorrow's Champions League draw. Here's what I really don't want to see and what I really want to see.
Worst Case Scenario:
Best Case Scenario:
Thankfully, Spurs are in the same pot as my other team in Europe, Schalke 04. Roma is the only team in Pot 2 that scares me, other than Real Madrid. I feel that Spurs are on par with or better than Werder, Marseille, Shakhtar Donetsk, Benfica, Valencia, and Panathinaikos. Rubin Kazan is the only team I fear in Pot 4.
That's all for now. Let's hope for the best. I'll have some kind of evaluation of our draw tomorrow.