The overview for February is here! A few big games against Liverpool and Chelsea whilst some potential tough matches against Swansea and Newcastle don't make this an easy month at all, plus we have our Europa League 1st Knockout Round tie against Villarreal, and there are some massive results!
A potentially tough tie was negotiated really professionally by my players. Chadli, who wants to leave, still seems to be able to perform for us. In a game which we were very dominant, it was a Nathaniel Clyne cross that sealed us the win, we're getting good at holding a 1-0 lead until the last 10 minutes and they we get a goal on the break.
Newcastle 0-3 Tottenham (Eriksen 13' Kane 29' Lamela 51')
A 3-0 scoreline flattered us completely. We relied on Hugo Lloris massively to A) keep a clean sheet and B) win. We were opened up too many times, but fortunately for us, so were Newcastle. All three goals were pretty simple finished but the movement from the front four was really pleasing to see, and Newcastle's inability to pick them up meant we were able to create chances.
Tottenham 1-1 Liverpool (Yarmolenko 25' | Balotelli pen 23')
This was so frustrating. We dominated the play, and Liverpool who set up with just one striker (Balotelli) in a 4-3-3, I assigned Chiriches to mark him the whole game, and he managed one chance, a ****** penalty. To be fair, it was a goal saving challenge, which didn't really save a goal. However, an excellent goal from Yarmolenko earned us a point. Mignolet was absolutely epic this game, something you don't hear very often.
Europa League: Villarreal 2-3 Tottenham (Moreno 36', 78' | Yarmolenko pen 13' Chiriches 19' Kane 69')
This game annoyed me so much. At 2-0 we were in complete control, but the game opened up and we lost all control. I thought we had the two goal advantage sealed with Kane's goal with 20 minutes left, but some very sloppy defending allowed Moreno a second. The thing that really infuriated me was that they played 80 minutes with ten men. Three away goals and the victory is a bonus.
Chelsea 0-5 Tottenham (Yarmolenko 9' Lamela 34', 45' Kaboul 42' Townsend 85')
Wow. I don't even know what happened here, but it was **** good. Our set piece threat was just incredible, but our front four were so damaging again, and Mourinho's notorious defensive strength was nowhere to be seen. Again the roaming of the attacking force overwhelmed the opposition, and Lloris had very little to do, seeing Kaboul score was also a joy to behold.
Tottenham 3-1 Villarreal (Lamela 9' Kane 36' Eriksen 72' | dos Santos 56')
Boy Villarreal are stubborn, but we were just too strong for them. The 2-0 lead at half-time was key, we had to be aggressive and take the game to them. dos Santos made things very nervy but an Eriksen free-kick sealed things for us, and set up a 2nd Knockout Round tie with Inter Milan.
What an incredible month for us, I could never have expected an unbeaten month especially with Chelsea away. We were extremely professional (and perhaps lucky) in the games we were expected to win. I'm happy to be through to the next round of the Europa League, and I really am aiming to win that. The win against Chelsea will probably be the highlight of this years FM for me, I rarely see teams go to Stamford Bridge in the first season and win 5-0. Next month sees us play all bottom half opposition and our Europa League tie against Inter. Also, being 5th in the league is incredible after we were bottom before my first league game, quite a meteoric rise.
This was probably the most important month for us, we needed to get as many wins as possible in our push for a Champions League spot, mainly so we can keep Eriksen! Even if we fail to get the Champions League, we could probably get a lot for Eriksen, and Maxim isn't a terrible replacement. We also have our second knockout round tie in the Europa League against Inter, massive.
Tottenham 2-1 Aston Villa (Kane 16' 22' | Delph 31')
I know we won and that's brilliant blah blah blah but this was terribly frustrating. We absolutely battered them yet we could only win 2-1. Harry Kane's early double meant we were always in control but a Fabian Delph screamer got Villa back in the game. Fortunately, they offered very little creative threat and we were able to see it out, but we really should have had 8.
A win is nice but again it's only by one goal, and in this competition, against a team like Inter, one goal isn't always enough. It was an open game and both sides should have scored three. So I'm happy to win and I'm even happier to see Kane continue his rich vein of form.
I honestly think this was the one game where we have been completely outplayed, yet we still won; and we have Hugo Lloris to thank for that. He was absolutely outstanding and I can't believe Southampton weren't able to score. Harry Kane didn't score this game, but we all know Lamela knows where the goal is, and he found it today, a solid 3 points, but a disappointing defensive performance overall.
Europa League: Inter Milan 2-0 Tottenham (AET) (2-1) (Hernanes 19' Icardi 109')
****. Our last chance of a trophy has gone and I can't say we didn't deserve it. Inter outplayed us on the day and we did well to take it to extra time. I was hoping we could hold out for penalties as I never really thought with the way we were playing that we could get a goal. The disappointing thing is that Icardi's goal came from a terrible Eriksen corner. Winning the Europa League would have meant a place in the Champions League, but now we have to rely totally on our league form.
Tottenham 2-0 Leicester
(Chiriches 69' Lacazette 84)
Boy this game made me nervous. Our horrendous finishing was just horrible to watch, Kane could have had a hat-trick and eventually I replaced him. The ever dependable Vlad Chiriches grabbed himself another goal, and Lacazette sealed the win 5 minutes from time. It's nice to see him score, and a decent win kept us in the hunt for a Champions League spot.
Again our league form was excellent, winning all of our games, even though Southampton should have battered us. The one disappointment was failing to qualify for the quarter finals of the Europa League. However, as you can see we're well in the mix for 4th place, If we can win 6 of our last 8 then I think we can get that Champions League spot, which will be a massive turnaround when you compare us to where we were on the 6th November.
Loving the idea of holidaying and taking over someone stuck in 19th. Could have ended up with Burnley or something!!! Great idea though and top season, shame you wont bag a trophy but sets nicely for next season
Sorry for the massive delay on this guys. I've had absolutely loads of uni work to do the past week but I've got a pretty free weekend, so there will definitely be an update out this evening, and then hopefully one Sunday night.