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Author Archive for David Hytner at Wembley

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Fernando Llorente off the mark for Tottenham in stroll against Apoel

It has taken a while – 17 appearances, to be precise – but Fernando Llorente is up and running as a Tottenham Hotspur goalscorer. The summer signing from Swansea City has been used mainly as a substitute by Mauricio Pochettino but, given a starting opp…

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Fernando Llorente off the mark for Tottenham in stroll against Apoel

It has taken a while – 17 appearances, to be precise – but Fernando Llorente is up and running as a Tottenham Hotspur goalscorer. The summer signing from Swansea City has been used mainly as a substitute by Mauricio Pochettino but, given a starting opp…

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Be cautious with Harry Kane, Mauricio Pochettino urges England

• Striker substituted as precaution in Tottenham’s win over Crystal Palace• Dele Alli ruled out of England games, while Harry Winks is doubtfulMauricio Pochettino has urged Gareth Southgate to handle Harry Kane with care during the upcoming internation…

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Son Heung-min strike seals Tottenham laboured win over Crystal Palace

Roy Hodgson turned on his heel and marched back towards the bench. The Crystal Palace manager’s stony-faced fury told the story. Football can be the cruellest of pursuits and how Hodgson felt it shortly after the hour mark here at Wembley.His Palace te…

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Christian Eriksen sinks Bournemouth for Spurs’ first Wembley league win

The Harry Kane team could be grateful to Christian Eriksen. Tottenham Hotspur – to give them the name that the Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola, contentiously did not – were desperate for a first Premier League win at Wembley; no title challenge …

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Tottenham thankful for Dele Alli winner to see off Barnsley at quiet Wembley

It was an unusual vibe, with the stadium containing 23,926 supporters, and Mauricio Pochettino having made it plain the Carabao Cup was a long way down his trophy wishlist. But Tottenham Hotspur will continue in the competition after Dele Alli found a way to break Barnsley’s resistance midway through the second half.

There is seemingly no way to keep the 21-year-old out of the limelight, whether for good or, sometimes, bad and he was on hand to shoot low past Adam Davies from close range for his third goal of the campaign.

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Harry Kane, fortune and fortitude help Tottenham dispatch Dortmund

The Wembley hoodoo struck again. Borussia Dortmund simply cannot get things to go their way at the home of English football. For long spells during this Champions League thriller, they weaved their patterns and stretched Tottenham Hotspur to breaking point.

Mauricio Pochettino’s team did not crack. Harry Kane did not crack. And Spurs rode their luck, with Dortmund complaining that Kane’s goal for 2-1 should not have stood because of a foul on Nuri Sahin and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang seeing what would have been an equaliser for 2-2 wrongly ruled out for offside.

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José Mourinho lauds Zlatan Ibrahimovic display and praises Southampton

• Mourinho says Ibrahimovic ‘won the game for us because he was outstanding’
• Ibrahimovic on EFL Cup victory: ‘This is what I came for – to win, and I am’

José Mourinho watched Zlatan Ibrahimovic snatch what he admitted was a slightly undeserved EFL Cup final victory against Southampton and he joked that Manchester United’s supporters ought to camp outside the striker’s house to persuade him to sign on for another season at the club.

United led at Wembley through goals from Ibrahimovic and Jesse Lingard before Southampton’s new signing, Manolo Gabbiadini, hit back with two goals of his own. Gabbiadini, who joined at the end of January from Napoli for €17m, had seen an 11th‑minute effort wrongly disallowed for offside.

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Southampton’s Manolo Gabbiadini grabs the limelight but is denied final glory | David Hytner

The new signing continued his rich vein of scoring form but defensive frailty cost Saints dear as Manchester United won the League Cup final 3-2

Manolo Gabbiadini probably does not know too much about the late Bobby Stokes, who became one of Southampton’s greatest heroes after scoring against Manchester United in a Wembley showpiece. That was in the FA Cup final of 1976, when Stokes conjured the only goal of the game to secure the club’s first piece of major silverware.

Gabbiadini did everything within his power to update those old images; to reacquaint the club with that glorious feeling and his performance was the outstanding facet of a gripping EFL Cup final. The January signing from Napoli scored twice to haul his team back from 2-0 down and the arguments would rage long into the night as to why he had another one chalked off, wrongly, for offside in the 11th minute.

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Tottenham fluff their lines against Gent and head for Europa League exit

When the full-time whistle sounded on a pulsating, madcap Europa League occasion, Mauricio Pochettino turned on his heel, avoided contact with anybody – friend or foe – and marched briskly off down the tunnel. In metaphorical terms at least, the steam was blasting from the Tottenham Hotspur manager’s ears.

This had been billed as the occasion when Spurs would erase the shoddiness of their first-leg defeat in Ghent and make a statement in European competition. Instead, it became one filled with recrimination and no little embarrassment because make no mistake, a club with Tottenham’s ambitions must be capable of disposing of opposition as modest as this.

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Dele Alli breathes life into Tottenham to give them a Wembley win against CSKA

There was more at stake for Tottenham Hotspur than securing their place in the last 32 of the Europa League in February – the merits of which continue to feel a little dubious – and Mauricio Pochettino knew it. How else could his team selection have been explained?

The starting XI that he sent out was stronger than that which he had named in the previous Champions League tie away against Monaco, when the club’s hopes had been on the line. This time, Kyle Walker and Jan Vertonghen played, rather than Kieran Trippier and Kevin Wimmer – although Mousa Dembélé was rested. Christian Eriksen started and he excelled.

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Mauricio Pochettino ‘embarrassed’ by Tottenham Hotspur’s Wembley form

• Manager hits out at players and says ‘something must be wrong’
• 1-0 defeat against Bayer Leverkusen leaves Spurs’ hopes in balance

Mauricio Pochettino said that Tottenham had to win their remaining Champions League group ties, against Monaco and CSKA Moscow, if they were not to say “bye-bye” to the competition, as he nursed what he described as an “embarrassing” feeling after the 1-0 defeat against Bayer Leverkusen at Wembley on Wednesday night.

Related: Mauricio Pochettino seeks improved mentality from Tottenham strikers

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Bayer Leverkusen’s Kevin Kampl takes advantage of out-of-sorts Tottenham

When Charles Aránguiz struck for goal midway through the second half everything seemed to lapse into slow-motion. It was Tottenham Hotspur’s misfortune the ball deflected first off Ben Davies and then off Kyle Walker to fall perfectly for Kevin Kampl. The Bayer Leverkusen midfielder took one touch before he swept it low past Hugo Lloris from close-range.

This was no streaky Leverkusen success. They had a plan to stifle Tottenham which they executed to perfection and it was the Bundesliga team who had the best of the limited crop of chances. Not for the first time in recent weeks Tottenham failed to click in an attacking sense and it was difficult to remember Bernd Leno being truly extended in the Leverkusen goal.

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Mauricio Pochettino furious at lack of Tottenham passion in Monaco defeat

• Manager fumes at defensive lapses that handed Monaco two goals
• ‘We cannot concede how we did and we need to be more aggressive’

Mauricio Pochettino said his Tottenham Hotspur players had to show “more hunger” and a “different image” as he lamented the defensive lapses that triggered the 2-1 Champions League defeat by Monaco at Wembley. The manager was furious at both of the concessions, which left his team 2-0 down after 31 minutes and with too much to do, and he suggested that they had been caused by a lack of aggression, intensity and focus.

Related: Tottenham lure record crowd to Wembley but Monaco spoil the party

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Quique Sánchez Flores faces uncertain future after Watford succumb

The manager is under scrutiny from the club’s owners because of their poor league form and a disappointing defeat at Wembley to Crystal Palace

Survival was the order of the season for Watford, with this FA Cup semi‑final jaunt to Wembley merely a cherished, if ultimately disappointing, bonus. For Quique Sánchez Flores, though, the notion has been turned on its head. One of the principal plot‑lines for what is now left of Watford’s season will concern the survival of the manager. Flores might have helped the club to ensure their Premier League position for next season. His own is rather less certain.

Gino Pozzo, the Watford owner, was in the posh seats at the national stadium and he looked inscrutable whenever the cameras picked him out, even after Troy Deeney had used his strength and sheer determination to find the equaliser on 55 minutes. But Pozzo and his family are known to be alarmed at Watford’s downturn since the heights of the marvellous home win against Liverpool on 20 December, which had the club in seventh place. Since then, the team has won three and drawn four of 17 league matches.

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Reading’s Adam Federici backed by Steve Clarke after gift to Arsenal

• Distraught goalkeeper’s extra-time error led to defeat in FA Cup semi-final
• ‘We stick by him. We don’t lose because of Adam,’ says manager
• Paul Wilson’s match report: Reading 1-2 Arsenal Continue reading…




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Chelsea old guard triumph but Spurs academy talent point to future

Tottenham home-grown Harry Kane, Ryan Mason, Andros Townsend and Nabil Bentaleb form fascinating sub-plot in Capital One Cup final
• Match report: Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham

Tottenham Hotspur have one of their own, as you might have heard their supporters sing. Harry Kane has emerged as the club’s home-grown hero. But the broader picture is that they have four. It was a remarkable but prominent sub-plot of this Capital One Cup final that Mauricio Pochettino’s starting XI contained not only Kane but Ryan Mason, Andros Townsend and Nabil Bentaleb – a quartet who have come up through the Tottenham academy.

It added a layer of romance to the occasion – the band of brothers who are living the dream, and the thought occurred that any Tottenham triumph might feel even sweeter because of it. This, however, was not an occasion for the fairytale; rather Chelsea’s ruthless savvy, as epitomised by the captain, John Terry, Diego Costa and, of course, José Mourinho.

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Chelsea old guard triumph but Spurs academy talent point to future

Tottenham home-grown Harry Kane, Ryan Mason, Andros Townsend and Nabil Bentaleb form fascinating sub-plot in Capital One Cup final
• Match report: Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham

Tottenham Hotspur have one of their own, as you might have heard their supporters sing. Harry Kane has emerged as the club’s home-grown hero. But the broader picture is that they have four. It was a remarkable but prominent sub-plot of this Capital One Cup final that Mauricio Pochettino’s starting XI contained not only Kane but Ryan Mason, Andros Townsend and Nabil Bentaleb – a quartet who have come up through the Tottenham academy.

It added a layer of romance to the occasion – the band of brothers who are living the dream, and the thought occurred that any Tottenham triumph might feel even sweeter because of it. This, however, was not an occasion for the fairytale; rather Chelsea’s ruthless savvy, as epitomised by the captain, John Terry, Diego Costa and, of course, José Mourinho.

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Roy Hodgson backs wasteful Wayne Rooney to reach England landmark

Rooney scored one but could have had more at Wembley Joe Hart was mockingly made man of the match Match report: England 5-0 San Marino Barney Ronay: Rooney nears record on damp night Continue reading…

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England 5-0 San Marino: five talking points from Wembley

Substitutes made a difference, Rooney neared the record books, the Gunners had a good night and the crowd deserve credit Continue reading…