A mixed day at the Tottenham Stadium for the Leipzig game.
Spurs 0 Leipzig 1
I ended the day being optimistic (actually, I started the day the same way), yes, we lost, but I thought there were some positives. If it wasn’t for the clumsy tackle in the penalty area, we could have got away with a draw. Before the game, I predicted we would win either 1-0 or 2-1. We didn’t, but we didn’t disgrace ourselves as we did against Bayern Munich. It is still all to play for.
Even though they had most of the possession, we kept battling along. And we missed quite a few fair chances. It isn’t over, and I can understand that they will think they’ve got it in the bag, but just remember Ajax.
I thought it was a mixed day, I had a good time, but such results put a dampener on more positive parts of the day (before and after). That is why I say it was a mixed day, but then you can’t have everything.
I got to the ground early (3ish) because I was meeting a good friend who was going to live in Australia (Martin), he was joined by another friend, Jerome. We had a coffee at Costa’s down the High Road, towards the North Circular, northward. I owe Martin a lot, if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t have met so many lovely Spurs supporters. After a joyous chinwag, I left them at 4.30 to walk back to my car, I say walked, more hobbled. In the car, I needed to pick up a book, Clive Allen’s autobiography, as I wanted to get it signed by him.
Got through the security, picked up two programmes and then made my way upstairs. As I was going up the escalators I spied Clive, he was eating his dinner with Paul Allen, Graham Roberts, John Pratt and a few others in the restaurant on the second floor. He said he would come and find me during the evening and sign the book. So I went back upstairs, got myself a drink (orange) as I am trying to lose weight, and a couple of sandwiches (fish finger ones… this isn’t twisted humour here!). The others arrived, along with the lovely Premium ladies, Latisha and Shannyn and we chatted/ bantered for a while. Funnily enough, and unusually, the topic was on Caroline Flack. Her death, the rights or wrongs of cyber pulling etc. And then we moved on to my Valentine’s dinner at the H Club and Tottenham Experience tour with Hanna.
Graham Roberts popped over, and I asked him to remind Allen about the book. Which he said he would.
As I sat in my seat, I looked over at the German supporters and saw that they were vocally in full throttle (and of course all the flag-waving). And the game hadn’t even started yet. Then the ceremonies began, and before you knew it, we were off.
They had more shots than us, but we were equal on target (5 each). They fouled us more. But then again, they are German (i.e. a robust playing style).
So, yes, we face a gruelling task to keep our Champions League hopes alive after our defeat at home, by the East German side in the first leg of their last-16 tie, but it can be done. Be positive that is my motto… besides, what else have we got left? Oh, yes, the FA Cup and maybe a fourth spot. But let us not jump the gun yet. We are still in the Champions League (just!).
A masterclass from our goalkeeper Hugo Lloris that gave us hope for the second leg in Germany, keeping Leipzig at bay with a string of outstanding saves before he was beaten by Timo Werner's 58th-minute penalty. Lloris turned Angelino's shot on to the bar and saved from Werner inside the first minute, later denying the striker once more from point-blank range. Nevertheless, he was helpless to stop Werner's spot-kick after Ben Davies fouled Konrad Laimer but kept Spurs in it with a crucial block from Patrik Schick.
After the break, we had chances of our own, with Leipzig keeper Peter Gulacsi turning Giovani Lo Celso's free-kick on to the post and Lucas Moura heading over from close range.
Now we must put all that behind us and concentrate on the Chelsea game on Saturday. Think positive, think Tottenham. To Dare is to Do, as we say. COYS!
In the interval, we (that is Beverley, Mel and myself) usually sit in one of the restaurants, as others do, but this time around they got stroppy as we hadn’t ordered a meal, so we shouldn’t have been there. But since we’ve been going to the new stadium, there never has been an issue before. It seems that after letting us settle down – that is from first going to the stadium until now – they are imposing new rules or changing things. They know they’ve got a captured audience. What else can we do, other than going along with what they say?
I have noticed subtle changes to how they operate. I presume it was more carefree because they didn’t want to spook us at first. It is all subliminal… gradual by gradual.
Anyway, after the game, I went to the second floor with Tim, Liz and Beverely (for a short time, as she was meeting Rick downstairs). Eventually, Tim and Liz left, and I was on my own. So Graham Roberts joined me with his two grandchildren. We sat and chatted for a while. No Clive Allen at this time. Then the announcement came over the speakers that they were shutting up shop. I hung around until I saw Clive Allen. Paul Allen was with him. He signed the book and then I got some pictures taken with Clive, the book and myself. Photographer was Paul Allen (he kindly offered to take it for me). Then a long journey home. And like always, especially at that time of night, detours because parts of the motorway were closed or the speed was limited. But I live to fight another day. It could be worse, I could have been born an Arsenal supporter and experienced real depression… be thankful for small murphies, I say.
By Glenn Renshaw