Another weekend of football has come and gone, and I’m glad this game turned out just as everyone hoped, and expected.
We were at home again on Saturday, facing an already relegated Huddersfield side who were on track to becoming one of the worst teams statistically in premier league history. Nothing less than a win would do, and a win is exactly what the boys got.
The lineup was much changed from our XI that played and beat Manchester City in midweek, thinking ahead to the reverse leg on Wednesday. Hugo started in goal, which was expected as always. Toby, Trippier and Rose were all rested, with our defence consisting of a back three, Sanchez, Jan and Foyth, with Walker-Peters and Davies as our wing-backs. Winks dropped out, with what looks like another injury, hopefully it won’t be for too long but he won’t be facing City on Wednesday. We played Sissoko and the newly-returned Wanyama in midfield, with Lucas, Eriksen and Llorente leading the line, Son also dropping to the bench. It was a, quote-on-quote, ‘weakened side’, but should’ve been plenty good enough to beat Huddersfield.
Whilst the opening 22 minutes were rather slow, but dominant, with us enjoying 88% of possession in the opening 15 alone. We broke and increased the deadlock in quick succession, in the 24th and 27th minute respectively. Victor Wanyama calmly rounding the goalkeeper for the first, to get his first goal since his thunderbolt striker at Anfield last season. Lucas Moura quickly added another, smashing the ball into the bottom right corner after Sissoko played him in. We carried on controlling the ball and got to half time with a two goal cushion, and by then it felt over. Just to keep a clean sheet and maybe add on another would be a good day. And that we did.
The game looked like it was going to finish 2-0, until all the way until the 87th minute, when Lucas added another to his tally, latching onto Eriksen’s cross in. Another good finish from the Brazilian. And then, another bit of history added yet again, with the first hat-trick scored in our new stadium, Lucas adding his third, and completing the hat-trick in the 93rd minute and getting our first in a while. Actually the first different player outside of Harry Kane to score three since the great Gareth Bale. And that was that! A good 4-0 win, another important three points at a crucial point in the season, and yet another clean sheet in the new stadium!
Moving onto the champions league on Wednesday, it is a massive game! And if that wasn’t bad enough, we have to play Man City again on the Saturday lunchtime. I don’t know which one I would rather win, you’d have to say the league because we’d love to be in the Champions League next season. Whilst we have to go away to the Etihad to face one of the best teams in England, we have rested some of our key players which could be important. Hopefully Dele is ready to play, and Wanyama can step up in the absence of Winks. Toby, Tripps, Rose and Son all got rests and could all play big parts in the game. I think we can go through, but will have to play well from minute one, as they’ll attack us from that point. If we don’t, then I think we can also afford to lose on Saturday, providing we can win all our remaining games. I have faith in the lads and I hope we can use these two wins, and our great start in the stadium to finish the season strongly.
As always thanks for reading.