The new White Hart Lane hosted its first ever Champions League semi-final as Tottenham Hotpsur welcomed Ajax for the first leg. A momentous occasion for Spurs; although it didn’t end on a happy note as Ajax nicked a crucial away goal en route their 1-0 win on the night.
For most of the first half, Tottenham rarely threatened as Ajax dominated the ball, attacking from the get-go. All their attacking exploits paid dividends as they took the lead thanks to Donny van de Beek slotting home on the 15th minute after constant Dutch pressure and Spurs failing to settle into the game.
We can debate squad depth all night long but the most shocking part was the lack of desire and effort from the side in the first half.
Danny Rose aside, no one played the first 30 mins like it was a Champions League semi-final.
— The Spurs Express (@TheSpursExpress) April 30, 2019
The fans were quick to point out that Danny Rose seemed to be the only player putting a shift in the game. Rose’s performance gathered many plaudits for his defensive solidarity and attacking threat.
Fans on social media praised the English left-back’s show on the night, as for most parts of the game, it looked like he was single-handedly taking on Ajax. In their eyes, he was undoubtedly Spurs’ man of the match in a game where Spurs didn’t look like their usual outfit.
Besides the Englishman, the other player who stood out for Tottenham was Moussa Sissoko.
The Frenchman came on in the second half and aided Rose and Spurs as they looked the better team in the second half, but their efforts ultimately went in vain.
As a neutral fan, two standouts for me tonight from Spurs:
Danny Rose having a great game defensively and making great runs
Sissoko has came on and changed Ajax’s gameplay, they’ve struggled to play from deep as they were beforehand
— #GoalDiggersPodcast (@GoalDiggersUK) April 30, 2019
Regardless, Spurs’ overall performance was one to forget as they registered just one shot on goal in the entire game.
The absence of Kane and the suspension of Son seemed to have hurt them in an offensive sense.
With Son returning for the second leg and a place in the final still to play for, Tottenham fans will be hoping for more players to put in performances like Danny Rose did, as they hope to come up trumps against Ajax at the Johan Cruyff Arena in a weeks time.