Young Mac was complaining when he returned from his paper round on Thursday morning and had bought a copy of The Times to show what had annoyed him. Matt Hughes had rated the players of both sides and along with Modric and Pienaar with a mark of 5 this was the review given to Sandro; “Left out of Tottenham’s 25-man squad for the group stages, he looked out of his depth, giving the ball away frequently and conceding several needless free kicks as his side were overrun.”
We didn’t agree and I suggested that he look again at the skyplus to see how we – or maybe Matt – had gone wrong. Whilst there I suggested that he look at the Gomes display so that we could decide if we were overreacting to our concerns over our keeper. Here’s what occurred:
3.22 Gomes goal kick goes straight to Nesta, no Spurs player within 10 yards. He feeds Boateng who looks to find Seedorf. Cut out well by Sandro. Fast pas well stopped then distributed to Luka Modric.
7.23 Gomes takes a free kick, finds Crouch but foul on Nesta. Ball played forward Sandro slides in to intercept ball finds Van Der Vaart.
11.48 Ball forward Thayo Silver hits ball back into the Spurs half first time. Straight to Sandro who plays quick ball to Corluka to start a Spurs attack.
12.29 Boateng on the ball Sandro goes in for tackle but Boateng plays it before he got there and Sandro slips back into his position.
12.35 Abate on the wing, beats Pienaar looks to find Robinho but his pass is cut out from a slide by Sandro.
14.10 High ball to Ibrahimovic. He takes a touch but Sandro heads back to Gallas. Boot in the air nearly hits him in the face. Gallas back to Gomes who takes a first time goal kick. Awful kick straight to Dawson only just made it out of the box in the air. Dawson plays it back to him and Gomes volleys clear towards Lennon but it doesn’t reach him.
Boateng intercepts pass brings it forward and is fouled by Sandro. Foul in dangerous place but the replay shows no contact on KPB.
15.30 Ibrahimovic from the free kick Shot going in bottom corner good save from Gomes parries it away or a corner.
15.39 Sandro and Pato called up for tussling in the box. Ref has a word with them both.
15.55 Corner by Robinho. Boateng rises and heads goalwards. Gomes dives and holds onto the ball. Good save. Boateng penalised for climbing.
16.12 Free kick by Gomes. Lands straight onto Crouches head who gives it away. Ball over top cleared by Gallas.
16.17 Ball from Gallas, Sandro and Boateng go in for it. Sandro wins it but takes too big a first touch and ball becomes out of his control and into path of Robinho who plays it to Seedorf. He moves inside but Sandro puts in a sliding tackle to win the ball back.
17.24 Spurs lose ball upfield. Cleared upfield to Ibrahimovic. Sandro sprints back to take the ball fairly off him before playing the ball to Gallas. Commentators commend Sandro’s contribution.
18.45 Ball from Corluka to Sandro who tries to play a first time pass to Lennon. Given away. Ball goes to Robinho whose first touch is poor and Sandro wins it back and plays it to Luka.
21.38 Foul on Boateng by Lennon. No contact. Sandro pressuring him and I think he would have won the ball.
22.05 Free kick comes in. Crouch goes infront of Gomes who flaps at nothing. Ball goes to Pato whose first touch takes it away from him allowing Gomes to come and collect with no pressure.
23.10 Robinho shot. Sandro has a little nibble at Robinho who falls over ans appeals for a free kick. Nothing given.
24.50 Good goal kick from Gomes. Finds Crouch to Lennon who loses it. Played forward to Pato who is pressed by Gallas. Pato is going further away from goal. Gomes comes out to try and claim it. He dives and Pato eases it past him. Ball across the box to Robinho. Hits a shot onto Ekotto’s head and off the line by Gallas. Gomes is in no mans land. Commentators say awful decision by Gomes.
26.07 Ibrahimovic first touch is poor. Sandro comes in and wins it. Heads it back to Gomes who catches and kicks to Crouch.
26.35 Robinho on the ball. Sandro comes in and wins it. Robinho goes down dramatically claiming to have been hit in the face. Replay shows no facial contact was made. Free kick smashed miles over. Gomes takes goal kick which Crouch wins but is blown up for climbing.
30.35 Sandro rushes in and pressures Seedorf who pushes his kick and it just goes high in the air and Spurs win possession.
31.22 Robinho with the ball Sandro comes across and wins it.
31.38 Milan gets in behind Spurs, Pato with the shot Gomes saves and parries the ball into the middle of the box Gallas clears.
34.05 Boateng on the ball Sandro pressures. One two played with Jankolovski. Sandro still doesn’t give him room and Boateng is forced to play it back to Nesta.
41.20 Sandro picks up the ball. One touch and plays simple forward ball to Luka Modric.
41.36 Again Sandro puts Boateng under pressure. He can’t go anywhere but Sandro is judged to have fouled hm. Replay shows minimal contact.
45.40 Sandro loses header but Dawson wins back possession.
47.12 Abate gets inside Ekotto. Puts in a dangerous ball across the box. Sandro clears.
52.22 Sandro breaks down AC Milan attack. Plays it to Modric. Van Der Vaart to Lennon who plays a quick ball to Sandro. Silva comes across and tackles but Sandro wins it back playing it towards VdV who pushes it to Crouch who is adjudged to foul. Free kick to AC Milan.
56.30 Sandro tackles Boateng and starts an attack.
57.50 Flamini plays a ball towards Boateng. Sandro intercepts but poor distribution.
60.24 Modric to Sandro. He plays it first time to Gallas but it is a poor pass and Robinho attacks. Nothing comes from the chance.
64.42 Abates ball across. Gomes jumps and catches it. Attempts a quick throw out but it’s a poor one and Silva runs onto it to intercept although VdV doesn’t attack the ball. Attack and shot at Gomes, saved but a goalmouth scramble ensues. Gomes pushes it away into path of Flamini who shoots wide. Should have been calmer before throw. Gomes shouts at VdV commentator suggests he is living dangerously.
68.08 Gomes long throw finds Crouch who heads but it is given away.
73.19 Modric to Sandro. Hits him on the shin and comes back to Luka who returns it to Sandro who then finds Jenas.
76.35 Merkel’s ball into box diving header by Sandro to clear.
76.54 Pato shot just wide. Gomes 50/50 getting there as hit extremely hard. Milan fans think its in!
78.13 Sandro gets the ball just outside the box. Does a full 360 pivot looking for a pass and finds it in Corluka.
78.35 Gomes comes out and takes a catch under pressure from Ibrahimovic. Does well, little roll out to Benny.
81.49 Ball in the air Sandro cushions a header back to Corluka.
82.31 Sandro wins and helps on the ball to Luka.
83.10 Gomes goal kick picks out Bale who flicks it inside. Ball back to Sandro who heads it to Luka.
83.42 Sandro picks up the ball little bit of skill to get away from Merkel moves forward but then turns and plays the ball back to Gallas.
85.40 Bale to Sandro who makes it his ball moves towards the corner flag and holds the ball up under pressure of three Milan players. Eventually loses the ball.
86.04 Milan just outside the box. Beat Modric but Sandro stops him in his tracks and Spurs clear. Townsend “Sandro has been immense Clive. Dawson and Gallas have been good but Sandro has been Spurs best player by a long way.”
90.56 Robinho hits it just over the bar. Gomes beaten. Gomes takes the goal kick to Pav who wins another free kick.
So who was right? Matt Hughes or nearly everyone else? He also wrote about Modric “Tottenham looked to be a man short in midfield but most of the fault lay with Sandro who was unable to impose himself and provided no protection.” Maybe Hughes was disappointed by the lack of impact Luka had and felt the blame could not be laid at his door. We can’t agree Young Mac and I. We felt that Sandro impressed throughout and competed hard particularly when he had conceded possession to win it back. I hope you don’t disagree.
As regards Gomes with the exception of the two incidents referred to in the match report and above he had a decent game. Unfortunately the problem for goalies is that you don’t want to see or hear them during a game and when you do it is often for the wrong reason. On Wednesday Gomes got away with his two heart in the mouth moments but on another day he might not be so lucky.