Good afternoon fellow Positives.
A tricky trip to Bournemouth safely negotiated and the required three points banked. By no means a fluid performance but we worked hard against opponents who are much improved from the callow Cherries who tip-toed into the top flight just two seasons ago. For us it moves us on to Chelsea’s shoulder and a win in the NLD will put us in front of the Totties.
Of our lads I shall pass the man of the match award to Lucas Torreira who did his usual thorough job across the middle of the park until his early, to me unexpected, hooking. The Uruguayan’s withdrawal must have been with an eye to the busy fixture list and he had done more than enough in his 80 minutes of action. Elsewhere a good performance from Leno, Hector I enjoyed too. Auba’s movement troubled Bournemouth all afternoon and his decisive finish was the final difference between 1 and 3 points.
In truth though it was a not a game in which any of out players stood out. It was a real team win with each contributing to a deserved final outcome.
What we need to do a lot better is hit the target. 20 shots at goal, but just 4 on target. And in the strayed 16 some absolutely wild attempts from Mhki and Alex Iwobi. For a long period in the second half we had Bournemouth pinned back and were peppering their goal. Come on lads. You know we won’t get 20 strikes next week or at Trafford Park so let us at least make their keeper save the ball.
The effect of not scoring a third and fourth goal today was that as Pawson pondered his whistle, instead of strolling about and checking the flights to Poltova, we were facing a 95th minute free kick on the edge of our box and the dire consequences thereof. Yes Shkodran, I do mean you.
Four minutes added on, then five. A tense final few moments, with the strings tightened just a notch by Emery himself. Bringing on Eddie Nketiah = Good. Bringing on Eddie Nketiah after 93 minutes and 45 seconds = Bad.
Of our opponents young Brooks looks a fine prospect and was unlucky not to have his name on the scoresheet, and Lerma eh? Goal of the Month contender.
So off we go to the Ukraine. A point required and the Europa Group won, which would be handy although hardly pivotal. The big focus this week for Emery, for the players, for all Positive fans will however be next Sunday, 2.05, and do not be late.
Enjoy your week.