Harry and King Erik Trigger Rabonas All Round
You often hear pundits talk about The Game That Had Everything. Usually it just means there’s been a couple of iffy red cards or some penalty area flashpoint. Or, if you’re really lucky, something daft might’ve happened like a dog escaping onto the pitch and shaking out a jobby. There’s nothing that lives as long in the footballing memory as silly incongruity. The Anfield Cat was a bloody Twitter meme, for heaven’s sake.
Well, Thursday night’s meeting of Spurs and Asteras Tripolis, a game in which a Chingford-born Harry Kane hat-trick only registered as a minor talking point, really did have everything. Outfield players in the sticks, ludicrous pieces of skill straight from the instruction manual of FIFA Street, harebrained goalkeeping. Apart from canine-based litter offences; all life was there.
So where to begin? Kane’s opener was pretty damn special. In different circumstances it would be worthy of a comprehensive eulogy, but a short fifteen minutes later Erik Lamela scored a goal of such ridiculous and gobsmacking quality, all other events which orbited close to it were automatically sucked into a blackhole of mediocrity.
It’s worth another look. Aside from the rabona itself (or ‘rabona’ as the press like to call it) I enjoyed the reaction of Ben Davies. For those few seconds, while his hands covered his head in disbelief, he might as well been watching from the stands or from his parent’s living room back in South Wales. For those few seconds he was a football fan watching something utterly astonishing. What. A. Goal.
Harry Kane had the final word, of course. Not long after completing his treble, Hugo Lloris, perhaps testing the theory that he could provide sounder rearguard action as a one-man defence, flew from his line like a wrist-rocket to take down the advancing Tsokanis. This time it was the rules which confounded the loveably proactive Frenchman, as it turns out body slamming the opposition as they charge through on goal, is just not on. Cue red card, all three subs used and Harry Kane pulling on the gloves with no little enthusiasm. What a hero. Completely useless in goal, but, still, what a hero.