Pochettino navigates Inter hurdle, then heads for Arsenal derby

Unai Emery likes to manage two 45-minute games.

His second half tactics depend on what he thinks of the first half.

And maybe he’ll do that again in Kiev tonight, where Arsenal’s Europa League game is now being played.

Sunday’s opponents Tottenham had a hard match last night against defensive masters Inter Milan, a team who love to sit back and score late.The Italians only needed a draw to go into the Round of 16.

This is Pochettino’s third Champions League campaign as Spurs boss and he hasn’t gone beyond the R16 so far.

Inter are the sixth-best supported club in Europe. And they’ve scored more late goals this season than any team in Serie A.

Liverpool lost 2-1 in Paris.

PSG were 2-0 up in 35 minutes, but I reckon Klopperpool will beat Napoli at Anfield.

Spurs v Inter was 0-0 for 80 minutes and then Eriksen scored.

He’s a very clever player off the ball as well as on it and when Dele Alli turned on a square pass from Sissoko in the box, he knew Eriksen was  behind him and nudged the ball neatly into his path and Eriksen slotted from eight yards to win the game.

That’s a lovely move and finish in Serie A or La Liga or any other competition. But it’s just an attack they’ve practised 5,000 times at their training ground in Enfield.

I only gamble on serious matches where both teams are trying. Like the Champions League.

But mostly Matchday 1 and 2 and 3.

After that it can get complicated. But the bonus is that by then you have seen what each team can do. That’s not ancient history or this season’s stats. Just current form, topical & relevant information.

I had five bets on the Spurs game. And lost three.

One was over 2-5 goals/Spurs to win. so I only won half of that bet.

But the old blogger got lucky.

As kick-off approached, I thought about how defensive Inter Milan would be, and how burned-out their Croatians would be, about how Jan Vertonghen was back at left centreback, where Alderweireld never looks comfortable. If Ivan Perisic has gone 17 games without a goal, he’s not gonna score tonight.

Poch had started Lamela, as I thought he would. And I figured he’d use his South Korean speed-machine from the bench and also use Eriksen as a sub because the Dane is so experienced.

So 30 seconds before kick-off I had a bigger bet on Spurs to win the match. Ultimately, it came down to one question: Do I think Spurs will bottle this game? I was sure they wouldn’t.

Their Matchday 6 is Barcelona away.

And Barca don’t have to win……

Improved Arsenal beat AC Milan 5-1 on aggregate in Europa League