Well, let's get down to the nitty-gritty of an entertaining, back-and-forth match that's pretty much perfectly set up for an exciting return leg, with Fiorentina needing to chase the game, but only slightly. As usual, all of the numbers come from WhoScored.com.
|Shots (on goal)||Shots inside/outside area||Possession||Passes (short/long)||Passing success||Crosses/attempted||Dribbles/attempted||Aerial duels won/attempted||Tackles/attempted||Interceptions||Clearances||Fouls||Yellow/red cards||Corners||Offsides|
|Fiorentina||14 (3)||4/8||50%||527 (426/73)||80%||3/24||4/11||18/28||17/33||23||9||20||1/0||7||3|
|Tottenham Hotspur||8 (4)||4/4||50%||531 (449/70)||78%||3/12||16/28||10/28||16/20||5||22||23||4/0||3||2|
|Short passes/attempted||Long passes/attempted||Crosses/attempted||Touches||Shots (on target)||Shots inside/outside area||Dribbles/attempted||Possession lost||Tackles/attempted||Interceptions||Clearances||Successful aerial battles||Fouls committed/suffered||Yellow/red cards||Offsides||Saves||Goals||Assists||Minutes|
Paulo Sousa deserves some credit for his gameplan, but also a bit of stick. The decision to revert to the 3-4-2-1 (albeit a modified and "tilted" one), even after using 4-2-3-1 to beat Inter Milan, seemed like a risky decision from the get-go. It would give Fiorentina a numerical advantage in the midfield, allowing them to control the game while conceding the wings, which usually leads to dangerous counterattacks. After seeing how vulnerable his squad was down the right, he might have ordered Tino Costa to sit farther back to help out. And, considering that possession was even (mostly due to an extremely physical contest that prevented any passing moves from developing), you could probably even argue that the tactic didn't work out very well; he may consider trying the 4-2-3-1 next week at White Hart Lane. However, his subs were all intelligent and forward thinking, and he did well to keep the team in it after they went down.
Quick thoughts: Guess the Luigi Sepe era is over, and not with a bang but with a whimper. All in all, Nenad Tomović just had one of the worst matches you're likely to see at this level; Facundo Roncaglia's ban can't end soon enough. So, apparently Milan Badelj is healthy enough to produce a pretty stunning stat line; can't have him back soon enough. Okay, Mauro Zárate, that's about as frustrating a game as you can have, but at least you're working hard.
Spot any other trends or stuff worth discussing in these numbers? Holler in the comments.