Luton Town 0-1 Tottenham: van de Ven spares 10-man Spurs’ blushes against the Hatters

With the international break just days away, both sides came into this clash at Kenilworth Road on the back on contrasting fortunes last time out. Rob Edwards’ Hatters suffered a last-gasp home defeat to fellow promoted side Burnley, while Ange Postecoglou’s Spurs edged past nine-man Liverpool.

LUT: Kaminski; Andersen, Lockyer, Burke; Doughty, Nakamba, Mpanzu, Brown; Adebayo, Ogbene; Morris

TOT: Vicario; Porro, Romero, van de Ven, Udogie; Sarr, Bissouma; Kulusevski, Maddison, Richarlison; Son

A beautiful autumn afternoon in Bedfordshire could have started out perfectly for Spurs, but Richarlison could not get to James Maddison’s ball in time to tap in at the far post. The Brazilian then had another chance to find the opener, but his low curling effort was saved well by Thomas Kaminski.

Spurs kept a staggering 96% possession of the ball in the early minutes, and they deserved to take the lead, but a brilliant one-two between Pedro Porro and Heung-Min Son finished with the former dragging the ball just wide of the far post – a third glorious opportunity missed already for Ange Postecoglou’s men.

Heung-min Son then had a chance of his own to break the deadlock in what was a dominant showing from Spurs so far, but his shot from the edge of the box just drifted past the top corner.

The Hatters simply couldn’t get a toe to the ball, let alone a foot, in the opening stages – but Luton captain Tom Lockyer had some defending to do as he blocked Dejan Kulusevski’s cross towards James Maddison at the far post.

For all the chances that Spurs had, however, Luton were finally beginning to grow into this game, and this was proven when Thomas Kaminski got down low to prevent Dejan Kulusevski’s low effort from reaching the far corner when the ball look destined to reach its target.

James Maddison’s free kick from 30 yards out also flew over the bar, and while Ange Postecoglou challenged his players to be ‘clinical’ in the build-up to this fixture, Spurs were being remarkably wasteful.

The home side finally recorded their first clear-cut chance, and with it, they thought Tom Lockyer had headed his side in front, but referee John Brooks disallowed the unlikely opener for a foul on Spurs’ Cristian Romero.

James Maddison once again could have put Tottenham in front at the break, but the England international’s long-range curling effort whistled well over the bar. However, just before the break, Spurs’ Yves Bissouma was shown a second yellow card for diving, having been booked earlier in the half for a challenge on Jacob Brown.

With Spurs down to ten for the second half, Ange Postecoglou sent on Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg for Richarlison in a move to shore up the midfield. However, the Spurs midfield was torn apart by Chiedozie Ogbene, whose burst of pace down the right hand side saw him pick out Elijah Adebayo in the Spurs box, but the striker couldn’t reach the ball in time to tap it home at the back post.

With just seven minutes of the second 45 gone, Spurs finally took one of those elusive chances to take the lead. A quick corner was taken by Dejan Kulusevski to James Maddison, whose quick thinking saw him glide past the Luton defence, and the England international cut the ball back to Micky van de Ven, who guided the ball home for his first goal in a Tottenham shirt.

Embed from Getty Images

Pedro Porro could have doubled Tottenham’s lead just past the hour mark, but his ambitious effort with the outside of his boot drifted just wide of the far post. 

It was then Luton Town’s turn to look dangerous, as Alfie Doughty’s cross in from the left hand side found Jacob Brown in the box, but the forward’s header travelled just over the bar. 

With not a lot of clear-cut chances throughout the second half, Spurs held out for all three points, but Luton will feel the luck wasn’t on their side, as their efforts warranted at least a point from this game.

Both sides return to Premier League action following the international break, with Rob Edwards’ Hatters heading to Nottingham Forest on October 21st for a 3pm kick-off, while Spurs head back to North London to host Fulham the following Monday at 8pm.