Terrace Talk: A harsh call shaped the game but no recriminations

So a magical, inspiring run ends with regret and disappointment for Spurs fans.

Terrace Talk: A harsh call shaped the game but no recriminations

So a magical, inspiring run ends with regret and disappointment for Spurs fans.

The team did enough to deserve the applause and support that rang out from the massed ranks in the north tribune of the Wanda Metropolitano on the final whistle, but the reality is, despite dominating the second half Spurs did not take the chance to beat an off-colour Liverpool.

Much has, and will, be written about the game itself, although less has been made of the fact that it was a big call to award that penalty for what looked like ball to hand on 20 seconds.

That’s not a biased fan looking for excuses — Spurs didn’t create enough chances or take the ones they did — it’s an observation on a call that shaped the game.

The travelling support seemed louder and more animated than a subdued Liverpool support.

For 48 hours before the game, we had gathered from all corners of the globe.

Catching up with old faces, exchanging campaign stories, enjoying wonderful weather in a great city.

But there’s another side to the fan experience, and as we left those who couldn’t get tickets in the bars of the central districts, that experience kicked in.

Nerves that match tickets would be stolen, stories of pickpockets and fake security checks playing on everyone’s minds.

Off the tube and into a milling crowd swirling around on the waste ground outside the security cordon.

Signposting is poor. Police prowl aggressively. It is intensely hot and there is no shade.

We clear the first ticket check and arrive in the fanzone that’s been set up outside the stadium itself.

The queues for food and drink are enormous and slow moving, the beer pumps keep breaking down.

And still we sing, the classic songs and the newer numbers, including the extraordinary storytelling verses of our version of ‘Allez Allez Allez’, chronicling the magic of nights in Manchester and Amsterdam.

Film of a packed Tottenham High Road appears on phones. We send back film of where we are — a call and response chant for the digital age.

The pictures bring a lump to the throat. This is our club.

Inside the stadium we see the flags festooning the bowl, always a special sight, something created by the fans, individual and removed from the corporate machine that tries to sell our culture back to us.

It’s still hot. Water is €5 a bottle. It runs out in the first half. Ground regulations state if this happens free tap water should be provided. It’s not.

Despite the best efforts of our travelling stewards, there’s still no water. The food starts running out too.

Despite the early blow of the penalty, we urge the boys on until that final killer blow.

Stunned, beaten, we regroup and applaud a set of players we’ve grown to love.

There are no recriminations but regrets take shape as we trudge back to the metro, which breaks down and leaves hundreds of fans wandering around on a major road junction.

All that’s left is to find a bar away from celebrating reds and drink away our sorrows until the early hours.

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