At half time it looked as if our Europa League curse may have hit again but a 3-1 victory means that in all probability, we only need to win our home game with Panathinaikos to progress.
As a personal opinion, here are five things to take on board from the match.
It Pays to be Flexible
4-4-2 may not work in every match and Sunday’s game at Manchester City is one where 4-2-3-1 may make more sense. However, and I’m not an AVB moaner and yes I’m happy with fifth place but – would we have taken the seven points that we dropped against Norwich, West Brom and Wigan with a more attacking formation.
Adebayor needs a run in the side
Jermain Defoe took the headlines with his hat trick but Ade showed clear signs as to why it was worth negotiating over his long protracted transfer.
Adebayor needs to start – whether as a lone striker or alongside JD.
The goalkeeping situation needs sorting out
Only partial blame can be levelled at Hugo Lloris for Maribor’s goal but we’d hoped that comedy keeping had disappeared with Heurelho Gomes at the end of the 2010-11 season.
Hugo may just be lacking confidence after expecting to be confirmed as the club’s number one or he may just be a bad keeper but it’s worth a run in the side to find out.
We need to sign a left back in January
Nobody looks comfortable filling in for BAE – apart from Jan Vertonghen whose WHL future lies in the centre. Last night’s Maribor goal was partly down to this situation and a new left back must surely be a priority – either as cover or replacement for Benny.
Nobody is irreplaceable but…
Gareth Bale comes closer than anyone ever has. This may not be new information but sometimes it’s just a privilege to watch Gareth at his best and to have it confirmed.