Premier League undefeated Tottenham didn’t even survive champions league group stage
Tottenham Hotspur, a team which is enjoying all the success back in England from last two year challenging Premier League top dogs, couldn’t even survive champions league group stage. Champions League group stage is not even finish, but their journey at Europe’s top flight has already ended, and they could only focus on Premier League from today onwards, and if they have any gas left in their tank, they still have a chance to get Europa League berth if they beat CSKA Moscow on matchday sixth. Ligue 1 side Monaco were too good for Premier League undefeated team as they beat them 2-1 at Stade Louis II. Djibril Sidibe early second-half header and Thomas Lemar counter-attack goal in reply of Harry Kane penalty proved enough for the hosts to grab all three points to go on top of group E.
Tottenham Hotspur who has yet to lose a game in Premier League, had a disappointing start of their campaign in champions league. Their strategy of playing home matches at Wembley didn’t work as they failed to win any of their matches at Wembley. Wembley may have brought financial success to them becauase of greater tickets sale, but emotionally failed to produce the magic which European fixtures demands. Failure at home turf forced Spurs to rely on away games which is never easy in European games, and they suffered an early exit.
They had no match to Ligue 1 side Monaco, who sits at 2nd in French domestic league. Spurs should be thanking their goal-keeper Hugo Lloris who kept their humiliation to minimum in France. He saved an early first-half penalty from Radamel Falcao, and also made some other crucial saves to keep Spurs hope alive of snatching an equalizer till last minute. But, Spurs failed miserably to dominate the game and end up losing at the end.
Monaco has 16 shots on goal as compared to Tottenham’s six. Son Heung-min failed to put a shitter into the nets in early minutes when Dele Alli set him up with his cleverly hooked pass into one to one situation with goal-keeper. He hesistated to chip off the ball and goes to his right and gave Monaco goal-keeper Danijel Subašić a chance to capitalize and he made a diving save, what a waste of opportunity it was?
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino should also be blamed for his team selection. He gave rest to his both central defenders Kylie Walker and Jan Vertonghen in preparation for Saturday’s clash against Chelsea. It’s clear indication of his league priority rather than keeping European dreams alive.
Spurs defender Kevin Wimmer had a night to forget, but it was centre-back partner Eric Dier at fault for Monaco’s first-half penalty, lunging in clumsily on Fabinho. Falcao took the spot-kick, but his effort was tame and Lloris saved. Somehow Spurs finds a way to shut Monaco’s striking force in first-half who have scored most no. of goals this season in French league.
But, second-half brought them in uncomfortable situation. Djibril Sidibe’s header early in the second half sparked a stunning sequence of three goals in just five minutes that saw Spurs’ Champions League hopes swiftly fade, grow and fade again. In respons to Sidibe goal, Spurs had a penalty awarded when Dele Alli was pulled back, and Harry Kane converted swiftly to put Spurs on level terms but, 39 seconds later, Monaco had the ball in the net again through Thomas Lemar.
It was disgusting to concede that way, as Harry Kane jibed it as a “School Boy error” to concede that way. Hugo Lloris said after the match,“We’re very disappointed, very frustrated, we started too slow and sloppy. We didn’t deserve to win tonight. It’s a big disappointment but we need to keep our chin up because we have a big game on Saturday.”
Other than Lloris, Pochettino also realizes his side lack quality to compete in champions league, he said,“Maybe we need to add more quality in the squad. We have quality, yes, to compete in the Premier League but, today, you could say we struggled a little bit. When you have problems, injuries, it is difficult to be competitive. At the moment, to compete in the Champions League and the Premier League, we struggle a little bit.”
“We are unbeaten in the Premier League, close to the top but to compete in the Champions League was tough,” Pochettino said. “Maybe next season, if we are in the Champions League, we need to make some changes. After two and a half years, we have reduced the gap at the top of the Premier League but to be competitive in that and the Champions League, we need to show more.” as reported in The Guardian.