Tottenham Hotspur, Wednesday night, become the first English club to bow out of this year’s UEFA champions league after they suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of their host Monaco in France.
The game came alive after about ten minutes when Tottenham’s Victor Wanyama brought down Fabinho in the 18- yard box. Radamel Falcao stepped up to take the spot-kick but Spur’s keeper produced a stunning save to keep the scoreline level.
Monaco came very close to breaking the deadlock after the half hour mark but ….shot fired wide. For the remainder of the first half of the game, the French side kept asking all the questions but Hugo Lloris produced two stunning first-half saves to keep the scoreline at zero- zero at half time.
From the beginning of proceedings in the second half, Tottenham took the game to the home side. However, it was Monaco who broke the deadlock against the run of play when Djibril Sidibé opened the scoring powerful header in the forty -eight minute. But two others goals followed in quick succession to cap the dramatic five minutes that produced three goals.
Two minutes after Monaco scored the opener, Tottenham responded quickly with Harry Kane’s equaliser from the spot after an English-born, Nigerian Dele Ali was brought down in the 18- yard box by Kamil Glik. Thirty-eight seconds later,
Monaco took the lead again through Thomas Lemar’s strike thumped them back in front. It took an incredible reflex tip-over from Glik’s point-blank effort after 68 minutes from Hugo Lloris to keep the game at 2-1.
“It was schoolboy to concede like that,” said Harry Kane, after the match.
After the goal, Tottenham increased the pressure on the home side but, Monaco comfortably absorbed the pressure only waiting to catch them on the break but somehow their attacks were often foiled by the visiting team.
Tottenham created a good number of chances but Monaco kept the English side at bay for the rest of the game and secured a vital win in group E.
Spurs, from this result, failed to progress from a Group E that has Monaco, Bayern Leverkusen and CSKA Moscow. The English side just needs a point from their next tie with CSKA Moscow at Wembley next month to book a place in Europa League round of thirty-two.
Tottenham manager, Mauricio Pochettino in a post-match press conference said: ” I think we started the game very well. I think they created few chances… we conceded a goal that at this level in football you cannot concede… We conceded a second goal in the same circumstances as the first. ”
He continued: ” I think that we dominated the game and we created enough chances to score and win the game but it is true that after that we conceded the first goal, nearly ensured that we lost control of the game because we wanted to go forward and it was difficult.”
– Orji Sunday, Correspondent (Sport)