The Independent London Newspaper
16th January 2018

Tottenham pay high price for small mistakes

    Published: 15 September, 2016
    by DAN CARRIER

    TOTTENHAM’S opening match in their Champions League campaign ended with a disappointing 2-1 reverse last night (Wednesday) in front of a record domestic 85,011 crowd at Wembley Stadium.

    Spurs fell two goals behind in the opening half hour after Monaco punished sloppy play by the home side through a Bernard Silva effort on 15 and then a Thomas Lemar goal on the half hour. 

    Speaking after the match, manager Mauricio Pochettino said his young side needed to take on board the fact it was their own errors that lost them the game. 

    He said: “We need look at ourselves and be critical because it was our mistakes. You pay for mistakes – and we paid. They only had two shots. We created chances but weren’t clinical. We needed to be much more aggressive in front of goal.”

    In front of a noisy, partisan crowd Spurs started well with Heung-Min Son Erik Lamela and Dele Alli all creating, but the opening gung-ho approach saw Tottenham punished when Silva broke well and finished. 

    The second goal looked like it may have killed the game – Tottenham were shell-shocked – but Pochettino’s team found a way back in just before half time when Harry Kane’s persistence on the right forced a corner. 

    Lamela spun a cross into the penalty spot and Toby Alderweireld thumped home a header.

    Pochettino made a switch at half time, replacing Son with Mousa Dembele and it led to Tottenham enjoying the lion’s share of possession and chances. Alli took the game to the visitors and nearly hit a spectacular equaliser with a dipping volley which Monaco keeper Daniel Subasic tipped over. Late on, Alli was played into space by substitute Moussa Sissoko but could only skew his effort wide.

    It was a disappointing result to a pulsating match, which saw Tottenham enjoy 63 per cent of the possession and chalk up 11 corners to Monaco’s zero. 

    Spurs will now have to take this experience into the next round of games – they face CSKA Moscow away in a fortnight’s time – and learn that at this level small errors, as Pochettino said, can be costly indeed. 

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