Tottenham struggle at Wembley as visitors take the spoils

Tottenham’s return to Champions League football after a five-year absence ended in a disappointing 2-1 loss as an English club-record home crowd of 85,011 watched French side Monaco take all three points at Wembley.

Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld
Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld headed goal not enough for Spurs against Monaco

Spurs were dealt a blow in their return back to Europe as goals from Bernardo Silva and Thomas Lemar were enough to give the French side an opening victory in Group E.

Toby Alderweireld header gave Mauricio Pochettino’s side some hope on the stroke of half-time but they were frustrated in the second half as the away side defended stoutly to register their fourth win in eight attempts against English opposition.

Pochettino opted for an attacking line-up with Dele Alli dropped in alongside Eric Dier  ahead of Victor Wanyama, who came in from the bench.

Tottenham started brightly and should have taken the lead when Harry Kane’s cross found Son Heung-min unmarked at the back post but while the South Korean’s finish beat goalkeeper Danijel Subasic, right-back Andrea Raggi scrambled across and made a last-ditch block.

Kane got clear if his marker and raced clear again on the right a few minutes later and this time his cutback was behind Erik Lamela. The loose ball fell to Alli but his shot was blocked and fell slowly to Subasic who was in goal for Monaco.

Spurs missed chances cane back to haunt them when Lamela gave posession away in his own half and Fabinho teed Silva, who drove into the box past Jan Vertonghen before unleashing a brilliant left foot that went past Hugo Lloris.

Monaco doubled their advantage 16 minutes later as Radamel Falcao attempted to meet Djibril Sidibe’s cross but the ball struck Ben Davies and fell into the path of Lemar who tucked in a fine finish high into the net from close range.

Monaco almost scored again as Spurs struggled to deal with the game – Kamil Glik’s flicked header from Joao Moutinho’s free-kick dropped just wide of Lloris’s left-hand upright – but The home side responded on the stroke of half-time.

Alderweireld rose high and powered in Lamela’s corner and there was even time before the half drew to a close for Alli to come desperately close to an equaliser, just failing to connect with Lamela’s dangerous cross from the right.

Referee Gianluca Rocchi booked Fabinho and for a moment appeared to have given a penalty when the Monaco players swarmed around in disbelief, only for order to be restored and the corner re-taken.

Spurs had chances late on, most notably when substitute Vincent Janssen held off Jemerson and then set up Kane but the striker fired straight at the goalkeeper.

Leave a Reply