Tottenham Hotspur 2-7 Bayern Munich
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR suffered an embarrassingly thrashing Bundesliga leaders, Bayern Munich, inflicted a record home European defeat on Mauricio Pochettino’s beleaguered men.
Speaking ahead of the game, Pochettino believed his stuttering side had turned a corner, battling out a narrow Premier League victory over Southampton despite playing a man light for almost an hour. Nevertheless, the Argentine was fully aware that his side faced a huge challenge against historically, Germany’s most successful club side.
“In the history of the Champions League, they are a club that every season, they prepare themselves to try to win the competition because the history says that,” he explained.
“They are a great club, great players and an amazing coaching staff, who we know very well. We played the Audi Cup and we shared much time together. They are a historic club that can be one of the contenders for sure to win the Champions League”
Spurs were certainly the underdogs going into the tie. But Belgian defender, Jan Vertonghen, spoke positively about Tottenham’s progress in terms of competitive European football.
“We’ve come a long way and we shouldn’t forget that,” he said.
“Now I’m getting questions about reaching a Champions League final rather than the Europa group. We want more and we’re still very hungry.
Speaking about last season’s run to the final, Vertonghen added: “We got to the final so we want to reach there again. They are more favourites than us but we know what we can do.”
But on an electric night in north London, it was Bayern who threatened first, and emphatically last! – Serge Gnabry’s stinging strike beaten away by Hugo Lloris. Spurs responded, but German stopper, Manuel Neuer, twice blocking from Heung-Min Son as the South Korean sprung free and looked set to open the scoring.
But it was a case of third time lucky for Son. Moussa Sissoko seized on some unusually poor defending, before sending the Spurs number seven clear. This time he fired across Neuer – the explosion of noise letting the entire neighbourhood know that the hosts were a goal to the good.
But the lead was to last only three minutes. Joshua Kimmich rattling a superb right-footed strike beyond Lloris. This time it was the Spurs rearguard guilty of not clearing their lines.
Neuer was at his brilliant best to thwart Tanguy Ndombele, while Hary Kane’s dead-ball execution was too high and Sissoko’s effort off target as Spurs probed relentlessly. Meanwhile, both Kingsley Coman and Robert Lewandowski weren’t far away as the Germans looked for a way through of their own. And shortly before the interval, the inspirational Pole spun and fired crisply into the bottom corner to confirm that Bayern had turned the tie on its head.
The Germans – with the minimum of fuss – were now in control Gnabry made it 3-1 eight minutes after the restart – beating Lloris low to his right. And within two minutes he had added a fourth with a similar strike after dozy Tottenham had been caught napping.
After the lightning start, Spurs and their followers were left stunned by the ease and swiftness in which Bayern had steamrollered through them. But just after the hour mark, Spurs were handed a lifeline – albeit a slim one. Kane took full advantage from the spot – this after Coman was clumsy on Danny Rose. French referee, Clement Turpin – perhaps harshly – awarding the kick.
Nevertheless, Bayern – and particularly Gnabry – were not finished. The one-time Arsenal man marked his return to the capital with a terrific hat-trick, racing onto Lewandowski’s exquisite ball then beating Lloris with a cool, calculated finish.
The proverbial ‘pack of cards’ had well and truly collapsed from a Spurs perspective. Lewandowski providing another world-class finish after Philippe Coutinho made the most of Toby Alderweireld’s error to fashion an opening.
This had quickly escalated into Tottenham’s worst nightmare. Gnabry – perhaps keen to show those from up the road what they had missed out on – hammered Bayern’s seventh high into the net. This time, Serge Aurier was the defensive villain of the piece with a misplaced pass.
Tottenham Hotspur now turns their attention back to the Premier League, facing Brighton & Hove Albion at the AMEX Stadium on Saturday, October 5 (12:30pm).
Tottenham Hotspur: Hugo Lloris (Capt), Danny Rose, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Heung-Min Son, Harry Winks (Erik Lamela 81’), Harry Kane, Mossa Sissoko, Dele Alli (Lucas Moura ), Serge Aurier, Tanguy Ndombele (Christian Eriksen 64’) Subs not used: Paulo Gazzaniga (GK), Davinson Sanchez, Erik Dier, Ben Davies
Booked: Tanguy Ndombele (foul), Harry Kane (foul)
Goals: Heung-Min Son 12’, Harry Kane (penalty) 61’
Bayern Munich: Manuel Neuer (Capt), Niklas Sule, Benjamin Pavard, Robert Lewandowski, Philippe Coutinho, Jerome Boateng (Javi Martinez 72’), Serge Gnabry, Corentin Tolisso, David Alaba (Thiago Alcantara 46’), Kingsley Coman (Ivan Perisic 71’), Joshua Klmmich Subs not used: Sven Ulreich (GK), Mickael Cuisance, Alphonso Davies, Thomas Muller
Booked: Serge Gnabry (foul)
Goals: Joshua Kimmich 15’, Robert Lewandowski 45’, 87’ Serge Gnabry 53’,55’, 86’, 88’
Referee: Clement Turpin (France)
Assistants: Nicolas Danos and Cyril Gringore (both France)
Fourth Official: Frank Schneider (France)
Reaction to follow….