UCL: Tottenham astounds Madrid in historic night at wembley

UCL: Tottenham astounds Madrid in historic night at wembley

They’ll still talk about this game, years from now, decades from now,  when Harry Kane is that jowly bloke off Soccer Saturday when Mauricio Pochettino is greying and frail when Dele Alli is a grandfather of seven with a penchant for cheeky practical jokes.

Far more impressive than the fact of Tottenham handing Real Madrid their first Champions League group-stage defeat since 2012, and qualifying for the last 16 in the process, was the way they did it: with bravery and skill, composure and organization. Remarkably, it was Spurs who played like the kings of Europe; Real like the club who once played Gary Doherty up front for an entire half-season.

Alli returned from his European suspension in spectacular fashion to score two goals. Christian Eriksen grabbed the other, and as the goals rained in the reaction around Wembley was not merely euphoria but disbelief: the dumb grin of the computer hacker who has just broken into the Pentagon mainframe by guessing “Password 1”. Dismantling the world’s best club should not be this easy.

Real, eight points behind a lukewarm Barcelona in the La Liga title race were again a pale fraction of the team that has won three of the last four Champions Leagues, but in large part, their errors were forced rather than unforced. Tottenham pressed them high, prevented them from passing the ball out of defense and turned the fabled Real midfield of Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, and Isco into spectators.

Of course, Tottenham rode their luck, just as they did a fortnight ago in the Bernabeu. There was a suspicion of offside to the first goal, for example, and a few jitters after Cristiano Ronaldo’s late consolation goal 10 minutes from time. And of course, Real created chances. Hugo Lloris played another blinder, both in terms of saves and distribution. Davinson Sanchez marshaled the defense brilliantly after a first-half injury to Toby Alderweireld. But for most of the 90 minutes, Tottenham looked secure.

Potential winners? Not an outlandish proposition, on this evidence. They will need a little luck with injuries and perhaps a little luck with the draw, even if they claim the three points they need to top the group. But in what promises to be one of the most open Champions Leagues in years, with the traditional giants stumbling and the five English clubs in rude health, at the moment it feels more of a risk to rule Tottenham out than to rule them in.

Pochettino has got them dreaming, and perhaps the warmest compliment you could pay them is that Spurs were not even extraordinary. This is their level now, and the ease with which they drifted around Real, past them, over them, was evidence of the mental strength that Pochettino loves talking about. A more clinical Spurs might even have turned this into a rout. Every attack seemed to result, at the very least, in a shot or a telling pass.

But ultimately, nobody will remember any of that. They’ll remember the champagne football and the broad smiles, the disbelieving roar of the Wembley crowd and the vaguely ethereal sensation that you get when entering uncharted territory. People say it’s the hope that kills you. But right now Tottenham is a place full of hope, and it’s never felt more alive.

If you use the quotes from this content, you legally agree to give www.brila.net the News credit as the source and a backlink to our story. Copyright 2023 Brila Media.


Comodo SSL SiteLock
WP Twitter Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com
error: Content is protected !!