TOTTENHAM failed to get off to a winning start in the Champions League as last season’s finalists let a 2-0 lead slip to draw 2-2 with Olympiakos in Greece on Wednesday. Despite a slow start, two goals in four minutes from Harry Kane and Lucas Moura put Spurs on course for vital win in group B.
Olympiakos fought back and are now unbeaten in their last 18 games in all competitions stretching back to February. They were well worthy of at least a point as Daniel Podence and Mathieu Valbuena struck either side of half-time.
A point away in front of a passionate crowd in Piraeus is not a disastrous start for Mauricio Pochettino’s men, who took just one point from their opening three group games last season before an improbable run to the final. There will be concern that Spurs have won just two of their opening six games this season and face the might of Bayern Munich next in the Champions League.
Pochettino left out Son Heung-min from the starting lineup even though the South Korean scored twice in a 4-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday, which the Argentine recognised was by a distance his side’s best performance of the season so far. The visitors’ missed Son’s energy and goal threat early on, but were gifted the lead when Kane was needlessly taken out by Yassine Meriah.
Kane saw a rare penalty saved on international duty last week, but the England captain made no mistake from the spot for his 15th goal in 20 Champions League appearances. Four minutes later the points seemed destined to head back to London when Lucas collected Ben Davies’s pass and fired home from outside the box to double Tottenham’s advantage.
Pochettino’s men, who blew a 2-0 lead away to Arsenal last month, allowed Olympiakos a lifeline just before the break. Podence played a lovely one-two with Valbuena, before giving Lloris no chance with a smart finish in the bottom corner.
Tottenham thought they had restored their two-goal lead when Dele Alli found the net early in the second-half, but the England midfielder was rightly flagged offside. After the 34-year-old Valbuena was replaced for fresher legs, it was the English side that looked the likelier winners in the final half hour.
Jose Sa made a great save to deny Alli his first goal since January and then also stood up to Erik Lamela’s near post blast with Kane left begging for a pass that could have left him with a tap in.
NEWS3 days ago
Insecurity: Anambra vigilante groups to be disbanded, over 50 suspects arrested
EVENTS3 days ago
Franklin Azodo laid to rest
NEWS5 days ago
Criminals on rampage in S’East not activists – Soludo
EDITORIAL3 days ago
Unacceptable killing of Okoye, Chiegboka and killers’ more disheartening communication
NEWS6 days ago
FG introduces new phone call tax
NEWS2 days ago
2023: Tinubu, Kwankwaso, Ekweremadu may lead regional parties
NEWS6 days ago
Chaos, cancellation mark PDP legislative election primaries in state
NEWS6 days ago
NiMet forecasts three-day nationwide thunderstorm amid sunshine