Tottenham Hotspur had the unfortunate result of becoming the only English side to lose in the Champions League on Matchday one. The side, playing at Wembley Stadium, conceded first half goals by Monaco’s Silva and Lemar before a Toby Alderweireld goal gave them some hope, only for a resolute defensive performance to stand in their way. Disappointment then for the 85,000 who turned up, but Spurs will be hoping to put things right in a group they will still expect to get out of.
Although of course, they will have to quickly become accustomed to playing at Wembley and cope with the fact that teams may be coming to the ground really geared up for the experience, and the atmosphere.
Here’s three things we learnt from tonight’s clash:
Monaco are very good at getting a result
They did it against Arsenal two seasons back, and here they are again. It doesn’t look like a talented squad, or seem like they have an inspiring manager, nor does it look like they are a creative side, but they seem to find a way.
A 3-1 win at the Emirates, and then squeezing through on away goals in the return leg, and a 2-1 win tonight without really putting too much pressure on the Spurs back-line. Maybe this is another case of a European team knowing how to grind out a win, and something English clubs need to learn.
Harry Kane still hasn’t got his form back
Now would have been the perfect time for Kane to start putting them away, at his national team’s stadium in-front of 85,000 club fans. Unfortunately, it wasn’t his night again. It will be interesting to see what Mauricio Pochettino’s next move is with Kane, and how long it will take before the player is rested, or dropped.
Tonight was another performance in which the Englishman struggled to make any impact, with fellow Englishmen Dele Alli and Kyle Walker both putting in positive performances.
Mousa Dembélé is crucial in midfield
Tonight saw Dembélé once again in the line-up, coming off the bench having returned from a suspension. The Belgian played in a second half which Spurs dominated, which suggests that the midfielder is a necessity for the team to control and break-up counter attacks, while also providing some real powerful play. Spurs haven’t been conceding too many goals without him, but he was a fundamental part of the side which went close to the title, and since his departure the club has struggled.
Logic would suggest therefore that it is only a positive that he makes his return to the heart of the midfield in time for a crucial set of games for Spurs.