Gary Lineker has described the loss of Tottenham Hotspur midfielder as a “massive blow” after the Frenchman was substituted just before half-time during the Champions League triumph over Manchester City.
Spurs came into the match with a 1-0 advantage from the first leg. But an injury to Harry Winks left Spurs light in the middle of the park. Mauricio Pochettino partnered Sissoko with Victor Wanyama.
City instantly took the lead through Raheem Sterling after four minutes, but Son made it 1-1 on the night straight away. Son scored his third goal of the tie in the ninth minute, but Bernardo Silva’s deflected shot made it 2-2.
The drama kept on coming. Sterling got his second of the night on 21 minutes to make it 3-2, before Sissoko pulled up with what look like a groin injury. City made it 4-2 after the restart through Sergio Aguero.
But Fernando Llorente, who came on for Sissoko, scored a dubious goal that was given the all-clear by VAR. Injury time saw Sterling’s hat-trick goal ruled out by VAR – meaning Tottenham have qualified for the semi-finals.
Sissoko has become a crucial part of Spurs’ side recently, since being moved into the middle of the park. Indeed, his loss to injury affected the match. Former Spurs striker Lineker posted on Twitter, underlining Sissoko’s importance.
Words I never though I’d utter, but losing Sissoko was a massive blow to Spurs.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) April 17, 2019
Tottenham have are punching above their weight, but if they are to stand any chance of qualifying for the Champions League final, they must have Sissoko fit.
Joining the club in the summer of 2016 from Newcastle, Sissoko has had to withstand huge criticism. But this season, Pochettino has moved him into the middle of the park and it has been a completely different story.
Confidence, strength, skill, vision and determination are all traits of Sissoko 2.0. They desperately need him fit to stand any chance of beating Ajax, and Lineker’s Tweet highlights just that.