Tottenham showed that they could compete with the very best in Europe after an impressive performance against Real Madrid. The match finished 1-1 and on another day, Spurs could have taken all three points. They went ahead after Serge Aurier’s cross was diverted home thanks to a deflection off Raphael Varane. The clever movement of Harry Kane played a huge role in the goal. The home side increased their tempo before half-time and won a penalty, which was converted by Cristiano Ronaldo. This point puts Mauricio Pochettino’s team into a strong position in the group. Here are three talking points from the game:
Tottenham have come a long way in 12 months
Although they were given a relatively tough group last season, it was a disappointment that they didn’t go through to the knockout stages. Bayer Leverkusen and Monaco were both more experienced in the competition, but Spurs should have had the talent to go further. They have learned from their mistakes and developed as a group since then. The team now look ready to progress from an even tougher group featuring Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund.
They currently sit top of their group after three matches played and have a six-point lead over Borussia Dortmund. Despite Real Madrid having the better of the game, Tottenham competed well and could have won it themselves with Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane both having chances late on. Pochettino proved he could set up the team to soak in pressure and the selection of Fernando Llorente was a masterstroke, as he gave Spurs more of a presence in the final third. They left the Bernabeu with an enhanced reputation.
Something isn’t right at Real Madrid
They have yet to live up to the favourites tag that they were given at the beginning of the tournament. It was unsurprising many billed them as that considering they have won the last two Champions League on the trot, but they aren’t as devastating this time around. Their finishing was poor and they looked to be lacking confidence. Karim Benzema has only scored once this season, while their record of 15 goals in eight La Liga games isn’t impressive.
Tottenham certainly caught them at the right time and Pochettino will be hoping for an even better result when the two teams meet at Wembley. There is no reason why his side can’t look to top this group and if they do, that would be an incredible achievement and consolidate their position as a force to be reckoned with.
Hugo Lloris is an excellent goalkeeper
Mauricio Pochettino knew that his side were the underdogs heading into this fixture and had his goalkeeper to thank for the point earned in Real Madrid. Tottenham don’t concede many chances in the Premier League; therefore, it is sometimes forgotten how good Huge Lloris is. He was a contender for the man-of-the-match award after a superb showing between the sticks.
During the match, he was forced to make seven saves. This included two incredible, acrobatic saves to deny Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo during the second half. They came at a crucial stage in the game when the home side were building up a head of steam and gave belief to the rest of the Tottenham team that they could go on to gain a positive result. His pass accuracy of 67% was very good considering his side were under pressure for much of the game. He often selected the right out ball and deserves credit for that.