Three talking points as Tottenham Hotspur put Real Madrid to the sword at Wembley
Dele Alli scored twice as Tottenham Hotspur clinched a famous triumph over Real Madrid to book their place in the last 16 of the Champions League.
On a magical night at Wembley Stadium, Spurs outplayed the reigning European champions and fully deserved to inflict Real’s first group stage defeat in five years.
Alli struck either side of half-time before Christian Eriksen added gloss to the victory. Cristiano Ronaldo fired home late on, but it was scant consolation for the off-colour visitors.
Not many pundits had given Tottenham a hope of emerging from a group that also contained Borussia Dortmund, but Mauricio Pochettino’s side may well now qualify as winners.
Here are three talking points from an unforgettable evening in North London…
Rampant Spurs send shockwaves across Europe
Tottenham had performed admirably at the Bernabeu a fortnight ago to hold Real to a draw, which kept them in contention to qualify from Group H.
However, this result, on a night that will live long in the memory for all who were present, was on another level. It wasn’t just the scoreline, but the manner of the performance that will excite all those connected with Tottenham Hotspur.
Yes, they caught Real at a good time, but it is not often you can say that Madrid were completely outclassed.
Spurs’ English contingent, including Alli, Harry Kane, Kieran Trippier and Harry Winks, all turned in assured displays that will have delighted the onlooking Gareth Southgate.
Tottenham are a force to be reckoned with in the Champions League and, after this stunning win, they will be feared by the European heavyweights.
Dele Alli proves form is temporary, class is permanent
The England midfielder has not been at his best so far this season, but his brace against a team of Real’s calibre underlined his class.
When Tottenham needed a big performance, Alli delivered.
His first was a goal made in England, as his predatory instinct enabled him to get on the end of a teasing cross by Trippier, who had been released by Winks.
Alli doubled Spurs’ lead when his 20-yard strike nestled in the bottom corner after taking a deflection off Sergio Ramos.
The former MK Dons midfielder should have sealed his hat-trick late in the game when he headed wide, but he was much more like his old self.
Chants of “We’ve got Alli, Dele Alli, I just don’t think you understand” reverberated around Wembley as the Spurs supporters voiced their appreciation.
Is pressure mounting on Zinedine Zidane?
It seems outrageous to suggest that, just five months after lifting the Champions League trophy, Zinedine Zidane’s position is under threat.
However, such are the standards at Madrid that he must be starting to fear for his future at the club where he commands legendary status.
In all probability, Real will still qualify for the knockout stages – and who would bet against them retaining the title? – but their performance against Spurs was so disjointed and defensively inept that it will have left the powers-that-be scratching their heads.
The margin of victory did not flatter Tottenham, who threatened to run riot in the second half as the visitors searched fruitlessly for a way back into the game.
Zidane’s troops are also well off the pace in La Liga, where they lie eight points behind leaders Barcelona after 10 games.
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