Heading into tonight it seemed like Tottenham Hotspur were facing an uphill battle to qualify. Their start to the group stage this year left them on the outside of qualification looking in, even though they were technically above Inter Milan in the table. They needed to equal or better Inter’s result in order to progress, and against all odds, they actually managed it with a 1-1 draw against Barcelona at the Nou Camp.
Spurs seemed relatively calm in the opening five minutes or so, but it wasn’t long before Barca – who had rested players – took the lead. Kyle Walker-Peters made a key mistake that allowed Ousmane Dembele to open the scoring, further confusing fans regarding whether or not he’ll end up leaving Barca at the end of the campaign.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men knew they had their backs against the wall and played as such, littering Barcelona’s goal with a series of efforts. They couldn’t quite break through, though, and they knew that the minutes were slipping away in their bid to qualify.
Then, with five minutes remaining, substitute Lucas Moura popped up with what some would call one of the most important goals in recent years for the visitors. There was even more of a reason to celebrate late in the game as news began to filter through that PSV Eindhoven were holding Inter Milan to a draw.
The nervous energy was clear for everyone to see and feel, but in the end the final whistle blew and both games came to a close. Barca and Spurs are both through into the Round of 16 but it’s Spurs who deserve the plaudits tonight. Despite all of the doubters they managed to come away with a point from one of the toughest stadiums in the country, and they’ve also kept their UCL ambitions alive.
Barcelona: Cillessen (6), Semedo (6.5), Lenglet (6), Vermaelen (6.5), Miranda (6), Alena (6.5), Rakitic (6), Ramos de Oliveira Melo (6.5), Dembele (7), El Haddadi (6.5), Coutinho (6.5), Busquets (6), Suarez (N/A), Messi (6)
Tottenham: Loris (7), Walker-Peters (5.5), Alderweireld (6), Vertonghen (6.5), Rose (7), Winks (6.5), Sissoko (6), Eriksen (6.5), Alli (7), Kane (6), Son (6.5), Lamela (6.5), Llorente (N/A), Moura (8)
Referee: Milorad Mazic
Goals: Dembele :: Moura
Yellow Cards: Semedo, Walker-Peters
Red Cards: N/A
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!