It was a game that ended as poorly as it started for Tottenham Hotspur, but between the tense moments, Spurs did enough to be one game from advancing to the Champions League knockout round.
The shakiest moments on Wednesday evening at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium were the game’s first 15- and last ten minutes. During those 25 minutes, Tottenham conceded two goals and missed a penalty kick. However, in the other 65 minutes, Spurs did enough to dispatch Eintracht Frankfurt and seize control of Group D.
Tense moments for Tottenham early and late
It was an emotional day for Tottenham, with a moment of silence before the match in honor of the late Gian Piero Ventrone.
Maybe it was the emotion from the situation, the magnitude of the match, or something else; regardless, Tottenham was just a bit off to start the game. Neither their touches nor passes were crisp for Spurs making possession hard to come by.
Eventually, a poor touch from Eric Dier led to an easy Frankfurt goal, which put Spurs in an early hole less than a quarter-hour into the match.
Of course, less than 25 minutes later, the Lilywhites were up 3-1, and we were cruising to victory. Add a red card, and the game seemed well in Spur’s control until Frankfurt made most of the 60,000-plus fans in London squirm just a little.
A corner kick, which was headed in for a goal, put everyone on edge as the lead was cut to just one. After West Ham a couple of seasons ago, the game is never won until it is won as a Spurs fan.
Then as substitute Bryan Gil scrapped his way to earning a penalty kick, it looked like things were all set for Spurs, but Harry Kane inexplicably missed. It was Kane’s 10th career penalty miss in 66 attempts in all competitions, their seventh miss as a Spurs, and second this season after Dean Henderson denied Kane in August.
Kane’s miss led to a hectic final few minutes, but Spurs ultimately held on and are now in control of Group D.
Tottenham is one win away from securing passage to the knockout rounds
Tottenham beat Frankfurt, and Marseille won over Sporting, leaving Spurs on top of Group D with 7 points. Marseille and Sporting have six points, with the French side holding the edge through goal difference. Frankfurt sits bottom of the group on four points.
With Tottenham hosting Sporting in the next game, three points would give the Lilywhites 10 for the round and assure advancement, regardless of what happens in France against Marseille in the last game.
After the Covid-ravaged, technical knockout last season, having the opportunity to ensure advancement with one match in hand is where Spurs need to be.