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Bayer Leverkusen v Spurs, 18.10.16

(7.45 pm BST)

Attendance:- 28,887

Referee:- Cuneyt Cakir
Assistants:- Bahattin Duran & Tarik Ongun
Additional assistants:- Huseyin Gocek & Baris Simsek
Fourth official:- Mustafa Eyisoy (all officials from Turkey)

Leverkusen (4-2-3-1):- Leno; Bender (Capt.) (sub Jedvaj, 74), Tah, Toprak, Henrichs; Aranguiz, Kampl; Mehmedi, Kiessling, Calhanoglu (sub Baumgartlinger, 46); Hernandez (sub Brandt, 85)
(Armband to Toprak)

Subs not used:- Ozcan; Dragovic; Havertz, Volland

Booked:- Calhanoglu (foul on Wanyama), Bender (foul on Rose)

Spurs (4-1-4-1):- Lloris (Capt.); Trippier, Dier, Vertonghen, Rose; Wanyama; Son (sub Onomah, 90), Eriksen, Alli, Lamela (sub Sissoko, 71); Janssen (sub Dembele, 65)

Subs not used:- Vorm; Carter-Vickers, Davies; Winks

Booked:- Lamela (foul on Hernandez)

Lloris saves Spurs for a good away point.

The Bay Arena at kick-off

Thanks to Andy park for this image

On a wet night in a re-vamped Bay Arena, Hugo Lloris made surely a world class save from former Manchester United forward Hernandez, along with a string of other saves to secure a good point for Spurs in a difficult away match. Certainly, the home side, who have now drawn all three of their games, were desperate to secure all three points here, and the result is definitely better for Spurs than it was for Leverkusen.

As anticipated by this observer, Kyle Walker was rested at home, and Kieran Trippier took his place. Trippier was involved in two or three good attacking moves particularly in the second half, but like most of the Spurs outfield players made at least one mistake in a hard fought contest.

Despite the upgrade to their stadium, it was nowhere near full, but a full Spurs contingent urged their team on with great gusto. Spurs played their now familiar 4-1-4-1 with Victor Wanyama the mainstay in front of the defence, whilst the home side played an attacking formation with Mehmedi, Kiessling and Calhanoglu all supporting Hernandez. Aranguiz and Kampl also got forward too.

It was a tentative start by both sides, and Spurs put themselves under pressure unnecessarily after 6 minutes after a poor clearance by Dier; a back pass by Trippier which put Lloris under undue pressure, and a poor clearance by the keeper, before Spurs did manage to clear their lines. Such difficulty was not untypical during the game.

Spurs were always capable of invention and penetration, and had the ball in the net after 9 minutes through Janssen, but Son was adjudged to be offside in a good move which had started with a Wanyama interception and forward play by Alli.

Referee Cuneyt Cakir, who had been in charge for our last trip to Germany in March, had "words" with Danny Rose over an early challenge on Hernandez.

Son Heung-min was not a popular ex-player for the home fans who jeers him throughout the game. The South Korean threatened with a really dangerous low cross from the right but goalkeeper Leno came off better. At this time Wanyama was down in the middle of the pitch but responded to treatment.

Spurs had another good chance when the excellent Dele Alli had a nice run before feeding the ball to Son, but his shot was blocked. Alli should have scored himself soon after when Lamela fed the ball to Son on the right. Son crossed and Dele was presented with a clear chance at the back post, which he headed wide.

Another great Spurs move led to two scoring chances in quick succession. Alli made a great run; Trippier crossed and Janssen's shot hit the bar whilst Lamela's follow-up was tipped over for a corner.

Spurs had had their best period of the game, and the home side threatened before the break. Kampl hit a shot just wide, after being set up by Calhanoglu, and Hernandez hit the ball just wide following a move from the left. At times the Leverkusen forwards were finding space on our flanks.

Leverkusen team manager Roger Schmidt made a half-time switch with Baumhartlinger replacing Calhanoglu. Spurs were under early pressure and Lloris was fouled on the edge of his area by Hernandez, who was aggrieved when the referee awarded the foul as the ball had been hit into the Spurs net in the follow-up play. "The Little Pea" was even more upset shortly after that when Lloris made a quite miraculous save on the line to keep Hernandez's effort out by inches. Lloris performed contortions and even a bit of a somersault to stop the ball rolling over.

There followed some desperate defending by Spurs, with Vertonghen our mainstay at the back, as the home side put the pressure on in front of their home fans. Lloris saved from Mehmedi after an uncharacteristic error by Wanyama had let in the Leverkusen side to press forward.

Vincent Janssen made way for Dembele, and Son took over the central striker position. He saw little of the ball in the time that remained, with Spurs under more pressure. Lloris saved from Kiessling in his top left corner after a good ball by Kampl. Kampl provided the pass for another chance, this time a header by Toprak, but Lloris saved again.

In the closing phase of the game Spurs did better and might have snatched a winner with a few penetrating moves. Trippier was well involved here and hit a really dangerous cross after 71 minutes which was cleared. Eriksen was the recipient of a fantastic long pass towards the right corner, but he didn't make best use of the situation. This again had been a tendency throughout the game, but the home side were tenacious tacklers and defenders.

Kiessling had a good chance go wide, after another Kampl pass. Substitute Brandt was away after a Sissoko pass went astray, but Vertonghen came to Spurs' rescue with the clearance.

Group E is tight with only three points separating the four teams. Monaco drew in Moscow, so Spurs remain in second place, one point behind Monaco. With two of their remaining three games at "home " at Wembley wins in those games will be crucial, and hopefully decisive in our favour, enabling qualification from the group.

UEFA Champions League - GROUP E

Pos   Team           P  W  D  L  F-A   GD   Pts
1.   Monaco          3  1  2  0  4-3    1    5
2.   Spurs           3  1  1  1  2-2    0    4
3.   Bayer L'Kusen   3  0  3  0  3-3    0    3
4.   CSKA            3  0  2  1  3-4   -1    2

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