Spurs travelled to the Madrid training ground for this third round match against the favourites. Real have their own mini stadia named after one of the footballing greats. Real put 10 goals past APOEL but lost at Dortmund 5-3. Spurs lost 1-0 in Nicosia having beaten Dortmund 4-0 in their opening game. Madrid (at this level) did the double last season winning cup and league but went out of the Champions league at the semi-final stage for the second time running. Last season Spurs made a poor start to the competition finishing bottom of their group and have started the U-18 academy league poorly.
Madrid had tight controls on admission for this game and I was asked by four Spurs fans outside for help to get in. I was able to have a word inside with someone from Spurs who sent tickets to the gate so hopefully they got in to see the game. I had to leave at half-time to get to the Bernabeu because BT were showing the game live in the UK and moved the match time for their cameras. I had hoped that I would see the whole game as they were laying transport on but I was told that I was not included.
Spurs lined up with Austin in goal behind Tanganga and Lyons-Foster with Hinds at right back and Bennetts on the left. Marsh joined Skipp in front of the defence with Roles ahead of them flanked by Edwards on the right and Shashoua on the left in support of Sterling up front.
Spurs kicked off attacking the North end in the first half and showed their attacking intent in an open game. Bennetts created an early chance for Sterling that went for a corner which led to Edwards drawing a save at the near post. Oscar had an effort wide before Roles sent Sterling away for a one on one with Fernandez which the keeper saved. Roles was caught late in making the pass but nothing was done about it and the Spurs midfielder was on the end of a lot of dubious challenges during the game.
Spurs continued to take the game to the hosts with Hinds firing wide. A good run out of defence was made by Skipp before laying the ball off to Shashoua who set up Roles for a chance that was blocked. Real finally had a shot on target more than halfway through the half when De La Fuente drew a save from distance. This was followed by Gomez with a better effort that Austin also saved.
Spurs took a deserved lead when Shashoua got to the line and pulled the ball back for Sterling. The striker got the ball from out of his feet but Fernandez made a good save. Edwards picked up the rebound and laid it off for Roles to fire into the net.
Alex headed over from a corner as Madrid began to get more into the game and Marsh was booked for a poor tackle on Gomez in the centre circle. Miguel drew a save before a Shashoua cross just missed Sterling at the other end. Oscar produced a bit of skill lifting the ball over the Spurs back line for Miguel to hit wide. Real won a free kick on the edge of the Spurs area when Lyons-Foster was adjudged to have fouled Miguel. Oscar took the kick, hitting it over. At the end of the half Sterling was again denied by Fernandez when the keeper pushed over his header from Shashoua's cross.
Real made a change for the start of the second half when they pushed up on the Spurs back line to stop them playing out of the back. This allowed them to get more possession and consequencially more attempts on goal. Most were off target but they were pushing Spurs back. After Alberto fired over, Gomez had a shot blocked. Edwards won a free kick from De La Fuente which the Spurs captain took, hitting the wall.
Oscar won a free kick for a foul on him by Skipp. Austin saved the kick from Oscar which unusually was on target. Miguel headed over from Vacas for a corner. Austin came out to the edge of his area and tried to head clear but it was picked up by Oscar who fired over again. Vacas fired over and when Miguel pulled the ball back, Oscar fired over.
Madrid were now calling the shots, having pushed Spurs back with Miguel firing over for a corner. Austin saved from Alberto for another corner. Austin made a poor punch that was played down the line for Alberto to cross for Gomez to score at the near post.
Spurs immediately replaced Roles with Griffiths to try and get further forward but Real were now on top. Skipp was booked for handball and Oscar drew a save from Austin from the free kick. Spurs made a second change with Edwards making way for Maghoma with Tanganga taking the captain's armband. Vacas drew a save from Austin and in the last minute he saved from Miguel when played in by Alberto. In added time Sterling went into the ref's book for a late challenge on De La Fuente. There was still time for Griffiths to be played in down the right channel but he delayed as he was in two minds and the chance was gone.
Spurs could have wrapped the game up in the first half but in a game of two halves poor finishing by the home side when on top saw the game end all square. Dortmund took advantage by beating APOEL away to go to the top of the group. Spurs have another chance to beat Madrid when they meet at Hotspur Way at the beginning of November in the next round of games. Hopefully BT will have it as the early game to allow me to see the whole game before wembley. Real will not be able to play in all white as Spurs will be playing in the all white strip that they wear as a mark of respect to the famous Real Madrid.