UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE GROUP D
WEDNESDAY 13TH SEPTEMBER, 2022
SPORTING CLUBE DE PORTUGAL 2(0) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 0(0)
Referee:- Srdjan Jovanovic SRB
Assistants:- Uroš Stojkovic & Milan Mihajlovic SRB
Fourth official:- Novak Simovic SRB
VAR:- Paolo Valeri ITA
Assistant VAR:- Massimiliano Irrati ITA
Sporting (3-4-3):- Adan; Goncalo Inacio, Coates (Capt.), Matheus Reis; Pedro Porro, Morita (sub Alexandropoulos, 71), Ugarte, Nuno Santos (sub Ricardo Esgaio, 90+2) ; Francisco Trincao (sub Paulinho, 20), Edwards (sub , Arthur Gomes, 90+2) Pedro Goncalves
Subs not used:- Israel, Andre Paulo (GKs); Flavio Nazinho, Jose Marsa; Rochinha, Fatawu Issahaku
Booked:- Morita (foul on Son) , Reis (foul on Kulusevski)
Spurs (3-4-3):- Lloris (Capt.); Romero, Dier, Davies; Emerson Royal, Bentancur, Hojbjerg, Perisic; Richarlison, Kane, Son (sub Kulusevski, 72)
Subs not used:- Forster; Sanchez, Tanganga, Lenglet; Doherty, Spence, Skipp, Bissouma, White, Sessegnon, Gil
Booked:- Bentancur (foul on Goncalves), Emerson Royal (foul on Trincao), Hojbjerg (foul on Ugarte)
Spurs stunned by late goals
Thanks to Andy Park for the picture
Sporting had never won their first two Champions League group games, Spurs hadn’t lost any of their last 13 games and were without a win in five away games in Europe. Something had to give. Unfortunately it was Spurs, who having had more chances in the first 80 minutes of the game, failed to capitalise and succumbed to late pressure and two very late goals by Sporting.
In the Sporting side, of course, was a certain Marcus Edwards, whose career began with the Spurs academy, but who was allowed to leave Tottenham three years ago. Edwards’ pace and trickery proved to be more of a threat than did Spurs’ chances which tested the home goalkeeper more than Sporting did Hugo Lloris. Lloris had to make three excellent saves during the game – one from Edwards – but his third, and best save led to the corner from which substitute Paulinho (no, not that one) scored a 90th minute goal. Most of the three minutes added time seemed to be taken up by celebrations and two substitutions, one of whom scored a 93rd minute winner. Spurs went home with their tails between their legs.
Conte’s one team change from last week’s game against Marseilles was to replace Lenglet with Ben Davies. Apart from Edwards, the Sporting side included former Liverpool and Sunderland centre-back Sebastian Coates (their captain), former Manchester City youngster Pedro Porro, and two former Wolves players Pedro Goncalves and Trincao. Sporting’s style was to try and keep a high line, but to defend stoutly, whilst seeking to catch Spurs on the break.
Spurs wore black armbands paying respect to the late Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away last Thursday. The game was preceded by a minute’s silence, perhaps not very clearly announced, and certainly not well observed. Some Spurs fans were singing the national anthem in their support. Spurs were the first Premier League team to take the field in the reign of King Charles III.
It was not a full house. Sporting named just 10 of the permitted 12 substitutes, two of whom were goalkeepers.
Spurs kicked off and were not playing in the all-white strip, but in their third kit. Son won an early corner on the left, which was taken short. A second corner followed, which was hit long, but cleared. After just three minutes, “Sonny” laid a ball back for Bentancur but his shot was blocked just inside the Sporting box. Edwards received a good ball down the right channel and fed it to Pedro Goncalves, whose left foot shot was saved by Hugo without too much strength on the shot.
There was a long spell without chances at either end. Spurs’ were failing to control or pass the ball well enough. Richarlison did have a chance midway through the half after the ball fell in his favour after being half-blocked. However, his left-footed effort was also blocked. Spurs were ahead 3-2 on attempts on goal at this stage.
Emerson hit a good low cross which passed through the 6-yard danger zone and subsequently won a cheap corner from a lofted ball forward. A long corner by Son was slapped away by goalkeeper Adan, but Romero’s poor attempt at a shot or a pass was hopelessly wide of either the target or a team-mate. Kane hit a good ballot Richarlison from the left, and Richarlison tried, but failed to tee up Son. Richarlison had been offside anyway, as he was on other occasions.
Edwards skied an attempt at the other end. Spurs intercepted a midfield ball and Kane and Son tried and nearly succeeded in forging a chance, but again, the ball was cleared. Kane made a good run down the left channel and passed to Richarlison who rounded the goalkeeper and “scored”, but he had clearly been offside again.
In first half added time, Marcus Edwards provided a clear highlight as he picked up the ball just inside the Spurs half before making a terrific run, exchanging pass with Trincao to his right, before hitting a shot from quite close range, which luckily was straight at Lloris.
The home side kicked off the second half and Spurs made the early running. First Kane hit a left foot cross from deep on the left which was met by Emerson, whose header hit the ground before being saved by the keeper. We needed a finisher to be on the end of the cross. Similarly, we needed a goalscorer to be on the end of a clever free kick by Kane and not Emerson again, whose shot led to a corner. Son took another quick and clever free kick but Kane’s cross/shot from the right of the area was blocked. We had at least seen evidence that our dead ball specialist has been at work.
The Sporting goalkeeper soon had to parry a Kane shot after a good pass by Richarlison. Adan then had to save from a defender’s involuntary ball towards goal. Perisic headed wide following a cross by Emerson. Spurs had nothing to show for this early domination and the chances created.
Trincao passed inside to Edwards at the other end, but Eric Dier, playing against his former club, blocked the shot. Romero made a clever threaded pass to Richarlison who found space for a left-footed shot, but that passed wide. Spurs were 11-5 ahead on chances now.
Serbian referee Srdjan Jovanovic had been keeping his cards in his pocket but now Bentancur was sown yellow for a foul on Goncalves as he threatened to break forward, and Morita who similarly stopped Son’s progress. Goncalves did have a shot on target from 20 yards after another break, but this was comfortable for Lloris. There was more trickery from Edwards, but nobody got on the end of his low cross. Reis had a shot blocked following a corner.
A low cross by Perisic after Son’s pass was not met by the advancing Kane. Paulinho, who has always been based in Portugal replaced Trincao with fifteen minutes remaining.
Reis had been booked for his foul on Kulusevski just outside the box on the right. Perisic took this free kick which ultimately was cleared to Kulusevski who was now on the left of the area. Richarlison met his cross, but headed wide. Kulusevski had replaced Son, and was the only one of our 12 named subs who was used by Conte. “Kulu” caused a few problems and after a pass from him, Emerson went down in the box, but any penalty decision was academic as the right wing-back had been offside. Both Emerson and Hojbjerg were soon booked for quite cynical fouls.
Spurs’ last threat on goal came after a Hojbjerg pass and a cross from Kulusevski which was cleared. Sporting showed more energy and threat than did Spurs in the closing stages. Lloris had to make a great save, diving to his right to push away an excellent shot by Pedro Porro after he had got the better of a tiring Perisic. Unfortunately, from the resulting corner, taken by Goncalves, Paulinho rose to head into the net beyond Hugo.
The celebrations had been ecstatic, but became even more prolonged when added time substitute collected the ball down the left flank and waltzed between Romero and Emerson before beating Lloris, again inside the far post.
Champions League Group D
P W D L F-A GD Pts
1. Sporting 2 2 0 0 5-0 5 6
2. Spurs 2 1 0 1 2-2 0 3
3. Eintracht Frankfurt 2 1 0 1 1-3 -2 3
4. Marseille 2 0 0 2 0-3 -3 0