OPPONENTS Bayern Munich
COMPETITION Champions League Group B
DATE Tuesday 1st October 2019
PREVIEW Things are looking a little bit brighter for Spurs after beating Southampton at the end of a nightmare week.  But the win did put a bit of a gloss over the issues that are still evident in the team.  Tactical changes and lack of stability as players are rotated have caused the team to look unbalanced, with little fluidity.  They will need to find the magic quickly, as Bayern are a side in transition, but with a nucleus of quality international players, who can take a game away from you very rapidly.

The pre-season Audi up win over Bayern will count for little as the two sides meet in earnest in the Champions League.  The Germans champions dispatched Red Star comfortably at home 3-0, although it wasn't quite as simple as the score-line looked.  With new players brought in to replace the out-going Ribery, Robben, Renato Sanches, Rafinha and Mats Hummels, the incoming Pavard, Arp, Perisic, Countinho and Lucas Hernandez are being phased into the side, fitting aorund established Bayern regulars.  Daniel Levy take note !

Thos long-standing players such as Neuer, Lewandowski, Muller, Alaba, Coman and Boateng, the cor eof the team knows what to do and what is expected from them.  Compared to Bayern have much more of a European pedigree, especially in the Champions League, but last season they were knocked out by Liverpool in the Round of 16. Losing 1-3 at the Allianz Arena. So, there is hope for Spurs, who will not be at full strength, as they haven’t been all season.  It will need a considerable improvement of last Tuesday’s performance to take anything from the match.

It will be the first opportunity to see Ndombele play against European opposition. He appears to be adapting well to the Premier League and has taken his goals well, but perhaps just needs to be a bit more aware of where he is when he is on the ball. Some lovely touches have taken the opposition by surprise and put Spurs away and that sort of display will be required to make the difference against the top side of the continent.

So far this season, Spurs have shown in glimpses how they can function and against Palace, they  really hit their stride during a devastating first half. The remainder of the games have contained flashes of the way we could play, but that has been interspersed with moments that we would rather forget. It will have to be Pochettino’s strongest XI available, with the understanding of how they will play together. Too often this season, Kane has had to drop wide or deep and we need him in the box to finish plays off. Son and Lucas can use their pace and trickery to open up the opposing defence and make the openings for Harry.

Spurs will need to work hard to deny the Bayern midfield space and time and the pressing game needs to be up to the standard of a couple of seasons ago. Coutinho we know well form Liverpool and Barcelona last season and he is a skilful player who can open up defences, plus he might have a point to prove turning down a loan move here to got o Bayern.  Up front, Lewandowski is a predatory striker and strong holding up the ball, so Toby and Jan will have to be alert to nullify the threat he poses. But he is not alone in being a threat. Alphonso Davies is quick footed and sharp in thinking, as is his team-mate Kingsley Coman. Both look to run at defenders and with right backs injured, Poch may plump for Aurier’s experience, over Walker-Peters being his first choice at the start of the season and just coming back from injury.

Having proved that we can live with the top sides in Europe over the last few seasons, it will be a test of Pochettino’s tactical nous in pitting his wits against a side who steam-roller their own league and find their hardest challenges in European competition. With their first game bringing three points, I think Bayern would be willing to settle for a draw, which Spurs are capable of getting.

PREDICTION Tottenham Hotspur    1        Bayern Munich   1
Ryan Sessegnon (hamstring) and Giovani Lo Celso (hip) are both still out injured.
Bayern travel to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium without the services of midfielder Leon Goretzka and striker Jann-Fiete Arp.

BT Sport 2 - (live coverage)
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Champions League Group B Kick off 20.00
Tottenham Hotspur  2 (1) Bayern Munich  7 (2)


Son  11m 29s
Kane (p)  60m 05s


Kimmich  14m 42s
Lewandowski  44m 42s
Gnabry  52m 39s
Gnabry  54m 31s
Gnabry  82m 42s
Lewandowski  86m 12s
Gnabry  87m 34s

Ndombele (foul on Coutinho)  42 
Kane  (foul on Tolisso)  46


Gnabry  (foul on Winks)  25


Crowd :   60,127 Weather :  Raining, mild
Referee :  Clement Turpin (FRA) Assistant Referees :  Mr. Nicolas Danos; Mr. Cyril Gringore (FRA)
Fourth Official :  Frank Schneider (FRA)  
VAR Assistant Referee :  Francois Letexier (FRA) Assistant VAR Assistant Referee :  Jerome Brisard (FRA)
UEFA Delegate :  Nils Fisketjonn (NOR) UEFA Referee Observer :  Vladimir Sajn (SVN)
Bayern Munich  kicked off and played towards the Paxton Road end in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 4 minutes.
Tottenham Hotspur : kit Bayern Munich : kit
  1  Hugo LLORIS  (c)

  3  Danny ROSE
24  Serge AURIER

  8  Harry WINKS  (11  Erik LAMELA  81)

17  Moussa SISSOKO
28  Tanguy NDOMBELE       (23  Christian ERIKSEN  64)

20  DELE Alli (27  Lucas MOURA  71)

  7  Heung-Min SON 
10  Harry KANE       (p)

Unused subs: 
33  Ben DAVIES
  6  Davinson SANCHEZ

    1  Manuel NEUER

  5  Benjamin PAVARD
  4  Niklas SULE

17  Jerome BOATENG (  8  Javi MARTINEZ  72)
27  David ALABA (  6  Thiago ALCANTARA  46)

24  Corentin TOLISSO
32  Joshua KIMMICH 

29  Kingsley COMAN (14  Ivan PERISIC  71)
10  Philippe COUTINHO
22  Serge GNABRY            

  9  Robert LEWANDOWSKI   

Unused subs: 
26  Sven ULRICH
11  Mickael CUISANCE
19  Alphonse DAVIES
25  Thomas MULLER

Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino Manager :  Niko Kovac
Sponsor :   AIA Shirt sponsor :  T-Mobile
Kit Supplier :  Nike Kit Supplier :   adidas
Match report

It's hard to write this report when Spurs have lost 2-7.  Not because of the score, but because we were playing well for a large part of the game, but like the boy in the nursery rhyme, when we were good we were very very good, but when we were bad we were horrid.  The biggest number of goals conceded in a home match in the club's history was testament to Bayern's finishing and while the score was huge, it was against a very good team.

Prior to the game, I was chatting with my neighbours in our seats about high-scoring games we had seen.  Perhaps that seems like a mistake now, but I didn't think that this would be a huge score in the visitors' favour and we would slide to the club's biggest European defeat (in the club's eyes if not UEFA's).  The team picked by Pochettino looked strong on paper and they started looking as good as they did in theory.  Dele Alli looked sharper than he has done for a while, the pressing game put Bayern in situations where they had to hurriedly pass the ball inaccurately and the movement was pulling the German's defence around.  However, two minutes in, Coman looked as though he knocked the ball forward with his arm, but was allowed to carry on to pass to Gnabry, who hit a fierce shot from just outside the box requiring Lloris to push the shot aside when one-on-one.  But Spurs were finding their range and Ndombele played a pass into Son in and his shot allowed Neuer to block it and give away a corner.  Son was also in on goal when Spurs worked the ball down the left and Danny Rose's ball into the striker put him in two minds and he got his feet mixed up, leading to him tumbling over without getting anywhere near the ball.

After ten minutes, Ndombele's pass behind the left back of Bayern put Son in and he was at a tight angle, but the shot lacked power allowing Neuer to save.  The Korean had his reward two minutes later, when pressing Tolisso, he kicked the ball short and Sissoko recycled it to Son, coming in off the right channel and his low shot across the keeper hit the far corner of the net to give Tottenham the lead despite Neuer getting a hand to it.  It was a fine strike and the start that Tottenham had made deserved a goal to go with it.

However, it didn't last long.  Just two and a half minutes before Coman's right wing ball in found Lewandowski, who tried to lift it into the box to Coutinho, but Vertonghen cut it out.  His clearance went 22 yards out, where Kimmich picked it up, stepped inside Ndombele and shot across Lloris to his right from 20 yards out to equalise.  It was a blow, but a good strike.

Harry Kane almost restored the Spurs lead after a similar period, when he took Dele's ball over the defence, beat Neuer to it, as he came to the right side of his box and slid a shot at goal from a narrow angle only to see Alaba get back to block his shot on goal for a corner.  That led to another corner, which ended with Son curling a shot that Neuer dived to his left to save, getting everything behind it.  Another curling shot following a corner, this time at the other end, brought Lloris into action to save Coutinho's effort.  Spurs strung a good passing move together, with Kane taking a touch inside his marker 30 yards out to sweep a fine ball wide to Aurier on the right.  His ball in found Ndombele inside the box and his low shot was very well saved by the keeper, betting a hand to it close to his body to knock it wide for a corner.   Son later had a good chance, crafted by Sissoko and Dele, but he chose to shoot and it went into the side netting with Dele and Kane in the middle.

Bayern had been pushed into defending with little opportunity to break out, but Lewandowski did release Coman, but Moussa had got back to block his shot and a few minutes later the Bayern youngster fired a shot wide from outside the area.  Back in their own box, the lumbering Sule clumsily bundled over Dele without seeming to get the ball, with the referee soon booking Ndombele for a tackle the equivalent that he had allowed to go in the previous 42 minutes, apart from Gnabry's cynical trip on Winks when Spurs looked to break away with 25 minutes gone.  Tottenham seemed to be dropping off the Bayern midfield a little and this allowed Countiho room to operate.  Jan had to block a shot by the Barcelona loanee and then Ndomebele fouled him for a free-kick that Lewandowski hit the wall with at the expense of a corner. 

With a minute to go until the break, Spurs fell foul of their latest weakness, conceding just before half-time.  A throw-in on the Bayern right was taken to Lewandowski, who flicked it over Vertonghen and put the ball into the middle.  Aurier headed it out, but then a melee took place a couple of yards inside the box with the ball coming out to the edge of the box where Lewandowski had made his way.  Inside the D, he took a touch past Janand turned to his right to bury a low shot inside Lloris' left hand post with the keeper unable to reach the shot.  It was a blow and while Bayern had just got back into the game, it was not a true reflection of the first 45 minutes.  The loose ball had seen Tolisso fall to the floor looking for a penalty, but the referee waved play on and Sissoko and Aurier failed to clear the ball sufficiently for it to go in the Pole's direction to score and allow Bayern to go  in at half-time 2-1 up.

Whether playing with ten men for an hour on Saturday was starting to take its toll on Spurs or whether Bayern decided that attack was the best means of defence, I don't know, but whatever happened in the dressing room at half-time, Spurs failed to react to going behind in the opening period of the second half.   The appearance of Dimitar Berbatov at half-time didn't help, as Spurs could have done with some of his skill and invention.  Bayern brought on Thiago Alcantara for ALaba, who had been stood on by Aurier in the first half, which looked accidental and no action was taken against the Ivory Coast international.

At the start of the half, Ndombele tracked back to rob Countinho of the ball and set off a break, which ended with Bayern smuggling away the ball from Kane's right wing cross.  The Germans came forward and Jan blocked Lewandowski's effort, with the ball running to Tolisso, whose effort was wide.  Another defence into attack move from Spurs saw Toby take the ball off Lewandowski and fire a pass over the Bayern back line to Dele.  The midfielder took the ball down, but had to do so with his thigh and it didn't sit down for him to get a decent contact on his shot, forcing him to hook an effort straight at the keeper.

After that Bayern put the game beyond Tottenham's reach with two goals in three minutes.

53 minutes - Gnabry played a one-two with Pavard setting him away down the left.  Aurier dived in and he evaded that challenge before shaping to go outside Alderweireld and then inside before shooting right-footed across Lloris and into the bottom corner to make it 3-1.

55 minutes - it became 4-1 when Danny played the ball to Winksy 30 yards out and Tolisso took the ball off him, playing it left for Gnabry.  This time he took it first time left-footed across Hugo into the opposite bottom corner after bouncing off the left hand post of Lloris' goal to give Munich a three goal lead.

Three minutes after that Alcantara hooked Aurier's legs and Ndomebele swung the free-kick in that Neuer didn't look totally sound in palming out with it failing to clear the penalty area.  Rose got there first and Coman didn't see him coming in form behind him, sticking out a leg to bring the left back down and the referee pointed to the penalty spot.  VAR came into play and after a couple of minutes confirmed the ref's decision, with Bayern doing everything they could to delay the taking of the spot-kick.   They were all claiming that Rose had a high foot, but Coman's was equally as high and Rose was on the move while Coman was static.  Keeping calm while all this was going on, Harry Kane put the ball down and fired it past Neuers' left hand as he dived the right way but couldn't get to the ball.  So, pulling the score back to 2-4, Spurs looked like they wanted to get something out of the game. 

They were getting crosses in and one was deflected into the path of Sissoko, but it wasn't an easy shot with the ball in the air and he put it way over the bar.  Pochettino brought on Eriksen for Ndombele as he looked to be a little more offensive, bringing a save out of Neuer with a 25-yarder that had to be pushed over the bar.  Lewandowski had put a dangerous cross along the six yard box just before this without a red shirt there to finish it off and after Eriksen's effort, Rose slidetackled Coman as he came in from the wing, which was VAR'd, but no penalty was given, when it could quite easily have been.  Poch threw on Moura for Dele, but Bayern were dictating the tempo and Countinho went close with a shot from outside the box, while Pochettino tried to change things again with the last substitution of Lamela for Winks.

Going for it to get something out of the game was probably on Pochettino's mind after last season's experiences, but moving to a 4-3-3 left Spurs a little exposed and Bayern took advantage of that. 

83 minutes -  Alcantara's long ball through the middle went over Jan's head and Gnabry was onto it, with Vertonghen unable to get back to get a tackle in.  The Bayern man was in on the goalkeeper and slipped the ball past Lloris to his left as the keeper went right.

85 minutes -  Toby played a loose pass straight to Alcantara in the centre circle, who sent Perisic away down the left wing.  His ball across the 18 yard line found Countinho, who flicked it right to Lewandowski to finish first time across Hugo to his right.

I won't say that Spurs had given up, but they were committing basic errors that allowed Bayern to go on and complete a seven goal haul.  Aurier gave the ball to Countinho and in trying to retrieve it, his tackle took the ball to Alcantara.  His ball into Gnabry on the edge of the D saw him allowed the luxury of time to turn and with Rose not closing him, he fired another shot past Hugo's right hand to wrap up the win.

It was a second half to forget, but Spurs had been handed a footballing lesson and a harsh one in clinical finishing.  Ten shots and seven goals was testimony to their ability to hit the net.  A few players let themselves down with Aurier doing well in the first half, but having a wretched second, the defence not getting tight enough to stop the shots coming in and Poch must take a little of the blame for tinkering, which isn't really his style.

Don't forget that last season in the corresponding group game we were taken apart by Barcelona 2-4 at Wembley.  If Messi could finish like Gnabry, we would have lost by a much bigger margin that night.  Talk of crisis and rumours about the goings-on behind the scenes are all a bit overblown. Losing 2-4 or 2-7 still means you get no points from the game and  you could say that Poch was trying to get something form the game, rather than be passive and let it pan out to a loss anyway.  Naive ?  Maybe, but the only thing the big loss did was open him up to criticism from the media and the target for some jeers at the end of the match.  There are still four group games left and while our goal difference took a battering, we need to win the next three matches against Red Star and Olympiacos and that should stand us in good stead with the away game against Bayern still to come. 

Maybe I am a rose tinted optimist, but while things are still not right, the return from injury of some of our players and a settled side might help us regain some of our status in the Premier League and get through to the knock-out stages of the Champions League.

Newton St. John

Match facts

Mauricio Pochettino's joint heaviest defeat as a manager matching 0-5 v Real Madrid  for Espanyol (March 2012).

First time Spurs have conceded seven goals in any home match in their history.

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What you thought
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Other scores this round :
Real Madrid (SPA) 2 Club Brugge (BEL) 2 Tuesday
Galatasarary (TUR) 0 Paris Saint Germain (FRA) 1 Tuesday
Red Star Belgrade (SER) 3 Olympiacos (GRE) 1 Tuesday
Atalanta (ITA) 1 Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR) 2 Tuesday
Manchester City 2 Dinamo Zagreb (CRO) 0 Tuesday
Juventus (ITA) 3 04 Bayer Leverkusen (GER) 0 Tuesday
Lokomotiv Moscow (RUS) 0 Atletico Madrid (SPA) 2 Tuesday
Genk (BEL) 0 SSC Napoli (ITA) 0 Wednesday
Liverpool 4 Red Bull Salzburg (AUS) 3 Wednesday
Barcelona (SPA) 2 Internazionale (ITA) 1 Wednesday
Slavia Prague (CZE) 0 Borussia Dortmund (GER) 2 Wednesday
Zenit St. Petersburg (RUS) 3 Benfica (POR) 1 Wednesday
RB Leipzig (GER) 0 Olympique Lyonnais (FRA) 2 Wednesday
Valencia (SPA) 0 Ajax (HOL) 3 Wednesday
Lille (FRA) 1 Chelsea 2 Wednesday



Group B Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Bayern Munich 2 2 0 0 10 2 6 +8
2 Red Star Belgrade 2 1 0 1 3 4 3 -1
3 Olympiacos 2 0 1 1 3 5 1 -2
4 Tottenham Hotspur 2 0 1 1 4 9 1 -5

Position before this round :  3rd
Position after this round :  4th

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