Internationale nyheder

If the PL doesn't resume: Winners and losers

Sky Sports - ons, 18/03/2020 - 15:42
Who will be the winners and losers if the Premier League season is voided?

Jan Vertonghen's family robbed at knifepoint while Spurs were in Leipzig

Guardian - søn, 15/03/2020 - 14:21
  • Player’s wife and two young children were at home in London
  • Police are investigating but have made no arrests

The family of Tottenham Hotspur’s Jan Vertonghen were robbed at knifepoint inside their London home on Tuesday night while the defender was in Leipzig on Champions League duty. Police have confirmed they are investigating the incident but have made no arrests.

Related: In persisting with Joséfication Spurs are the architects of their own downfall | Jonathan Wilson

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Vertonghen's family held at knifepoint in burglary

Sky Sports - søn, 15/03/2020 - 12:30
The family of Tottenham's Jan Vertonghen have escaped unhurt after four men armed with knives burgled the defender's home while he was on Champions League duty on Tuesday.

In persisting with Joséfication Spurs are the architects of their own downfall | Jonathan Wilson

Guardian - lør, 14/03/2020 - 20:46

In half a season, José Mourinho has dismantled Tottenham’s style and denounced players – and it will only get worse

I n a crisis there is need for extreme measures. In a crisis there is need for a people to have faith in their leader, the only man who can save them. In a crisis the usual norms must be forgotten as the emergency is combated. Tottenham, in case you hadn’t noticed, are facing a crisis. Treacherous agents of the counter‑revolution are targeting their forwards, which is why everybody must be grateful José Mourinho is there to take the hard decisions. And speaking of enemies of the people, have you seen how Tanguy Ndombele’s been playing recently?

There are still those, after everything, who maintain faith. Of course the great leader will save them, if only critics would stop talking Tottenham down. Joséfication must go on. So what if all the principles, all the good practice, all the goodwill generated under Mauricio Pochettino end up being jettisoned along the way? Those are necessary sacrifices on the road to a José future. So what if Joséfication was always a short-term measure that left a toxic residue even when it worked, which it hasn’t for five years? And the only future is José. Don’t ask why: Daniel Levy has spoken.

Related: Leipzig leave Lloris squirming and hurry Mourinho's stale Spurs to the exit

Related: Spurs ponder where it all went wrong but this is as vital a moment as ever | Jonathan Liew

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Tottenham looking again at Kondogbia

Sky Sports - lør, 14/03/2020 - 17:55
Tottenham remain interested in Valencia's Geoffrey Kondogbia as head coach Jose Mourinho looks to strengthen his struggling squad.

Thommo: I can't see season resuming in April

Sky Sports - lør, 14/03/2020 - 14:40
Liverpool legend Phil Thompson does not feel the Premier League will resume action on the scheduled return date of April 4.

PL, EFL suspended until early April, England games off

Sky Sports - fre, 13/03/2020 - 13:01
The Premier League and EFL have postponed all fixtures until April 4 and 3 respectively at the earliest due to the threat of the coronavirus.

PL, EFL suspended until early April, England games off

Sky Sports - fre, 13/03/2020 - 13:01
The Premier League and EFL have postponed all fixtures until April 4 and 3 respectively at the earliest due to the threat of the coronavirus.

Charlie's Premier League predictions

Sky Sports - fre, 13/03/2020 - 10:00
Charlie Nicholas is back with his Premier League predictions for this coming weekend, with all 20 teams in action.

Redknapp: Jose has big job to do at Spurs

Sky Sports - tor, 12/03/2020 - 08:00
Harry Redknapp believes Jose Mourinho has "a big job to do in the summer" to reverse Tottenham's downward spiral.

Spurs ponder where it all went wrong but this is as vital a moment as ever | Jonathan Liew

Guardian - ons, 11/03/2020 - 19:48

Tottenham’s future is hazy as players and fans pick over the post-mortem but no one factor lead to the failure in Leipzig

One by one the Spurs players filed past, clutching their vanity bags and refuelling snacks, politely spurning all interview requests. “I don’t want to talk,” Érik Lamela said with an apologetic expression as he bit into a cream cheese bagel. “Sorry,” whispered Japhet Tanganga, taking a swig of his energy drink. Even Harry Winks, normally such a keen and fluent talker, simply burrowed his face into his hooded tracksuit and looked straight ahead.

To a man they looked bereft, distraught, stunned. As if they had just lost a final in injury time, rather than been pinged 4-0 on aggregate by a far superior team. Which on one level felt slightly surprising, given what they must have suspected would happen here in Leipzig after losing the first leg at home. Given also that for weeks their manager has been telling everyone who will listen how weak they are.

Related: All players on Leipzig bench would play in my Spurs team, says José Mourinho

Related: Leipzig leave Lloris squirming and hurry Mourinho's stale Spurs to the exit

Related: Farewell not just to a Champions League campaign but also a Spurs era | Jonathan Liew

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Who should play attacking midfield for England at Euro 2020?

Guardian - ons, 11/03/2020 - 18:45

Jesse Lingard was England’s creator in chief at the World Cup in 2018. Who should take his place this time around?

By Martin Laurence for WhoScored

While the FA work out whether England will play their scheduled friendlies against Italy and Denmark later this month – or in the continent-wide Euro 2020 in the summer – Gareth Southgate faces a few big decisions of his own. The England manager is sweating on the fitness of forwards Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford, but he has no such concerns when it comes to attacking midfielders. Dele Alli and Jesse Lingard started for England in the World Cup semi-final in 2018, but Alli is clinging on to his place in the squad and Lingard will almost certainly miss out. Southgate is facing a conundrum: who should come into the squad and who should start in that slot behind the forwards?

Related: How a football shirt number is being used to oppose homophobia in Brazil

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'Spurs slump a long time coming'

Sky Sports - ons, 11/03/2020 - 12:47
Tottenham's slump in form has been a "long time coming", says the club's former goalkeeper Paul Robinson.

Mourinho: no club in the world could cope with Spurs' injury crisis – video

Guardian - ons, 11/03/2020 - 12:17

José Mourinho has bemoaned Tottenham Hotspur's injury crisis after RB Leipzig knocked his team out of the Champions League with a 4-0 aggregate win. 'I think of course the best team won,' Mourinho said. 'A really strong team against a team that is in trouble ... we have lots of problems.'

Spurs were without Steven Bergwijn, Ben Davies, Harry Kane, Davinson Sánchez, Moussa Sissoko, Harry Kane and Son Heung-min against Leipzig. Mourinho said: 'You can cope for one or two matches, we cannot cope for three or four months. It's too much.'

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All players on Leipzig bench would play in my Spurs team, says José Mourinho

Guardian - ons, 11/03/2020 - 02:04
  • It will be ‘very difficult’ to return to Champions League next year
  • Tottenham beaten 4-0 on aggregate by RB Leipzig in round of 16

José Mourinho warned that Tottenham will find it “very difficult” to qualify for the Champions League next season after RB Leipzig ended their participation in this year’s competition by winning their last-16 tie 4-0 on aggregate.

Spurs were no match for Leipzig, who reached the last eight with a 3-0 win at the Red Bull Arena, and there is no sign of their injury problems easing before they host Manchester United on Sunday. The season is in danger of fizzling out for Mourinho’s side and their poor form in the Premier League has left them lagging behind in the race to secure Champions League football.

Related: RB Leipzig leave Lloris squirming and hurry Mourinho's stale Spurs to the exit

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Farewell not just to a Champions League campaign but also a Spurs era | Jonathan Liew

Guardian - ons, 11/03/2020 - 02:00

Only 10 months after Tottenham reached the European Cup final they hit the buffers in Leipzig – it looks like a long way back

So farewell then, Tottenham. Who knows when our paths will cross again? A fixture they embarked upon with a puncher’s chance and plenty of underdog spirit ended merely in crippling defeat and more questions. A broken team that under the joyless stewardship of José Mourinho has been broken still further, they looked here exactly what they are: the eighth‑best team in the Premier League, exhausted and error-prone, bad in defence and bad in attack, with no discernible long-term strategy and no identifiable short-term plan.

Related: RB Leipzig leave Lloris squirming and hurry Mourinho's stale Spurs to the exit

Related: Champions League return a tall order for Tottenham, admits José Mourinho

Related: Josip Ilicic scores four as Atalanta beat Valencia to continue European dream

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Jose: Spurs in trouble, CL qualification difficult

Sky Sports - ons, 11/03/2020 - 01:12
A deflated Jose Mourinho admits his Tottenham team are in trouble, and will find it difficult to qualify for the Champions League next season

RB Leipzig 3-0 Tottenham (4-0 agg): Champions League last 16 – as it happened

Guardian - ons, 11/03/2020 - 00:34

Hugo Lloris could have done better with both Marcel Sabitzer goals in the first half before Emil Forsberg sealed a 4-0 aggregate win

12.10am GMT

Related: Farewell not just to a Champions League campaign but also an era

12.10am GMT

Related: Champions League return a tall order for Tottenham, admits José Mourinho

11.06pm GMT

Related: Josip Ilicic scores four as Atalanta knock Valencia out in empty occasion

10.34pm GMT

I’ll leave you to chew over that fine soliloquy. I’m sure plenty of those words will be examined from all angles over the next few hours, days and weeks. Anyway, in lieu of all that, a reminder that Jacob Steinberg was in Germany to witness a sorry end to Tottenham’s Champions League campaign. Here’s his report ... and thanks for reading this MBM. Nighty night!

Related: RB Leipzig's Sabitzer leaves Lloris squirming and hurries Spurs to exit

10.32pm GMT

But of course that’s not it. Does this exit cause Spurs problems going forward, asks BT Sport’s Reshmin Chowdhury. “I think probably it is good. Sometimes difficult moments are ones that can prepare the future in a better way. There is nobody to blame when it looks in every match like we have a traumatic injury, that ends with months and months. We lost Son, we lost Bergwijn, and I don’t want to speak about the ones we lost so long ago. And that’s the history of this season. This season started with problems, look at the position we were in the table when I arrived. It is non-stop. Look to our bench. It’s very hard. I can’t blame the players.” So are transfers afoot? “This summer, unless something happens during the Euros, we have Sissoko, Kane, Son, Bergwijn, so that is massive.”

10.27pm GMT

Mourinho’s take. “Of course I was very positive yesterday, and that’s the way I have to be all the time ... but we know that in this moment, it is very difficult, Leipzig are a very strong side ... we start the game, we had an opportunity that I thought it was almost an own goal, if you look to us lately, it was Rudiger that scored for us, it was a penalty, it’s hard ... then they come, our first couple of mistakes, they score, and after that it is very difficult ... their physicality is very impressive ... we cannot hurt people, but they can hurt us all the time ... but if I can be critical, some of my players with some mistakes, I keep for us ... they tried to give what they can give, and that’s it ... we made mistakes that we have analysed in previous matches but when you don’t have more to give, you give what you can ... it is more difficult for me to work with players who cannot express their potential than ones who play within their limits and I cannot ask more from them ... so I am with the boys, and that’s it.”

10.12pm GMT

Jose’s verdict to come. But in the meantime, Jacob Steinberg’s report from Germany has landed. Here it is!

Related: RB Leipzig's Sabitzer leaves Lloris squirming and hurries Spurs to exit

10.10pm GMT

A grim-faced Dele Alli bravely faces the music on BT Sport. “It’s devastating. We had belief before the game, but this is the Champions League, and if you don’t step up, you’re going to be punished. After last year, it was a great run, so it is disappointing to go out like that. After the first goal went in, it didn’t change much because we knew we had to score two to go through. But we conceded too many chances as a team and were punished. It’s hard to come back when you’re on top and then concede two goals. We had to show maturity and fight, and we didn’t do that. We can’t use [the absence of Kane and Son] as an excuse, we still have quality on the pitch, some good players. But that’s football. We have to apologise to the fans who came out here all this way. We have to fight. We can’t be in the position we’re in in the league. We can’t give up. Confidence is obviously gone, but it’s a big game at the weekend and we have to pick ourselves up and turn this around. We have to stay together, it’s not down to one player to score goals and another to stop them. It was the whole team. We know it’s not good enough.”

10.03pm GMT

Baby Mourinho 4-0 Mou Classic. To Mourinho’s credit, he goes straight over to Julian Nagelsmann and offers his opposite number warm congratulations. He then defiantly strides down the tunnel, his arm thrown around Lucas Moura. On BT Sport, Gary Lineker suggests that might be some sort of this-is-all-I’ve-got-left signal to Daniel Levy, but let’s not try to read too much into it. Though it is clear that last year’s runners-up need a serious rebuild. If they can’t turn their abysmal form around in short order - and Manchester United visit N17 on Sunday - this could be their last Champions League match for a wee while. Leipzig, by contrast, will take some stopping. For all Tottenham’s faults, they’ve been magnificent in both legs, and fully deserve to make the quarters for the first time in their short history.

9.56pm GMT

Leipzig - to the sound of the Beastie Boys - celebrate their advance to the quarter-finals. They’ve fought for their right to party. Fully deserved. They’ve been magnificent. Last year’s losing finalists, by contrast, are knocked out with barely a whimper.

9.54pm GMT

90 min +5: And to think it’s been something of an off night for Timo Werner. Small mercies for Spurs.

9.53pm GMT

90 min +4: Fernandes has a dig from distance. His effort rolls into the arms of Gulacsi. The Leipzig faithful cheer sarcastically, somewhat cruelly given the gap in quality on display tonight.

9.51pm GMT

90 min +3: “Grim as all this is, it will be as nothing as to Mourinho’s performance-art piece of a post match interview where he basically turns the entire history of Tottenham Hotspur into a dirty protest,” predicts Dom, who is currently perched “on a window ledge in Tunbridge Wells”. It’s been one of those nights for Spurs fans.

9.49pm GMT

90 min +1: Aurier is replaced by Malachi Fagan-Walcott, who will be 18 tomorrow. A bittersweet early birthday present for the academy centre-half.

9.48pm GMT

90 min: Spurs and an ashen-faced Mourinho just want this over. But there will be six added minutes.

9.47pm GMT

89 min: Spurs have been better in this second half. But it was a low bar. Overall, they’ve been thoroughly outplayed by Leipzig over both legs.

9.46pm GMT

Angelino crosses from the left. Aurier slides in to clear, but can only tee up Forsberg, who slams home from eight yards with his first touch, 32 seconds after making it onto the pitch!

9.45pm GMT

86 min: Leipzig want a penalty, arguing Tanganga went in with unnecessary force. But the ref’s not interested, and we play on. But not before Leipzig’s two-goal hero is replaced by Emil Forsberg.

9.43pm GMT

84 min: Upamecano romps down the middle, one-twos with Haidara, and nearly gets a shot away. Lloris comes out to claim. Tanganga comes across and gives the big defender the mother of all shoulder barges. Tanganga goes down having been clattered with some force.

9.40pm GMT

82 min: Angelino makes ground down the left and feeds Werner, who wins a corner off Dier. Angelino takes. Spurs half clear. Upamecano chests down and blooters a volley straight into Tanganga’s ribcage. That’s winded the young Spurs defender, and play is stopped so he can catch his breath.

9.38pm GMT

80 min: Spurs replace Lo Celso with Gedson Fernandes, the visit of Manchester United on Sunday now uppermost in Jose Mourinho’s mind.

9.36pm GMT

78 min: Leipzig stroke it around the back for a while, a textbook example of game management.

9.34pm GMT

76 min: Adams zips down the right. His cross is deflected off Sessegnon and out for a corner. Werner’s set piece is nothing to write home about. “Is that Mourinho managing Alli and co., or is it Mourinho’s brother?” Ladies and gentlemen, please be upstanding for Mr Phil Grey.

9.32pm GMT

74 min: Moura drives down the left, beats Upamecano and pulls back for Alli, who whistles a first-time shot straight down the throat of Gulacsi. Alli goes over Sabitzer’s leg after shooting, and VAR has a look, but it’s never a penalty.

9.31pm GMT

73 min: Schick dribbles down the middle. He’s got options to the right ... but weirdly passes to nobody on the left.

9.29pm GMT

71 min: Mind you, Leipzig are putting it around as well. Sabitzer is booked for bowling Alli to the ground. Everyone’s getting a little tetchy.

9.28pm GMT

70 min: Alli is booked for a mist-down swipe at Angelino’s ankles. Frustration seems to have taken hold of Tottenham.

9.26pm GMT

69 min: Tanganga is booked for giving Werner a rugby-style cuddle.

9.26pm GMT

68 min: Some good news on the stricken Mukiele: he was briefly unconscious, having swallowed his tongue. But thankfully he’s reportedly recovered and all is now well.

9.24pm GMT

66 min: Upamecano and Haidara combine down the right with Spurs light at the back. Werner’s in the middle, and really should be found, but his team-mates over-elborate on the flank and the chance is gone.

9.23pm GMT

64 min: Lamela goes in clumsily on Sabitzer. He stands on one of his ankles. Lightly? Certainly. Deliberately? It’s not clear, so the referee takes no action other than to award a free kick.

9.22pm GMT

63 min: Lo Celso fires a fine pass down the left, releasing Sessegnon into space. But there’s nobody in the centre. The resulting cross, however, is put in a dangerous enough position to force Halstenberg into the panicked concession of a corner. Sadly, Lo Celso’s delivery is not all that. But there have been some recent signs of Tottenham belatedly sparking into life.

9.20pm GMT

62 min: Laimer works his way down the left but can’t quite find Werner in the middle with his low cross. Spurs are able to clear.

9.20pm GMT

61 min: Moura is illegally blocked by Halstenberg out on the Spurs left. Lo Celso swings a free kick into the mixer, but it’s not all that, and easily cleared by Leipzig. One first-half Lo Celso shot apart, Spurs have failed utterly in their attempts to work Gulacsi in the Leipzig goal.

9.18pm GMT

60 min: A second change for Leipzig, as Amadou Haidara replaces Nkunku. The game restarts, and Werner glides in from the left before rasping a rising shot inches over the crossbar.

9.17pm GMT

58 min: Moura tries to give Spurs some momentum, shooting ambitiously from distance. The shot just about stays in the arena. “Now that your good self and others have cited the Ajax comeback, if Spurs don’t do that now it means Liverpool won’t repeat their Barcelona trick tomorrow,” argues Perspective’s Ian Copestake, who may or may not be losing his mind with worry. “Come on Spurs!”

9.15pm GMT

57 min: Werner slips a pass down the inside left for Schick, who balloons a wild effort yards over the bar from the left of the D. A decent chance, that, and Spurs are still clinging onto hope by their fingernails. But they need something to happen soon.

9.14pm GMT

56 min: Mukiele can’t continue, he’s in some pain and distress. He lies back on the stretcher and is carted off, holding his head. God speed young man. Meanwhile on comes 21-year-old US midfielder Tyler Adams in the big Frenchman’s stead.

9.13pm GMT

54 min: Worrying scenes here as the stretcher comes on for Mukiele. It’s not clear what’s happened to the big man. Thankfully he’s soon sitting up, but he looks pretty groggy. He might have taken a whack in the face from the ball.

9.11pm GMT

52 min: Lamela plays a long pass down the middle for Moura, who can’t quite get the better of Klostermann in a footrace. For a split second there, Leipzig were in trouble, but that’s staunch defending.

9.09pm GMT

50 min: Laimer is booked for a check on Lamela. Replays suggest it was the nearby Upamecano who put in most of the physical work, but it’s his team-mate who cops the flak.

9.08pm GMT

49 min: Moura turns neatly in the midfield. There’s acres in front of him ... and options ... but he overruns it, allowing Leipzig to counter. Werner sashays in from the left and takes far too long to get a shot away. Spurs regain possession, thankful Werner was so uncharacteristically ponderous.

9.05pm GMT

47 min: Spurs start the second half on the front foot, probing down both flanks. They annoy the hosts enough for Werner to clip Tanganga to the floor. Leipzig’s star striker escapes with a ticking-off.

9.03pm GMT

Leipzig get the second half underway. Spurs had been sent out early, presumably in disgrace, by man-management guru Mourinho. They were waiting alone for a good couple of minutes. Let’s see how they respond to this motivational technique.

8.58pm GMT

Half-time catharsis. It’s fair to say the Tottenham faithful aren’t in the best of moods. The floor’s yours, folks. Better out than in ... and who knows, you might even tempt fate into serving up another Ajax-style miracle. “Surely this is the end for Mourinho at Spurs?” asks Niall Sheerin. “There is nothing there. No structure or shape; no discernible tactics or style; no spirit or spunk. In ditching Poch for Mou, Levy implicitly acknowledged that he failed in his mission to ship out the deadwood and refresh the squad in the summer. Surely it’s now time for him to acknowledge the error and #bringbackPoch.”

“Mourinho is already working on his post match interview where he contrives to blame tonight’s performance on Ndombele, Luke Shaw and Eva Carneiro,” zings Stephen Carr.

8.49pm GMT

And that’s the end of a miserable first 45 for Spurs. On the touchline, as his troops trudge back to the dressing room, Mourinho engages the fourth official in some heated debate. Not sure what he’s unhappy about. Not sure what he’s unhappy about in particular, that is. Spurs need something approaching an Ajax-style miracle. They’ve done it before.

8.47pm GMT

45 min +1: Winks is booked for cynically clipping Laimer, who was looking to break from a nondescript Spurs attack. He doesn’t bother complaining. He had to take one for the team.

8.46pm GMT

45 min: Spurs nearly concede a farcical third. Some slapstick shenanigans in their area. Dier tries to punt clear. The ball twangs off Schick’s standing leg and slowly rolls towards the bottom right. It should never go in, though Lloris nearly lets it. The keeper scoops away just in time.

8.45pm GMT

44 min: Aurier bustles down the right. He thinks he’s run the ball out for a goal kick, but the ball clipped Angelino and the officials give Aurier a pleasant surprise. Lo Celso takes the corner. A chance to change the picture just before the break? Nope. Gulacsi claims with ease.

8.43pm GMT

43 min: There won’t be much hope if Spurs concede another. Werner and Schick advance on the Spurs box. The visitors are fortunate that the pair get in each other’s way, allowing Tanganga to clip the ball away from danger.

8.42pm GMT

41 min: This is better from Spurs! Sessegnon dinks into the box from the left. Leipzig half clear. Lo Celso cuts in from the right and curls a splendid low shot towards the bottom left. It’s heading in, but Gulacsi sticks out a strong hand to parry and Upamecano mops up without panic. So close to a precious away goal, so close to some precious hope.

8.40pm GMT

40 min: Upamecano tries to release Mukiele down the inside-right channel with a glorious Beckenbaueresque rake. Just a bit too much on the long-distance pass, and it’s a goal kick. Mukiele applauds his team-mate’s ambition nonetheless.

8.39pm GMT

38 min: Upamecano carelessly gives the ball away to Lamela, but then, with Moura hoping to advance towards the box, charges it down and regains possession for Leipzig. Wonderful defending. At the moment, Leipzig are in that sweet spot where they end up impressing even when they make the odd mistake.

8.37pm GMT

36 min: The free kick leads to a corner. The corner leads to a throw. The throw leads to an extended passing sequence. Spurs can’t get hold of the ball at all. This is painful viewing from a Tottenham perspective.

8.35pm GMT

34 min: Sessegnon is correctly booked after overrunning the ball and raking his shoe down the back of Mukiele’s leg.

8.34pm GMT

33 min: Angelino is getting a ruinous amount of space down the left. He sets in motion a move which ends in Lloris punching clear under pressure from Schick and Mukiele. “Red Bull look like they’ve had their Red Bull tonight, while Mourinho’s men have had an early Horlicks,” quips Justin Kavanagh, because somebody had to.

8.32pm GMT

31 min: Leipzig look uber-relaxed at the moment, much as you’d expect them to, the state of the tie. Werner glides in from the left and tries to curl one into the top right. Too high and wide, but a decent effort nonetheless. “It seems some substitutions could do Spurs good here. I suggest Wanyama in the middle, Llorente in attack.” Sports satirist Eivind Krohg, ladies and gentlemen.

8.29pm GMT

29 min: Alli bursts down the left and is clipped from behind by Upamecano, who really should be booked. But it’s just a free kick. Spurs waste their set piece in short order, and suddenly Leipzig are breaking at speed, yet again. Werner is found just inside the box to the right. He takes a touch and lashes a shot straight at Lloris, presumably having decided that anything might happen. This time Lloris parries with strong hands.

8.27pm GMT

27 min: Werner crosses from the right, but his ball is too high for Schick in the middle. Spurs are hanging on.

8.26pm GMT

26 min: The hosts do very little with their corner. This is such an open game, though. The chances of it ending 2-0 tonight look extremely slim.

8.26pm GMT

25 min: But it’s Leipzig who look most likely to score the next goal. Angelino is afforded yet more space down the left, and he wins a corner off Aurier. Tottenham were ludicrously light at the back there, with Werner in the middle lurking. Spurs clear the corner and try to break through Alli and Lamela, but Mukiele wins the ball back, Leipzig spring back upfield, and win another corner.

8.24pm GMT

23 min: Spurs are really up against it now. But again, let us remember: this is exactly where they were in Amsterdam last season, and look what happened there. It’s a straw-clutching exercise, of course it is, but this is all Tottenham have got right now. An away goal before half-time could change everything.

8.23pm GMT

What a stunning goal this is! From the centre circle, Laimer sprays a ball down the right for Angelino, who crosses towards Sabitzer at the near post. Sabitzer powers a header down towards the bottom-left corner and in! There were a couple of Spurs mistakes - Aurier missed a header from Laimer’s pass, while Lloris was again weak of wrist - but take nothing away from the wonderful sweep of the move.

8.20pm GMT

19 min: Leipzig have the ball in the net again. Some space for Angelino down the left. His low cross flies across the face of goal, and is tapped in with great ease by Werner. But Werner had needlessly gone early, and it’s clearly offside. Werner, overly eager, let Spurs off the hook there.

8.18pm GMT

18 min: Moura works some space down the right and forces Upamecano into conceding a corner with a low cross. Nothing comes from the set piece.

8.17pm GMT

17 min: Dier and Tanganga hesitate, nearly allowing Werner to nip between them and race goalwards with the ball. Dier makes a last-ditch tackle to save the situation, before rollocking his young team-mate in the trenchant style. Spurs need to gather themselves, and quick.

8.16pm GMT

16 min: A shot of Mourinho responding to the goal pictures him gesticulating with one outstretched arm before turning away in disgust. It’s a textbook performance of the internationally recognised mime for See What I Have To Work With?! He’s not a happy man.

8.15pm GMT

14 min: But that goal has understandably deflated Spurs, while putting a fresh blast of wind in Leipzig’s sail. Momentum’s shifted. Mukiele ripples the side netting from a tight angle, though the flag belatedly goes up for offside.

8.13pm GMT

12 min: Spurs fans shouldn’t get too disheartened yet. Their team started well. And the narrative arc of this tie is following last year’s semi-final against Ajax. If history is to repeat, another goal for Leipzig before half-time and it really is on!

8.11pm GMT

Laimer scampers down the right and cuts back for Werner, whose shot from just inside the box is blocked. Werner recycles possession and tees up his captain Sabitzer, who arrows a low shot towards the bottom left. It’s a decent effort, though Lloris should tip it round the post. A weak hand and it’s in. A tale of two captains, and now Spurs are really up against it.

8.09pm GMT

8 min: During that last attack, Alderweireld had his arms wrapped around Schick, who made a half-arsed plea for a penalty kick. There wasn’t enough in it, though the Spurs defender will need to stop that if he doesn’t want to risk needless bother.

8.07pm GMT

6 min: Leipzig respond with their first serious attack of the evening. Werner presses down the right. Spurs are on the back foot. The ball’s worked towards Angelino, just inside the box, on the left. Leaning back, Angelino tries to whip a diagonal shot towards the bottom right, but gets it all wrong. It’s open.

8.06pm GMT

5 min: Some space for Alli out on the right. He swings a low cross into the box, hoping to find Lamela. Klostermann is on point and able to clear. Beforehand, Moura nearly got on the end of a long ball, only to be denied by Upamecano. This is a lively start by the visitors.

8.05pm GMT

4 min: Sessegnon makes himself known down the left, and looks to have won a corner, but the flag goes up for offside. For a split second there, the home team looked exposed. An encouraging moment for Spurs.

8.04pm GMT

3 min: Not that Leipzig have started much better themselves. Angelino takes a throw that sails infield and curls straight back out of play. Werner, hoping he’d be found on the half-way line, out on the left, gives the it-doesn’t-matter thumbs-up.

8.02pm GMT

2 min: And on that very subject, Dier overhits a simple backpass and concedes a ridiculous corner. Angelino to take from the right. Moura clears at the near post. In the dugout, Jose doesn’t look particularly impressed at what he’s just witnessed, but he soon gathers himself and reaches the touchline for an encouraging clap.

8.01pm GMT

And we’re off! The visitors get this second leg underway. It’s the very first Champions League knockout game at the RB Arena, and the home crowd aren’t disappointing. A fine noise .. and a hectic, pinball start. A few nerves on display, but not much control.

7.57pm GMT

The teams are out! Leipzig line up in their white shirts with red trim, while Spurs are resplendent in second-choice navy blue. A cracking atmosphere at a packed, Coronavirus-defying RB Arena, the 2,300 travelling Spurs fans making themselves heard as best they can. It’s time for the official Uefa remix of Zadok the Priest, the coin toss, and some pre-match pleasantries. It won’t be long before the game is underway!

7.47pm GMT

Jose Mourinho speaks. “We have nothing to lose. We are already losing. I believe we are going to do it. We go with everything. It is not much that we have. But we go with everything.” That’s from a pre-record from yesterday with BT Sport. No word from him this evening, though he has been spotted exchanging elbow-taps (damn this virus) with his opposite number Julian Nagelsmann.

7.27pm GMT

Pre-match presents. At first glance, you could be forgiven for thinking little or no effort had gone into the bland pennant Marcel Sabitzer will hand over before kick-off. But squint a little harder: it’s been designed to look like a polo shirt. Full marks for busting tapered-flag convention wide open, if nothing else.

7.03pm GMT

Leipzig make one change to the side sent out at the all-new Spurs stadium three weeks ago. The 21-year-old French defender Dayot Upamecano replaces Ethan Ampadu, the 19-year-old Welsh loanee from Chelsea, at the back.

Tottenham make four changes to the side defeated in the first leg. Davinson Sanchez, Ben Davies, Gedson Fernandes and Steven Bergwijn make way for Japhet Tanganga, Ryan Sessegnon, Eric Dier and Erik Lamela. Of those dropped, only Fernandes is named as a sub. Sanchez meanwhile failed a fitness test; youth-team defender Malachi Fagan-Walcott, 18 tomorrow, gets a surprise call-up to the bench as a result.

6.53pm GMT

RB Leipzig: Gulacsi, Klostermann, Upamecano, Halstenberg, Mukiele, Sabitzer, Laimer, Angelino, Nkunku, Schick, Werner.
Subs: Haidara, Poulsen, Forsberg, Adams, Lookman, Olmo, Mvogo.

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Alderweireld, Dier, Tanganga, Aurier, Winks, Lo Celso, Sessegnon, Lamela, Lucas Moura, Alli.
Subs: Vertonghen, Gazzaniga, Ndombele, Skipp, Fernandes, Parrott, Fagan-Walcott.

1.49pm GMT

This looks like an uphill battle for Spurs, who at the halfway point of this Champions League round-of-16 tie, are trailing to knockout new boys RB Leipzig after a 0-1 loss at home. Jose Mourinho’s men have lost four of their last five fixtures in all competitions, drawing the other slightly fortuitously at Burnley on Saturday. They need to snap that run with victory tonight, though their record this season of four wins in 21 away matches in all competitions won’t fill them with too much confidence. Nor will the fact they’ve lost all three of their matches against Bundesliga opposition in this campaign: the first leg of this tie, plus 3-1 and 7-2 defeats to Bayern Munich in the groups.

But all is not lost. In-form Leipzig may have won three and drawn two of their last five games, but they’ve already lost at home in the Champions League this season, to Lyon. The 0-2 scoreline that evening is exactly the one Spurs require to get through. Additionally, while Tottenham’s 2019-20 record against German teams is abysmal, they brushed aside Borussia Dortmund at this stage last season. And it’s impossible to forget their last knockout tie in which they lost the first leg 0-1 at home. Spurs may not have won the competition last season, but they’ll always have Amsterdam.

Continue reading...

Tottenham: One game to save their season

Sky Sports - ons, 11/03/2020 - 00:10
In recent weeks Jose Mourinho has made a point of highlighting the key players out injured for Tottenham - but it was their captain and No 1 Hugo Lloris and his all-too-familiar early errors which undermined any hope Spurs had of turning around their Champions League last-16 tie with RB Leipzig.
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