October 5, 2022

All square in Germany as Lloris proves Tottenham’ hero

October 19, 2016
Hugo Lloris

BANG-IN-FORM Dele Alli failed to sting like a bee last night as he couldn’t land a blow when Leverkusen were on the ropes.

The England star has been buzzing this month, with three goals for club and country in his last four games.

So it was hard to believe it when the 20-year missed a sitter in the 27th minute. Victor Wanyama’s strength saw him force a ball to Kieran Trippier on the overlap.

His cross into the box was perfect for the onrushing Alli, but he powered his header wide of the far post.

Boss Mauricio Pochettino could not believe it, Alli too as he put both on his hands on the top of his head wondering how he avoided the target.

Alli’s failure led to Spurs having to withstand a second-half battering from Leverkusen, with ex-Manchester United star Javier Hernandez coming the closest – literally just two or three inches away – to scoring for the German side.

But they held on for a point which left them second in Group E behind Monaco.

A victory last night and they could have qualified with another win in the reverse fixture at White Hart Lane in two weeks. Now that cannot happen.

Tottenham arrived in Germany one of only two unbeaten teams in all four domestic leagues – the other being Carlisle three divisions below them.

But their one defeat this campaign had come in their opening game in the Champions League, when they were defeated 2-1 by Monaco at an alien Wembley.

They faced a challenge at Leverkusen. They may only be tenth in the Bundesliga, but they went into this Group E game on the back of ten games unbeaten at the BayArena.

In a largely uninspiring first half, Spurs were offering the only real threats on goal.

In the 39th minute they were agonisingly close to going ahead with three successive attempts on goal in just seconds. First Alli’s goal on goal was blocked by Toprak.

The ball span out to Trippier on the right and another great delivery from him this time picked out Janssen.

He headed against the bar and Erik Lamela slid in to connect with the rebound, but keeper Bernd Leno tipped over.

But the north Londoners’ superiority ended after the break. In the 48th minute Hernandez looked to have scored when he prodded goalwards a cross from the right.

Hugo Lloris collected after diving over the ball and it looks suspiciously like he had let the ball over the line. But the goalline technology proved the officials spot-on…just.

Lloris did well to to push round a low free-kick from Charles Aranguiz in the 57th minute which zipped off the wet turf in the 57th minutes.

Straight after Danny Rose was in the right place to head over when Hernandez looked set to hook in from close range.

With Leverkusen suddenly well on top, skipper Lloris was excellent again in the 63rd minute, flinging himself to his right again to deny Admir Mehmedi’s long-range shot.

As spaces appeared, Spurs looked like they might catch Leverkusen on the break. But the final ball was just not there.

In the 84th minute striker Stefan Kiessling might have grabbed a winner when Kevin Kampl’s pass found him at the near post. But he got his feet all wrong and he drove his shot way wide of the near post.

Now Spurs could have to go to the wire, their fifth group game is in Monaco on November 22, and be sweating on qualification at home to CSKA Moscow on December 12.

And that’s what they need as they try to land that first title for 56 years.

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