No Harry Kane, no Heung-min Son……no chance?
Ahead of kick off the narrative was centered around Tottenham’s distinct lack of a striker. Kane’s long-term injury crippled the club’s forward options anyway, but news of Son requiring surgery on a broken arm has threatened to derail their season.
Gedson Fernandes makes his first start ✅
Lucas Moura leading the line 聾
What chance do Spurs have tonight against a young talented side who they have never played before? https://t.co/BzLEWg3a54
— 90min (@90min_Football) February 19, 2020
Their Premier League aspirations took a knock, but their Champions League dreams have equally been dented.
Especially since their round of 16 opponents are none other than high-flying RB Leipzig.
Well, after one (1!) minute, it was clearly the latter.
1 minute in and 3 chances. How many will Leipzing score tonight?
— 90min (@90min_Football) February 19, 2020
Leipzig all over Spurs in the opening two minutes. Had three great chances, including Angelino hitting the post after a good save by Lloris. Not what was ordered. #THFC #COYS
— Jonathan Veal (@jonathandveal83) February 19, 2020
We’re lucky not to be 1-0 inside 2 minutes. RB Leipzig off to a flying start hitting the post & forcing Hugo to make a big save. #THFC #TOTRBL
— COYS.com (@COYS_com) February 19, 2020
Leipzig have 4 shots and hits the post with one of them all in 1 minute and 20 seconds. Gonna be a long night
— bdog. (@CoysLad) February 19, 2020
Barring one Steven Bergwijn attempt, it’s fair to say that the opening 20 minutes were utterly dominated by Die Roten Bullen.
Forcing Spurs to sit off in a 4-4-2, there was no respite for wave after wave of RB Leipzig attack. Where were the hosts going to get a goal from?
Spurs are being totally dominated here… Nagelsmann master class!!!
— Mxolisi Azhar Buyeye (@AzharBuyeye) February 19, 2020
Leipzig goal is coming … We could be playing Rochdale & they’d still dominate against Spurs at the moment.
— Lee Smith (@LeeSmith2000) February 19, 2020
This is so hard to watch. Talk about being utterly dominated. It’s wave after wave of Leipzig attack
— Shay (@ShaySpurs) February 19, 2020
We’ve seen this before, though.
Under Mourinho, Spurs have been second best in a handful of games, only to emerge winners with a narrow victory that is best described as ‘fortunate’.
Or, it’s a masterclass from the two-time Champions League winner.
Naturally, Twitter was divided.
Leipzig dominating so you know what that means, final score 1-0 Spurs
— ً (@UtdAlex__) February 19, 2020
Leipzig completely dominating but spurs will get some goal from poor defender out of no where and it’ll be a Mourinho masterclass
— ً (@Sarrista__) February 19, 2020
It was Nagelsmann’s side who continued to turn the screw, seeing the lion’s share of possession and keeping their opponents at arm’s length.
Yet….was there a sign of Spurs working their way into proceedings? Finally they were seeing some of the ball in the final third, were the club’s fans growing in optimism?
Spurs growing into this game. Feel we will get through the tie. Game has a feel of Ajax SF about it #SPURSRBL
— Adam Hewitt (@adamhewitt79) February 19, 2020
Slowly growing into this. No pressure yet
— Spurs Shout (@SpursShout) February 19, 2020
spurs looking a taaad bit better cmon boys tire them out
— yid szn (@comeonyouspur16) February 19, 2020
And as the first 45 minutes went by without RB Leipzig somehow scoring, it was Spurs who has the first chance of the second half.
Yet, their hope was dashed shortly after, as Ben Davies took out Konrad Laimer in the box to hand the visitors a stonewall penalty and a chance from 12 yards.
Yup. That’s a clear penalty.
— Cincinnatus C./Bring Leroy Sane to Madrid. (@_Moziah) February 19, 2020
Would Timo Werner score and end a five-game goal drought?
Changes had to be made, and Mourinho saw it fit to replace Dele Alli and Gedson Fernandes as a knee-jerk reaction.
Removing the former of those didn’t sit well with the Spurs faithful, however. Not least with the player himself…
Dele Alli frustrated after being taken off, and rightfully so. He didn’t shine tonight, but some of that has to be attributed to the ineffectiveness of Tottenham’s midfield. Lucas has also been very quiet for #Spurs #ChampionsLeague
— Love of the Game (@loveofthegame99) February 19, 2020
Jose Mourinho’s logic is stupid, taking off alli when he’s been the best player.. Leipzig should be 3,4 up #TOTRBL
— DoucsSZN (@deadlydoucss) February 19, 2020
Dele Alli a tad pissed off after being brought off. Doesn’t take long for Mourinho to piss players off. I can’t see Jose at Spurs in 2021.
— Stuart (@stuarteddywl103) February 19, 2020
Lo Celso then nearly brought Spurs back into the tie with a bending free kick, that only avoided hitting the back of the net thanks to the outstretched arm of Peter Gulacsi tipping it onto the post.
Lo Celso singlehandedly keeping spurs in this tie
— Tedric Razali (@tedricrazali) February 19, 2020
Tottenham suddenly looked like the side in control.
Pushing men up the field and making positive changes had an instant impact, epitomised by RB Leipzig starting to give away needless fouls in dangerous positions.
Could they pull one back?
Come on Spurs. Let’s get back in this game. Need to starting getting some chances on goal and hitting the target! #COYS
— Danny Griffiths (@DannyGriffiths1) February 19, 2020
Come on Spurs please we’re playing a lot better just need 1 goal I’m on my knees
— a (@springmontage) February 19, 2020
Unfortunately for Spurs, on this occasion, there was to be no last minute drama.
How significantly they improved is commendable, but surely it was too little too late?
Their standoff-ish approach was uninspiring, and in the end they were forced to pay for efforts in the first 65 minutes.
They’ve got it all left to do…
Mourinho lost the match for Spurs tactically. They can match Leipzig toe to toe, but they held back and gave the away side the initiative…no need for that, especially without the scoring instincts of Son and Kane [when they get half chances].
— Deji Faremi (@deejayfaremi) February 19, 2020
Not too bad @SpursOfficial we are starting to get better and we know what we can do during the away game and score 2 and we are through
— Nick James (@welshdeafgolfer) February 19, 2020
How do you expect Spurs to score or win with no Forward! Shocking performance for 65 minutes, gonna be a tough game in Germany & saturday against Chelsea! #THFC #COYS #SPURS #TOTRBL
— Colin George (@ColinGeorge88) February 19, 2020