Spurs leave it late, but captain fantastic Kane downs PSV with brace
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Champions League Group B: Tottenham Hotspur 2 PSV 1
Two goals from Harry Kane in the final 12 minutes kept alive Tottenham Hotspur’s chances of progressing through Champions League Group B as runners-up after a 2-1 win over PSV at Wembley Stadium tonight.
Spurs trailed for most of the match, but a late brace from skipper for the night Kane sent the fans home happy and ensured Mauricio Pochettino’s men live to fight another day in Europe.
It was actually the introduction of Fernando Llorente which helped turn the tide in the hosts’ favour after they had previously struggled to break down the Netherlands side.
While it is still an uphill task for the Lilywhites to finish ahead of Inter Milan, this win will give them plenty of belief given how difficult they found things and once again, despite not playing to their optimum, they found a way to triumph.
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Spurs made six changes to the starting team which won 3-2, in nervy circumstances, away to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League on Saturday.
Hugo Lloris was suspended so dropped out of the squad completely and was replaced by Paulo Gazzaniga, while Serge Aurier and Davinson Sanchez come into the back four with Kieran Trippier on the bench and Juan Foyth ineligible to play.
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Further forward, Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli and Heung-min Son started in place of Mousa Dembele, who was injured, and Erik Lamela and Moussa Sissoko with the latter pair among the substitutes at Wembley.
Once again there were a number of empty red seats visible in the top tier, but if you only listened to the noise inside the stadium you couldn’t tell the crowd was down.
The PSV supporters were enjoying their trip to the capital and creating a fantastic atmosphere under the arch.
Even though they were singing loud and proud, those chants increased some more in the second minute when the visitors took a shock lead.
After conceding a corner inside the opening 60 seconds, Tottenham – yet again – made a sloppu start at Wembley and were punished for it.
Like in the recent defeats to Manchester City and Barcelona, Spurs were trailing early on at the national stadium.
Gaston Pereiro swung the set-piece in and PSV captain Luuk de Jong was on hand to power a header past Gazzaniga and into the corner after two minutes.
Alli was marking the former Newcastle United man, but he had been blocked off by Nick Viergever and Toby Alderweireld mistimed his jump at the crucial moment.
Some fans had not even made sat down and already Spurs were behind, but, as was to be expected, Pochettino’s men immediately searched for a response.
From Tottenham’s first corner of the match, Eriksen found Sanchez and his header come for Alli, but his back heel was cleared off the line by Angelino for another set-piece.
The Lilywhites had the Eredivisie champions pinned in and Eriksen saw a shot deflect wide in the seventh minute before a fourth corner of the game was won by Spurs.
Alli played captain for the night Kane through on goal minutes later, but PSV’s Viergever blocked behind and the resulting set-piece come to nothing.
Spurs had three players with Ajax allegiances in their starting XI – Alderweireld, Sanchez and Eriksen – and they would have been particularly disappointed with the score at the quarter hour mark against the Amsterdam clubs bitter rivals.
Kane tested Jeroen Zoet for the first time in the 21st minute, but his curling effort was bread and butter for the PSV stopper.
Then two minutes later Tottenham went incredibly close to levelling when Lucas Moura embarked on a superb run.
After picking the ball up by the touchline, the Brazilian raced past three opponents, but saw Zoet deny him from eight-yards before he could only hook the rebound over while on the floor.
It was a wonderful run by Moura and helped inject some life into the home crowd who were a combination of stunned and also equally bored of Wembley.
The former Paris Saint-Germain attacker looked the most likely to get Spurs back on parity and threatened again in the 27th minute.
Once again Moura dribbled past a handful of opponents, but his final ball was lacking quality as his cross evaded the unmarked Sanchez at the back post.
It jolted Tottenham into life as with 28 on the clock, Alli got away from Daniel Schwaab and found Eriksen inside the area, but he was denied excellently by Zoet before the England international fired straight at the PSV custodian from the rebound.
Spurs had created a number of opportunities, but with half an hour played, they trailed by a goal to nil.
In the 36th minute Zoet was called into action again when Alderweireld produced a fine forward pass for Alli, who had ran away from his marker.
Although the playmaker controlled and got a slick shot away, the 27-year-old Dutch international saved impressively.
There was a penalty appeal four minutes later when Son went down inside the area, after Denzel Dumfries had stepped across him, but referee Ivan Kruzliak waved away the half-hearted calls for a spot-kick.
A minute of stoppage time was added on at the end of the first 45, but it went by with little to note and remained 1-0 at the break.
Spurs needed a strong start to the second period and although Ben Davies drilled wide and Son had a shot deflected behind by Schwaab, PSV looked more ready to attack in this half after spending the majority of the opening 45 camped in their half.
Mark Van Bommel’s men went close in the 57th minute when the ball come for Steven Bergwijn, but Alderweireld slide in to deflect the ball away from Gazzaniga’s goal and behind for a corner.
By the hour mark, Pochettino had seen enough and introduced Lamela with 27 left at Wembley, but the substitution was greeted with a mixed reaction.
Moura was the man to make way, one of Spurs’ brightest players in the first half, and the fans made their feeling known with several loud groans.
The decision wasn’t helped by the fact Son, someone who may have been replaced, went into the book of referee Kruzliak.
As the game entered the final 20 minutes, the home crowd sensed they need to play a part and urged the Lilywhites on.
Several crosses were attempted, but Davies and Lamela saw centres defended well and not find a Spurs player.
Pochettino made his final roll of the dice with quarter of an hour left when Trippier and Llorente were introduced for Aurier and Son.
Seconds after his introduction and the Spaniard had an impact as he chest down for Lamela, who found Alli out wide.
Kane made a good run and received the ball and after working a yard of space, he got a shot off, but was denied by Zoet.
Two minutes later and the Spurs captain for the night had another opportunity and this one he buried.
Llorente was again involved and did brilliantly to set up Kane and the England hitman rifled into the corner with 78 minutes played.
Suddenly Spurs were back in it and with 12 plus stoppage time left, they scented they had a chance to keep alive their hopes of reaching the knock-out phase.
Kane immediately called for his team-mates to remain calm, but five minutes after the equaliser and PSV should have retaken the lead.
Bergwijn played substitute Trent Sainsbury in, but Argeninian Gazzaniga stood up tall and pushed over the crossbar before claiming the resulting corner kick.
Spurs continued to push and a fairytale moment for Llorente almost occurred in the 84th minute when Winks picked him out, but the former Swansea City striker headed straight at Voet from 12-yards.
It was a big chance for Tottenham and one you sensed they would regret, but in the 89th minute they finally made their pressure count.
Alli threaded a superb pass out to Davies and the left-back stood the ball up and Kane was there to head home via two deflections.
The ball literally tricked over the line, but the Lilywhites didn’t care and Kane raced off to celebrate his 10th goal of the campaign wildly in front of the Spurs fans.
Groans were heard seconds later when the fourth official signalled for six minutes of stoppage time, but for the first time in the match, Tottenham now had the lead.
PSV threatened in the dying seconds and Dumfries volleyed over at the back post from a free kick before the full time whistle was finally blown.
It was heartbreak for the visitors, who were backed by a magnificent away crowd, but Spurs had got over the line in dramatic fashion to keep alive their hopes of finishing second in Group B.
Barcelona were held to a 1-1 draw by Inter Milan with the Serie A side set to travel to Wembley next on November 28 for a crucial encounter, which Tottenham will need to win and by a better margin than the 2-1 loss they suffered in Italy on September 18.
It was far from pretty, but Pochettino’s men live to fight another day and have made it three games undefeated now in all competitions despite a plethora of injuries.
Tottenham Hotspur: Gazzaniga; Aurier (Trippier 75), Alderweireld, Sanchez, Davies; Eriksen, Winks; Moura (Lamela 63), Alli, Son (Llorente 75); Kane (C)
Tottenham Hotspur substitutes: Vorm, Walker-Peters, Skipp, Sissoko.
PSV: Zoet; Dumfries, Schwaab, Viergever, Angelino; Rosario, Pereiro (Malen 73), Hendrix; Lozano, de Jong (Sainsbury 81), Bergwijn (Gutierrez 86).
PSV substitutes: Room, Behich, Ramselaar, Junior.
Attendance: 46,588 (5,000 PSV supporters).