Spurs throw away two-goal lead as Stoke grab a draw at the Lane
Tottenham threw away a two-goal lead in the final 12 minutes to draw 2-2 with Stoke at White Hart Lane, leaving them with one point from their opening two Premier League games.
Spurs looked to be heading for victory after goals from Eric Dier and Nacer Chadli gave them a 2-0 lead at the break.
And, although the Potters missed good chances at close range, Mauricio Pochettino’s hosts still had their two-goal cushion in the 78th minute.
However, Tony Alderweireld conceded a penalty for putting his hands on substitute Joselu in the box, with Marko Arnautovic converting from the spot – and five minutes later Mame Biram Diouf got the slightest of touches on Stephen Ireland’s cross to equalise and deny Tottenham two points.
After losing both of their games against Mark Hughes’ side last season, Spurs have now failed to beat Stoke in the last three attempts.
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Having been confirmed as Tottenham’s new club captain, Hugo Lloris led the team out for his 100th game in a Spurs shirt, returning to the side after missing the opener at Manchester United as he completed his recovery from a fractured wrist.
Ben Davies got the nod ahead of Danny Rose at left-back while Pochettino continued with his policy of deploying Dier in central midfield - this time alongside Ryan Mason, who replaced Nabil Bentaleb after the Algerian’s poor display at Old Trafford.
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Unlike in Manchester last weekend, Chadli was given the central role behind the striker, with Christian Eriksen on the left – and Eriksen was heavily involved early on, forcing Jack Butland into two low saves.
Lloris got away with an error at the other end, passing the ball straight to Diouf, but the keeper spared his own blushes by getting down to save the ensuing shot, while Ryan Mason dived in to make an important tackle immediately afterwards.
The Lilywhites went on to take the lead in the 19th minute. Dier, who was impressing in his role in front of the back four, played Kyle Walker in with a neat ball down the right side, and when the right-back’s low cross was deflected out to Mason, his powerful strike hit a defender and flew behind.
When the corner came into the area, Dier leapt in front of Marco van Ginkel to head home, scoring Tottenham’s first goal of the season for the second year in a row after his late strike at West Ham on the opening day in August 2014.
The 21-year-old nearly released Walker down the right side again and, from that throw-in, he freed Harry Kane with a visionary pass. Spurs’ striker finished clinically into the top corner but was rightly flagged offside.
While Tottenham were threatening in possession, they were also pressing effectively without the ball, with Mousa Dembele winning it back repeatedly.
One such instance on the edge of Spurs’ box gave Eriksen the chance to free Chadli with a long ball over the top, but the Belgian took a wasteful heavy touch that allowed Butland to come out and snuff out the danger.
Spurs were well on top but Arnautovic was causing problems down Stoke’s left side. Having already been brought down on the edge of the box by Walker – who was booked – the tricky Austrian skipped into the area and put a low ball across the goalmouth.
Fortunately for Tottenham there was no-one there to capitalise – but the Potters then went even closer. Jonathan Walters got up above Davies to head the ball into the six-yard box, where Diouf seemed certain to score, only to head straight at Lloris.
Instead, it was Tottenham who netted just before half-time as Kane played the ball down the left side for the onrushing Davies, who reached the by-line and lobbed the ball into the centre where Chadli applied the finish.
It was nearly 3-0 after the interval as Chadli burst down the left and played a neat ball in to Kane, who showed good movement to free himself but saw his shot from six yards brilliantly saved by Butland.
The sides traded efforts, with Walters directing a free header wide of goal, Mason turning neatly but dragging his shot wide from the edge of the box and Arnautovic forcing a low save from Lloris at his near post.
Stoke then created another golden opportunity as Diouf met Ireland’s cross from the left with a diving header six yards out – but again it was straight at Lloris.
Kane was withdrawn after the hour-mark, with Erik Lamela replacing him and Chadli moving up front, and Stoke struck back with 12 minutes left.
Toby Alderweireld put his hands on Potters substitute Joselu, who went down in the box, and Arnautovic converted from the spot.
Things soon got even worse as Ireland delivered another cross from the left and Diouf dove in to get the slightest of touches on his diving header and level the scores.
Stoke were looking the more likely winners and Ireland headed over from an Arnautovic cross, but neither team could find a late winner and the final whistle was greeted with boos from the incredulous Tottenham faithful.
Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Mason (Bentaleb 69), Dembele, Eriksen, Chadli, Kane (Lamela 64)
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs