At the expense of the French team, Tottenham Hotspur emerged from Marseille with a 2-1 victory on Tuesday and secured a spot in the Champions League round of 16 as group champions. In the meantime, check out our pages for the best sports betting casinos. For example, Sportsbet.io Casino is currently one of our top casinos that offer amazing opportunities!
Spurs were outplayed in the first half and deservedly fell down to a Chancel Mbemba header in stoppage time with coach Antonio Conte off the sidelines.
The visitors turned things around at the start of the second half, though, and equalized through Clement Lenglet in the 54th minute despite losing Son Heung-Min to an early head injury.
With the game’s final kick, Pierre-Emile Hojberg scored to secure Tottenham’s place in the knockout round as they clung on for a point that would have been enough to advance.
Spurs advance as Group D champions ahead of Frankfurt, who defeated Sporting in the second group match, despite leading the day’s first half but falling below the top two. Due to Hojberg’s late goal, Marseille, who finished last and below Sporting, also missed out on a spot in the Europa League.
“To be honest, we expected that type of game. The Stade Velodrome is a very difficult place to deal with and I think we showed great personality. It was a tough night, a great battle, and an even more psychological battle because we could feel in the first half that a team was playing without the fear to lose, it was Marseille, and in the second half we face a team with the fear to lose,” Hugo Lloris, french goalkeeper, added at the end of the night. CasinoDaddy also offers the best crypto bonuses and crypto venues.
Marseille had started the night off by effectively putting Tottenham on the back foot, propelled by a fantastic atmosphere inside a thumping Stade Velodrome.
With a few early opportunities, former Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez came within inches of scoring, with Lloris saving one of them. Just past the halfway point, the France international was called upon to make an even more stunning save at full stretch from a strong drive by Jordan Veretout.
Son, a forward for Tottenham, was taken off at that time after being struck in the face during an aerial collision, which left the South Korean star dazed and unable to continue playing less than three weeks before the World Cup kicked off.
Son did have a swollen eye, but Spurs deputy head coach Cristian Stellini claimed they were still unsure if he had suffered a concussion. Tottenham was trapped back on the outside of their own box and desperately clutching on for the halftime whistle as Marseille’s pressure and the crowd clamor increased as the half came to a close.
Son’s injury resulted in seven minutes of added time, during which Marseille scored. Mbemba rose unnoticed at the back post to powerfully head Veretout’s corner into the net as the Spurs’ defense fell woefully short.
Tottenham, who now needed a goal to stay in the Champions League, immediately came out for the start of the second half with more aggressive intent despite failing to mount any attacking threat in the opening 45 minutes.
And they reached levelness in under ten minutes. This time, Spurs scored off a corner kick when Lenglet rose highest in the middle of a packed penalty area to head home an accurate free kick from Ivan Perisic.
Tottenham quickly gained the lead. Harry Kane, a typically lethal striker, failed to alter his feet to get off a shot when he received a threatening low cross from halftime replacement Emerson Royal that Marseille goalkeeper Pau Lopez could only deflect out.
The drama was far from over after that. After Hojberg hit the crossbar with nine minutes left on the clock, Sead Kolasinac, a former Arsenal defender, had a wonderful opportunity to kill Spurs’ aspirations by somehow heading wide of the post from directly in front of goal.
Hojberg’s late goal on the counterattack added insult to injury for Marseille, and the hosts’ players afterward admitted they had no idea a draw would have been sufficient to secure a spot in the Europa League.
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