Coach Scott Parker revealed that the centre-half had been struggling with a knee problem before the game at Hotspur Way, but you'd never have known it as he came up with one of his trademark attacking headers to get us off the mark in the first half before manning the barricades brilliantly to deny the Spanish side a hatful of opportunities, seemingly getting on the end of everything that came into our box.
His was one of a number of good performances throughout the side as a Marcus Edwards penalty and a late Kazaiah Sterling strike secured a 3-2 victory and put us second in Group H, two points off leaders Borussia Dortmund, who we thrashed 4-0 on matchday one.
Real Madrid legends Raul and Roberto Carlos watched on from the crowd, while there was a more recent World Cup winner on the pitch as TJ Eyoma lined up a right-back for us, having been part of the England youth squad that lifted the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in India on Saturday.
GOAL: SPURS 0-1 REAL MADRID - CESAR - 20mins
After a couple of early half-chances for us, Real almost took the lead against the run of play when Martin's strike from outside the area hit the base of Brandon Austin's right-hand post on six minutes. But on 20 minutes they did forge ahead when a set-piece routine caused us problems. The ball came in from the left side, it was only half-cleared and Cesar was able to lash into the net through a congested area from 18 yards out.
GOAL: SPURS 1-1 REAL MADRID - JAPHET TANGANGA - 27mins
Our response came from an aerial assault seven minutes later and it was no more than we deserved after some bright play in the central areas. Keanan Bennetts was upended down by the corner flag on our left, Samuel Shashoua delivered the free-kick close to the goalkeeper at the back post but Tanganga arrived with one of his trademark leaping headers to get there first and nod into the net. Eyoma and Tanganga both made important interventions later in the first half as Real tried to hit us on the counter, but we were controlling the tempo. Our best chance for a second goal arrived when Jack Roles sent Sterling through, but goalkeeper Adrian Fernandez chased him wide and Madrid were able to get back in and defend.
Above: Marcus Edwards in action.
GOAL: SPURS 2-1 REAL MADRID - MARCUS EDWARDS (PENALTY) - 47mins
Quick thinking on behalf of a clutch of players saw us take the lead just after half-time. Real skipper Gorka Zabarte was penalised for a foul on Sterling outside the box, Roles took the free-kick quickly and played Sterling in, only for the striker to be brought down by Zabarte once more, this time in the box. The visiting captain got a yellow card for his troubles and we got a penalty, which Edwards duly dispatched.
GOAL: SPURS 2-2 REAL MADRID - MARTIN - 61mins
The visitors cranked up the pressure and subjected us to a sustained period of attack. Tanganga repelled most of the balls into the box and Austin reacted well to block Miguel Baeza's shot, while the Spanish side's habit of shooting from range was as evident as it was in the first game in Madrid a fortnight ago, although again they failed to find the target. That was until the 61st minute when good play on the outskirts of the box saw the ball fall to Martin, who drilled into the net from 18 yards with the aid of a slight deflection.
SAVES: BOTH KEEPERS IN ACTION 70-71mins
After Roles' cross dropped just over the bar, Real stopper Fernandez saved well as Edwards went through on goal, before recovering to deny Roles on the follow-up. Just a minute later, Austin had to be at his best to deny Cesar as he raced in down the left and pulled the trigger. With Real producing some incisive passes around our area, we had to be organised at the back, although we had a let-off when Martin's in-swinging free-kick struck the near post on 74 minutes.
GOAL: SPURS 3-2 REAL MADRID - KAZAIAH STERLING - 82mins
The winning goal arrived eight minutes from time via Sterling, who had been threatening to finish off a move such as this in fits and starts. Edwards supplied the pass, Sterling let it run onto his right foot as he darted between defenders and clipped beyond Fernandez into the bottom corner. We had to hold our nerve after that with Oliver Skipp hurling himself in to make a vital block as we saw out a memorable win.
COACH SCOTT PARKER SAID
"The second half went away from us a little bit. Although we came out, got the penalty and did really well at the start, I just felt like we lost our way a little bit and if I'm being brutally honest, you thought it might just be a matter of time before they went and equalised so there's that bit we can learn from but overall, what can I say? Kaz got the winner and we're ecstatic to be fair! It was a really good result and the boys dug in really well today because it was tough. Japhet and Brook (Lyons-Foster) at the back were superb, but so was everyone really – I wouldn't want to single out anyone. That said, Brook and Japh were very good. Japhet actually had a fitness test this morning – he was struggling a little bit with his knee so it said a lot about him to be fair. I've been in these types of games and they test you as a player and I felt it showed a lot about our boys today, so it was pleasing."
Spurs: Austin, Eyoma, Bennetts, Marsh, Tanganga, Lyons-Foster, Roles (Hinds 74), Skipp, Sterling (Griffiths 90+2), Edwards (c, P Maghoma 89), S Shashoua. Substitutes (not used): De Bie, Bowden, Patterson, Reynolds.
Real Madrid: Fernandez, Sergio Lopez, Garcia, Martin, Zabarte (c), De La Fuente, Baeza (Moukhliss 77), Joaquin Rodriguez (Blanco 63), Cesar, Alberto, Govea (Vacas 53). Substitutes (not used): Altube, Pedro, Chust, Pablo Rodriguez.
Goals: Spurs - Tanganga 27, Edwards 47 (pen), Sterling 82; Real Madrid - Cesar 20, Martin 61.
Yellow cards: Spurs - Roles 34, Sterling 76, Maghoma 90; Real Madrid - Govea 41, Zabarte 47.
Referee: Peter Kjesgaard-Andersen.
Victory in Germany against Borussia Dortmund on matchday five later this month would see us leap to the top of the standings and put ourselves in a great position to secure qualification for the next round but, for the time being, attentions turn back to the domestic scene and a second consecutive home game against Fulham Under-18s. After last week's 2-1 defeat in the league, we face the Cottagers again at Hotspur Way in the new Under-18 Premier League Cup on Saturday, kick-off 11am.