Late turnaround sees off PSV
Spurs 2-1 PSV
Tue 06 November 2018, 21:57|Tottenham Hotspur
A late, late winner from Harry Kane helped keep our Champions League campaign alive as we came from behind to beat PSV Eindhoven at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday evening.
The Dutch league leaders scored in the second minute of the game through Luuk de Jong and defended admirably for the majority of the match, but we turned the game on its head with two goals in the final 12 minutes. Kane levelled in the 78th minute and then secured three vital points with a header in the final 60 seconds of normal time – although his effort took a telling touch off PSV’s Trent Sainsbury on its way in.
The victory means qualification remains in our hands, with a home game against Inter to come followed by a trip to Barcelona on Matchday Six.
Only 62 seconds were on the clock when the visitors took the lead. Gaston Pereiro sent over an outswinging set-piece and De Jong climbed highest to power home a header from 12 yards past Paulo Gazzaniga.
From that moment on, we totally dominated the first half but couldn’t find a way past PSV’s superb goalkeeper Jereon Zoet and his defence. Dele almost levelled immediately with a clever back-heeled flick on the edge of the six-yard box which Nick Viergever headed off the line, Christian Eriksen saw an effort blocked while on 21 minutes, Kane’s curling effort was saved low down by Zoet.
A minute later, Lucas Moura’s mazy run took him past three defenders into the area where Zoet saved his effort before the off-balanced Brazilian fired the rebound over the bar. The keeper then made an excellent double save to deny first Eriksen and then Dele, after the latter had broken clear down the left flank, while our England midfielder found himself in on goal again on 36 minutes but that man Zoet was off his line to thwart him and we went in behind at the break.
There was no real change to the pattern of the game in the second half either, as we had virtually complete control of the ball, only this time our route to goal was that much harder as PSV dropped deeper and deeper as the half progressed.
We were working the ball around midfield, from right to left and back again trying to find the gaps in their defence but every time we did, a PSV shirt was in the way to block or clear their lines.
At the other end, Gazzaniga needed to be alert to push away Pereiro’s header from Hirving Lozano’s corner, but we were soon back on the front foot, Heung-Min Son’s fierce drive deflecting away for a corner.
Changes were made with Erik Lamela, Fernando Llorente and Kieran Trippier all entering the fray with Lucas, Son and Serge Aurier making way and the fresh legs paid dividends as the equaliser finally arrived. Eriksen’s ball forward found its way to Llorente, who cushioned the ball down for Kane to drill low past Zoet on 78 minutes.
But we were grateful again to Gazzaniga in the 82nd minute when he pulled off a magnificent save to deny substitute and ex-Arsenal youngster Donyell Malen, tipping his ferocious effort over the bar. And Zoet was at it at the other end of the pitch too, keeping out Llorente’s strong header.
We kept plugging away though and were rewarded in the 89th minute. Eriksen played a clever pass inside the full-back for Davies who delivered a deep cross which Kane attacked, his header taking a touch off substitute Sainsbury to leave Zoet wrong-footed as the ball trickled across the line.
It would be all too easy to pick out the 89th-minute winning goal, which could prove so crucial in the final group standings, but Gazzaniga’s superb save moments earlier was key to the outcome, keeping the scores level to allow us to go on and win it.
It stemmed from a rare PSV counter in the second half, as Steven Bergwijn released substitute Malen clean through on goal. He only had Gazzaniga to beat and lashed a right-footed rising drive, but the Argentine keeper stood tall and tipped the effort over the crossbar. Seven minutes later, we were ahead, points in the bag.
"Never give up, that’s the most important characteristic," said Mauricio Pochettino as he reflected on the late turnaround.
"It was completely unfair, the (score), during the game because to concede so early increased their belief. But the team was fighting, taking risks and I’m so pleased because we’ve won the game and we’re alive in the competition.
"Now we play Inter, another battle. It will be good to be in that position, still optimistic and believing that we can still go to the next section."
Reaction on Spurs TV
Spurs 2-1 PSV
Spurs (4-3-3): Gazzaniga, Aurier (Trippier 75), Alderweireld, Sanchez, Davies, Winks, Dele, Eriksen, Lucas (Lamela 62), Kane (c), Son (Llorente 75). Substitutes (not used): Vorm, Walker-Peters, Sissoko, Skipp.
PSV (4-3-3): Zoet, Dumfries, Schwaab, Viergever, Angelino, Rosario, Pereiro (Malen 73), Hendrix, Lozano, De Jong (c) (Sainsbury 81), Bergwijn (Gutierrez 86). Substitutes (not used): Room, Behich, Ramselaar, Junior.
Goals: Spurs – Kane 78, 89; PSV – De Jong 2.
Yellow cards: Spurs – Son, Trippier; PSV - Lozano, Schwaab.
Referee: Ivan Kruzliak (Slovakia).
Venue: Wembley Stadium.
Weather: Partly cloudy, 13 degrees.