Bayern Munich 3 Spurs 1: Group Campaign Falls Flat at the Last
In the context of Tottenham’s 2019/20 Champions League group campaign, Wednesday night’s 3-1 defeat to Bayern Munich mattered little but it would have been rewarding to see a more positive result.
Manager Jose Mourinho made a number of changes from the side that beat Burnley on Saturday and while the unfamiliar starting XI held their own for much of the first half, Bayern’s greater quality eventually shone through.
There was no Harry Kane, no Dele Alli and no Son Heung-Min in the starting line up so perhaps the result was to be expected. Compared to the 7-2 defeat in the corresponding fixture at the start of October, it could even be described as a success… Actually, it’s hard to dress up what was a flat evening but there were one or two notable individual performances – most notably from Ryan Sessegnon.
Starting his first game for Tottenham, Sessegnon grabbed an equaliser on 20 minutes and was even named as Man of the Match on the BBC website. The former Fulham man slammed home from the left edge of the box and it seemed as though the strike would see the teams go in level at half time.
Just before the break, however, Thomas Muller converted after a bit of pinball in the box and on 64 minutes, Philippe Coutinho put the tie to bed. It was a disappointing end to our group but we had already qualified and it was, perhaps, to be expected. With one eye on two tricky Premier League fixtures just before Christmas, the manager seemed happy enough with what he’d seen.
After the game, manager Jose Mourinho said:
I would prefer a better result, obviously. I would prefer even a 3-2 defeat with a Son goal in the last minute but that’s what it is and I’m happy with the information that I take back.
I take lots of information about players that are going to influence my decisions in the future.
Stories circulating suggested that Harry Kane was particularly unhappy about being left out of the squad but with two vital EPL games coming up, few Spurs fans could have any real arguments about the nature of the starting XI. There had been suggestions that Troy Parrott would start the match and it was disappointing that the teenager didn’t make it off the bench but he will get his chance down the line.
Up next are a Wolves side who currently sit one place above us in the table. It’s a 2pm kick off on Sunday and then, a week later, we will host Chelsea who currently occupy the final Champions League place. Having already qualified for the knockout stages of this seasons UCL, Jose clearly has marked the next two weeks as his priority and that makes obvious sense.
Champions League football for 2020/21 has to be the aim after a shaky start to the season but will Mourinho’s team selection pay off and will those returning players be fresh enough to make the difference at Molineux?