Spurs 4 Olympiakos 2: Tottenham Progress Following Early Scare
Ultimately, Spurs have progressed to the knockout stages of this season’s Champions League but not before the away side gave us a huge scare on Tuesday night. Olympiakos were priced at 11/1 to win this Group fixture and after 20 minutes, they were looking to be an exceptional pick for some lucky punters.
But we do like a football cliché on this site and this was very much a game of two halves. With Dele Alli reducing the 2-0 deficit in first half injury time, Tottenham stepped up in the second period and in the end, offered full value for the 4-2 scoreline.
The away side had started brightly and Olympiakos had threatened, even before they opened the scoring on six minutes. Youssef El-Arabi picked up on a poor clearance from Danny Rose and, as the defence stood off, he placed his drive beyond the reach of Paulo Gazzaniga.
Olympiakos’ keeper saved well from Son Heung-Min’s flicked header before the visitors doubled their lead on 19 minutes. More weak defending allowed Borges Semedo to tap home and a nightmare home debut for Jose Mourinho looked on the cards.
The manager reacted by replacing Eric Dier with Christian Eriksen and this was the key moment in the game. Spurs needed some luck to pull a goal back as Dele Alli capitalised on a defensive error but there was nothing fortunate about the second half performance.
The ball boy claimed an assist as Tottenham levelled the scores on 50 minutes. A swift release from beyond the touchline allowed Serge Aurier to take a quick throw and Lucas Moura crossed for Harry Kane to sweep home.
The best finish of the night was reserved for Aurier: The French right back drilled the ball across goal on the half volley to complete a positive few days. At 3-2, the result never really looked in doubt and it was left for Kane to finish – glancing home Eriksen’s deep free kick on 77 minutes.
Speaking to Spurs TV after the game, Jose Mourinho said:
The first half was difficult. After that they showed the other side and the second half? Come on – we beat them three nil in the second and it could be four, five nil.
We dominated totally. That is only possible with quality players but also players with a great mental side and a great desire to it. The boys are happy that we’ve qualified.
Jose would have learned more about his new team, particularly following the tactical substitution on 90 minutes, but a real test of the side follows. Next up, as far as Champions League football is concerned, is an away trip to face a Bayern Munich side who inflicted Tottenham’s heaviest ever home defeat in the reverse fixture.
Bayern warmed up by putting six goals past Red Star Belgrade on Tuesday night with Robert Lewandowksi finding the net on no fewer than four occasions. December 11th is the date but will this new Spurs side be able to show just how much they’ve moved on from that 7-2 reverse?