Tottenham have been frustrated once again on their continental travels tonight after a tepid 0-0 draw in the German financial capital against holding Europa League winners Eintracht Frankfurt.
Antonio Conte’s insistence on keeping a back-three tactical deployment failed to grind out a result against a tricky opponent under the command of Oliver Glasner, with Spurs forcing just one save from German international keeper Kevin Trapp through ninety minutes of action.
Frankfurt looked threatening on the counter attack all evening through a front three of Randal Kolo Muani, Daichi Kamada, and Jesper Lindstrøm while overlapping play from Ansgar Knauff and Kristijan Jakić contributed in all phases of play.
In contrast, Tottenham’s Ivan Perišić and Emerson Royal both put in credible shifts on the flanks but Spurs’ own triumvirate of attacking options in Harry Kane, Son Hueng-min, and Richarlison could not get the job done in and around the area when the Premier League outfit entered the final passage of play, with Richarlison and Son particularly frustrating on the night while the South Korean star probably should have done better when he found himself with enough space in the area on in the first half to test Trapp but instead bent his effort wide of the far post.
Frankfurt had their chances as well but, like Spurs, failed to hit the target at a rate that would have left Glasner satisfied, but the final scoreline reflects - on balance - the level of play on display at Deutsche Bank Park and neither side can be terribly frustrated by sharing a point of the spoils on a European night, particularly Spurs given how good Frankfurt are at home historically.
That result see’s Spurs now on four points out of a possible nine across three fixtures while scoring just twice and remain level on points with Frankfurt, but both now trail Sporting CP by just a handful of points after the Portuguese side were demolished by Olympique de Marseille with Group D wide open for the taking.
Eintracht Frankfurt Player Ratings
GK: Kevin Trapp (6) - A quiet night from the German international, which is never a bad thing from his perspective as Spurs struggled to test the veteran keeper across 90-minutes.
RCB: Tuta (6.5) - The weakest of the back three tonight but was still servicable in his duties and was hardly a cause for concern for Glasner throughout.
CB: Makoto Hasebe (7) - A strong outing from the veteran Japanese defender who faired quite well in keeping Harry Kane quiet all evening. A credit to his experience.
LCB: Evan Ndicka (7.5) - Interest in the French defender has been justified for a while given his performances for Frankfurt and tonight was no different. Another very good shift from a player who is destined for bigger and better things.
RWB: Kristijan Jakić (6.5) - Nothing spectacular from the Croatian international defender but he was servicable and that was enough on a night where Spurs struggled overall in attack.
CM: Sebastian Rode (7) - A rock in the heart of the Frankfurt midfield as usual from the former Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund midfielder who so often gives a platform to sit deep and then counter since his return to Frankfurt.
CM: Djibril Sow (7.5) - Like Ndicka, Sow has probably overstayed his career at Frankfurt and remains a target of bigger clubs and tonight showed why those links persist. His positional intelligence makes him an ideal central option in Glasner’s system.
LWB: Ansgar Knauff (7) - The product of Borussia Dortmund has enjoyed his time away from the Ruhr valley after establishing himself as a first-choice option at Frankfurt. His attacking instincts continue to be of service as he is deployed as a wing-back.
RAM: Jesper Lindstrøm (6.5) - Recent interest in the Danish international midfielder has been justified after his performances for Frankfurt across the last twelve months and though he was lively tonight, he was still kept quiet overall.
LAM: Daichi Kamada (6.5) - Not the traditional influential outing from Kamada, who has quickly become the top attacking asset for Frankfurt, but he still showed moments of quality while being a clear dangerman.
CF: Randal Kolo Muani (6) - Muani sported his blistering pace and ability to put the backline under pressure to his credit but failed to be a difference maker in the final third from an attacking standpoint.
Sub: Rafael Borré (6) - Did little to add something different than Muani after replacing him on 57-minutes.
Sub: Luca Pellegrini (6) - Played out of position and brought in to add fresh legs to shore up the tactical structure to help Frankfurt earn a point, but he was not able to add quality where it mattered.
Sub: Eric-Junior Dina Ebimbe (N/A) - Brought on with just three minutes left for Lindstrøm to begin his recovery that much sooner before a Bundesliga clash at the weekend on the road at Bochum.
Tottenham Player Ratings
GK: Hugo Lloris (7) - A strong save against Knauff kept Frankfurt off the scoresheet and boosted Lloris’ matchratign in what was otherwise a relatively quiet night for the Frenchman.
RCB: Cristian Romero (7) - Solid again from the Argentine international who is unquestionable a keystone piece of the puzzle for Conte in his preferred system.
CB: Eric Dier (7) - Dier, like Romero, is not under question with his role in Conte’s system and its this run of form that will likely see him continue in a similar fashion for England under Gareth Southgate.
LCB: Clément Lenglet (7.5) - Probably Spurs’ best performer on the night overall in what was a strong outing in Conte’s back three from the French center-back who was undoutedly removed early with the weekend in mind.
RWB: Emerson Royal (6.5) - Not on par with Perišić and perhaps was left out to dry in one or two moments but it was a halfway decent outint from Royal who hopes to rediscover his footing at right-wing-back.
CM: Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (6.5) - Not the best of evenings from the Danish midfield stalwart but he was also hardly a problem area. Overall, he was not as effective as he could be but he was decent.
CM: Rodrigo Bentancur (6.5) - A similar level of performance from Bentancur as his midfield partnet Højbjerg. On his day, he’s a very good footballer but today he was simply stifled if not quiet.
LWB: Ivan Perišić (7) - Continues to justify the decision by Conte and Paratici to secure him this summer. It was another solid performance from the Croatian veteran despite being unable to turn provider tonight.
RAM: Richarlison (5.5) - Poor from the Brazilian tonight after his anticipated summer arrival. Has yet to truly connect on the pitch consistently with Kane or Son and it shows.
LAM: Son Heung-min (6) - Really needed to do better with a handful of chances where, under normal service, likely would have seen him test Trapp’s hands at the very least if not find the back of the net.
CF: Harry Kane (6) - A frustrating night for the inevitable all-time goalscorer for England who was often isolated in a Spurs sytem that is very hit and miss on any given matchday.
Sub: Ryan Sessegnon (6) - Given 20-minutes off the bench but offered little but not necessarily through any fault of his own.
Sub: Ben Davies (N/A) - Had a 10-minute cameo into a match that already seemed like both sides had consigned themselves to a draw at that stage. Hard to judge his minutes.
Sub: Bryan Gil (N/A) - See above for a similar synopsis. Simply had little time to work himself into proceedings given the flow of the match.