Tottenham celebrate

Tottenham 2-1 PSV: What did we learn as Spurs mount a second half comeback?

A Champions League campaign that has been nothing short of disastrous, things could not have gotten off to a much worse start for Mauricio Pochettino’s side tonight.

Losing Dele Alli from the opening corner after just two minutes, PSV captain Luuk de Jong powered home his free header and immediately silenced the Wembley crowd.

With Tottenham always looking uncomfortable from set pieces, had deputy goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga not critically intervened, PSV would have scored an almost identical goal 10 minutes into the second half.

However, with Harry Kane in their side, Tottenham can never be fully written off.

While they may have been wasteful in the first 45, the England skipper spearheaded their comeback.

Scoring their first and controversially having the second go down as an own goal, their top scorer has breathed new life into a campaign that already looked dead and buried.

With Inter Milan playing out a 1-1 draw with Barcelona in the other crucial Group B clash, Tottenham now find themselves sat three points adrift of the Italians and a spot in the knockout stage.

On a dramatic night in the capital, what did we learn at Wembley?

LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 06: Lucas Moura of Tottenham Hotspur breaks away from Jorrit Hendrix of PSV Eindhoven during the Group B match of the UEFA Champions League between Tottenham Hotspur and PSV at Wembley Stadium on November 6, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Moura shines

While Tottenham would have been disappointed by the score at half-time, they would have been more frustrated by their form in front of Jerone Zoet’s goal.

Although Lucas Moura and the returning Dele Alli were undoubtedly Spurs’ brightest sparks in the first 45, they couldn’t find the final touch in a match that needed them to be at their clinical best.

Had Angelino not been positioned on the back post, the England international would have marked his return with a spectacular flick.

Swapping with Son Heung-min and operating off the right-hand side of the hosts’ attacking trio, the Brazilian was a constant threat and never let the resilient PSV defence rest.

Skipping past three players and breaking through the heart of the visitors’ defence after 20 minutes, the former PSG star constantly threatened to be the man that would drag Tottenham back into the game.

While the call will be seen as a stroke of genius given Spurs’ fight back, Pochettino’s decision to replace Moura just after the hour mark was not well received by the Wembley faithful.

LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 06: Mark van Bommel, Manager of PSV Eindhoven embraces Mauricio Pochettino, Manager of Tottenham Hotspur prior to the Group B match of the UEFA Champions League between Tottenham Hotspur and PSV at Wembley Stadium on November 6, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Mark van Bommel deserves plenty of credit

Although few would have expected PSV to find a way out of Group B, the visitors deserve plenty of praise.

Enjoying a very eye-catching start to life in the Eredivisie, they have the air of a far more resilient side.

Yet to have a point taken off them domestically, Eindhoven stood firm on the edge of their 18-yard box and were always quick to get back in shape and place men behind the ball.

While Mark van Bommel will be disappointed by the result, he will take plenty of positives away from Wembley.

Winning the Champions League with Barcelona during a glittering career, his start to life at the Philips Stadion has been nothing short of remarkable.

Lining up in a 4-2-3-1, they have plenty of balance and, along with embodying their boss’ physical approach, they do have some attacking prowess.

Although they were unsurprisingly pinned back for the majority of the 90 minutes, Hirving Lozano showed glimpses as to why he was linked with a move to the Nou Camp over the summer.

Scoring the equaliser against Spurs in Eindhoven, the Mexican international put in yet another industrious shift on the right-hand side of Van Bommel’s midfield three.

Always finding himself as the spare man, the 23-year-old set PSV’s pressing tempo and the World Cup star has scored nine goals in 17 games so far this term.

Harry Kane celebrates after scoring during the Group B match of the UEFA Champions League between Tottenham Hotspur and PSV

King Kane

If there was a man who epitomized Tottenham’s comeback, it was their iconic captain.

In a week that saw him surpass Ian Wright in the all-time Premier League goalscoring charts, the 25-year-old continues to cement his spot as Spurs’ main man.

While he was often isolated or not involved in the first-half, you can never write off a man with such a devastating ability to find the net.

Similar to his last-gasp goal to secure England’s 2-1 win over Tunisia out in Russia, Kane once again found himself in the right place at the right time.


Welcoming Inter Milan to Wembley at the end of the month, there is no doubt that Pochettino and Tottenham will need their number 10 to lead from the front.

Also see:

Fabinho admits he’s ‘not settled yet’ at Liverpool following disappointing showing vs Arsenal.

Bayer Leverkusen starlet Leon Bailey confirms Man United & Liverpool interest.

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