Tottenham Hotspur suffered a 1-0 loss at the hands of Bundesliga side RB Leipzig in the first-leg of their Champions League last-16 clash, and the result of Tuesday’s return-leg in Germany is potentially season-defining for the North Londoners.
Spurs crashed out of the F.A Cup at the hands of Norwich City on Wednesday, and that dealt a huge blow on their most realistic chances of winning silverware this term.
Advancing to the quarterfinals of the Champions League looks beyond Tottenham following the result of the first-leg, and while injuries to the attack definitely affected their performance against the German club, boss Jose Mourinho’s tactics weren’t particularly impressive nonetheless.
The North Londoners didn’t look like the hosts as Leipzig dominated proceedings for the larger part of the clash, and their manager Julian Nagelsmann was surprised as he had expected them to be more offensive.
“We were all nervous before Tottenham, but it was important to bring our way of playing,” the 32-year-old told Sportsmail.
“I didn’t expect we’d have such a high percentage of the ball. I thought Tottenham would be more offensive.
“I told my players how proud I was to do it in such a great stadium.”
Spurs had 43% of the possession and didn’t start to threaten until much later in the second-half.
Hugo Lloris singlehandedly kept their hopes alive ahead of the second-leg with a string of fine saves, and without a doubt, Tottenham were beaten more convincingly than the scoreline suggested.
Overturning the deficit shouldn’t be completely ruled out, but Mourinho’s side are most likely to be more defensive on Tuesday, and it is a gamble that could backfire against such an attacking-driven Leipzig side.
Spurs will be playing for a lot of things at the Allianz Arena, but even their most loyal fans won’t be disappointed if that is the last time they feature in the Champions League this term.