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Spurs 1-0 Inter Milan – Champions League Report

Spurs picked up a massive win against Inter Milan at Wembley on Wednesday, as Christian Eriksen’s late strike kept their Champions League hopes alive. Eriksen came off the bench to score the only goal of the game and give Spurs the win they needed to retain any hope of making it into the last sixteen of the Champions League. If Spurs match or better the result of Inter Milan in their final group stage game then they will complete a remarkable turnaround by progressing to the next stage.

Every previous meeting between the two teams has ended in a home win and it proved to be that way once again at Wembley. After 6 minutes Spurs had half a chance through Harry Kane but his shot from an incredibly tight angle did not catch out Inter Milan keeper Samir Handanovic and he was able to parry the ball away.

Soon after that chance, Lucas Moura had a penalty appeal turned down. The Brazilian burst into the Inter Milan area and was caught by Matteo Politano but referee Cüneyt Çakir referee turned down his appeal. It was not a glaringly obvious penalty decision, as there was not much contact from Politano, but the decision could have easily gone Moura’s way.

Spurs next big chance fell to Dele Alli but all came about from the excellent work of Harry Kane. The England captain dropped deep to get the ball and breezed past four Inter Milan players before passing to Alli, who was searching for his 50th Spurs goal. Alli’s shot was fired in from the edge of the area, but was always rising and was no trouble for Handanovic.

Still Spurs searched for the opening goal and it nearly came on the counter attack. Moussa Sissoko, who had another excellent game for Spurs, intercepted a pass deep in the Spurs half before bursting forward. He was able to pick out a pass to Dele Alli on the edge of the Inter area who then let the ball run onto Lucas Moura. Moura’s shot was on target, but was too close to Handanovic who was able to comfortably save.

Although Inter were still having decent spells in the match, Spurs were the team who were having the key chances. Harry Winks had a shot from twenty-five yards that crashed against the bar just after the half an hour mark. He guided his effort into the far corner but it did not have enough dip on it to give Spurs the lead and Winks only his second goal for the club.

Christian Eriksen Scores Late Goal For Spurs

The second half started off in quiet fashion with Spurs not having a real chance until Dele Alli skewed his volley wide just outside the eighteen yard box. Heung-min Son came on for Lucas Moura to give Spurs some more energy on the left and ten minutes later Christian Eriksen came on for Erik Lamela, who struggled to replicate the form he has shown earlier in the season for Spurs versus Inter.

Eriksen’s first involvement in the encounter was to fizz a free kick into Jan Vertonghen, who could not guide his header goalwards. It was a big chance for Vertonghen, who was starting for Spurs for the first time in two months, but he was unsighted by two Inter Milan players and could not react quickly enough when the chance came his way.

As the match went on it was beginning to seem like it might not happen for Spurs. That was especially the case when Croatian Ivan Perisic nearly scored for Inter Milan but for a heroic save from Hugo Lloris at his near post.

However Spurs kept on persevering and were rewarded with ten minutes to go. The goal was created by Moussa Sissoko who made another run between the Inter midfield and defence, which panicked the defenders around him. He then teed up Dele Alli whose perfectly weighted pass into Eriksen was dispatched into the roof of the net to give Spurs a priceless winner. The finish and the assist from Alli were excellent, but Moussa Sissoko’s run was a defining factor in the goal. When in his stride, the French international looks like a man who cannot be stopped, and was able to pick out Alli who did the rest.

With just ten minutes to go, the goal from Eriksen was all Spurs needed on the night, but they were well aware than an equaliser from Inter Milan would mean that their Champions League campaign would be over. The warning signs were there when Danilo D’Ambrosio fired a shot that had to be parried away by Hugo Lloris, but still Spurs stood firm.

Then in the dying stages of the match Spurs survived an Inter Milan corner. Marcelo Brozovic took it and the ball was met by Kwadwo Asamoah who was lurking outside the edge of the Spurs area. The Ghanaian could not have hit the ball any sweeter, and his effort was going into the bottom corner, but Toby Alderweireld was able to block it and maintain the clean sheet for Spurs.

Eriksen’s goal proved to be enough to give Spurs the 1-0 victory over Inter Milan on a tense night and the relief could be seen around Wembley amongst the Spurs players, coaching staff and fans. Spurs head to Camp Nou in their final group stage game and must equal or better Inter Milan’s result against PSV Eindhoven to progress to the last sixteen, something Mauricio Pochettino believes they are capable of achieving.

Spurs v Inter Milan Teams

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What the Managers Said

Spurs Manager Mauricio Pochettino

On the performance:

“I think the performance was very good, we fully deserved the victory. We scored at the end but did everything to try to beat a very good team. Inter Milan showed a great level, a team that’s so difficult to beat. The players deserve the credit, the performance was very good. We dominated, created the best chances and of course now we’re in a position that depends on us.”

“If we can win at Barcelona, we’re going to go through to the next stage of the Champions League. But of course it will be so difficult and we need to focus now on Sunday – another derby against Arsenal. We cannot stop. We need to stay humble, try to improve because football is about always improving. But we’re happy. Chelsea and now Inter and both games were must win games. And now we’re going to play another game that we must win.” (football.london)

On Barcelona:

“Barcelona are one of the best teams in Europe and they have unbelievable players. We have big respect for Barcelona, but we have belief that we can win.” (BBC Sport)

Luciano Spalletti:

“I am convinced that if we do what we have to do, we shall go through. I am convinced that it still depends all on us.”

“I know there are champions over there [in Barcelona] that are competing to win the Ballon d’Or and that are competing to get as many wins as possible. I know that Barcelona have not lost a home game for the last five years, these are the statistics I am aware of.

“But I keep on saying that we need to do what we need to do, which is to play and win against PSV. Then at the end of our match I will ask what the score of the other match was, but we need to win our game. Before I think about the others I want to focus on our own game.

“I want to play that match with confidence, because if we win we stand a good chance of qualifying, in my opinion.” (goal.com)

Spurs v Inter Milan Man of the Match

Moussa Sissoko was our pick of the Spurs players on Wednesday. He was central to everything Spurs did and played a pivotal role in Christian Eriksen’s opening goal. His pace and power have always been evident but against Inter Milan it was his ability to pick the right pass at the right time which proved to be the difference. His performance caps a remarkable transformation for the French international and he is proving himself to be an important player for Mauricio Pochettino.

What’s Next for Spurs?

Up next for Spurs is the North London derby versus Arsenal on Sunday in what will cap off a week of three tough games for Mauricio Pochettino’s side. They are then immediately in action in the Premier League as they host an out of form Southampton at Wembley on Wednesday 5th December.


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