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Soccer Football - Champions League - Real Madrid vs Tottenham Hotspur - Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, Madrid, Spain - October 17, 2017 Tottenham's Hugo Lloris gestures to fans after the match Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

Real Madrid vs Tottenham a few quick thoughts

  • This Champions League lark is quite easy
  • Seven points from a possible nine and a draw away at the club that has won the last two editions of the tournament
  • If someone was to offer you that when the draw was made you would take that without a doubt
  • And it is Tottenham that are in that position with one foot in the Round of 16 after their hugely impressive showing at the Bernabeu last night
  • Not only that but APOEL Nicosia did us a huge favour after holding Borussia Dortmund to a draw
  • A lot of people were predicting with the head more than their hearts but the general consensus was that a 1-1 draw would be a particularly pleasing result
  • In a sense after the draw it almost feels disappointing to have not earned all three points
  • But at the same time there is no underestimating the sheer magnitude of this result.
  • It’s the kind of result that should have are young players thinking this really is a club that is going places
  • Huge credit has to go to Pochettino for the way he set the team up last night
  • Positivity in the line up has been hugely rewarded
  • In fairness not many fans would have expected Fernando Llorente to start but his additional presence up top just give Tottenham an extra outlet
  • That said it did feel at times as if it was wave after wave of Real Madrid pressure
  • There were countless occasions in which possession was won only to then give it straight back
  • Credit has to go to Davinson Sanchez and Toby Alderweireld for an absolute Rolls-Royce of a performance
  • Without being over critical I thought Eriksen’s passing and decision making was below par
  • Now is not the time for negatives though as it should not really detract from the overall performance of the team
  • But it must be said that it was an off night for the Danish international
  • Maybe you could mitigate that it was against arguably the best midfield three in Europe right now but even so you would expect more from one of Totteham’s in form players
  • If Eriksen had a night to forget then Harry Winks had a night to remember
  • He more then held his own against their midfield three.
  • Performances like that edge you closer to the World Cup.
  • For all the neutrals and naysayers that were asking why Winks was named in the England squad recently this should be proof positive as to why
  • Both teams had early skirmishes, Llorente could have done better with his chance after a couple of minutes
  • While Karim Benzema should have done much better when presented with a near open goal after Cristiano Ronaldo’s header smacked the post
  • Harry Kane would have a header of his own that would sting the finger tips of Kaylor Navas
  • Kane’s downward header from a corner flashed to the Costa Rican goalkeeper who this time was equal to what was thrown at him
  • That however would not prove to be the case just before the half hour when Kane’s clever run forced Madrid defender Raphael Varane to divert Serge Aurier’s right-wing cross into his own net.
  • First blood Tottenham as their confidence was rewarded
  • Now it was a case of whether Real Madrid could find their way back into the game
  • And thankfully for them they did not have to wait too long
  • They would be level before the break thanks to who else but Cristiano Ronaldo
  • He took full advantage of the opportunity afforded to Los Blancos
  • That being a penalty award after Serge Aurier bought down Toni Kroos
  • A needless tackle by the Ivorian, Aurier for all his talents is probably going to be a player that makes you shout at your television a lot
  • Level at the break and the question now was could withstand another 45 minutes of Real pressure
  • It’s fair to say that the home side came out of the blocks quickest after the restart
  • Hugo Lloris was outstanding when called upon last night
  • His two all important saves just took the sting out of Madrid in the second half
  • The first by all rights should have been a goal
  • Again Benzema had the goal at his mercy, not quite as much as early on but still enough to give the holders the lead
  • As he headed the ball one way, Lloris dived the other
  • A certain goal?
  • No Lloris somehow saved it with his trailing leg and Spurs lived to fight another day
  • Cristiano Ronaldo would then fire a shot towards goal soon after and it needed a very strong left hand from the French international to send the ball over the bar
  • Tottenham then found an extra gear and there was one moment when fans in the ground and watching at home would have held their breath
  • Llorente played through Kane and the England forward almost telegraphed where he was going to put the ball
  • The hope and expectation would be obviously in the net
  • But Navas his nemesis for the evening foiled his plan by getting a fingertip to the ball and pushing it around the post
  • A glimpse of what could have been for Tottenham as their stature grew as the minutes ticked down
  • Christian Eriksen should have done much better when presented with an opportunity soon after, it almost summed up his night
  • After the two clubs swapped near misses the pace of the game dropped a level as it became a game that neither team wanted to lose instead of one necessarily going for a win
  • It was a result that arguably suited both clubs so they were not going to force the issue too much
  • There was still time for a late cameo by Danny Rose who made his return from injury
  • But the game ended in a draw and Tottenham rightfully will earn the plaudits
  • Quite simply it is another coming of age performance from this Tottenham team that just continues to grow
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