Tottenham Hotspur had an opportunity to take control of their own destiny in the Europa Conference League and instead blew it again on the road.
Playing the only winless team in the group, 341st in Europe NS Mura, whom Spurs had beaten 5-1 at home a few weeks back, Tottenham should have steamrolled the Slovenians in what was really a must-win game. Instead, the Lilywhites blew the game in every way possible. So what went wrong for Tottenham?
Sessegnon all talk no action for Tottenham
After looking decent in a cameo at the weekend and talking about his chance to kick-start his Spurs career, Ryan Sessegnon laid the biggest egg of them all. Sessegnon was doing little of the work required in his position and then committed a desperate foul early for his first yellow.
A second yellow trying to control a ball he should not have lost led to an early exit and Spurs playing a man down for the better part of an hour. The worst part for Sessegnon was that Tottenham was actually better with 10 men after he went off with Japhet Tanganga doing the necessary work to balance the left.
For a big, big opportunity, Sessegnon really could not have done worse if he tried.
Spurs risk it and lose their biscuit
Deep in injury time after five substitutions and a cute Harry Kane dink had leveled the match for Spurs, Tottenham was not yet done disappointing. Sure only taking a point away on the road at Mura was not going to look great but it was an important point, which would have kept Tottenham mathematically in contention for winning the group.
Instead, as everyone was pushing up to try and pin Mura in during the last 30 seconds, Spurs got stung on the counter. A turnover near midfield by Eric Dier – who had played well in his minutes up to that point – led to a one-on-one situation down the right with Amadej Marosa battling Davinson Sanchez.
The Colombian defender had already been brutalized by Tomi Horvat on Mura’s opening goal, so Spurs fans everywhere were tense. In a relatively similar move to Horvat’s, Marosa simply cut back inside on Sanchez after pushing hard to his right, and like that Spurs’ defender was beaten and went sliding in.
It was this slide that cost the point, as Marosa’s shot deflected off of Sanchez’s leg and over a helpful Pierluigi Gollini, giving Mura the win with the last kick of the match. For Tottenham and Spurs fans everywhere it was a kick in the gut.
Now Tottenham must take all three points against group winner Rennes and have a superior goal difference to Vitesse – both teams are equal on points and goals in their two matches – to advance to a playoff for the knock-out stage.
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