Lokomotiv P 1 Spurs 2 We got through, but in total darkness (at least for us).
Jose Mourinho says that “at this moment” he “believes” in Tanguy Ndombele after he bundled in a late winner against nine-man Lokomotiv Plovdiv. Anyway, we survived a scare to qualifying for the next round. With the help of our opponents, we came from behind to win.
Their Georgi Minchev headed them ahead on 72 minutes before the home side had two players sent off with 10 minutes to go. Then up stepped Kane to take a penalty and we were level. Substitute Ndombele got the winner in the 85th minute. Of course, we saw none of this. Like everybody else, I had to rely on reports.
Now it is all over we can concentrate on Sunday, which will be followed by a game against Orient, in the League cup, then another long trip next Thursday to face Shkendija in the third qualifying round. A busy week for Mourinho and the team.
Should we win, and hopefully we will, then we face a similar schedule the following week too. As they say, it doesn’t rain but pours. If we can get through the next couple of weeks, we can start re-dreaming that dream all Spurs supporters dream about; trophies!
All European qualifiers are being played over one leg this season because the campaign started later as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Before the match, Mourinho had said that he was forced into playing a stronger side than he would have done if the second leg was in London.
Mourinho made four changes from Sunday’s 1-0 Premier League defeat, but all four were first-team regulars.
We dominated possession, and if it wasn’t for them parking the bus in front of goal, we might have scored a lot earlier. All credit to our opposition, they battled to keep us out. Steven Bergwijn hit the bar before Son Heung-min missed from close range.
And Minchev’s header from Dimitar Iliev’s cross had us on the brink of a European exit. But the turning point was Dinis Almeida’s handball on the line which earned him a straight red card, with Birsent Karagaren also dismissed in the aftermath for dissent.
Whatever way we want to analyse the game, we are through to the next round and hopefully learning and building as every game passes. Then there is Bale, and if it is certain we will get him, then we will be in a stronger position.
Tottenham: Lloris, Doherty, Dier, Sanchez, Davies, Hojbjerg, Sissoko), Lo Celso, Bergwijn, Son, Kane.
Subs: Ndombele, Lamela, Lucas.
Man of the Match: Giovani Lo Celso
On Bale Jose Mourinho said: “I cannot comment, I don’t comment on something that I don’t know. For me, at this moment, until I’m told Gareth Bale is a Tottenham player, I still think and feel and respect the fact that he’s a Real Madrid player, so I’m not going to comment on a Real Madrid player.”
We travel to Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday at 12pm, then Orient on the 22nd, before travelling to North Macedonia for Thursday’s Europa League third qualifying round tie against Shkendija.