Football news - Spurs complete miracle comeback to draw in Barcelona and reach knockout stages
Champions League, Group B, Camp Nou – Barcelona 1 (Dembele 7) Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Lucas 85)
A late equaliser from Lucas Moura capped a stirring second-half performance from Spurs, itself capping a stirring comeback in the group. They accompany Barcelona into the last 16 and will be a difficult night for whoever meets them there.
Before the game, Mauricio Pochettino was clear that Spurs needed to start well, and just when it looked like they had, they hadn’t. Kyle Walker-Peters dithered on the ball on halfway, Ousmane Dembele robbed him, and streaked away to score a gorgeous solo goal.
Barcelona then dominated the next 20 minutes, but gradually Spurs dragged themselves into the game, and on 32 minutes Heung-min Son ought to have equalised when sent through one-on-one with Christian Eriksen. But he telegraphed his intention and allowed Jasper Cillessen to save.
After half-time, though, Spurs were dominant, making and spurning chance after chance while Internazionale were busy equalising against PSV Eindhoven - Spurs needed to match Inter's result to qualify ahead of them. But just as they were beginning to run out of time and seconds after Philippe Coutinho hit the post for a second time, Harry Kane freed himself down the left and delivered a cross of such accuracy and venom that Moura could not miss. He duly punched home the equaliser to send the travelling support into raptures, securing one of the most famous and exhilarating draws in his club's history.
Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son and Harry Winks of Tottenham Hotspur celebrate after the UEFA Champions League Group B match between FC Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur at Camp Nou on December 11, 2018 in Barcelona, SpainGetty Images
Is this a turning point? There are not many criticisms to be made of Mauricio Pochettino's stewardship of Spurs, but his big-game record is one of them. However tonight he made good changes, both of formation and personnel; after being out-thought by Unai Emery the weekend before last, perhaps he will be more proactive in future.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Harry Kane (Spurs) There were good performances throughout the Spurs team, but when they needed something, it was Kane who did the necessary, imposing his will and keeping his composure to supply an unmissable chance.
- In 16 Champions League appearances, Harry Kane has been involved in 16 goals, scoring 13 and assisting three.
- Ousmane Dembele has scored in each of his last three Champions League games and Camp Nou.
7’ - WHAT A GOAL! Barcelona 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur (Dembele) Sissoko recovers possession following the corner and taps back to Walker-Peters, who dithers; silly boy. Dembele nips in, breaks away, then dips outside him and streaks clear, cutting inside and sending Winks for a bag of jellied eels before opening his body to slot across Lloris. What a goal! What a player! Spurs are in all sorts.
32’ - HAVE A LOOK! Son gets a run on Vermaelen, streaks past him as Eriksen sends the through-ball,, and left side of the box, he's in! but opening his body, he telegraphs a shot across Cillessen and doesn't get enough angle to take the keeper out of the equation, who guesses right and saves with a leg. That was a very, very bad miss.
44’ - Lovely turn from Coutinho, taking him away from Winks, who looks overmatched, and into the box. Then, just as Alderweireld comes across to cover, he changes the angle and curls a low shot that clips the outside of the post!
51’ - WHAT'S THIS?! Kane gets away at inside-right, and he into the box, so Lenglet puts a hand on his shoulder and he slips, gets under it, and shmices a shot into another dimension. Surely Spurs are going to score here?
75’ - Aaaaarrrggghh! This is tense, exhilarating stuff! Sissoko swings over a brilliant cross and Moura is up! But somehow he heads into his own thigh, running through it but allowing Cillesse to shovel away from on the line! He then collects the ball and swishes a curler just wide of the near post. couldn't happen to a nicer Bolsonaro voter.
85’ - Meanwhile, Coutinho advances and with no right-back, uses Alderweireld as a screen and curls the ball around him ... but hits the base of the post, again!
85’ - GOAL! Barcelona 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur (Moura) AT LAST! Lamela finds Kane on the left, he scythes into the box, and punches a low, curling cross that's so good it's impossible for Moura to miss and he doesn't! He snaps it past Cillessen and that might just be enough to take Spurs through!
89’ - Glorious pass inside from Eriksen, who finds Lamela, who finds Kane, and with his back to the space behind him, he senses Rose stomping into it nonetheless, reversing a fine pass and yerman is in! He opens his body, and spanks a sidefooter miles over the bar! What a chance that was!