Tottenham Hotspur continued their impressive start to their 2017/18 UEFA Champions League campaign with a credible 1-1 draw against last year’s champions Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
Most people did not give Mauricio Pochettino‘s men a chance prior to kick-off, which shows that there are plenty of lessons to be learned from this match. Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane will still be confident that his side can progress from the group despite this result.
Spurs can compete with the best
Due to their awful showing in last year’s Champions League, many criticised Spurs for not being able to compete with the best in world football. However, this season they have been performing in Europe as well as in the Premier League. They appear to be getting over their early struggles at Wembley, and this has, without doubt, helped them make a good start in this tough group.
Having to travel to the Santiago Bernabeu to take on Real Madrid is arguably one of the most challenging fixtures in football at the moment. Not many sides would be able to go there and match Madrid as Spurs did throughout this game. Madrid have an abundance of talent including Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and more but Spurs were able to frustrate them for large periods of the game which was very impressive.
Harry Kane is a world-class striker
Many people felt that the 24-year-old English striker was a ‘one season wonder’ when he first broke onto the scene, but his record since has proved this is far from the case. He is now scoring goals at the highest level and had a pivotal role to play once again in this game for Spurs.
Kane proved that he had the beating of Madrid centre-half Raphael Varane throughout the match, something that does not come easily. It was Kane who forced the own-goal from Varane which gave Spurs the lead in the first-half and the Frenchman really struggled to deal with him. It is an excellent sign for Tottenham supporters that Kane is giving defenders of Varane’s quality such a difficult time.
Lloris makes stunning save in second-half
Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris made a save in the second-half that could be an early contender for ‘save of the season’. Benzema met Casemiro‘s cross from close range with a thumping header, but Lloris was somehow able to keep it out acrobatically. It was an incredible save from the Frenchman as he managed to continue to frustrate the hosts.
Lloris came back to haunt Madrid once again soon after in the second-half as he kept out Ronaldo’s thunderous strike. Lloris’ performance in this game cemented his position among some of the best goalkeepers in world football at the moment. If he can continue to perform at this standard for the entirety of the season, then it would give Spurs a great chance of success.
Ronaldo left frustrated
There have been several different reports following this game that have suggested that Ronaldo was far from happy with the performances of his team-mates. This was on a night that Ronaldo picked up his 110th goal for Madrid from the penalty spot to ensure a point. However, being as ambitious as he is, he was not happy with a point and looked visibly frustrated throughout the match. Ronaldo felt that many of his team-mates were not playing to their full potential and this cost Madrid maximum points in an entertaining game.
Spurs in a great position to progress to knockout stages
Pochettino will be delighted with his side’s start to their 2017/18 Champions League campaign. They are currently sat top of Group H, level on points with Madrid after three games. Borussia Dortmund‘s draw with APOEL Nicosia last night means that they are now six points clear of third place and are therefore in a great position to finish at least second in the group. However, due to their impressive start, Pochettino will be hoping that his side can finish in the top spot to earn themselves a somewhat easier draw in the next round of the competition.