OPPONENTS Bayer 04 Leverkusen 
COMPETITION Champions League   Group E
DATE Wednesday 2nd November 2016
VENUE Wembley
Bayer 04 Leverkusen SQUAD 1.  Bernd LENO
3.  Aleksander DRAGOVIC
4.  Jonathan TAH
7.  Javier HERNANDEZ
8.  Lars BENDER
11.  Stefan KIESSLING
13.  Roberto HILBERT
14. Admir MEHMEDI
16.  Tin JEDVAJ
19.  Julian BRANDT

20.  Charles ARANGUIZ
21.  Omer TOPRAK
22. Joel ABU HANNA
23.  Danny da COSTA
27.  Robbie KRUSE
28.  Ramazan OZCAN
29.  Kai HAVERTZ
30.  Sam SCHRECK
31.  Kevin VOLLAND
33.  Lukas BOEDER
35.  Vladlen YURCHENKO
36.  Niklas LOMB
38.  Karim BELLARABI
39.  Benjamin HENRICHS
44.  Kevin KAMPL
PREVIEW From the first leg, we saw that Leverkusen can be a potent attacking force, with their second half performance requiring some fine stops and one world class save from Hugo Lloris to keep a clean sheet.  With chances not being taken at the other end, it is imperative that the defence shut the door on the German forward line, which includes someone familiar with Wembley, in former Manchester United striker Chicarito.

Spurs also need to keep a close eye on left winger Kevin Kampl, who looked good on the ball and willing to run at the defence, while Admir Mehmedi also posed a threat with some good passing and a liking for getting into forward positions.  Steffan Kiessling worked hard and got on the end of a couple of balls into the box, but looked like he is not in the greatest goal-scoring form, so there may be more threat from midfield, where Benjamin Heinrichs is a player who the club have high hopes for.  The Austrian midfielder Baumgartlinger is more defensive in outlook, but Julian Brandt is another youngster who is a good player for running into space around the box and he is not afraid to have a go at goal.  Chilean Charles Aranguiz looked like he could pose problems, with good skill running with the ball, but our back four crowded him out last time out.  Hakan Calhanoglu will be wanting to impress more than he did in the first match, when he was substituted, especially as he had a lot to say about Heung-Min Son leaving the club for Spurs. 

At the back, Spurs did make chances in the first forty-five minutes in Germany, but Tin Jedvaj is a talented young Croatian full back, who came on, having had Heinrichs playing on the other flank to him in the earlier game.  Dragovic looked quite physical, but liked to get forward, as the central defensive slots will be filled by Jonathan Tah and Omer Toprak, needing Spurs to pull them about with good movement to get them out of their positions to create openings.

Spurs need to put in a performance at Wembley after the first match there against AS Monaco, when they never really got going after conceding.  A win in this game and qualification will be made a bit easier, but Leverkusen are not to be underestimated, because they lost to Hoffenheim, but bounced back to win 2-1 against Wolfsburg.  There is a discipline about their play, which will make them difficult to break down and it will be interesting to see how Wembley affects or inspires them.

I just hope that the Tottenham players are more used to the surroundings now and that they will be able to settle into a pattern of play that makes Bayer's players work hard and then tire as the game goes on.  I think that there will be goals this time and that Spurs might just get the best of three.

PREDICTION Tottenham Hotspur    2         Bayer 04 Leverkusen    1
Spurs are missing both Harry Kane (ankle) and Toby Alderweireld (knee), with Erik Lamela doubtful after picking up a hip injury in training.
Omar Toprak and Jonathan Tah are both fit in Bayer's defence, but captain Lars Bender misses out with a bruised heel and Robbie Kruse's injury means he is not available for selection.

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Tottenham Hotspur  0 (0)                                                                       
Champions League
Wednesday 2nd November 2016
Bayer 04 Leverkusen  1 (0)

Kick off 19:45
None Kampl  65m 47s
- (- )  - 


Wendell  (foul on Alli)  82


Crowd :   85,215 Weather :  Chilly, dry
Referee :  Jonas Eriksson (SWE) Assistant Referees :  Mathias Klasenius; Daniel Warnmark (SWE)
Fourth Official :  Daniel Gustavsson (SWE) Additional Assistant Referees :  Stefan Johannesson; Markus Strombergsson (SWE)
UEFA Delegate :   Joao Morais (POR) UEFA Referee Observer :  Ilkka Koho (FIN)
Spurs kicked off and played towards the East Stand end in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + ? minutes.
Tottenham Hotspur : kit Bayer 04 Leverkusen : kit
  1  Hugo LLORIS  (c)

  2  Kyle WALKER
33  Ben DAVIES

19  Mousa DEMBELE  (  9  Vincent JANSSEN  30)
  Victor WANYAMA

17  Moussa SISSOKO
20  DELE Alli
Christian ERIKSEN (28  Harry WINKS  65)

  7  Heung-Min SON (14  Georges-Kevin N'KOUDOU  73)

Unused subs: 
13  Michel VORM

  3  Danny ROSE
25  Josh ONOMAH

    1  Bernd LENO

39  Benjamin HEINRICHS
  Jonathan TAH
21  Omer TOPRAK (c)
18  WENDELL     

19  Julian BRANDT  (10  Hakan CALHANOGLU  70)
20  Charles ARANGUIZ  (29  Kai HAVERTZ  86)
44  Kevin KAMPL    (31  Kevin VOLLAND  85)

33  Admir MEHMEDI

  7  Javier HERNANDEZ

Unused subs: 
21  Ramazan OZCAN
  3  Alecksander DRAGOVIC
11  Stefan KIESSLING
16  Tin JEDVAG

Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino Manager :  Roger Schmidt
Sponsor :   AIA Shirt sponsor :  LG
Kit Supplier :  Under Armour Kit Supplier :   Jako
Match report

With Wembley hosting yet another club record attendance for this Champions League match against Bayer Leverkusen, Tottenham put in one of the poorest performances under Mauricio Pochettino's management to lose 0-1 and throw doubt on their continued presence in the competition beyond the group stages.

From the start, Spurs seemed hesitant and over-played the ball at both ends of the pitch,  with the visitors closing down quickly, it led to poor passing and poor decision making, putting pressure on themselves.  It is hard to explain why they played with none of the things that Pochettino has drummed into them.  Their closing down was not up to it's usual standard and the speed of counter-attacks improved in the second half, but there was not the cutting edge which we seem to be missing at the moment.  Also, the defence looked nervy when it has been our strong point over the last year and more.

Sissoko was back in the side to replace hip injury victim Erik Lamela, while Son replaced Janssen as the focal point of the attack.  Rose was left out with Davies taking his place.  Spurs kicked off and looked ill at ease.  Pressure on the ball from Leverkusen meant Spurs were always looking to play the ball out from the back, but their passes only put defenders in trouble and it became difficult for Spurs to get out of their own half.  It took about five minutes for Spurs to settle, making some inroads into the Bayer half, but not producing anything of note in terms of goal threat.  As either side got near the penalty area, their moves broke down and the game became disjointed.  We were not playing well and I commented to my friend that I would have settled for a point at that stage, just 15 minutes in.  Spurs did get Sissoko winning a tackle with Wendell, but his ball looking for Alli in the box failed to beat the defender in the way. When Moussa did get a decent cross in, Leno came for it at a stretch and spilled the ball.  once more we rarely tested the keeper.

With players not making themselves available to receive the ball, it made it increasingly more difficult for Tottenham to move the ball around the pitch.   On the half hour, Pochettino made a switch, with Dembele limping and Janssen coming on.  This pushed Son back into midfield, with Dele moving in the defensive midfield two alongside Wanyama.  Victor had a very good game, with his reading of the game breaking up Bayer's play and he is resisting diving in and got through the game without a booking.  The change did Spurs good and they looked a bit more urgent going forward, with Eriksen taking the ball into shooting range and unleashing a shot that Leno had to double fist out. 

Set pieces were not effective tonight, as they have failed to be a for a while now. Not making the most of these situations is costing us and when we slipped up at the back, it was nearly very costly.  Walker took a touch on the ball that got away from him and Brandt looked like he would score, but Jan got a slide tackle in to dispossess him, but it ran to Hernandez, who was 12 yards out and the goal gaping in front of him, but Vertonghen swung up a foot to manage to deflect it wide.  How the former Man U man didn't score is a mystery.  Spurs did manage to rouse themselves into attack and a cross was over-head kicked well wide by Dele and in injury time Jan moved forward to sting Leno's hands, with Alli on hand to net the loose ball, but a foul was given against Janssen and the "goal" was ruled out. 

Half-time brought some of our supporters who excelled at the Rio Paralympics - athlete Richard Whitehead and rower Pam Relph - winning gold medals and hoping to inspire the team in the second half, which seemed to have had the desired effect as within five minutes, Spurs had gone close to taking the lead.  Dele Alli's run into the box seemed to be brought to an abrupt end by Toprak's trip, but the referee didn't blow for a penalty and when the ball ran to Christian Eriksen, he fired a low shot just wide of goal with Leno rooted to the spot.  Ten minutes into the half, Alli let fly from outside the box and Leno had this one covered.  Dele then provided Vincent Janssen with a chance, but Tah at his back made it difficult to turn and get a shot on target and the effort went wide.  Kyle walker went closer, when he burst into the box at speed and put in a low shot that flew narrowly wide of the far post.

It has to be said that most of Leverkusen's chances came from our poor defending and when Dier's header back to Lloris fell short, Admir Mehmedi picked the ball up and played in Hernandez.  The ex-Man U player had been niggling with fouls and arms all over people all game and it looked once more that he must score, but his first shot was blocked by Vertonghen and his second, when the ball came back to him, was very well saved by Lloris' dive to his right.  The crowd had been getting onto Sissoko, who was not having a good game, especially when the ball was played wide to him in the air, as he missed a lot of headers completely.  But often, he was played hospital balls that made him look bad.  He did turn his marker Wendell well and ran at goal to hit a shot, but he was not balanced and it went a long way wide.  Cue more howls of abuse from some supporters.

With 65 minutes on the clock, Bayer launched an attack that saw Aranguiz shoot from just outside the box. As Walker was running back, the ball came at him off Davies and he did not have time to react, leaving the ball to bounce off him and into the path of Kampl, who steered it past Lloris to give the visitors the lead.  It was a goal that had been coming and Spurs had failed to cause the German defence too many problems, so it left 25 minutes to pull a goal back.

Harry Winks came on for Eriksen immediately, making himself busy and available to receive the ball and shortly after N'Koudou came on for Son.  Ben Davies looked like he might have to go on after he blocked a shot, but he carried on after treatment and then from a corner, Toprak headed onto the roof of the net.  That preceded Tottenham almost grabbing an undeserved equaliser, when Dier hit a free-kick over the wall form right of centre and the ball bounced away form goal after hitting the angle.  Leno would not have got there had it been a foot lower.  The ball came down and hit Janssen on the shin, allowing Aranguiz to hack it clear.  Davies hit a shot that went wide and Bayer had two players off on the far side of the pitch at one stage, having to make two late substitutions. 

With time running out, N'Koudou beat two men on the left wing to put  across in, but Sissoko couldn't reach it as it went over him and late on, Hernandez hit another shot at goal, but again, Jan was there to block it.

When the final whistle blew, there were plenty of red seats on display as Spurs fans had headed early towards the stations to make their getaway from Wembley.  It was all talk about the Wembley curse on the train and realistically, they should have been looking at our performance, not the surroundings.  We were not on form tonight.  It wasn't the changes, although a few players were less than brilliant today and you can manage a situation where maybe one or tow fall below their usual standards, but more than that and it becomes very difficult.  The way Spurs played was not Pochettino like and I think he might be disappointed more with that than the outcome.  If you play well and lose, you have to say well done to the other side.  If you don't perform, then you make it easy for them.   Perhaps their is a fear of losing and that becomes a reality when you are inhibited and don't play your normal game.

The result leaves Spurs needing two wins to make sure of progress and they need to improve very quickly with the Gooners waiting on Sunday.  It will be a different team that line up at the Emirates, but the thoughts of this loss must be banished until another day, as we need to establish the winning mentality again quickly.

Paul Walken




Bayer 04 Leverkusen were the fourth club in Germany to be formed and before the giant pharmaceutical company sponsored them, they were known simply as 04 for many years.


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What you thought
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Other scores during this round of games :
Ludogrets Razgad (BUL) 2 Arsenal 3 Tuesday
Basel (SWI) 1 Paris St. Germain (FRA) 2 Tuesday
Benfica (POR) 1 Dynamo KIEV (UKR) 0 Tuesday
Besiktas (TUR) 1 Napoli (ITA) 1 Tuesday
Borussia Monchengladbach (GER) 1 Glasgow Celtic 1 Tuesday
Manchester City 3 Barcelona (SPA) 0 Tuesday
PSV Eindhoven (HOL) 1 Bayern Munich (GER) 2 Tuesday
Atletico Madrid (SPA) 2 Rostov (RUS) 1 Tuesday
AS Monaco (FRA) 3 CSKA Moscow (RUS) 0 Wednesday
Borussia Dortmund (GER) 1 Sporting Lisbon (POR) 0 Wednesday
Legia Warsaw (POL) 3 Real Madrid (SPA) 3 Wednesday
FC Porto (POR) 1 Club Brugge (BEL) 0 Wednesday
FC Copenhagen (DEN) 0 Leicester City 0 Wednesday
Juventus (ITA) 1 Olympique Lyonnais (FRA) 1 Wednesday
Sevilla (SPA) 4 Dinamo Zagreb (CRO) 0 Wednesday



Group E Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 AS Monaco 4 2 2 0 7 3 8 +4
2 Bayer Leverkusen 4 1 3 0 4 3 6 +1
3 Tottenham Hotspur 4 1 1 2 2 3 4 -1
4 CSKA Moscow 4 0 2 2 3 7 2 -4


Position before match :  2nd
Position after match :  3rd


* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone will think so.


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