Spurs rue early error by Lloris
Mauricio Pochettino’s side suffer Champions League defeat against Barcelona
04 October, 2018 — By Dan Carrier at Wembley
A WEAKENED Spurs side crashed to a 4-2 defeat last night (Wednesday) against Barcelona at Wembley Stadium, leaving manager Mauricio Pochettino to rue a sloppy moment that left them chasing the game almost from the start.
Pochettino was missing Jan Vertonghen, Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli and Mousa Dembele. It felt harsh that players who have got Spurs onto this stage were injured for the champagne Champions League tie.
And if the scale of the challenge was daunting before kick-off, it got even bigger just two minutes in when Philippe Coutinho struck after a Hugo Lloris error.
Speaking after the game, Pochettino said: “I want to congratulate the team. They fought very hard. I am disappointed with the result but the effort was massive. I am proud.”
But he added that his players had made things hard for themselves by going behind from the off.
“When you concede in under two minutes, it changes everything,” he said.
“At this level, to give that sort of advantage – it is so difficult to come back. But we showed a lot character in the second half.”
Barcelona doubled their lead midway through the half and this time there was little Lloris could do about it. Spurs had gradually got into the game when Ivan Rakitic scored a peach of a volley from distance.
On 51 minuets, after Lionel Messi hit the post twice in two minutes, Erik Lamela’s persistence carved a chance for the lurking Harry Kane. The striker held off the attentions of three defenders and fired home.
Before Spurs could take advantage of rattling their visitors, the ever-cool Messi, who turned in a simply breathtaking performance, swished forward to make it 3-1.
But Spurs had another bite left.
Lamela, again, got Spurs believing they could salvage something when he finished from the edge of the box.
Pochettino’s charges twice went close as they searched for an equaliser but there was to be no fairytale ending.
In the 90th minute, the home side failed to clear under little pressure and who else but Messi was on hand to make it 4-2.
It is now two defeats out of two in the Champions League for Spurs, leaving them six points behind second-placed Inter Milan.