Tottenham Hotspur recorded a 0-0 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt last night in Germany as they failed to convincingly bounce back from the bitter North London Derby defeat.
Let’s take a look at the five things we learned:
The final pass – The game was very similar to Arsenal in the way that Spurs got into some very promising and dangerous areas in the final third, only to be consistently let down by the final pass. Richarlison and Heung-min Son were particularly guilty of this last night, misplacing of overhitting relatively simple balls to lay Harry Kane and others through on goal. This whole Conte system relies on being very clinical in front of goal once you get your chances and Spurs need to improve in that regard as soon as possible.
Away record in Europe – Tottenham are without an away win in Europe in their past six appearances, with the 0-0 draw last night at least ending a run of three straight away defeats (Yahoo). It appears that when Spurs travel in the big European matches, they consistently struggle to return with all three points. This is far from ideal, considering Premier League games after a European mid-week fixture are also notoriously tough.
Missing Kulusevski – In games like these, Kulusevski is a huge miss for Spurs. He looks after the ball, he rarely ever gives it away, he almost always makes the correct choice, and he creates chances from nothing in the final third. Unfortunately, without him on the pitch, Spurs lack any kind of creative force whatsoever. It’s easy to see what balance the Swede brings to this Conte team once you take him out for a few games.
Bryan Gil cameo – Bryan Gil was handed his first taste of action last night with a 20-minute cameo off the bench, although it was far from a dream appearance. The Spanish youngster put in a huge amount of effort but just came across as a player trying too hard. He gave away possession almost every time he picked up the ball, and Antonio Conte will unlikely have been convinced to hand him a start any time soon.
The group table – Sporting Lisbon are currently at the top of Group D with six points from three games after they lost to Marseille last night. Spurs are second on 4 points with a goal difference of 0, while Frankfurt are also on 4 points but have a -2 goal difference. Marseille are then in fourth with three points. As groups go, this one could not be more wide open and Spurs need to fix up if they want to qualify for the knockouts.
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