Stellini insists Tottenham were not playing for a draw against Marseille

Tottenham’s assistant head coach Cristian Stelllini insisted that his side were not playing to get a point against Marseille and that they went into the game looking to win.

Spurs needed just a point to seal their passage into the knockout stages of the Champions League while Marseille needed all three points to progress.

Harry Kane
(Photo by Valerio Pennicino – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

So, it was the Ligue 1 club who started the game on the front foot, with Tottenham being happy to defend with men behind the ball for most of the first half.

Marseille took a deserved lead just before the half-time whistle and the goal seemed to jolt Tottenham into action, with the North Londoners being much more adventurous after the break.

When asked if Spurs were happy to play for a draw in the first half, Stellini told Football.London: “We tried to counter-attack and try to play to create chances in all the second half.

“We cannot be happy if we draw this game because it is very important to arrive first in the group stage. We pushed to try to win, like always.”

Tottenham once again showed their powers of recovery, coming back from a deficit to win the game and thus finishing at the top of the group.

Just like at Bournemouth on Saturday, the Lilywhites got the winner in stoppage time, with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg producing an impressive finish into the far corner after being played through on goal by Harry Kane.

When asked about Tottenham now making a habit of mounting comebacks, Stellini said: “Maybe it is all of this, personality and energy. But we know very well. In this type of stadium and this type of match, a knockout, it is not very easy.

“The stadium was very hot in the first half, and sometimes it is normal to give the possibility to the opponent to play, to use the energy you have in the second half. It could also be a strategy. We need to try to play all the 90 minutes in the same level.”

Spurs Web Opinion

We might have set up to play on the counter-attack in the first half but the problem was that we never really managed to put together any decent counters. We were thus inviting more and more pressure from Marseille and the strategy could have quite easily backfired.

Keep up to date with all the latest Tottenham news and opinion by following SpursWeb’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Related Topics

Have something to tell us about this article? Let us know