Opinion: Spurs start slowly in Europe again, but there’s no need to panic

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Image: SpursWeb

Last season’s Champions League finalists Tottenham Hotspur opened up their new European adventure with a 2-2 draw against Olympiacos in Greece.

Spurs found themselves 2-0 ahead after half an hour despite the home side having the better of the chances.

Harry Kane was tripped in the box to win a penalty for Pochettino’s side, before picking himself back up to fire the ball into the roof of the net.

Just a few minutes later Lucas Moura smashed in a second for Spurs, but much like in the North London Derby at the start of the month they conceded just before half-time to inject life into the home side.

In the second half there was not much to split the teams, but a failure to deal with the ball from Eriksen and clumsiness from Vertonghen lead to an Olympiacos penalty, which was converted by Valbuena to level the score.

This game was there for the taking for Spurs, but too many players underperformed. Deep into the second half there were two opportunities to square the ball to Kane which would have almost certainly lead to goals, but Dele Alli and Erik Lamela lacked the awareness to find the marksman.

Christian Eriksen had possibly one of his most disappointing games in Tottenham colours since his arrival in 2013, giving the ball away cheaply a lot more frequently than usual, and looking lacklustre for most of the 90 minutes. The standout performer for Spurs was Lucas Moura, he looked the most promising going forward and was one of the only players who tried to make things happen.

Ultimately, what killed Spurs, like at the Emirates, was conceding so close to the half-time whistle. The game management of Pochettino’s team so far this season has been displeasing, conceding goals during pivotal points in matches. This cannot be a recurring theme in Spurs’ season if they are to have a successful one.

However, despite surrendering a two-goal advantage, a point in a hostile atmosphere, against a team who have not lost at home since 28th February (Futbol24.com) is not a bad result for the North Londoners. They lost their opening group match last season and had just one point from the first three, so this is already a better start. But Spurs will feel they should be flying back to England with a victory.

There is definitely no need to panic, but Tottenham must start managing games in a better way and perform more consistently if they are to have any chance of going deep in the Champions League again.

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