Lokomotiv Plovdiv 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur: Ndombele bails out Spurs with the help of two red cards
PLOVDIV, BULGARIA - SEPTEMBER 17: Tanguy Ndombele of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates with teammates after scoring his sides second goal during the UEFA Europa League second qualifying round match between Lokomotiv Plovdiv and Tottenham Hotspur at Stadion Lokomotiv Plovdiv on September 17, 2020 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. (Photo by Nikolay Doychinov/Getty Images)

Tottenham Hotspur are through to the next round of the Europa League Qualifying stages after a hard-fought 2-1 comeback victory against difficult hosts Lokomotiv Plovdiv.

The Bulgarian side took the lead mid-way through the second half through a Georgi Minchev header from a corner, but red cards for Bircent Karagaren and Dinis Almeida allowed Spurs back into the game, first through a Harry Kane penalty.

Tanguy Ndombele sealed the comeback victory after a lovely passing move started by the record signing, who played a pivotal role in getting his side back into the game.

Story of the game

Spurs began strong, testing the keeper inside the first five minutes through Heung-Min Son, before Steven Bergwijn's shot was tipped onto the crossbar five minutes later.

Not long after that, Giovani Lo Celso evaded a challenge on the edge of the area to make space for himself, but his shot was just a little too wide and high.

Bergwijn then had a huge shout for a penalty, after being sent through in the box down the right-hand side before being quite clearly clipped by the Plovdiv defender - the referee made an error and waving play on.

Less than sixty seconds later, Harry Kane found himself open and in space for one of his trademark low and powerful long-shots, but his strike was narrowly wide of the post.

Kane could have opened the scoring again through a corner, but the England captain's header was too tame and Matt Doherty was called offside at the back post when he tried to flick it in.

Moments before half-time, the biggest chance of the half fell to Ben Davies, who missed a two-yard sitter, much to the shock of manager Jose Mourinho.

The first chance of the second half was created by Kane who fed Davies down the left-hand side and the Welshman's cross could only be diverted wide by Son from close-range.

Kane and Lo Celso both had opportunities shortly after, but it was Plovdiv who took the lead through Georgi Minchev as he got onto a flicked header from the corner and powered his header past Hugo Lloris.

Two minutes later it could have been two but for Lloris in goal for Spurs - saving a speculative shot from out wide which Davies failed to close down.

Davies then had an opportunity to redeem himself in the 74th minute when new signing Doherty got to the byline and delivered a cross which was cleared to the Welshman, who couldn't get his volley on target.

Davies once again was in the thick of it, heading a goal bound effort which was stopped by Bircent Karagaren - the Bulgarian sent off for a clear and deliberate handball and consequently gave away a penalty which Kane dispatched into the top left corner. 

Moments later, Plovdiv were down to nine men, as to why we're not quite sure due to issues with the broadcaster, but Dinis Almeida was given his marching orders by the referee.

The comeback was complete in the 85th minute when substitute Tanguy Ndombele started a nice fluid passing move which ended up with another substitute in Lucas Moura on the right wing - the Brazilian squaring the ball for the Frenchman who tapped the ball home deftly. 

Man of the Match - Tanguy Ndombele

If Plovdiv held on and sent it to penalties or even won the game, then of course the man of the match would have been a Plovdiv player.

But the man of the match tonight was clear, Tanguy Ndombele came off the bench and provided some forward thinking creativity to a helpless-looking Spurs side. 

His appearance was capped off by the match-winning goal and only his third in a Spurs shirt, a goal which he started the move for and one that will certainly fill the record signing with confidence.

 

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