Tottenham Hotspur left the BayArena with a point after a goalless draw with German side Bayer Leverkusen.
Tottenham’s first half performance suggested that Spurs would walk away with all three points as they had a goal ruled offside and another effort that rattled the woodwork. However, a half time substitution from Bayer, which saw Julian Baumgartlinger replace Hakan Calhanoglu, unified the Bayer midfield as they gained control of the second half. Incredible saves from Hugo Lloris, during the second half, kept Tottenham in the game.
A point is not a bad result for Tottenham in a fixture which could be seen as their hardest in the group, especially with the reverse of this fixture will be played in two weeks time at Wembley. Spurs sit in second in Group E with three games left to play.
Bayer Press bothers Tottenham
Both Bayer and Spurs are known for their aggressive, high tempo press and it looked as if the German side came up tops in implementing their system. At times Tottenham struggled with Bayer Leverkusen’s press as whenever they received the ball they found themselves surrounded by at least two Bayer players. The pressure put on them by Bayer led to misplaced passes making it difficult to get into the game.
The tactics from Leverkusen also condensed Tottenham’s defenders Jan Vertonghen and Eric Dier further down the pitch, restricting the highline that Spurs usually play with and so making it more difficult for the North London team to play out from the back like they usually do. This resulted in Spurs using long balls to their fullbacks further up the pitch to launch attacks.
Trippier and Lloris shine
Kieran Trippier returned to the first team after Kyle Walker was left in England. Trippier shone over the 90 minutes as he exploited the space on the right flank, providing threatening crosses throughout the match. The full-back had 92 touches throughout the match, more than any other player on the pitch, highlighting his influence on the game.
Captain Hugo Lloris however stole the show after keeping Bayer Leverkusen at bay on numerous occasions. Most notably in the 48th minute when his a quick reflex save blocked a Javier Hernandez shot before he shielded the ball from crossing the line. Lloris made another crucial save eight minutes later as he dived full stretch to deny Charles Aranguiz’s free kick.