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Spurs’ Champions League hopes hit by Wembley defeat

Kevin Kampl scores

Kevin Kampl’s first goal of the season arrived when he collected a deflected shot to apply a finish

Tottenham’s Champions League hopes are now in real danger as they slumped to another damaging home defeat by Bayer Leverkusen at Wembley.

Kevin Kampl’s cool 65th-minute finish condemned Spurs to a second-successive loss in this competition at their temporary home while White Hart Lane is being rebuilt.

Spurs now lie third in Group E behind Monaco and Bayer Leverkusen and are under serious threat of failing to reach the knockout phase with two games left away to the French side and at home to CSKA Moscow.

Leverkusen were the livelier side throughout as Spurs desperately missed injured forward Harry Kane. Former Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez came close in the first half and forced a save from Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris at the end.

Spurs offered a rally of sorts after they went behind, with Kyle Walker shooting wide and Eric Dier hitting the bar with a late free-kick, but the jeers at the final whistle told their own story.

  • Analysis: Is ‘Wembley effect’ damaging Tottenham
  • Reaction: Wembley not to blame – Pochettino

Spurs’ Wembley curse strikes again

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Bayer Leverkusen celebrated with their fans. They had just one win in five matches before kick-off

Spurs cannot complain about lack of support at their temporary Champions League home – they just cannot win any games there.

This was their sixth-successive loss at Wembley, including domestic games, and another damaging loss on the back of their opening reverse against Monaco.

The stats on support are hugely impressive. The attendance of 85,512 was the highest Tottenham home crowd, highest English club home Champions League crowd and the highest English “home attendance”.

And yet it failed to inspire a Spurs side that was flat and lacking in composure, quality and threat for long periods.

They may have pointed to a reasonable penalty shout when Dele Alli went down with the scores level early in the second half, but something is amiss.

Is it Wembley’s wide open spaces? Is it simply unfamiliar surroundings? Whatever it is, Spurs do not look or feel at home yet.

It is a problem they will need to cure for their final group game here against CSKA Moscow, which follows a tough test away to Monaco on Wednesday, 7 December.

Spurs need Kane back

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Vincent Janssen came off the bench in the first half but managed just one shot, missing the target

Tottenham could not be criticised for lack of effort but they lacked a spark – and most obviously lack a marksman with England striker Kane still not fit to return against Bayer Leverkusen.

Before kick-off, they had been without Kane for 813 minutes in all competitions since he came off injured against Sunderland on 18 September. They have scored 13 times in that period, five of which came against Gillingham in the EFL Cup.

Kane had not been at his best before injury, but the lack of his natural goal touch has been exposed with Son Heung-min peripheral here and Vincent Janssen still struggling to come to terms with life at Spurs following his £17m move from AZ Alkmaar.

Kane may be back in time for this weekend’s north London derby with Arsenal at Emirates Stadium – and his comeback cannot come a moment too soon for Pochettino.

Can Spurs still make it?

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Spurs (left) had 58% of possession but touched the ball just 11 times in the visitor’s area, while Leverkusen (right) touched the ball 29 times in the Spurs’ box

Spurs can still reach the Champions League knockout phase, but another dismal Wembley display means they have made life very difficult for themselves.

Bayer Leverkusen have outmanoeuvred them over two games while that opening loss to Monaco on 14 September was a real hammer blow.

The prospect of going out at the group stage is now a real one and would be a desperate disappointment given the optimism felt around Spurs as they began this European campaign.

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Champions League: Real Madrid concede three and Spurs’ Wembley woes continue

The stats – Wembley woe

  • Bayer Leverkusen’s victory was only their third in their past 25 Champions League away games (W3 D7 L15)
  • No English side has managed to keep a clean sheet in a Champions League game played at Wembley Stadium in nine attempts
  • Spurs have scored just two goals in their past five competitive matches and both of those were from the penalty spot

What next?

Spurs, who are fifth in the Premier League, travel to Arsenal for a midday kick-off on Sunday, while their next Champions League fixture is a trip to group leaders Monaco on 22 November.

Leverkusen, who are 10th in the Bundesliga, are in action against Darmstadt 98 on Saturday and travel to CSKA Moscow next in the Champions League.

Live Text

Match ends, Tottenham Hotspur 0, Bayer 04 Leverkusen 1.

Second Half ends, Tottenham Hotspur 0, Bayer 04 Leverkusen 1.

Foul by Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur).

Benjamin Henrichs (Bayer 04 Leverkusen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Chicharito (Bayer 04 Leverkusen) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Admir Mehmedi.

Corner, Bayer 04 Leverkusen. Conceded by Dele Alli.

Harry Winks (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Admir Mehmedi (Bayer 04 Leverkusen).

Foul by Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur).

Wendell (Bayer 04 Leverkusen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Georges-Kévin Nkoudou (Tottenham Hotspur).

Chicharito (Bayer 04 Leverkusen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Vincent Janssen (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Jonathan Tah (Bayer 04 Leverkusen).

Substitution, Bayer 04 Leverkusen. Kai Havertz replaces Charles Aránguiz because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Substitution, Bayer 04 Leverkusen. Kevin Volland replaces Kevin Kampl because of an injury.

Delay in match Charles Aránguiz (Bayer 04 Leverkusen) because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Ben Davies (Tottenham Hotspur) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Harry Winks.

Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur) hits the bar with a right footed shot from outside the box from a direct free kick.

Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Wendell (Bayer 04 Leverkusen).

Attempt missed. Ömer Toprak (Bayer 04 Leverkusen) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Hakan Calhanoglu with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Bayer 04 Leverkusen. Conceded by Jan Vertonghen.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Ben Davies (Tottenham Hotspur) because of an injury.

Attempt blocked. Chicharito (Bayer 04 Leverkusen) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Kevin Kampl.

Foul by Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur).

Benjamin Henrichs (Bayer 04 Leverkusen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Georges-Kévin Nkoudou (Tottenham Hotspur).

Kevin Kampl (Bayer 04 Leverkusen) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Georges-Kévin Nkoudou replaces Son Heung-Min.

Substitution, Bayer 04 Leverkusen. Hakan Calhanoglu replaces Julian Brandt.

Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Chicharito (Bayer 04 Leverkusen).

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Benjamin Henrichs (Bayer 04 Leverkusen) because of an injury.

Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Jonathan Tah.

Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Chicharito (Bayer 04 Leverkusen).

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/37839379