Sporting 2-0 Tottenham: Spurs slide to first Champions League defeat of the season
Antonio Conte reportedly glanced at his watch in the last minute and thought, “I’ll take this.” At the time, it was zero goals and Tottenham left Lisbon with a precious Champions League point.
Three minutes later, referee Srdjan Jovanovic had blown full time with Tottenham on their knees after a 2-0 loss. How did it happen?
Even by Tottenham standards, it was an implosion of epic proportions as Sporting, thanks to two substitutes, scored twice in the dying seconds to snatch a euphoric victory.
Tottenham suffered their first loss of the season after losing 2-0 to Sporting Lisbon
Arthur Gomes (#33) came off the bench and seconds later put the game to bed for Sporting
Gomes is mobbed by his Sporting team-mates after doubling the lead in stoppage time
Ivan Perisic puts on a dejected face as the Portuguese side celebrate a famous win over Spurs
MATCH DATA AND PLAYER RATINGS
SPORTS LISBON (3-4-3): Adam 7.5; Ignacio 7, Coates 7, Reis 7; Porro 7.5, Morita 7 (Alexandropoulous 71), Ugarte 7, Santos 7 (Esgaio 90); Trincao 6.5 (Paulinho 76), Edwards 8.5 (Gomes 90), Goncalves 7.5.
Unused subtitles: Israel, Paulo, Rochinha, Issahaku, Marsa, Nazinho.
Reserve: Morita, Reis
Goals: Paulinho (90), Arthur Gomes (90+3)
Coach: Amorim – 8
TOTTENHAM (3-4-2-1): Loris 6; Romero 6.5, Dier 6.5, Davies 6.5; Emerson 6.5, Hojbjerg 6.5, Bentancur 7, Perisic 7; Son 6 (Kulusevski 72), Kane 6, Richarlison 6.5.
Unused subtitles: Forster, Doherty, Sanchez, Gil, Sessegnon, Spence, Tanganga, Llenglet, Bissouma, White.
Reserve: Royal, Hojbjerg, Bentancur.
Coach: Antonio Conte – 6.5
Arbitrator: Srdjan Jovanovic (Serbia) – 6.5
Player of the game: Marcus Edwards (Sporting Lisbon)
Venue: Jose Alvalade Stadium
First, in the 90th minute, Paulinho looked home with a brilliant header from Pedro Goncalves’ corner to drive the Jose Alvalade stadium crazy. Then, in the 93rd minute, Artur Gomes, introduced in added time, scored a marvelous solo effort to lift the roof here in the Portuguese capital.
Conte swallowed his water bottle in complete shock. Who could blame him?
In many ways, with the exception of the late capitulation, it was as textbook a Champions League away performance as you will find.
Tottenham fought their way through most of this clash quite comfortably. Yes, there were a few bumps and scrapes along the way.
But, for the most part, Tottenham were in control after pulling the sting out of a game that had a banana peel written all over it.
Indeed, when the Spurs boss looks back on that brutal night, he will conclude that it should never have come to this.
Tottenham had plenty of opportunities to get the tie stitched long before Sporting’s late show.
But – as Conte said – they were forced to “pay” for their debauchery.
This is in no way to discredit Sporting’s contribution; they were organized and well trained, more so than defending against their Premier League opponents.
Indeed, in Marcus Edwards – the former Tottenham academy product who is now reinvigorating his career in Portugal – Sporting had the best striker on the pitch.
Nice control, super balance – a deadly threat. A run at the end of the first half that saw her bamboozle Eric Dier twice and Ben Davies was poetry in motion.
Paulinho gave Sporting the lead in the 90th minute with a superb header from a corner
Paulinho walks away in celebration after finally breaking game deadlock very late
Spurs players are dejected after conceding Sporting’s first goal in the 90th minute
Paulinho celebrates with his Sporting team-mates after snatching three points from Spurs
You can see why Mauricio Pochettino compared him to Lionel Messi.
Equally, you can see why his current manager Ruben Amorim thinks Edwards can break into England’s senior setup.
At 23, the striker has his best years ahead of him. On this projection, you imagine he won’t be in the Portuguese league for too long.
Likewise, it surely won’t be long before Gareth Southgate travels to Lisbon to witness it for himself.
Edwards’ attacking instinct is carefully harnessed by young Sporting manager Ruben Amorim, who himself is attracting admiring glances from elsewhere.
Harry Kane stares at the ground after watching his side concede twice in stoppage time
Eric Dier applauds away support but defeat on return to former club Sporting
Many were surprised that the 37-year-old was linked as a potential successor to Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea last week.
The next time he positions himself next to a Premier League role, it won’t be as surprising after that landmark night.
But it was Edwards who drew attention on the pitch; the Englishman at the heart of Sporting’s best passages.
The Portuguese side’s first chance was the product of Edwards’ well-weighted pass into the path of Francisco Trincao, which allowed the latter to see his low shot saved by Hugo Lloris.
But from then on, Edwards’ magical stint aside, Spurs were cool and collected.
Richarlison rounded the Sporting goalkeeper in the first half to put the ball in the net
But the goal was correctly ruled out for offside and the game was goalless at half-time
Kane came within inches of breaking the deadlock for Spurs but couldn’t score
Richarlison squandered a decent chance, before Emerson Royal found himself deep in Sporting’s penalty area to pump up his lines at the crucial moment.
Tottenham had the ball in the net in the 42nd minute but Richarlison’s effort was correctly ruled out for offside.
Royal and Harry Kane were both denied by Antonio Adan early in the second half as Spurs searched for the goal their play probably deserved.
At this point, Sporting were out of steam. But that said, their manager Amorim’s preaching that his team would be ‘competitive’ was coming true.
Every tackle or interception was cheered vehemently by the home support almost as if they had just scored.
Spurs academy graduate Marcus Edwards (right) was a constant thorn in his former club’s squad
Edwards came close to scoring a Messi-style goal at half-time but was denied by Lloris
Conte snagged Son Heung-min, who once again looked like the shadow of last season’s Golden Boot winner, in place of Dejan Kulusevski in the 72nd minute in search of the goal his side probably deserved.
The Tottenham boss warned Son that his place in the squad was no longer guaranteed on Monday night. After that – his eighth game without a goal – you imagine Son will feel the heat.
Kulusevski had an almost immediate impact, his cross narrowly headed by Richarlison in the 75th minute.
It looked to everyone like Tottenham would leave Portugal with a point, although Lloris made an excellent save to deny Pedro Porro in the closing stages.
But then it all turned a bit, well, ‘Spursy’ – as second-half substitutes Paulinho and Artur sent the home fans off to dreamland.
Scroll down to relive Sportsmail’s live blog as it happened during the Champions League clash between Sporting Lisbon and Tottenham.
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