Why Tottenham now face their biggest challenge yet

Tottenham's Dele Alli looks dejected

Tottenham crashed out of the Champions League on Tuesday as they fell to a 2-1 defeat against Monaco.

Tottenham manager Mauricio PochettinoTottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino

It was hardly the fairytale game Tottenham's fans would have been dreaming of before kick off on Tuesday evening.

After the team's heroics against West Ham at the weekend, confidence was high, however, it was dashed by two second-half goals from Monaco.

Things seemed to be going Tottenham's way after Bayer Leverkusen were held to a 1-1 draw by CSKA Moscow. However, Spurs could not drive this advantage home as they fell to a very disappointing 2-1 defeat.

Before the game, the manager told Tottenham’s website: “It’s a game we must win and we need to find a way. We have in front of us a very good team, we know Monaco well, and now it’s 90 minutes to play”.

“We always want to win every game we play and it’s not about more or less risks, it’s about being clever, we follow our plan and try to win after 90 minutes. That’s our idea, our challenge. To take risks or not take risks, that is the balance in football”.

With their recent league struggles well documented, perhaps their main saving grace was their presence in the Champions League, with optimism at a high regarding their potential in the competition, despite mixed results. 

However, now that they are out of the competition, they will have put their focus back into improving their league form. While their biggest game of the season may have been against Monaco on Tuesday, following their defeat, it means that their London derby against Chelsea has usurped that game. 

Tottenham's Dele Alli and Eric Dier look dejected at full timeTottenham's Dele Alli and Eric Dier look dejected at full time

This match is against the in form team in the league and constitutes a challenge for Tottenham that will reveal their true character. If they win, they will move to within a point of Chelsea, and they will be well and truly back into the mix at the top.

Should they lose though, then Chelsea would move seven points clear of them and, while it is not terminal, it would constitute a nightmare week for Pochettino.

A loss would see the morale of the fans and players sapped with their exit from the Champions League and a defeat to their rivals a scenario that simply cannot be allowed to happen. 

Spurs also have bad memories of Stamford Bridge following their bad tempered 2-2 draw last season which saw their rivals deny them the title.

They will be desperate to exact some revenge for that game along with getting the loss to Monaco out of their systems. Failing to do so will inflict more misery than they will want to endure.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino during the press conferenceTottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino

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