Tottenham Hotspur lost 7-2 at home to Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich in the Champions League – it could’ve been so different for Mauricio Pochettino.
It’s easy to forget now, with memories of Serge Gnabry’s four-goal haul burned onto the retinas of each and every Tottenham Hotspur fan, but Mauricio Pochettino’s crumbling side actually held their own in the first half of Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Bayern Munich.
Heung Min-Son fired home an early opener in North London, his third clear chance of the first 10 minutes, and Bayern looked rattled, at least initially. Tanguy Ndombele even spurned a glorious chance to grab a second, firing straight at Manuel Neuer just moments after Joshua Kimmich’s sublime equaliser.
Only a goal out of nothing from the magisterial Robert Lewandowski in minute 45 sent Tottenham into the interval 2-1 down. At the time, there was no sign of the humiliation that would follow with Spurs conceding seven on home soil for the first time ever in a competitive fixture.
And Neuer, who was back to his brilliant best on the night, believes a Bayern side basking in a famous 7-2 win in the English capital were actually quite fortunate not to be behind at half-time.
“We weren’t so dominant in the first half, Tottenham had a few good chances, they could have led at half-time,” the captain told Bayern’s official website.
“But we did a really good job in the second half. We were a bit more rigorous after the break, and Serge just had a superb day.”
That’s Serge Gnabry by the way, the former Arsenal winger who established himself as one of the world’s very best, not the much-maligned Serge Aurier.
Neuer’s comments actually raise more questions than answers, however. After a promising first half in which Tottenham edged the chances, why on earth did they collapse so horrifically in the second half?