Spot-kick hero Timo Werner has admitted that RB Leipzig were taken aback by Tottenham’s defensive approach during Wednesday’s 1-0 Champions League triumph in North London, while speaking to the club’s official website.
With a pragmatic Portuguese now prowling the touchline, it is perhaps no surprise that Spurs approached a European knock-out tie in a rather reactionary manner.
But Jose Mourinho’s tactics backfired in the first half as Tottenham failed to lay a glove on a fluid, forward-thinking Leipzig side who created about five clear goal-scoring chances in the opening 90 seconds of the game.
Spurs woke up after the interval and started to carve out openings of their own but, by then, the much-admired Werner had already scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot.
“It was a good game from us. We did very well, especially in the first half. We didn't expect Tottenham (to play) so defensively,” said the German international, who now has 26 goals to his name this season.
“We had the opponent under control - only the goal was missing. We still had good chances after the penalty. The most important thing was that we held out defensively in the final phase.
“Our match plan worked.”
Tottenham will have to climb if not a mountain then a rather steep hill in Germany in three weeks’ time if they want to go one-step further than last season by winning the Champions League for the very first time.
And it is fair to say they cannot afford to give away so many chances in Leipzig. With better finishing on the night, Julian Nagelsmann’s exciting young side would have had the tie wrapped up already.
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