Tottenham into Champions League knockout stage after tense win in Marseille

Olympique Marseille v Tottenham Hotspur: Group D - UEFA Champions League
Clement Lenglet scored a crucial goal for Spurs in the second half (Picture: Getty Images)

Tottenham have booked their spot in the knockout stages of the Champions League thanks to a 2-1 win at Marseille on a very tense evening in France.

Spurs just needed a point to guarantee progress, but a win for Marseille would have been enough to take Igor Tudor’s side into the last 16.

It was all going very well for the home team, who dominated the first half and took the lead just before the break, leaving Antonio Conte – who was watching from the stands due to suspension – very concerned.

The visitors bounced back, though, with Clement Lenglet emerging as the unlikely hero to score a header from an Ivan Perisic free-kick just nine minutes after the break.

With Marseille needing a goal it made for a tense remainder of the contest, but the Premier League side hung on for the result which guaranteed progression, despite former Arsenal man Sead Kolasinac having a golden chance for Marseille late on, which he spurned.

It looked like it would be a draw until the final kick of the game when Pierre-Emile Hojberg sealed top spot in the group with a breakaway goal. Eintracht Frankfurt’s win at Sporting meant that the German side go through in second, with Spurs top.

The first half was extremely one-sided in favour of the home team, with Tottenham struggling to make an impression on the match at all.

On-loan Manchester United centre-back was forced off through injury for Marseille early on, while Spurs suffered a more significant problem as Son Heung-Min was taken off after a heavy collision in the air left him dazed and wobbly on his feet.

It was all the home team, with Hugo Lloris making some good stops, notably from Jordan Veretout, but the Tottenham keeper could not keep Marseille out in first-half stoppage time.

Former Newcastle defender Chancel Mbemba rose impressively at the back-post from a corner, but he was surprisingly unmarked, as he powered a header home.

Spurs changed things at the break, with Emerson Royal replacing Ryan Sessegnon, and they also seemed to reappear with a bit more purpose about them.

It did not take too long for it to pay off as Ivan Perisic swung in a superb cross from a deep free-kick on the left flank, with Clement Lenglet rising to nod home.

The goal took the situation back to Marseille needing a goal again to progress and they began pushing hard, which also left gaps at the back for counters, with the game quickly becoming a bit chaotic and far more open.

However, there were few clear-cut chances despite the intent from Tudor’s side, with Tottenham coming closest to scoring the next goal as the clock ticked to 80 minutes.

A nice move down the Spurs left eventually worked the ball to a free Pierre-Emile Hojberg in the penalty box who crashed a shot past Pau Lopez but saw it come flying back off the crossbar. Seconds later, Harry Kane appeared to be in on goal but was denied by a superb last ditch tackle from Mbemba.

Antonio Conte watched on from the stands in Marseille (Picture: Getty Images)

The last 10 minutes predictably sprung into life with Perisic showing his experience by making a great block as time was running out for the home side.

Former Arsenal man Sead Kolasinac had an amazing chance to be the hero for Marseille, getting on the end of an in-swinging cross from the right, free at the back post but sent his header into the ground and wide.

It looked like Spurs were just hanging on, but the last kick of the game saw Hojberg win it on the break for the visitors and made sure they finished top of the group.



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