Tottenham throw away lead in Greece
Tottenham Hotspur were guilty of throwing away a two-goal lead on Wednesday night as they were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw in their opening Champions League game against Olympiakos.
They went into the game as narrow favourites with sports betting companies, and they appeared to be on their way to a win when they scored twice in the space of four minutes in the first half through a Harry Kane penalty and a powerful finish by Lucas Moura.
However, they then conceded a goal just before half-time when winger Daniel Podence scored with an impressive strike, and with the home side growing in confidence, Spurs were hit by a second goal when Mathieu Valbuena beat Hugo Lloris from the penalty spot on 54 minutes.
Their defeat means that both of last season’s finalists in this competition have failed to win their opening games of the 2019-20 campaign, after Liverpool slipped to a 2-0 defeat against Napoli.
Mauricio Pochettino’s team produced a memorable run to the final of the competition last season, but they were a long way from their best in Piraeus as they repeated the defensive frailties that had been on display when they allowed Arsenal to come back from 2-0 down to secure a draw in the north London derby at the beginning of the month, to the frustration of their manager.
Having surrendered two-goal leads twice in their last three games, Pochettino will be concerned about their inconsistency and the fact that they missed an ideal opportunity to make a strong start in a tough Champions League group that also includes the five-time Champions League winners Bayern Munich and the potentially dangerous Red Star Belgrade, who beat Liverpool last year.
Tottenham were the better side in the first half, and Kane earned the penalty that enabled them to take the lead when he was tripped by Yassine Meriah, before a decisive finish from Moura following good work from Ben Davies appeared to have put the visitors in command of the game.
However, they were unable to hang on to their advantage, and the draw extends their disappointing away record this year, which has seen them win just five of their 17 games on the road in 2019.
Words: Josh Dixon