Kampl gives Leverkusen victory at Spurs
LONDON / Kevin Kampl’s second-half goal earned Bayer Leverkusen their first European away victory in England as they beat Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 to boost their hopes of reaching the last 16 of the Champions League on Wednesday.
Slovenian international Kampl’s close-range effort after 65 minutes sent Tottenham spinning to a second home defeat at Wembley in Group “E”, having lost their opener to Monaco.
Tottenham, without a win in six matches in all competitions, were lacklustre all night and there was precious little for the majority of the 85,000 crowd to get excited about.
Eric Dier came closest to scoring when his free kick thumped against the crossbar with eight minutes left. With two matches left, Monaco lead the group on eight points after beating CSKA Moscow 3-0. Leverkusen have six and Tottenham have it all to do with four.
Tottenham’s season has hit a wall since an impressive win over Manchester City last month and they began in edgy fashion against a Leverkusen side who sensed their hosts’ unease. Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino looked far from happy as his side continually gave the ball away in dangerous areas.
Former Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez broke free on the right but his cut back evaded everyone in the area.
A dull encounter livened up towards halftime.
Tottenham’s hearts were in their mouths when Kyle Walker miscontrolled in his own area and the ball fell invitingly to Hernandez whose shot scraped past the post via a crucial deflection from Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen.
Shortly before that Christian Eriksen had Tottenham’s first effort on target, his powerful shot beaten away by Bernd Leno.
Dele Alli did have the ball in the net in the stroke of halftime after substitute Vincent Jansen’s shot was saved by Leno, but Jansen had already been penalised for pulling.
Tottenham showed more urgency at the start of the second period and Alli had a strong penalty appeal turned down when tumbling over Leverkusen skipper Omer Toprak’s dangled foot. Walker then sliced through the Leverkusen defence and fired a shot agonisingly across goal.
Leverkusen’s Kevin Kampl Tottenham in action against Tottenham’s Ben Davies in their Uefa Champions League Group ‘E’ natch at Wembley /REUTERS
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino ponders as Bayer Leverkusen come calling in their Uefa Champions League Group ‘E’ Wembley match.