Tottenham slumped to dismal 1-0 defeat against RB Leipzig on Wednesday night, leaving the London side with a mountain to climb in the second leg. Jose Mourinho's team were second best from the onset, with only some handy goalkeeping from Hugo Lloris preventing them from going behind early in the first half. The game's key turning came on the hour mark, with Spurs left back Ben Davies fouling Konrad Laimer inside the penalty box. Timo Werner clinically dispatched the spot kick to hand RB Leipzig a deserved lead -- and a critical first-leg advantage.
The performance level of Giovani Lo Celso has been one of the few sources of joy for Spurs of late -- and the Argentine continued his fine form again this evening. Despite the testing circumstances, Lo Celso equipped himself well, with mazy dribbles and incisive passing in the final third. Elsewhere, captain Lloris kept his side in the tie with some sublime close-range saves.
Once again, Spurs set out to seemingly avoid defeat, rather than chasing the win from the start. The negative tactics are partly influenced by crippling injuries to key attackers, but it must frustrate home fans that the side spent much of the game on the back foot. Additionally, Dele Alli and Lucas Moura were frequently isolated due to the defensive game plan, with neither able to capitalise in dangerous attacking situations.
Manager Ratings (out of 10)
5 -- Portuguese boss Mourinho was fairly limited in terms of selection due to an ever-growing injury list. With that being said, however, the home side spent much of the first half on the back foot, with little in way of attacks on the Leipzig goal. Lo Celso was creative from a central position, but Alli's experimental role as a support striker, didn't work quite as well.
Player Ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Hugo Lloris, 7 -- Pulled off a handful of superb saves, including two to deny Werner. Without the club captains saves, Spurs would be in a much worse position heading into the second leg.
DF Serge Aurier, 5 -- Pitting the Ivorian up against Werner on the right-hand side was always likely to be eventful -- and potentially catastrophic. While he didn't make too many glaring errors, wayward positioning did allow Werner to get through on goal unchallenged inside the first 20 minutes.
DF Davinson Sanchez, 7 -- Spent much of the game cleaning up for his teammates, with vital interceptions and tackles a plenty. Whenever Aurier was found wanting positionally, Sanchez was there to sweep up.
DF Toby Alderweireld, 6 -- A busy night for the talented centre half, who had the arduous task of marking the physically imposing Patrick Schick. He stuck to his task well, dominating the aerial duels.
DF Ben Davies, 4 -- Offered defensive solidity in the first half, but little else -- especially going forward. In the second period, Davies committed a lazy foul inside the box, handing Werner an opportunity to score from the spot -- which he duly took.
MF Gedson Fernandes, 6 -- The former Benfica star showed one or two glimpses of quality, especially in terms of crosses, justifying Mourinho's decision to play his countryman out wide. However, when tracking Werner both Fernandes and Aurier were, at times, guilty of ball watching.
MF Harry Winks, 6 -- Had a mixed evening, despite a number of excellent interceptions and tackles. In possession, the academy graduate wasn't quite as effective, squandering the ball on numerous occasions.
MF Giovani Lo Celso, 8 -- The home sides' most potent threat throughout, with one particular through ball -- to the dangerous Steven Bergwijn -- slicing the Leipzig defence wide open. The 23-year-old appears to be improving with each passing game.
MF Steven Bergwijn, 6 -- A fairly quiet evening for the Dutch winger. Ultimately, he was unable to impact the match from wide, so much so that he moved into a centre forward position late on.
FW Dele Alli, 5 -- In the absence of Heung-Min Son, he played in a very advanced role tonight that was akin to a second striker. Despite his best efforts, he struggled to link the midfield to the attack, leaving the front two isolated for much of the first period.
FW Lucas Moura, 6 -- Despite seeing very little of the ball for large spells, when the Brazilian did get into advanced positions, he looked dangerous. Unfortunately for Lucas, those moments were all too infrequent.
MF Erik Lamela, 6 -- Failed to influence the game a great deal, after replacing Dele Alli on the hour mark.
MF Tanguy Ndombele, 7 -- Spurs appeared to a much more dynamic side after the midfielder was subbed on, with his energy lifting the crowd and the team.