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Tottenham have to settle for point after Mathieu Valbeuna-inspired Olympiakos fight back from two goals down

Adam Hurrey
Olympiakos have fought back from 2-0 down against Spurs in Piraeus - AP


Full time: Olympiakos 2 Tottenham 2

Spurs survive, Olympiakos handle their final attempt at a counter, and that's that! A thoroughly decent match, and a point apiece is just about right. A wasted opportunity for Spurs, but we all know how their group stage unfolded last year, eh?


90+3 min: Olympiakos 2 Tottenham 2               

Uh-oh! Deep cross from the Olympiakos left, which is flapped at by Lloris! Corner...


90+1 min: Olympiakos 2 Tottenham 2              

Five added minutes. Spurs are pressing for a winner...


89 min: Olympiakos 2 Tottenham 2             

Harry Winks booked for showing both sets of studs in a 50-50 tackle.


86 min: Olympiakos 2 Tottenham 2            

Chance! Lamela's first contribution is to take on a half-chance from an angle, but the keeper Sa is equal to it. Moments later, Kane rattles the crossbar but the flag was already up.


81 min: Olympiakos 2 Tottenham 2           

Spurs' subs have been positive - three points would be handy here, clearly - but this game looks like it's finally run out of gas. Nothing in the way of chances for a while...


76 min: Olympiakos 2 Tottenham 2          

Moura off, Lamela on.


72 min: Olympiakos 2 Tottenham 2         

Dele Alli's evening is over, and Son Heung-min is coming on. Good idea, there's space to exploit on the break for Spurs and, for all his increasingly subtle talents, Alli is not a sprinter.


69 min: Olympiakos 2 Tottenham 2        

Mathieu Valbeuna, who has rolled back a few of his 34 years tonight, makes way for Yassine Benzia and Spurs breathe a mild sigh of relief.


65 min: Olympiakos 2 Tottenham 2       

Olympiakos free kick, which Valbuena swings in from the right, superbly, but Lloris just manages to claw it out of the air with red-and-white shirts closing in. Moments later, Dele Alli bursts through on his right foot, but scuffs his finish and Sa turns it behind!


61 min: Olympiakos 2 Tottenham 2      

Valbuena spreads the ball left to Masouras, who cuts inside and bends a shot....very high and wide. That gives Spurs the chance to make a change: Ndombele off, Sissoko on. Now anything really could happen.


58 min: Olympiakos 2 Tottenham 2     

Olympiakos' tails now back up, but this game could be anybody's, frankly.


GOAL! Olympiakos 2 (Valbuena pen, 54 min) Tottenham 2

Penalty decision, as confirmed by VAR, was correct, so Spurs can have no grumbles: Mathieu Valbeuna sidefoots the ball home, with Lloris sent the wrong way. All square in Greece!



Valbuena is felled by Jan Vertonghen! The Frenchman picks himself up and will now face Lloris from 12 yards...


50 min: Olympiakos 1 Tottenham 2    

Great work from Moura to get to the byline and squeeze the ball inside to Kane, who clips the ball to Eriksen. The cross comes in and Dele Alli - in typical style - ghosts in to poke the ball into the net...but the flag is up! VAR confirms the call is correct.


48 min: Olympiakos 1 Tottenham 2   

Spurs straight out on the front foot, pressing the Greeks again.


We go again...

Off and running in the second half in Piraeus.


Half time: Olympiakos 1 Tottenham 2

That just whizzed by. In summary: Spurs started tentatively, Olympiakos like a train, it could have been 2-0, instead became 0-2 out of nowhere, then the Greeks got one back.

Bodes well for the second half, that. Job far from done for Pochettino.


GOAL! Olympiakos 1 (Podence, 44 min) Tottenham 2

The hosts are back in it after all! Daniel Podence, who had a very similar chance saved by Lloris early doors, surges into the box again and this time goes across the keeper and finds the corner! Great game, this.


39 min: Olympiakos 0 Tottenham 2  

Olympiakos not exactly cowed here, but they are two goals down and it's going to take something serious for Spurs to chuck it away from here. Dele Alli goes down in the box, but the referee penalises him for a high boot instead.


34 min: Olympiakos 0 Tottenham 2 

Chance!Konstantinos Tsimikas produces a peach of a cross from the left, which finds Giorgos Masouras all alone, ten yards out, but he can't connect properly with his volley! 


GOAL! Olympiakos 0 Tottenham 2 (Moura, 30 min)

What a goal! Spurs have produced virtually nothing for half an hour, and are two goals up! Lucas Moura skips inside a defender and, from 25 yards, whips the ball inside the left-hand post! What a strike!


29 min: Olympiakos 0 Tottenham 1        

Eriksen welts a cross high into the stands, but Spurs' lacklustre forward movements are less of a pressing concern now they have a lead to protect, gifted to them by some frankly moronic defending by Meriah.


GOAL! Olympiakos 0 Tottenham 1 (Kane pen, 26 min)

And Kane goes high, right down the middle, and Sa is beaten! Tottenham lead, dead against the ol' run of play.



Kane bundles into the box, is felled by Yassine Meriah and Italian referee Gianluca Rocchi points straight to the spot! VAR is checking...but it's a clear trip. Kane to take it....


22 min: Olympiakos 0 Tottenham 0       

Spurs looking so static in attack compared to the vibrant hosts. Still yet to test goalkeeper Jose Sa - in fact, I don't remember him touching the ball.


18 min: Olympiakos 0 Tottenham 0      

Chances! Plural! Olympiakos raid down the left, Guerrero fires across goal and off the post! From the rebound, Guilherme hits the ball into the ground and up over the crossbar with Lloris sprawling!


17 min: Olympiakos 0 Tottenham 0     

Kane makes a one-man break into Olympiakos territory but has little in the way of support and simply runs into one of the defensivce brick walls in front of him. Moments later, Lloris gets down to save comfortably from Miguel Angel Guerrero's shot from the edge of the box.


14 min: Olympiakos 0 Tottenham 0    

Olympiakos midfielder Guilherme is booked for a deliberate trip on Tanguy Ndombele. Spurs still await their first attacking opening of any note.


11 min: Olympiakos 0 Tottenham 0   

The Greeks playing with the confidence of a side who haven't lost since February, and who've won 17 of their last 18. They play calmly through the Spurs press again, but this time don't slice all the way through to Lloris.


8 min: Olympiakos 0 Tottenham 0  

Spurs still pinned back a little, as Lloris dives on the ball to quell another Olympiakos threat.


5 min: Olympiakos 0 Tottenham 0 

The Greeks have started on the front foot, with Spurs yet to string together any meaningful passes. Chance for Olympiakos! Podence receives the ball on the right side of the box and fires straight at Hugo Lloris!


2 min: Olympiakos 0 Tottenham 0

Daniel Podence is caught late by Dele Alli and the home side have an early set-piece. Veteran Frenchman Mathieu Valbuena tries to swing it in from the right, but it lacks the height and whip to trouble the defence.


Off we go...

Spurs are in a pleasant shade of bright blue for their first European away day of the season, the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium is, of course, rocking.

The home fans Credit: REUTERS


Players are on their way out...

...Champions League theme tune is imminent, as is kick-off.


Retro Corner

Spurs and Θρύλος ("The Legend") have met just twice before, a 4-1 aggregate win for Bill Nicholson's men in the 1972/73 Uefa Cup.

If you are at an extremely loose end before kick-off, "enjoy" this rather raw footage of the 0-1 defeat in the away leg, featuring an uncharacteristic howler from Pat "Hands like dinner plates" Jennings:


English clubs have no excuse not to seize Champions League stranglehold...

...writes Jason Burt, in his curtain-raising column this week.

If the 1990s belonged to Serie A, then the 2000s was the Premier League’s era, while La Liga trumped them both with an extraordinary strangehold over the past decade: with Real Madrid winning it four times, Barcelona three times and Atletico Madrid reaching two finals - a total of nine finalists and seven winners.

Matching that should be the Premier League aim because, finally, the stars have aligned or, to be more blunt, they have got their acts together and stopped wasting the billions of pounds that have poured into the league over the years by hiring the best coaches and recruiting far more intelligently when it comes to buying – and developing – players.

For the first time in 10 years there are more Premier League players on the shortlist for the Fifa Fifpro Men’s World 11 than any other world league – with 21 of the 55 nominees playing in England – as voted for by more than 23,000 professional footballers from around the world.

The trophy with the big ears Credit: AFP

Even more tellingly the shortlist for the Fifa coach of the year reads: Pep Guardiola (Manchester City), Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool) and Mauricio Pochettino (Tottenham Hotspur). It is these three men who lead the way. Chelsea are also, of course, in the Champions League and begin their campaign under new coach Frank Lampard at home to Valencia. It might be harder for them even to get out of a group that also contains last season’s semi-finalist Ajax and Lille, well-coached under Christophe Galtier, although they were the English outrider in winning it against the odds in 2012.

The spike, which needs to be a trend, in Premier League performance can be traced to the arrival of first Klopp and then, even more influentially, Guardiola to this country. Klopp has led the way in Europe and would anyone really bet against the Champions League winners making it to a third successive final, back in Istanbul, on May 30?


Pochettino relishes Tottenham's chance to 'repair damage' of Champions League heartache

John Percy was in Piraeus to hear the Spurs manager set the tone for another crack at Europe.

It was the lowest point of Mauricio Pochettino’s career as a manager and it is only now, more than three months later, that he can start “repairing the damage” of that Champions League final defeat.

Pochettino endured a summer of desolation and introspection following Tottenham’s painful evening in Madrid, with his own future uncertain after such a chastening experience against Liverpool.

Last season’s European journey included those memorable, emotionally charged victories over Manchester City and Ajax in the knockout stages, yet it was the wimpish performance in June’s showpiece which has stayed with the Spurs head coach.

On Wednesday night Pochettino, and Spurs, must pick themselves up off the floor as they begin a new campaign in the vibrant Greek capital, aiming to defy the odds once again.

Pochettino's side nearly went all the way last season Credit: PA

“Being honest, I was thinking a lot during the summer. To finish that way in the final is always so painful,” said Pochettino.

“You can’t put [out] the feeling of losing the last game of the season. You have to wait to repair the damage, but that will be a massive challenge. 

“No-one today will have us as one of the contenders to be in the final in Istanbul but that is normal. If we are contenders or not, because we went to the final and have a possibility to fight for this title, I don’t care. 


Team news!

Welcome all, to the early kick-off: it's Olympiakos (yes, we still use the old K, not sure why) vs Tottenham.

The Greek side line up thus:

Meanwhile, Pochettino has picked the following lineup: