COMPETITION Champions League  Group H
DATE Tuesday 26th September 2017
PREVIEW No preview compiled.
PREDICTION APOEL Nicosia    1        Tottenham Hotspur    2
- (-), - (-), - (-) and  - (-),  while - (-) and - (-) are doubts. 

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APOEL Nicosia  0 (0)  

Champions League  Group H
Tuesday 26th September 2017
GSP Stadium
Tottenham Hotspur  3 (1)

Kick off 19:45
None Kane  38m 05s
Kane  61m 35s
Kane  66m 56s
Waterman  (dissent)  39
Vinicius (foul on Winks)  51 


Winks  (foul on )  85


Crowd :   16,324 Weather :  Warm, dry
Referee : Pavel Kralovec (CZE) Assistant Referees :  Roman Slysko (SVK); Ivo Nadvornik (CZE)
Fourth Official :  Martin Wilczek (CZE) Additional Assistant Referees :  Petr Ardeleanu (CZE); Karel Hrubes (CZE)
UEFA Delegate :  Claude Runavot (FRA) UEFA Referee Observer :  Francesco Bianchi (SUI)
Apoel  kicked off the first half.
Game time : -  90 + ? minutes.
APOEL Nicosia : kit Tottenham Hotspur : kit
99  Boy WATERMAN      

  5  Jesus RUEDA
50  CANAO de Cruz Junior
  3  Roberto LAGO

26  Nuno MORAIS  (c)  (11  Nektarios ALEXANDROU  84)
16  Oliveira Franco VINICIUS     

  Efstathios ALONEFTIS  (25  Augustin FARIAS  75)

  Ghayas ZAHID
  Roland SALLAI  (33  Andreas MAKRIS  63)

  9  Igor de CAMARGO

Unused subs: 
  8  Mickael POTE
30  Giorgos MERKIS


    1  Hugo LLORIS  (c)

  6  Davinson SANCHEZ

15  Eric DIER
29  Harry WINKS     

24  Serge AURIER  (18  Fernando LLORENTE  57)
17  Moussa SISSOKO  (42  Anthony GEORGIOU  84)
16  Kieran TRIPPIER

  Heung-Min SON

10  Harry KANE        (14  Georges-Kevin N'KOUDOU  75)

Unused subs: 
13  Michel VORM

24  Serge AURIER
1  Juan FOYTH

Manager :  Giorgios Donis Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino
Sponsor :   Pari Match Shirt sponsor :  AIA
Kit Supplier :  Nike Kit Supplier :   Nike
Match report

Tottenham eventually turned up the heat on APOEL in this Champions League group game, with Harry Kane looking white hot on a warm Cyprus night that ended with a 3-0 Spurs win.

Before kick off the home team paid tribute to Ian Moores, who appeared for both clubs and his sons received an award out on the pitch before kick off.  Spurs lined up with Trippier on the left, Aurier on the right, with both outside the middle midfield two.  Son started with Alli and Vertonghen suspended, while Wanyama was still missing, along with Lamela.  Eriksen was too sick to travel.

Harry Kane scuffed an early volley wide after a defensive header went straight up in the air inside two minutes, but a break by APOEL was broken up and Aurier started a passing move to the left, then back to him on the right and his low ball in looked to hit a defender's arm as he fell in the box. The loose ball was hit at goal from close range by Son, but a block took it wide for a corner.

Winks was using short passes well to get past some of the home defenders and kept the ball moving. Spurs were moving the ball well, but finding it difficult t get the ball into the last third, while a cross from the right in the 17th minute was headed wide for APOEL by Sallai. Spurs had a great chance in the 18th minute, when Winks freed Trippier on the left and his cross found Son unmarked in the middle, but he headed over from close range, getting under the ball. It was almost costly, as APOEL hit the bar when de Camargo struck a rising shot from the left and Tottenham got lucky. Lago then hit one off target, getting forward from the back, while Waterman just about dribbled the ball past Son, as he was closed down.

The Orange Madness were in full force with the home fans whistling anything that moved. They quietened down halfway though the half, with play confined to midfield, but when Spurs broke, their crosses were getting half blocked and that made it easier for the APOEL defence to get clear. A cross from a left wing APOEL corner almost caught Spurs out, as Carlao got in behind Alderweireld and headed wide from the six yard line. It was an even closer escape when a through ball saw Hugo rush out to clear, but he hit it straight at Sanchez, with the ball ricocheting back towards the Spurs goal. Lloris chased it and was relieved to see it go wide. Huge sighs of relief all round.

When play restarted, Spurs went forward and Alderweireld's straight pass through the middle of the APOEL defence from his own half picked out Harry Kane, who was played onside by a defender on the other side of the pitch. With the keeper coming out and not making any sort of recognised effort to spread himself, Harry side-footed it left foot past him and into the net to give Spurs the lead in the 38th minute. It was a goal to steady the nerves after the home side had been giving it a bit of a go.

Tottenham looked to catch APOEL on the break and when Son went away from the halfway line, he should have picked out Trippier on the right, as Kane ran right to drag the defence away, but he under-hit it and it was picked off.

As the stadium clock ticked over to 10.45, Spurs almost broke through in the first minute, when Sissoko played the ball into Kane's feet and he fed Son on the left. Without anyone to pick out in the middle, he went for a shot, but pulled it across the face of goal. APOEL hit back with a shot over the bar and then Shalai hitting one on target that Lloris had to dive up to his left to catch. Sallai was almost through again, with Sanchez colliding with him in the box, but the forward was offside.

As APOEL tried to build up play, a cross from their left was well defended by Trippier, who stood firm and made it hard for de Camargo to get his head on it, while Sissoko put in a good sliding challenge in the box to block a cross. Lloris had to make a good save when Aloneftis got beyond Aurier as Spurs played a high line and his shot was well pushed over by the Spurs captain as it was heading towards the top corner.

Pochettino's ploy of putting Trippier on the left wasn't entirely successful, as it slowed play down when he got the ball and brought it back onto his left foot rather than attacking the line as he would have been able to do on the other side of the pitch. Spurs were looking to pick holes in the APOEL defence when Llorente came on for Aurier and changed to a back four, with Trippier on the right. A cross came in from his side though, after Kane had been left in a heap on the floor at the other end and de Camargo couldn't get a firm header on the ball as he attacked it in the middle and after another cross back in and a bit of a scramble, Kieran headed it back to Hugo. Working the ball out from the back, Spurs made inroads. Trips played a ball over the APOEL left back for Sissoko to run onto and he pulled the ball back to Kane outside the box. One touch took it forward and from 16 yards out, he side-foot passed it to the right of the keeper from a central position to make it 2-0 to Harry Kane.

A couple of minutes later, Kane returned the favour and played Sissoko beyond the defence and his fierce angled shot from the right saw the keeper have to dive to push the effort out. It only delayed Tottenham, but Spurs played a great move to make it three. Lloris kicked it out to Davies, who took it down with one touch, but his move forward was halted by Kane, who took the ball off him. He moved it wide to Trippier and then timed his run into the box to meet the full back's cross with his head that guided the ball past a flat-footed keeper to find the bottom corner. It was a fine hat-trick and the art of finishing was demonstrated in a masterly fashion by HK.

Spurs almost got another, with Son firing in a shot that was deflected wide after Kane's shot was initially blocked and when Dier picked good pass out to Kane on the left of the box, his first touch killed the ball dead. He looked up and tried to play the ball square in front of goal to Dier, through a defender's legs, but the keeper cut it out. He also had a shot wide from range and having scored the perfect hat-trick, that was his last involvement as GK Nkoudou came on to run at APOEL in the remaining fifteen minutes.

Lloris easily got down and behind a shot from Zahid, but when 33 got away on their right, he pulled the ball back way behind sub Alexandrou and his ball back in was headed out for a corner by Alderweireld. Spurs killed the game by playing possession football for the last ten minutes, with only Nkoudou's sliced shot wide to show for it.

APOEL were a decent enough side, but their finishing let them down, while Kane's finishing was the difference. They were not the pushover that pot 4 might have suggested, as they got wide and put crosses into the box, but made nothing of them.  It was a good win and the sixth on the trot away form home, equalling the Double side's feat of 1960-61.  If this side could be as successful, it will be a major step forward for the club.

Mike Stonehouse




APOEL are known locally as 'Big'.


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What you thought
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Champions League Group H Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Real Madrid 2 2 0 0 6 1 6 +5
2 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2 2 0 0 6 1 6 +5
3 Borussia Dortmund 2 0 0 2 2 6 0 -5
4 APOEL 2 0 0 2 0 6 0 -6

* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone might think so.


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