OPPONENTS Crvena zvezda
COMPETITION Champions League Group B
DATE Tuesday 22nd October 2019
PREVIEW Currently sitting atop of the Serbian Superliga by four points and with a game in hand, Crvena zvezda (or Red Star Belgrade as we more commonly know them) have an enviable record in their homeland, being the best side since the Superliga was created in 2006. They beat Olympiacos last time out, so second place seems to be between us and them and just under a year ago, they beat Liverpool on their turf.

Not to be under-estimated, although they failed to get a shot on target when they played Bayern in their first group game, Crvena will no doubt play with a fair degree of passion (as evidenced by their five yellow cards v Olympiacos, so Tottenham will have to be willing to match that desire and be ready to fight for the right to play.  While the Crevna squad is not packed with big names (other than in the number of letters in them), there are a few familiar faces that pop out of their squad.  Marko Marin, who is their captain, used to play at Chelsea before going on a million loans and faced us in our first Champions League season when he was with Werder Bremen.  He is an attacking midfielder and played only 6 games for Chelsea, but was farmed out to Sevilla, Fiorentina, Trabzonspor and Anderlecht.  Also, ironically, he played for Olympiacos before moving to Serbia.   The other name is a former Wolves and Huddersfield winger Rajiv van la Parra, who also had spells on loan at Brighton and Middlesbrough.  Defensive midfielder Jose Canas had a season with Swansea

Of the others, defender Milos Degenek played for 1860 Munich and Yokohama F. Marinos as well as being an Australian international and former Portuguese U21 international Tomane was at Vitoria Guimaraes, while the others have mainly plied their trade in Serbia. 

I'm not that familiar with their playing style, but I think they will be aware of the problems Spurs are having and come to stifle the play with the hope of getting a point, with a bonus of something on the break.  Tottenham are still not great at breaking sides down who are compact and defend in numbers, but they need to up the tempo from the start to pressure Red Star.

Hopefully Spurs can keep it tight at the back and run the opposition ragged to gain three valuable points in the group table.

PREDICTION Tottenham Hotspur    2        Crvena zvezda   0
Christian Eriksen is fit, while Ryan Sessegnon is in training but not yet match fit.  Giovani Lo Celso might be up for consideration and Hugo Lloris is ruled out with his elbow injury.
Crvena will be without the marvellously named striker Richmond Boakye, who is injured.

BT Sport 3 - (live coverage)
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Champions League Group B Kick off 20.00
Tottenham Hotspur  5 (3) Crvena zvezda  0 (0)


Kane  08m 44s
Son  15m 42s
Son  43m 16s
Lamela  56m 33s
Kane  71m 25s





Milunovic (foul on Lo Celso)  83


Crowd :  51,743 Weather :  Dry, mild, but got chillier as the game went on
Referee :  Marco Guida (ITA) Assistant Referees :  Filippo Meli; Ciro Carbone  (ITA)
Fourth Official :  Maurizio Mariani (ITA)  
Video Assistant Referee :  Gianluca Rocchi (ITA) Assistant Video Assistant Referee :  Stefano Alassio (ITA)
UEFA Delegate :  Per Eliasson (SWE) UEFA Referee Observer :  Marc Batta (FRA)
Red Star Belgrade kicked off and played towards the Park Lane end in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + ? minutes.
Tottenham Hotspur : kit Crvena zvezda : kit

24  Serge AURIER
  5  Jan VERTONGHEN  (21  Juan FOYTH  73)
  6  Davinson SANCHEZ
33  Ben DAVIES

28  Tanguy NDOMBELE
17  Moussa SISSOKO

  7  Heung-Min SON      (15  Eric DIER  68)
20  DELE Alli   (18  Giovani LO CELSO  79)
11  Erik LAMELA 

10  Harry KANE  (c)   

Unused subs: 
  Brandon AUSTIN
  8  Harry WINKS
27  Lucas MOURA
Christian ERIKSEN

  82  Milan BORJAN

77  Marko GOBELJIC
19  Nemanja MILUNOVIC     
  5  Milos DEGENEK
23  Milan RODIC

91  Rajiv van la PARRA  (92  Alexsa VUKANOVIC  82)
87  Jose CANAS  (20  Njegos PETROVIC  62)
10  Marko MARIN  (c)
11  Mateo GARCIA
  7  Milos VULIC

17  TOMANE  (  9  Milan PAVKOV  62)

Unused subs: 
  8  Mirko IVANIC
15  Srdjan BABIC
18  Ribeiro SANTANA

Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino Manager :  Vladan Milojević
Sponsor :   AIA Shirt sponsor :  Gazprom
Kit Supplier :  Nike Kit Supplier :   Macron
Match report

A vibrant performance from an under pressure Tottenham side put Red Star to the sword and three first half goals almost guaranteed that the three points from this Champions League match would be staying in North London.  A final score-line of 5-0 did not under-estimate the overall dominance Spurs had over the visitors, whose play was sloppy and they regularly handed possession to Tottenham putting pressure on their defence.

Installing the subs who made such a difference to the team on Saturday - Ndombele, Son and Lamela - Spurs looked on it from the start, with players snapping into tackles and moving the ball quickly and moving off it just as fast. A move in the third minute saw Davies ply it up to Dele, who exchanging passes with Son set Kane free on the left. As he turned his marker, he looked to shoot, but his feet slipped from under him to allow Red Star to escape. Then Lamela went down the right freed by Aurier and his low cross was taken at the near post by the keeper.

Kane and Son swapped passes allowing the Korean to take it right to a shot from a central position that didnít carry enough weight to trouble Borjan. The side were playing the ball around with confidence, which was surprising after the recent form that they had shown. When Aurier won a corner on our right wing, Lamela went over to swing the ball in and found Harry Kane rising ahead of the near post to glance a header across the keeper to give Spurs an early lead in the ninth minute. Maybe scoring from a corner indicated that it was going to be a good night.

Winning the ball high up the pitch, Kane had another opportunity shooting low at the keeper from a narrow angle on the right, but it was the opposite side the second goal came from.  A throw-in on the right was played across the back-line and Aurier played Lamela in down the right hand line, where he turned his marker and looked up to cross the ball to the far post. Completely unmarked, Heung-Min Son raced in to half-volley the ball past the keeper from close range to give Spurs a flying start.

Spurs broke from a Red Star cross and had five against three, but Sonís pass was too hard to get to Ndombele and too far ahead of Aurier. Marin showed a neat turn to lose Son and Milunovic had an uncontested header but put it wide. Just after 20 minutes, Red Starís poor passing handed the ball to Spurs and Ndombele bent a shot from the 18-yard line that the keeper pushed away, before it was played back in for Dele to just lose out on winning a header at the far post.

Son played the ball wide to Ben Davies over-lapping outside him and his low ball back to Lamela saw the argentine poke the ball at goal forcing the keeper to a stretching stop. It was 27 minutes before a right wing cross was won at the far post by Rajiv van la Parra, the former Huddersfield winger and his downward header was saved by Gazzaniga, but the ball squirmed out of his hands as he hit the floor, but Davinson Sanchez was on hand to tidy things up. Garcia had a shot from the edge of the box, but it was too high. Gobeljic tried to cross from the right, but Gazzaniga had to tip it over as the ball skewed off the defenderís foot and could have crept in. From the corner Tomane had a header at goal, but it was a soft one that was taken cleanly by Paulo.  Gobeljic cracked a shot in that Ben Davies blocked bravely and the follow-up by the same player deflected off Marin on the edge of the six-yard box and luckily went wide.

It was right on 45 minutes that Spurs knew they would be turning around in a very comfortable position. Marin got caught in two minds and let the ball slip away from him, as he couldnít decide which pass to play and Harry Kane took two players right with his run, leaving space for Ndombele to pick out Son in the left-hand channel. Inside the box, he took one touch and with his second squeezed the ball between the keeper and his near post to produce a score-line that was much more welcome than some of late. A half-time tribute to Goran Bunjevcevic was a touching link between the two teams although it probably didnít hit home with the large section of Red Star fans up in the North Upper stand. Who shouldnít have been there as away fans had been banned for racist abuse against a Finnish side earlier in the competition.

The start of the second half saw things calm down from the frenetic start of the first, with moves breaking down on the edge of the box, but when Kane broke wide on the left. His low ball beat the defender in the middle, but Lamela couldnít keep his stretching volley down and what might have been an outstanding goal went begging. Kane then picked a ball from the right that went to Son running in unmarked on the left, but he was too wide to shoot, so volleyed it back into the middle for Dele, who was beaten to it by a defender. From the corner, Harry fired a first time left foot shot from the right, but it bounced into the keeperís arms. Kane was involved a lot in Tottenhamís moves. He flicked a header on to Son, who rolled the ball across goal, when he should have looked to finish it.

Red Star brought Gazzaniga into action, when van la Parraís left-wing cross reached Gobeljic at the far post and his low shot made Gazzaniga get behind it to keep his goal intact. 56 32 When the ball was played out to Sissoko little did they know that it would end up in the Red Star net a minute later. Playing the ball through midfield and then back and then through midfield, it was Kaneís ball to Aurier that paved the way for a pull back to Lamela on the penalty spot to kill the ball and turn on it to swing a left foot effort past the keeper. It was a well worked goal that was only broken up by a throw-in, but the passing and movement was a lot better.

It didnít stop there, as another break when Red Star turned the ball over saw Dele slip a pass through the middle for Erik to run in on goal. He tried to poke the ball past the keeper, but Borjan got a hand to it and it was cleared away as it went towards goal, although probably going wide and Lamela probably being offside.

In the 63rd minute, it looked for a lot of fans that Heung-Min Son had scored his hat-trick, when another break saw him run at the centre of the Red Star defence and fire a low shot on goal that rippled the net, but it was the outside of it to the keeperís left. Garcia robbed Vertonghen of the ball in the edge of the Spurs box and received the ball back from Marin before hurriedly hitting a rising shot at Gazzaniga under pressure from Sanchez with 65 minutes gone.   A minute after that save Kane was missing a great chance at the other end. Ndombele spread a diagonal pass out to Son on the left and his whipped cross in was heading for Harry Kaneís head but the striker completely missed the ball. It was the past touch of the ball for Sonny and he went off by the East Stand receiving a great reception as he made his way around the pitch. He was also offered a piece of clothing from some scroaty old bloke  who was already half-undressed. I am sure that UEFA are considering fining Tottenham for his disgraceful behaviour.

Marin struck a curling shot that was wide of Gazzaniga, but it was wide of the post as well and then the Red Star captain put a low grasscutter of a shot in, but it lacked the power to get past the Spurs keeper. The simplicity of Tottenhamís fifth goal was a testament to their play and to Red Starís inability to pick up our runners. Dierís straight pass up the middle to Ndombele led to our record signing picking out Kane on the left in space. Taking the ball into the box, he left it behind and it looked as though the chance had gone, but as Gobeljic got back in front of him, Harry poked a shot between his legs and in off the far post. It was a strikerís finish and put Spurs out of reach and moving in the right direction to qualify from the group.

Another good passage of passing saw Dier involved and continue his run to meet Kaneís low ball into the near post on the right side, but he side-footed it wide from close range. Ben Davies played Kane in down the left and he beat his man before trying to beat the keeper at his near post, but the back of Borjanís leg deflected it wide. Lo Celso was in space looking for a pull back, but Kane was going for his hat-trick.

Tottenham had kept their effort going to the end and was more reminiscent of how we have been playing in recent seasons, but not every game will be as simple a task as this and a similar result would be welcome at Anfield on Sunday, but realistically, a good performance is required and hopefully bring something home with us.

Steve Harrington

Match facts

Erik Lamelaís 200th Tottenham appearance.

The 5-0 winning margin set a new record for a victory in the Champions League for Tottenham.

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How the players did
Paulo Gazzaniga -.
Ben Davies -.
Serge Aurier -.
Jan Vertonghen -
Davinson Sanchez -.
Tanguy Ndombele -.
Moussa Sissoko -.
Heung-Min Son -.
Erik Lamela -.
Dele Alli -.
Harry Kane -s.
Eric Dier Solid when defending and got forward to shoot just past the post.  Looked fit and will be a welcome returner to the squad.
Giovani Lo Celso Got a bit of physical attention when he came on, but looked comfortable on the ball and will improve with more on-pitch time.
Juan Foyth Broke up play with good interceptions and moved the ball forward.


What you thought
- -.
- -.



Other scores this round :
Galatasarary (TUR) 0 Real Madrid (SPA) 1 Tuesday
Club Brugge (BEL) 0 Paris Saint Germain (FRA) 5 Tuesday
Olympiacos (GRE) 2 Bayern Munich (GER) 3 Tuesday
Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR) 2 Dinamo Zagreb (CRO) 2 Tuesday
Manchester City 5 Atalanta (ITA) 1 Tuesday
Atletico Madrid (SPA) 1 04 Bayer Leverkusen (GER) 0 Tuesday
Juventus (ITA) 2 Lokomotiv Moscow (RUS) 1 Tuesday
Red Bull Salzburg (AUS) 2 SSC Napoli (ITA) 3 Wednesday
Genk (BEL) 1 Liverpool 4 Wednesday
Internazionale (ITA) 2 Borussia Dortmund (GER) 0 Wednesday
Slavia Prague (CZE) 1 Barcelona (SPA) 2 Wednesday
Benfica (POR) 2 Olympique Lyonnais (FRA) 1 Wednesday
RB Leipzig (GER) 2 Zenit St. Petersburg (RUS) 1 Wednesday
Ajax (HOL) 0 Chelsea 1 Wednesday
Lille (FRA) 1 Valencia (SPA) 1 Wednesday



Group B Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Bayern Munich 3 3 0 0 13 4 9 +9
2 Tottenham Hotspur 3 1 1 1 9 9 4 0
3 Red Star Belgrade 3 1 0 2 3 9 3 -6
4 Olympiacos 3 0 1 2 5 8 1 -3

Position before match :  4th
Position after match :  2nd


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