Tottenham Hotspur leveraged a strong second half to beat Marseille 1-2 and win Group D on a last-second goal from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.
Without Antonio Conte, fans had to hope Tottenham was drilled enough to execute the game plan. Through 45 minutes, it looked like that was the case. Despite a complete lack of possession, several Hugo Lloris saves kept Spurs level. However, an injury-time mistake left Tottenham in a hole that is becoming all too familiar. Fortunately, Spurs had the fortitude to keep fighting and steal all three points at the death.
First half to forget for Tottenham
Tottenham Hotspur came in with a game plan to make the game as short as possible. Drained from several comebacks in a row, Spurs were looking to defend well and attack Marseille on the counter-attack. Unfortunately, some bad luck hurt Tottenham’s attack.
Only 22 minutes into the game, Heung-min Son was going up to head the ball against Chancel Mbemba. As Son was looking up at the ball, so too was Mbemba, who jumped in front of the South Korean, who simultaneously went to head the ball.
The result was Son’s face heading Mbemba’s shoulder, which laid Sonny onto the turf. After several minutes, Son was gingerly helped off the field, and then Yves Bissouma came on to replace him. We do not want to speculate on Son’s injury, but it did not look good.
After losing their best home run threat, Spurs hunkered down defensively, looking to survive with a draw. Two minutes into injury time, Ryan Sessegnon escorted a ball out of bounds, only for the referee to whistle for a corner kick.
Several Spurs complained, and a few worked their way back on defense, but not enough got settled, and Mbemba hammered home a header on the subsequent corner kick. Not one Tottenham player even jumped with Mbemba as Marseille took the lead, and Spurs were heading to Europa League.
Fortunately, Tottenham again showed resolve and fought back to do more than draw in the second half.