Eriksen’s Late Show Keeps Spurs In Hunt For Last 16 Berth
Written by darling on November 29, 2018
Christian Eriksen came off the bench to keep alive Tottenham’s bid to qualify for the Champions League last 16 as the Denmark star’s late strike sealed a tense 1-0 win over Inter Milan on Wednesday.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side were 10 minutes away from being eliminated at the group stage as they laboured to break down the massed Inter defence at Wembley.
But Eriksen, surprisingly dropped to the bench by Pochettino, came to Tottenham’s rescue when he fired home to take their Group B qualification bid down to the final game.
It was a dramatic end to a hard-fought clash that Tottenham had to win to avoid bowing out at the group stage for the second time in three seasons.
After taking one point from their opening three matches, Tottenham had scored twice in the last 12 minutes to avoid an early exit against PSV Eindhoven earlier this month.
And this latest act of European escapology means second placed Tottenham are now level on points with third placed Inter.
They head to Barcelona to face the group leaders on December 11 knowing a win will seal their last 16 berth, regardless of how Inter fare against PSV on the same night.
It was a dramatic conclusion to an evening that started with a shock when Pochettino left Eriksen and Son Heung-Min on the bench despite their impressive performances in Saturday’s win against Chelsea.
Faced with a do or die situation, Pochettino had claimed it was “massive motivation” for Tottenham to silence the critics who said they had blown their chance to make the last 16.
His players seemed to have taken that message to heart as they dominated the first half.
Harry Kane set the tone, barging through the Inter defence to force Samir Handanovic to push his shot onto a post.
Lucas Moura appealed in vain for a penalty after being shoved over by Inter’s Matteo Politano.
A muscular run from Kane ended with Dele Alli firing just over from the edge of the area.