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Defiant Spurs roar back as Jose works his magic

Tottenham 4 Olympiakos 2

Get in: Serge Aurier scores Tottenham’s third goal
Get in: Serge Aurier scores Tottenham’s third goal
Dele Alli pulls one back right on half time
Crucial: Spurs boss Jose Mourinho congratulates goalscorer Dele Alli at the finish last night
Adrian Rutherford

By Adrian Rutherford

This was a special night for the Special One, whose first home game as Tottenham boss ended in a thrilling victory that secured qualification for the knockout stages of the Champions League.

In front of a new adoring audience, on one of those great European nights that Spurs fans have come to love, Jose Mourinho watched his new side storm back from 2-0 down to beat Olympiakos and qualify for the last 16.

Barely a week into the job, Mourinho is bringing back some of the feelgood factor that had been ebbing away under Mauricio Pochettino.

A win at West Ham in his first game, and now this, a quite stunning comeback to rescue Spurs' European campaign.

For much of the first half it threatened to all go wrong as Olympiakos stormed into a 2-0 lead, exposing alarming lapses in the home defence.

But a goal from Dele Alli on the stroke of half time changed everything.

Spurs came roaring back in the second period, with Harry Kane levelling and then Serge Aurier firing them in front.

A second from Kane ensured their progress from Group B, rendering the final game at Bayern Munich in two weeks' time meaningless.

Much had happened since Tottenham's last European fixture, when a 4-0 win over Red Star Belgrade on November 6 had taken them to the brink of qualification.

In the intervening three weeks, Pochettino had departed, with the club moving quickly to land Mourinho. Life comes at you fast these days.

Mourinho made one change to his starting XI last night, drafting in Danny Rose at left-back in place of the injured Ben Davies.

For much of the first half, though, it seemed that this would be a night of deep frustration.

Olympiakos, top of the Greek Superleague, made a confident start, stringing early passes together, taking the game to Spurs, and surging into a 2-0 lead.

The first summed up a lethargic, sloppy half from Tottenham, with Rose's clearance falling to Youssef El-Arabi. Shifting the ball onto his left leg, the striker took aim from around 25 yards, with his low drive flashing past Paulo Gazzaniga.

The second goal owed much to poor defending.

Tottenham were caught flat as the corner came in and Podence flicked it on, with the ball spinning past three Spurs players before Ruben Semedo scrambled it in from close range.

Mourinho, hands in pockets, impassive thus far, suddenly came alive, dashing out of his technical area, barking instructions at his players.

He acted quickly, drafting Christian Eriksen from the bench with less than half an hour gone.

Off came Eric Dier, who was given a consoling hug from his manager as he headed for the bench.

Eriksen slotted into central midfield, alongside Winks, giving the midfield a more attacking threat.

You sensed Tottenham needed something before the break and a foul on Son 25 yards out gave them a chance. Kane and Eriksen stood over the ball, with Kane's curling effort flashing narrowly over.

Spurs were handed a lifeline on the stroke of half-time.

Olympiakos had frustrated Son, Kane and co for most of the half, but as the half entered stoppage time, a harmless cross from Aurier was allowed to drift across the box.

Yassine Meriah should have cut it out but didn't, and there was Alli to score with the simplest of finishes, setting the game up for the second period.

Tottenham levelled in the 50th minute, Kane sweeping in.

It was all Spurs, who were dominating the ball, pushing deeper into the Olympiakos half, and with 17 minutes to go, they edged in front.

Alli was the creator, working the ball into the box, and his cross was flicked on by Son to Aurier, who was unmarked and scored with a smashing first-time right foot drive.

Kane made it 4-2 in the 77th minute, heading in from Eriksen's free-kick.

TOTTENHAM: Gazzaniga, Aurier, Sanchez, Alderweireld, Rose, Winks, Dier (Eriksen 29), Lucas Moura (Sissoko 61), Alli, Son Heung-Min, Kane. Subs not used: Vertonghen, Lo Celso, Sessegnon, Ndombele, Whiteman.

OLYMPIAKOS: Malheiro de Sá, Elabdellaoui, Borges Semedo, Meriah, Tsimikas, Camara, dos Santos Torres, Bouchalakis (Valbuena 74), Castelo Podence, El-Arabi, Masouras. Subs not used: Benzia, Guerrero, Allain, Papadopoulos, Torosidis, Randjelovic.

Referee: Georgi Kabakov

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