Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Football

Kane blames Tottenham’s Wembley woes for early exit

AS Monaco 2 Tottenham 1

By Robert Jones

Harry Kane blamed Tottenham's poor home form as the reason for his side's exit from the Champions League with a game to spare. Spurs have lost both matches in the tournament at their temporary home of Wembley and needed a positive result away at Monaco to have a chance of qualifying for the knockout stages - but they fell to a 2-1 defeat at the Stade Louis II.

There is still hope of Europa League football as they take on bottom club CSKA Moscow in the final group game - but the striker feels his side could have gone further in the competition if they performed better at England's national stadium.

The England international said: "I think losing two of our home games in this competition, it's got to be a fortress at home (and) although we are playing at Wembley this year, it's no excuse.

"When teams come over to us, we have to make it difficult and use that to our advantage and we didn't.

"It's always difficult away from home in the Champions League and Monaco knew what they had to do.

"It's disappointing, I don't think we were good enough today anyway, but we got ourselves back in the game at 1-1 but it was a schoolboy error to concede straight after.

"It took the stuffing out of us and obviously we didn't have enough to get back in the game.

"I don't think on the day we were good enough, we found it difficult to play from the back, they pressed us high but we are gutted.

"We wanted to go far in this competition. We will look back and say the home games is where we should have been better."

Hugo Lloris' penalty heroics could not rescue Tottenham's Champions League campaign as Mauricio Pochettino's men slipped out of the tournament.

The result means Spurs cannot progress from Group E and need a point against CSKA Moscow at Wembley next month to finish third and qualify for the Europa League.

Lloris denied former Manchester United and Chelsea striker Radamel Falcao from the spot in the first half and made a number of superb saves but second-half goals from Djibril Sidibe and Thomas Lemar gave Monaco a deserved victory.

Kane offered Tottenham temporary hope when he equalised from the penalty spot but the visitors simply never found the spark required to resurrect their faltering fortunes in Europe.

Monaco, meanwhile, are now guaranteed to go through as group winners with Leverkusen, who had earlier drawn 1-1 with CSKA.

Pochettino took a gamble by leaving out Jan Vertonghen and replacing him with the largely out-of-favour Kevin Wimmer - a move perhaps reflecting the importance of Saturday's match against Chelsea, when Vertonghen will be the last available option at left-back with Danny Rose serving a domestic suspension and Ben Davies out injured.

Dele Alli, however, was passed fit - although with his troublesome left knee heavily strapped - and there was also a first Champions League start for 20-year-old academy graduate Harry Winks, who had marked an impressive display against West Ham with a goal three days earlier.

It meant a 4-3-2-1 formation from Pochettino, his third different system in as many matches and symptomatic of the Argentinian's dissatisfaction with his side's recent form.

Son Heung-min could have given Spurs the perfect start when he was played through by Alli but as he tried to go around keeper Danijel Subasic, the South Korean took a heavy touch and the chance was gone.

That was as good as it got in the first half for the visitors, who should have fallen behind five minutes later when Victor Wanyama and Eric Dier both took wild swings at the advancing Fabinho, with Dier connecting to concede a penalty.

Falcao was unable to capitalise as Lloris guessed correctly by diving low to his right.

Three goals were scored in four minutes after the restart.

First, Sidibe headed home from close range after Mendy had left Winks for dead but Tottenham were level almost immediately as Alli was pulled back by Kamil Glik and Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers pointed to the spot, Kane converting.

Monaco needed only four passes from kick-off and again it was both full-backs involved, this time Sidibe crossing for Mendy to drive home at the back post.

After taking five years to get back into the Champions League, Spurs are out of it in three months.

Monaco: Subasic, Sidibe, Glik, De Jesus Nascimento, Mendy, Veiga de Carvalho e Silva, Tavares, Bakayoko, Lemar (Moutinho 81), Germain (Carrillo 77), Falcao (Raggi 89). Goals: Sidibe 48, Lemar 53 Not used: Sanctis, Boschilia, Mbappe-Lottin, Diallo

Tottenham: Lloris, Trippier, Dier, Wimmer, Rose, Wanyama, Dembélé (Eriksen 65), Alli, Winks (Sissoko 75), Son Heung-min (Janssen 65), Kane.

Goal: Kane (p) 52 Subs not used: Walker, Vertonghen, Vorm, Nkoudou,

Ref: Björn Kuipers (Holland) Man of the match: Djibril Sidibe. Match rating: 7/10

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph