Bentancur bags point as Spurs remain in control of their UCL destiny
Tottenham Hotspur snapped their two-game losing streak, coming from behind to secure a 1-1 draw with Sporting CP. Antonio Conte’s men retained top spot in Group D, with all four sides still in contention to qualify on matchday six.
The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was on a knife edge as Group D was finely poised ahead of kick-off. Sporting would silence the home crowd inside the first 25 minutes, when former Spurs man Marcrus Edwards drove home a long range shot into the bottom corner, sending the travelling Portuguese fans into pandemonium in the corner of the stadium. Boos rained down on the home side as the two teams headed down the tunnel for HT, as the home fans hoped for a turnaround from the flat first half performance.
The home side pushed for an equaliser in the second period, but appeared to leave their shooting boots at home. Having only scored once in their previous two games coming into the night, the Spurs faithful were growing restless as the clock ticked towards the final whistle and chances continued to go begging.
All signs appeared to point to a third straight loss in all competitions for the North London outfit, but in the nick of time Rodrigo Bentancur leapt above the Sporting defence to head home from a corner kick. While the visiting players pleaded for a foul after the Uruguayan appeared to collide with the goalkeeper as he nodded the ball home, the referee allowed the goal, sending Tottenham back into top spot in Group D.
Spurs captain Harry Kane looked to puncture the stubborn Sporting reaguard with the last kick of the game to snatch all three points for the hosts, sparking scenes of wild jubilation around the Tottenham Hotspur stadium. However, the goal was ruled out for offside after a lengthy VAR review, sparing the Sporting blushes and leaving the fate of Group D up to the final round of matches.
While Rúben Amorim’s outfit looked to be closing in on a famous victory in London, the result may not come as a surprise, as the Leões had only won twice in their last 15 trips to England, with their last victory coming back in 2005. Sporting remained inside the top two, but all four sides within the group are separated by just two points going into what’s bound to be an incredibly tense final matchday.