Tottenham take on Antwerp in their final Europa League group game, at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium and will be looking for a victory to win Group J. However, anything other than a win will see Antwerp top the group over Spurs, who are currently second in Group J, having qualified thanks to a 3-3 draw away to Lask last week. Antwerp will be hoping to repeat their shock victory at home to Spurs in October. There will be 2,000 Spurs fans there to cheer their side on tonight and Spurs will be looking to continue the momentum after their 2-0 win against Arsenal on Sunday.
Tottenham make nine changes from their victory in Sunday’s North London derby, with only Sergio Reguilon and Giovani Lo Celso maintaining their place in the starting line-up. Spurs seemingly start with a back five, with Matt Doherty and Reguilon filling the wing-back positions, Harry Winks and Giovani Lo Celso partnering in midfield and Lucas Moura, Gareth Bale and Carlos Vinicius making up the midfield trio. Dele can only make the bench, as his Spurs career is now seriously in question.
Antwerp’s side seemingly match Spurs’ five at the back as they hope to avoid defeat and win the group tonight. Ivan Leko makes six changes from their defeat to Genk at the weekend; Faris Haroun, Manuel Benson, Jordan Lukaku, Dylan Batubinsika, Aurélio Buta and Jean Butez all come into the side.
Antwerp get us underway after a minute’s silence for Paulo Rossi and Spurs will be hoping for an electric start and a comfortable victory to take them to the top of Group J.
Bale whips in a dangerous cross to the backpost from a corner and Japhet Tanganga challenges the goalkeeper, who manages to tip the ball away for a corner. From the resulting corner, Bale heads just wide of the post.
Lucas works himself some space on the edge of the box and strikes at goal, but the ball ricochet’s off Bale, who is in an offside position.
Gareth Bale picked the ball up on the edge of the box and fired towards goal, but his shot was weak and deflected out to Lucas, who fired the ball straight at another Antwerp defender. Should Spurs’ forwards be doing more?
18′ Injury Scare for Spurs
Tanganga tries to win the ball aggressively, but lands awkwardly on his shoulder and screams out in pain. The youngster has had terrible luck with injuries, but thankfully he seems to be alright for the moment. Mourinho will be hoping his side can gain more control in midfield, so they can create more chances from midfield.
23′ Spurs Frustration
Spurs are struggling to really assert their dominance over this game and are being slightly overrun in midfield by Antwerp. Mourinho will be hoping his side can gain more control in midfield, so they can create more chances from midfield.
25′ Yellow Card
Lucas Moura starts to break away behind the Lask midfield and Abdoulaye Seck brings him down with a cynical foul and the referee gives him a yellow card.
30′ Antwerp confidence
Antwerp are playing with extreme confidence; the visitors have been passing the ball round the back with ease, avoiding Spurs’ press and the Belgian side certainly haven’t gone into their shell.Embed from Getty Images
34′ Chance For Spurs!
Lo Celso nutmegs the Antwerp defender with a brilliant piece of skill and curls the ball towards the far corner with the outside of his foot, but Beiranvand was equal to the shot. The Argentine has been the bright spark for the home side tonight and looks the likeliest to create an opening.
39′ Spurs Struggle!
Spurs are really struggling to fashion any real clear-cut chances and Antwerp seem fairly comfortable. How can Spurs impose themselves on the match?Embed from Getty Images
Lucas played the ball in-behind the Antwerp defence for Vinicius, who drove towards goal, but the onrushing keeper managed to save Vinicius’ left footed shot.
Antwerp have defended very resolutely and kept the ball brilliantly in midfield to frustrate Spurs. The Liliywhites have struggled to really fashion any clear-cut chances and will need to do a lot better if they want to win this game. Will Jose look to Heung-Min Son and Harry Kane on the bench to win the match?
Mourinho makes one change at half time, as Steven Bergwijn replaces Reguilon and Spurs go to a back four to chase the first goal. Antwerp also make one change with Lior Rafaelov being replaced by Nana Opoku Ampomah.
51′ More Spurs frustration
Spurs have started the half in exactly the same way as they did the first and just haven’t been quick enough on the ball to cause Antwerp any major problems.
What a goal! Bale strikes a venomous free kick from around 35 yards out and the keeper can only tip the ball on to the post and Vinicius is there to tap into an empty net. That is all Bale’s goal though and Spurs finally have the breakthrough they were craving.
58′ Flurry of substitutions!
Despite that first goal Jose turns to his firepower; Kane replaces Vinicius, Son replaces Bale and Tanguy Ndombele replaces Winks in midfield. Antwerp also make a double substitution as Frank Boya replaces Martin Hoya in midfield and Simen Juklerød replacing Jordan Lukaku.
64′ Spurs sustained pressure!
Spurs have been boyed by the arrival of Son and Kane and look like they could score again at any moment.
Kane plays Son in behind the Antwerp defence and the South Korean strikes a venomous shot at goal, but Beiranvand is equal to it. Moussa Sissoko has replaced Lucas for Spurs.
Spurs have a two goal cushion. Sissoko played the ball to Kane in midfield and the striker slotted Lo Celso in behind; the Argentine dinked the ball delicately past Beiranvand in goal and Spurs should now win the group. The North London side have gone up a gear since the substitutions. Antwerp have brought on Birger Verstraete for the booked Seck and Koji Miyoshi replaces Benson as they look to chase this game. Has Lo Celso forced his way into the starting line up on Sunday with this performance?Embed from Getty Images
Antwerp have another player in the book, as substitute Ampomah is shown a yellow card for a nasty challenge on Davinson Sanchez.
Son whips a dangerous ball in from a free kick and the ball lands perfectly on Sanchez’s head, but the Colombian can’t direct his header on goal. Should he have scored there?
Sanchez receives Spurs’ first booking of the night; the Colombian was a bit overzealous in his attempts to win the ball.
89′ Spurs Chance
Kane almost has Spurs’ third. The England captain does brilliantly to beat the defender in the box, but he slips at the vital moment and somehow gets his shot off but the ball flies wide of the post.Embed from Getty Images
Spurs produce a comfortable victory to top their Europa League Group and what a start to the season they are having; sitting top of the Premier League and in the Carabao cup quarter final as well. Spurs struggled in the first half against a resolute Antwerp, but Bale’s brilliant free kick deflected off the post into Vinicius’ path for him to open the scoring at the start of the second half. Lo Celso then added a delightful second goal, to secure the three points for the home side and Mourinho will be delighted that his side have topped the group. The North London side will be looking ahead to the draw on Monday hoping for a favourable draw.