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Alderweireld urges Spurs to draw inspiration from Ajax heroics in Leipzig tie

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Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld
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Modified 20 Feb 2020
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Toby Alderweireld called on Tottenham to draw inspiration from their Ajax heroics in a bid to turn around their Champions League last-16 tie against RB Leipzig.

A depleted Spurs succumbed to a 1-0 home defeat in Wednesday's first leg, with Timo Werner's second-half penalty earning Leipzig a deserved lead to protect.

It leaves Tottenham facing an uphill task to make the quarter-finals, but they have recent history of turning around Champions League ties having knocked out Ajax in the last four of the 2018-19 competition when trailing 3-0 on aggregate before mounting a late revival.

Spurs also beat Borussia Dortmund and scored three times at Manchester City in the knockout stages of their run to the final and centre-back Alderweireld insists all is not lost.

"We are still in it. Of course we wanted a better result, but we know we have the quality to win everywhere we want," he said.

"Something we proved last season is that we can score everywhere. Of course we will need a little bit of luck, but it is the first half. The second half is yet to come.

"I think it was a difficult game. You can see they have a lot of quality. We stayed in the game and I think the second half was much better than the first.

"We were unfortunate that we could not score a goal. It is all to play for."

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Jose Mourinho's side were hindered by the loss of Son Heung-min, who has joined Harry Kane on Spurs' injury list.

Lucas Moura and Dele Alli led the line in their absence, but Alderweireld says the team must take collective responsibility to deal with the loss of their two key attackers.

"People have to take responsibility about that. I think we have to solve this as a team," he added.

"I think people have to step up - not one [person]. One game it will be one guy and in the other game it will be someone else.

"We don't have to stare blind at this result. I think we created a couple of chances against a very good opponent."

Published 20 Feb 2020, 15:38 IST
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