Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Real Madrid: 5 Talking Points as Spurs qualify for Round of 16
Spurs' win puts them top of the group and assured of a place in the knockout stages
Tottenham Hotspur beat defending champions Real Madrid 3-1 at Wembley on Wednesday night in what was a thrilling encounter in the Champions League group stages. A brace from Dele Alli and a goal from Christian Eriksen saw the Spurs seal their progress to the Round of 16 with two games to spare.
This was the first time Real Madrid had ever played at Wembley and judging by their performance, they are yet to truly turn up there. Cristiano Ronaldo scored a consolation goal with 10 minutes to go but Spurs were well and truly in control by then.
Here are the key talking points from the game.
#1 Real find it difficult to break down Spurs' compact shape
As soon as the team sheets came out, it was evident that the two teams would line up with completely different formations. Real boss Zinedine Zidane chose to go with a 4-3-3 while Spurs' Mauricio Pochettino went with an unorthodox 3-5-2 formation.
With Jan Vertonghen, Davinson Sanchez, and Toby Alderweireld in the back-three, Pochettino deployed Kieran Trippier and Ben Davies as wing-backs.
But whenever the home side lost possession, both wing-backs would immediately track back and help the centre-backs form a compact back-five. The result saw Real Madrid starved of space in the final third.
It forced Ronaldo to switch wings when he found no way past Alderweireld on the left but Vertonghen was equal to the task on the other side.
With no way to go through, Real resorted to shots from distance, hoping to get a shot off any rebound should Hugo Lloris spill the ball but the French goalkeeper was assured in goal as Real took 9 shots from outside the box.