UEFA Champions League 2019-20: 3 reasons why Tottenham Hotspur lost to Bayern Munich
In what was essentially a dead-rubber game in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, Bayern Munich defeated Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 in the Allianz Arena tonight. Both teams had already qualified for the knockout stages, and it was unsurprising to see both rest some key players, but in the end, Bayern ran out deserved winners.
The German champions opened the scoring through Kingsley Coman – who was later taken off with a potentially serious knee injury – before 19-year old Ryan Sessegnon hammered home an equaliser just 6 minutes later.
An open game saw chances fall to both sides, but in the end, it was Bayern who found the net, with Thomas Muller poking home a rebound late in the first half before Philippe Coutinho’s curling shot put the game beyond Jose Mourinho’s side in the 64th minute.
Here are 3 reasons why Tottenham lost to Bayern Munich.
#1 Tottenham simply didn’t have enough of the ball
The first half of tonight’s game was essentially wide open, with both sides having plenty of the ball and launching plenty of dangerous attacks, but the second half largely belonged to Bayern Munich and the main reason for that was that Tottenham simply didn’t have enough of the ball.
Mourinho’s men registered just 30% of the possession, and while the game definitely felt like the dead rubber that it was – with both sides not really coming out of low gear – it was painfully clear that Tottenham’s midfield duo of Eric Dier and Moussa Sissoko were badly lacking in the battle against Joshua Kimmich, Thiago Alcantara and Philippe Coutinho.
Dier in particular simply couldn’t get himself into the game, as he failed to impose himself on Bayern’s offensive players and was wasteful in possession, while Sissoko – and further forward, Christian Eriksen and Giovani Lo Celso – struggled too.
The game seemed tailor-made for a Spurs player more comfortable on the ball – the injured Harry Winks, or youngster Oliver Skipp – to attempt to go against Thiago, but Mourinho waited too long to deploy Skipp, and even then it was Lo Celso rather than Dier that he replaced.
The loss won’t hurt Spurs too much, but it should give Mourinho food for thought before deploying this midfield combination against a side comfortable on the ball again.