Tottenham Hotspur threw away a two-goal lead against Olympiacos on Wednesday evening, as the home side fought back to claim a precious point in their opening Champions League match of the new campaign.
Spurs took the lead on 26 minutes, Kane earning and converting a penalty after being tripped in the opposition box. Lucas Moura doubled the Lilywhites' advantage on the half-hour mark, lashing home brilliantly from 20 yards.
The hosts pulled a goal back before half-time, Daniel Podence exchanging passes with Mathieu Valbuena before rifling past Hugo Lloris. Valbuena then levelled the contest from the spot, after Christian Eriksen needlessly lost possession on the edge of his own box.
Both sides pushed for a winner, but a draw was a fair result in an intense and breathless encounter in Greece.
Key Talking Point
Much was made about Olympiacos' excellent record against English sides in European competition, and the Greek side once again held a stronger opposition in their intimating backyard. Olympiacos had won five of their previous six home meetings with English opponents, and their supporters are known for creating a very intimidating atmosphere for the players out on the pitch.
Pochettino's men seemed to be well up to the task, but ultimately the English side were pegged back as momentum titled in the home side's favour. It's a special atmosphere with a passionate fanbase, and this stadium will be a destination that no player wishes to find himself in during this Champions League campaign.
Starting XI: Sa (7); Elabdellaoui (8), Meriah (7), Semedo (7), Tsimikas (7); Guilherme (8), Bouchalakis (7); Podence (9), Valbuena (8), Masouras (7); Guerrero (8).
Substitutes: Benzia (6), Randjelovic (6), El Arabi (N/A)
STAR MAN - Daniel Podence was a constant thorn in Spurs' side, and looks to be an exciting young player to keep an eye on this year. The Portuguese youngster showed neat footwork whenever in possession and drove dangerously at the away side's backline.
He was rewarded for an excellent first-half with a lovely goal just before the break, and continued to threaten as the game wore on. His stellar performance dragged his team back into the match, and plenty of managers will be paying close attention to his progress during the competition.
Welp, Olympiacos have one back. Great one-two and Podence fires past Lloris. 2-1 Spurs.— Cartilage Free Captain (@cartilagefree) September 18, 2019
Key Talking Point
Spurs fans were in for a nasty shock when Pochettino opted to start Davinson Sanchez at right-back against the Greek side on Wednesday. It was not a complete surprise as the Argentine had previously tried this alternative in the Premier League, however the greater astonishment stems from the fact he was willing to attempt this failed tactic for a second time.
It feels unfair to criticise Sanchez for his display, as he is evidently not comfortable playing at right-back, but Pochettino clearly feels that he lacks quality alternatives.
Serge Aurier put in a strong performance at the weekend, and perhaps rotation forced the Colombian back into his less-favoured position. After another awkward display, it's hard to see the Spurs boss persisting with this plan in the future.
A penny for Kyle Walker-Peters' thoughts.
Starting XI: Lloris (7); Sanchez (5), Alderweireld (7), Vertonghen (6), Davies (6); Winks (7), Ndombele (7), Eriksen (5), Dele (7), Lucas (9); Kane (7).
Substitutes: Sissoko (6), Son (5), Lamela (5)
STAR MAN - Lucas Moura loves the Champions League. Despite his struggles to perform consistently in the Premier League, the diminutive Brazilian excels when playing in Europe.
Despite Spurs' topsy-turvy display, the 27-year-old continued to probe and run in behind the Olympiacos defence all evening.
The Brazil international scored a sensational first-half goal, sending an absolute pile-driver beyond the Greek side's goalkeeper, and he seemed to be on the top of his game until his surprising substitution.
Lucas will be desperate to translate his Champions League form into the Premier League and earn a consistent run in Pochettino's side.
Buying Lucas Moura for only £25million doesn't get talked about enough, that is daylight robbery.— Hotspur Edition (@HotspurEdition) September 18, 2019
Ben Davies and Sanchez are killing Toby and Jan. They’re both getting split 24/7, expected goal.— Cenk (@ForzaYids) September 18, 2019
Olympiacos follow up their impressive display against Spurs with a huge trip to Panathinaikos on Sunday, as they look to continue their excellent start to the new campaign.
Pochettino's men put in a disappointing display on Wednesday night, but they face a tough test upon their return to domestic competition when they travel to Brendan Rodgers' Leicester City in the Saturday lunchtime kickoff.