Won 1-0 on agg.
Date : –  Wednesday 8th March 2023 Kick off : –  20.10
Competition : –  Champions League Round of 16  Second Leg Venue : –  Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Crowd : –  61,602
Referee : –  Clement Turpin (FRA) Linesmen : – Nicolas Danos (FRA); Benjamin Pages (FRA)
Fourth official : – Jeremie Pignard (FRA)
VAR official : – Alejandro Hernandez (SPA) VAR Assistant : – Willy Delajod (FRA)
Weather : –  Cold and rainy
Tottenham kicked off the first half attacking the Paxton Road end
Playing time : –   90 + 9 minutes


    None   None
  Romero  (foul on Leao)  17   Thiaw  (foul on Hojbjerg)    90+3
  Conte  (dissent)  21      
  Lenglet  (foul on Giroud)  21      
  Skipp  (foul on Tonali)  90+5      
  Romero  (Second yellow – foul on Hernandez)  78  


20.   Fraser FORSTER 16.   Mike MAIGNAN
17.   Cristian ROMERO    20.   Pierre KALULU
34.   Clement LENGLET  28.   Malick THIAW 
33.   Ben DAVIES 23.   Fikayo TOMORI
12.   Emerson ROYAL (  9.   RICHARLISON  70)   30.   Junior MESSAIS  (  56.    Alexis SAELEMAEKERS  56)
4.   Oliver SKIPP    33.   Rade KRUNIC
5.   Pierre-Emile HOJBJERG 8.   Sandro TONALI
14.   Ivan PERISIC  (  23.  Pedro PORRO  53)   19.  Theo HERNANDEZ  (c)
21.   Dejan KULUSEVSKI  (  6.   Davinson SANCHEZ  83)  10.   Brahim DIAZ   (  4.   Ismael BENNACER  81) 
7.   Heung-Min SON 17.   Rafael LEAO  (  12.   Ante REBIC  89) 
10.   Harry KANE  (c) 9.   Olivier GIROUD   (  27.   Divock ORIGI  81) 
Substitutes Substitutes
40.   Brandon AUSTIN 83.   Antonio MIRANTE
41.   Alfie WHITEMAN 46.   Matteo GABBIA
25.   Japhet TANGANGA 2.   Davide CALABRIA
29.   Pape Matar SARR 5.   Fode BALLO-TOURE
27.   Lucas MOURA 24.   Simon KJAER
16.   Arnaut DANJUMA 25.   Allesandro FLORENZI
45.   Alfie DEVINE 32.   Tommaso POBEGA
90.   Charles KETELAERE

    = Assist        =  Goal scored       =  Own goal scored

Manager : – Antonio Conte   Manager : –  Stefano Pioli
Kit Supplier : – Nike Kit Supplier : – Puma
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Colours : – 
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Images of kits courtesy of the marvellous Colours of Football website


Well, this match report for Tottenham’s exit from the Champions League with a 0-0 draw against AC Milan at the THS will be easy, as not a lot happened.

Snow had been falling for much of the day, but it had turned to rain as the match kicked off, with Spurs in the all-white European kit, backed by a vociferous support getting behind them from the start.  The Milanese fans were also rowdy, showing how hard they were by a number of them stripping to the waist, but I can’t quite get my head around those who come to the game and don’t actually watch it, as they are too busy orchestrating the singing.

To tell the truth, it is surprising that there was so much crowd encouragement, although maybe because it might have actually stirred something in the two teams, who seemed content to deny each other space and not worry too much about scoring.  The first half was particularly dull, which has been the common theme of our matches this season.  Starting the game ten minutes late because of traffic delays, six minutes in Perisic got a boot down his Achilles in a late tackle, but it was still deemed to early to book Kalulu.  Spurs had the first chance, when Hojbjerg picked up a clearance and sent Kulusevski away on the right.  Dejan pulled the ball back to the edge of the box for Emerson Royal, but his shot was half-blocked, taking the pace off it and allowing Maignan time to fall and get his body behind the ball.   

It only took 17 minutes for the yellow card to be shown to Cristian Romero.  He went in to block Leao, but managed to send the Portuguese striker into the air over him as he went in low, but a booking with so little time gone meant he was walking a tightrope for the remainder of the match.  From the free-kick, the ball wound up in the right hand corner of our penalty area, where Messais drilled a shot that went across the face of the goal and well wide for a goal-kick.  Two minutes after Romero was booked, he was joined by Clement Lenglet, who was the victim of Giroud screaming like he had been stabbed and also by Antonio Conte, who the fourth official must have grassed up for something he said.  Another of our back three on a yellow card (and out of any potential next match in Europe) with under 20 minutes gone.

Spurs managed to intercept a Milan pass out from the back and Son tried a shot that ended up being deflected over for a corner.  It was over-hit after it was taken short to Hojbjerg and went over everyone, but the same happened with another corner after Kane tried a shot from the right that took a flick off a defender and Maignan had to push it behind.  We seem to have gone from being very good at corners to being very crap at them.

A half-time interview with Steve Perryman about the 1972 UEFA Cup semi-final win over AC Milan brought back a painful reminder of where we are today.  0-1 down in that first leg tie, Perryman won it with two long-range piledrivers.  Today we could barely get a shot on goal.

Early in the second half, Forster made a good save, blocking a shot from Diaz and Hernandez followed up to hit his effort wide and eight minutes in Porro came on for the struggling Perisic, moving Royal to left wing-back.  Tonali’s foul on Kane on the hour was as bad as some of those seeing yellow and obviously, because Kane didn’t scream, it wasn’t worthy of a booking.  Porro took the free-kick, but only hit the wall.  Spurs did go closer when Porro’s cross-field pass went over Saelemaekers head and allow our number 7 to come inside sand shoot, but it was blocked, going up to Giroud who was dispossessed by Skipp.  The ball went through Kulusevski, who picked up Kane in the right side of the box and his shot was also blocked out to the D where Hojbjerg picked it up, side-stepped a sliding tackle from Tonali (when he could have easily gone down) and made his way right to hit a rising shot that Maignan had to push over high at his near post.  

Halfway through the second half, Diaz managed to get the bounce of the ball as he dribbled into the box and Perisic’s block took the ball to the right of the Forster’s goal where Giroud hit a first time shot as he fell and the Spurs keeper did well to block it at his near post and hold the ball at the second attempt.  Play switched to the other end and when whipped in a low cross, Harry Kane was almost on the floor to head it, but could only put it a long way wide on the side where it had come from.  With Emerson Royal struggling after being injured in the first half, Richarlison came on for him, with another shuffling of the side.

Romero did well to put Leao off as he ran at goal, causing him to sky his shot and then Porro had a go from 20-odd with the same result.  Also ending up with the same result as some of our previous corners, Son then curled one in, but too high and it landed on the roof of the net, to be followed by another that went over most of the players in the box and failed to produce any danger to the Milan goal.  Then, with 77 minutes gone, Hernandez broke down the Milan left and Romero came hurtling in with a challenge that took the Milan captain out and saw him sliding off the pitch and staying down injured.  We knew what was coming next and the French referee waved a yellow card and then waited until the Spurs defender had regained his feet before pulling out the red.  It was a reckless tackle and with the situation as it was, needing a goal to take the tie to extra time, left Spurs a fairly hopeless task.  The majority of the Spurs contingent knew it.

Milan brought on some fresh legs to try and capitalise on the man advantage they had, while Spurs brought on Davinson Sanchez for Kulusevski, much to the disgust of many Tottenham fans.  As you might expect, the game got stretched and when Sanchez was baulked in the box, without getting a penalty, the visitors broke away and only a Porro block prevented Tonali getting a shot on target.  Three minutes before the 90 were up Bennacer drove a low shot at goal which Forster got down well to his left to save and three minutes after the 90, the referee eventually showed a yellow card for Thiaw’s pull back on Hojbjerg.  That almost saved Spurs; skin, as Son took the free-kick to the right and picked out Kane’s head at the far post, where he glanced the ball down, but Maignan got down to his right quickly to palm it away.  Spurs got lucky, but by then it wouldn’t have really mattered, when Sanchez slid in on Hernandez on their right wing as he carried the ball away from Maignan’s save, but the Milan man got up and carried on his run to take a pass from Tonali.  Approaching the penalty area, he moved the ball on to his left and substitute Origi moved it left.  Trying to be clever, he dinked it to Forster’s left only to see it come back out off the post and the Spurs keeper grabbed it.  

Skipp got a late yellow card for a late challenge on Tonali and then it was all over.  As was our Champions League campaign.  And probably our season, with only a top four place to play for now and that may well disappear into the distance as teams have better form and games in hand on us.  It was another game where we looked bereft of ideas and again, too many players were not at the races today.  Romero’s lack of judgement when it comes to when he can win a ball and when he can’t isn’t helping things.  As soon as he picks up one yellow card, you feel a second isn’t far away, as he doesn’t learn. 

Apparently there were chants of “Mauricio Pochettino” after the game, but I didn’t hear them, although I heard lots of interesting things on the train going to and from the match.  “Someone met Pochettino and said ‘Please tell me you’re coming back to Tottenham’ and Poch said ‘I can’t say’, but it was the way that he said it that means he’s coming back”.  “If we sack Conte now and get Poch back, we’ll win all the rest of our games.”  Everyone has an opinion and only one person’s counts and a number of Spurs fans want him out too.

It’s never nice after losing a match, but this felt like the end of this phase of the club’s development.  The lack of an end goal appears to be muddying the waters and ending up with nothing achieved.  Where we go from here, we will have to wait and see.

Hal E. Luja


  • This was Tottenham’s first 0-0 draw at home in 147 matches – the last being on 16th September 2017 against Swansea City at Wembley.


Chelsea  (win 2-1 on agg.) 2 Borussia Dortmund (GER) 0
Bayern Munich (GER)  (win 3-0 on agg.) 2 Paris Saint Germain (FRA) 0
Benfica (POR)  (win 7-1 on agg.) 5 Club Brugge (BEL) 1
FC Porto (POR) Internazionale (ITA)
Napoli (ITA) Eintracht Frankfurt (GER)
Real Madrid (SPA) Liverpool
Mancashter City Red Bull SALZBURG (AUS)