Date : –  11th March 2021 Kick off : –  20.00
Competition : –  Europa League  Round of 16  First Leg   Venue : –  Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 
Crowd : –  0,000
Referee : –   Serdar Gozubuyuk (HOL) Linesmen : – Mr. Joost van Zuilen  (HOL); Mr. Johan Balder (HOL)
Fourth official : –  Bas Nijhuis (HOL)
VAR official : –  Pol van Boekel (HOL) VAR Assistant : – Dennis Hilger (HOL)
Weather : –  Dry, chilly
Dinamo Zagreb kicked off the first half attacking the Park Lane end
Playing time : –   90 + 7 minutes


    Kane  24m 00s  
    Kane  60m 01s  
  Dier (foul on Petkovic)  45+1   Ademi (foul on Ndombele)  68
  Sanchez (foul on Gavranovic)  78   Ivanusec (foul on Moura)  77
  Hojbjerg  (foul on Ivanusec)  85   Ristovski  (dissent)  87


1.   Hugo LLORIS (c) 40.   Dominik LIVAKOVIC
24.   Serge AURIER 13.   Stefan RISTOVSKI 
6.   Davinson SANCHEZ  6.   Rasmus LAURITSEN
15.   Eric DIER  28.   Kevin THEOPHILE-CATHERINE
33.   Ben DAVIES 22.   Marin LEOVAC
17.   Moussa SISSOKO 5.   Arijan ADEMI  (c)    ( 38.   Bartol FRANJIC  90)
28.   Tanguy NDOMBELE  (  5.     Pierre-Emile HOJBJERG  72  )    
  10.   Lovro MAJER  ( 20.   Lirim KASTRATI  64)
11.   Erik LAMELA (  9.   Gareth BALE  64) 97.   Kristijan JAKIC
20.   DELE Alli  ( 23.   Steven BERGWIJN  64) 17.   Luka IVANUSEC 
7.   Heung-Min SON  ( 27.   Lucas MOURA  64) 99.   Mislav ORSIC  ( 80.   Iyayi ATIEMWEN  64)
10.   Harry KANE    ( 45.   Carlos VINICIUS  84) 21.   Bruno PETKOVIC  ( 11.   Mario GAVRANOVIC  64)
Substitutes Substitutes
12.   Joe HART 1.   Danijel ZAGORAC
41.   Alfie WHITEMAN 33.   Renato JOSIPOVIC
2.   Matt DOHERTY 24.   Marko TOLIC
4.   Toby ALDERWEIRELD 26.   Robbie BURTON
3.   Sergio REGUILON 27.   Josip MISIC
8.   Harry WINKS 30.   Petar STOJANOVIC
25.   Japhet TANGANGA 19.   Marijan CABRAJA
55.   Dino PERIC


Manager : – Jose Mourinho Manager : –  Zoran Mamic
Kit Supplier : –  Nike Kit Supplier : –  adidas
Shirt Sponsor : –  AIA Shirt Sponsor : –  Lana Grupa
Colours : – 

White shorts worn

Colours : –
Images of kits courtesy of the marvellous Colours of Football website



A double from Harry Kane saw Tottenham seal a 2-0 home win in the first leg of this Round of 16 tie against Dinamo Zagreb, but it is a lead that could easily be over-turned if the Croatian side get an early goal next week in the return leg.  It was a different sort of leg that bothered Spurs with Kane limping off close to the end after taking a kick on his knee.

Straight from the kick off Dinamo ran directly towards the Spurs goal, but were thwarted on the edge of the box, but they were back there again within the first minute, as Orsic was given the opportunity to run into the box from 25 yards out when Sanchez lost possession, although it ended with a powder-puff shot that trickled through to Hugo Lloris.  It was an indication of the way that the Croatian side wanted to play, as they moved the ball quickly and deftly, pushing forward towards the Tottenham goal.

Spurs played the ball from the back to create space for Kane on the right to cross the ball in, looking for Son, but former Cardiff defender Theophile-Catherine got his head to it and nearly succeeded in flashing it past his own keeper.  The ball just flew over and the corner ended with Davies trying a volley from 25 yards, but it went wide by a large margin.  Dier picked out a long ball into the box for Dele, but the presence of three defenders made it difficult to bring the ball down on his chest.  Then Aurier got beyond the left back to put a ball across goal, but there wasn’t a white shirt on the end of it and Kane just failed to get on the end of Lamela‘s swinging cross in from the right as Tottenham got their attacking play going.

With the clock approaching 20 minutes, Aurier’s ball in was looking for Erik Lamela, but the keeper booted the ball away on the volley !!  Ivanusec tried an effort from the edge of the Tottenham box, but fired too high.  For all their technical skill, Zagreb’s passing was a little loose and giving the ball away in the attacking third, Kane tried to pick out Son with a quarterback pass.  It was won by a defender, but Dele collected it, laid it back to Ben Davies and he played the ball infield to Lamela.  Taking the ball across the 18 yard line to his right, he got past three defenders and around the penalty spot, when he shot with the outside of his left foot only to see the ball come back off the inside of the keeper’s left hand post.  Harry Kane saw it come off the post and was on hand on the other side of the goal to guide it into the vacant net from five yards out.  It was the poacher’s instinct that saw him on the end of the move, but he had started it near his own penalty area, showing real determination to both build and finish.

On the half hour, Petkovic drove a shot at goal from 20 yards out that bounced just in front of Lloris, who got his body behind the ball as he dived to his left.  It was the last attack that the visitors had for a while, with Davies winning the ball high up the left wing and winning a corner and the providing Kane with a shooting opportunity, but both failed to trouble the goalkeeper.

A yellow card for Eric Dier brought a free-kick for Dinamo that was played forward, but it ran straight through to Hugo and ended the first half. 

When play restarted, Spurs were bombing crosses into the Zagreb box and Kane took a shot after Lamela took the ball down eight yards from goal on his chest that was deflected over, but Erik had been offside anyway.  When Ndombele nut-megged Mayjer and was halted in the box by the clumsy attempt to stop Tanguy, it was a big surprise when the VAR officials didn’t even seem to take a look at the incident.  Kane played a well-judged volley at the far post to Son’s cross, but a defender got to the ball just before Dele in the goalmouth. 

Zagreb launched and attack just before the hour when they got away on the right wing and a ball across the box found Petkovic, but he could only put his shot wide of the goal from outside Lloris’ right-hand post.  Changes were made by Jose and with their first touches, Bale knocked a ball to the far post with the outside of his left foot and Steven Bergwijn was there to volley the ball at goal, but with a man in front of him, it was blocked.  The referee had been quite lenient, but after about six bad fouls on Ndombele, Ademi was the one who was finally booked for bringing the French midfielder down.

A cross-field ball from Ndombele to Aurier was put into the box on the volley, but Theophile-Catherine’s sloppy attempt to clear dropped the ball at Harry Kane’s feet eight yards out.  Not tempted into shooting first time, he moved the ball to his right and struck a low shot across the keeper and into the far corner of the net to make it 2-0.  Some rough tackling and dropping deep from Zagreb had stopped Tottenham’s attacking of the first half, but this goal could be crucial in the tie.

Tottenham had to see the game out and the clean sheet would have been important, with Ben Davies being alert at the far post as Petkovic drifted a cross in from their left and he did well to get to the ball first at the cost of a corner.  Dinamo won the header which flew at goal, but was blocked by Kane in front of Hugo and the danger was averted.  

Kane took three men on before getting a worrying kick on the knee for a free-kick that Bale produced a “knuckle ball” shot that the Zagreb keeper didn’t take any chances with and punched over the bar as it dipped viciously.  Harry had to limp off with Vinicius replacing him, but I imagine that it was a precautionary substitution and that the striker will be OK (fingers crossed).

Hojbjerg took one for the team to stop Ivanusec breaking away, receiving a caution that rules him out of the second leg.  It was soon followed by a yellow for Ristovski for his backchat to the referee. 

In the last minute of added time Bergwijn was left in acres of space on the left wing when Ritovski slipped and he played a cross to the far post where Gareth Bale slid in, but couldn’t get his foot around the ball to get it on target.  There was still time for Vinicius to take on the defence on the right and cut into the area, but his shot to the keeper’s right was soft and was smothered on the dive by Livacovic.

The dominance Spurs enjoyed after the opening couple of minutes should have brought a greater reward, but the Zagreb side get a lot of players back behind the ball and were stubborn if not infallible.  They will have to come out when the second leg gets underway and the pace did trouble them in this game, so could be an option for Spurs to counter the home team’s attacking.  It’s only a week away, but a lot will happen between now and then !

Chas (Waltham Abbey)




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