Date :  –  Thursday 17th September 2020 Kick off :  17.00 (UK Time)  
Competition : –  Europa League Second Qualifying Round Venue :  –   Stadion Lokomotiv Plovdiv
Crowd : – 0,000
Referee : –  Harm Osmers (GER) Linesmen : –  Mr. Dominik Schaal; Mr. Robert Kempter (GER)
Fourth official : Robert Schroder (GER) 
UEFA Match Delegate : –   UEFA Referee Observer : –  
Weather : –  Sunny at start and chillier when sun went down. Spurs kicked off the first half


71. Martin LUKOV   1. Hugo LLORIS  (c)
20. Milos PETROVIC   2. Matt DOHERTY
25. Lucas MASOERO     15. Eric DIER
61. Dinis Lima ALMEIDA      6. Davinson SANCHEZ  (27.  Lucas MOURA  73)
    33. Ben DAVIES
 9. Birsent KARARGAREN 
10. Parvizdzhon UMARBAYEV  (19.  GEORGI MINCHEV  68  )  17. Moussa SISSOKO  (28. Tanguy NDOMBELE    61)
34. Petar VITARNOV  (50.  Filip MIJHELJEVIC  )   5. Pierre-Emile HOJBJERG
 7. Momchil TSVETANOV   
    23. Steven BERGWIJN  (11.  Erik LAMELA  70)
16. Lucas SPINOLA SALINAS  18. Giovani LO CELSO
     7. Heung-Min SON
77. Ante ARALICA  (15.  Christian ILIC  )    
14. Dimitar ILIEV  (c)  10. Harry KANE  (p)
Substitutes Substitutes
1. Ilko Emilov PIRGOV 12. Joe HART
13. Valentino PUGLIESE   8. Harry WINKS
44. Nikolay Stefanov NIKOLAEV  19. Ryan SESSEGNON


Manager :- Bruno Akropovic Manager : – Jose Mourinho
Kit supplier : –  Uhlsport Kit supplier : – Nike
Shirt sponsor : – efbet Shirt sponsor : – AIA
Colours : –  Colours : –
Kit images courtesy of the excellent Colours of Football website  



Entering into the unknown Spurs played their first Bulgarian opponents in Europe and came away with a 2-1 victory that almost didn’t happen.  Entering into the unknown, I subscribed to Premier Sports for two months to cover the early stages of our Europa League campaign and came away with the feeling I had been royally ripped off, as the coverage was regularly cut off and I was treated to a short programme about 1980’s Italian football while the Spurs game was still going on.

In truth, it was a worse experience than watching Spurs in the flesh, not that we will be doing that for a while yet.  Frustrating and gut-wrenching in turn and then all the action happened when the picture left the TV screen.  Thanks Premier Sports.  I only hope that the North Macedonian Broadcasting Corporation are better than their Bulgarian counterparts.

Tottenham had started the game as brightly as their new all yellow third kit, although the colour gradient down to a pale orange by the time you got to the shorts did make some of our players look a little heavy.  Sonny had the first shot of the match, with a step-over that saw him shift it left and shoot low only for keeper to stop with foot.  That was inside the first two minutes and ten minutes in, Heung-Min played Lo Celso out wide on the left, with a low pull-back into the box giving Stvene Bergwijn the opportunity for a shot that crashed back off the crossbar.

Lo Celso was on the end of a move himself when Davies and Sissoko linked on the left, with Moussa playing a square pass across the face of the 18 yard box for Gio to hit his shot a foot over the bar with the keeper struggling to get there if it has been a bit lower.  After 26 minutes, Doherty played a ball into Bergwijn’s feet inside the right side of the box. Stevie turned Masoero and got brought down with a clumsy late challenge, but the referee ruled no penalty.  With no VAR it had to go without punishment, but you could have been surprised, as they have been given.  A minute later, Spurs broke up a Lokomotiv move and Harry Kane and Sissoko move the ball between them on left from inside their own half with the move ending with Kane’s shot dragged wide to the keeper’s right from 18 yards out.

A free-kick 30 yards out gave Tottenham a good opportunity and Eric Dier was given the responsibility, but he could only hit the wall.  Apparently Plovdiv went close at the end of the firsts half, but I wouldn’t know, as Premier Sports excelled themselves by losing the transmission.

The second half started with pictures restored, which didn’t look that great, but that was because the Bulgarian fans outside the stadium, who were using loud hailers to be heard inside, had also let off smoke bombs or flares, which were clouding over the pitch.

Kane put Davies in the clear on the left in the 53rd minute and his low cross to the near post created a great chance, but it was put over the top by Son from five yards out. It was a chance he should have got on target at the very least.  A minute later, Davies was played in by Son and his ball across the face of goal went wide with no yellow shirt attacking it.

Then the lights went out on Premier Sports and we were treated to .  Meanwhile in the real world, a corner on the Plovidv left wing was flicked on at near post and Minchev came in at far post to head home unchallenged from edge of the six yard box. He hadn’t been on long before he scored.

So, 19 minutes left for Spurs to score two goals, when they had rarely looked like scoring one.  I read that six minutes later there was a penalty for Spurs and a red card for Almeida, although the eye-witness report thought it had been Tsvetanov who handled Davies’ header on the line.  The keeper had come for the corner, was all over Kane, but missed his punch and Son hooked the ball across the goalmouth, where Davies dived in to head at goal, where the defender pushed the ball out with his hand and then has the temerity to argue with the referee about it.  There was another booking, then Karagaren also saw red, receiving a second yellow card for roughing up the penalty spot as the referee chased him after he went to get a drink from the bench. Anyway, Kane took it and powered it into the top corner to level the score, giving the keeper no chance, as he dived the wrong way.

Tanguy Ndombele had come on and quickened things up in the final third, with some decisive passing. He played a one two with Lo Celso before the ball was spread wide right to Lucas Moura.  He played a low ball in that came into the near post and Lamela looked odds on to get to it, but he left it for Ndombele to come in behind him and scuff the ball past the keeper from point blank range.  2-1 to Spurs when it had looked dodgy as to whether they would even get to extra time.  I don’t know if Premier Sports were taking the mickey, but the coverage came back just in time for the final whistle.  I was glad to hear it, but could have done with some ore of the match for my money.

Spurs then had the better of the remainder of play with Kane and Lucas having efforts saved, but we had just about got away with it. By the time we face Shkendija next week, it will all be different, as Gareth Bale is signing for us as his dream is to play against the top teams from North Macedonia.  He probably won’t be fit and will be kept for bigger games, but the team might be a little match sharper by then and will need to be on Sunday against South Coast Big Club.  Premier Sports sharpening up their pictures would be a nice way to repay us for the £9.99 they have received.

Sparky Marky


   Minchev  70m 43s Kane (p)  79m 16s
    Ndombele  83m 57s
Karangaren  (foul on Lo Celso)  51
  Almeida  (time-wasting)  67    
  Tsevtanov  (dissent)  78    
  Masoero  ()  87    
Almeida  (handball)  78  None
  Karangaren  (second yellow – scuffing penalty spot)  51    


Match Details

Tottenham’s first European tie against Bulgarian opposition.

Jose Mourniho records his 100th win in European competitions.