(Won 3-2 on aggregate after extra time; 2-2 @ 90 mins)


Date : –  18th March 2021 Kick off : –  17.55
Competition : –  Europa League  Round of 16  Second Leg  Venue : –  Stadion Maksimir
Crowd : –  0,000
Referee : –  Davide Massa (ITA) Linesmen : – Mr. Filippo Meli (ITA); Mr. Stefano Alassio (ITA)
Fourth official : – Michael Fabbri  (ITA)
VAR official : –  Marco Guida (ITA) VAR Assistant : –   Fabio Maresca  (ITA)
Weather : – Chilly, drizzle at start of match
Spurs kicked off the first half.  Dinamo Zagreb kicked off the first half of extra time.
Playing time : –   90 + 5 minutes; extra time =  30+3 minutes


    Orsic  61m 28s  
    Orsic  81m 58s  
    Orsic  105m 38s  
Jakic (foul on Moura) 32 Lamela (foul on Ademi) 23
Lauritsen (foul on Kane) 79    
Stojanovic (foul on Reguilon) 93    


40.   Dominik LIVAKOVIC 1.   Hugo LLORIS (c)
13.   Stefan RISTOVSKI  ( 30.   Petar STOJANOVIC 91  ) 24.    Serge AURIER  (  23.   Steven BERGWIJN  108)  
6.   Rasmus LAURITSEN  6.   Davinson SANCHEZ
38.   Bartol FRANJIC  ( 22.   Marin LEOVAC  81) 33.   Ben DAVIES  (  3.   Sergio REGUILON  91)  
10.   Lovro MAJER  ( 11.   Mario GAVRANOVIC  81) 17.   Moussa SISSOKO
97.   Kristijan JAKIC      ( 80.   Iyayi ATIEMWEN  75) 8.   Harry WINKS  (  28.   Tanguy NDOMBELE  68)  
5.   Arijan ADEMI  (c)  ( 55.   Dino PERIC  118)  
11.   Erik LAMELA    (  9.   Gareth BALE  60)  
17.   Luka IVANUSEC 20.   DELE Alli  ( 18.   Giovani LO CELSO  68)  
21.   Bruno PETKOVIC  ( 27.   Josip MISIC  91) 27.   Lucas MOURA  ( 45.   Carlos VINICIUS  85)  
99.   Mislav ORSIC       
  10.   Harry KANE
Substitutes Substitutes
1.   Danijel ZAGORAC 12.    Joe HART
33.   Renato JOSIPOVIC 2.   Matt DOHERTY
19.   Marijan CABRAJA 25.    Japhet TANGANGA
24.   Marko TOLIC 53.   Dane SCARLETT
26.   Robbie BURTON 55.    Marcus LAVINIER


Manager : –  Damir Krznar Manager : –  Jose Mourinho
Kit Supplier : –  adidas Kit Supplier : –  Nike
Shirt Sponsor : –  Lana Grupa Shirt Sponsor : –  AIA
Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : –  – Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : –  Cinch
Colours : –
Colours : – 
Images of kits courtesy of the marvellous Colours of Football website



Where to start with this match report is perhaps even more problematical than solving the riddle of how to put it right.  Mental or physical, it is an issue when we allow a three goal turnover by Dinamo Zagreb to knock us out of the Europa League.  Not that they are a bad side, but these are not the days of wanting to get knocked out of the competition because it is a nuisance.  This was one of Mourinho’s priorities and to get outplayed in this sort of manner implies that this side will not be polishing any silverware for some time. 

Whereas Dinamo started going straight for goal in the first leg, in this game, they started going straight for the referee – contesting every decision against them and claiming things that just didn’t exist to try and win them a free-kick or more. This might have detracted from their own game, as their passing was shocking – regularly finding touch instead of a dark blue shirt.

It took ten minutes for Spurs to get a forward move going that almost tested the Zagreb keeper Livakovic. A neat one touch move almost ended with Dele getting on the end of it, but the ball was just a little too far away from him. Kane put a low ball across the face of goal and Lucas ran out of space when he tried to trick his man on the left. For the home side, Ivanisec cut in from the right to hit a shot at goal that was blocked by Dier and then with twenty minutes gone, Sanchez and Aurier blocked shots as Spurs couldn’t clear the ball out of their box. When play stopped Lamela got a yellow card as the Dinamo captain had stayed down for a long time after an aerial challenge … but jumped up straight away that the card was waved.

Tottenham’s passing wasn’t that accurate either and the first half was summed up when Dele’s pass was too hard for Kane to reach and then the goalkeeper played it out with his feet, straight into his own side’s technical area ! Some more decisive passing opened the home defence up and Lamela  was played in on the left but was blocked by Livakovic. Looking content to keep the ball without moving forward very much, Spurs were eventually  required to play it long, which usually meant it went to a Dinamo player. One such giveaway ended in a corner when Sanchez stopped Ademi down their left wing. The corner was played over everyone and as Spurs looked to break, Jakic hauled Moura back as he looked to speed away, receiving a yellow card from the referee.

Spurs were lucky to escape a Zagreb attack without going a goal down when Mayer ran to the edge of the box, looked to play it off left, but got the break of the ball off Sanchez and struck his second shot a foot wide of Lloris’ right-hand post. It was a very presentable chance that should have hit the target, which would have left Lloris stranded. Sanchez then had to be alert to get a toe to Mayer’s ball into the box forcing Lloris to dive to his right to push the ball away.

A few minutes before half-time, Lamela played a free-kick into the box and Aurier got there first, but put his header over the bar. Winning the ball in our own half, Spurs broke quickly through Lamela, but his ball to Lucas wasn’t great, forcing him to play it too far ahead of Kane on the left, where Likovavic blocked him again.

No changes at half-time, the game got underway with Zagreb kicking off. A good passing move from Dinamo from the back and then right to left set up Petkovic with a shot on the edge of the box, but Dier got in front of him to block his effort. Tottenham were losing the ball too easily and too often, resulting in the ball coming back into our half too regularly. There was no out ball for our defence and when they broke on the right, Moura got a touch to take it out for a corner. This time it was pulled back to the edge of the box where Ademi headed it straight ahead of him at goal and it went through into Hugo’s chest for a simple save. Anyone in the way might have got a flick on it to divert it past the Spurs keeper though.

Spurs were not playing aggressively enough, neither in defence to win the ball or in attack in terms of establishing any type of tempo to the game. Loose passing and standing off Zagreb players were hindering us getting any sort of game going. Having been booked Lamela had to be careful, but he was getting caught on the ball and that put the side under more pressure than was necessary. Maybe that was why Mourinho replaced Erik with Gareth Bale coming off the bench. 

The need to be sharp and alert was highlighted when Orsic struck Sanchez in the face with a shot that flew off to their left and Petkovic came inside Davies close to the dead ball line and tried to bend one into the far corner but put it way wide. At this stage, it looked like Dinamo wanted it more than Spurs, getting a foot in when we were hesitant.  The fear that a goal for the home side might change the game came when Orsic was played down the left wing and he came inside to strike a pearler of a shot that flew into the top corner over Hugo’s dive to nestle in the opposite top corner. Lazy tracking back allowed him to have space to produce the shot that set the nerves jangling.

Almost a couple of minutes after the goal, Dinamo worked a short corner and Lauritsen got to the ball first with his foot, but his attempt went off target. Again, it was a warning that the team needed to heed. The ball was worked down the Zagreb right and ended being set for Jakic to shoot, but he leant back and it kept going upwards, but the pressure was building on the Spurs goal again.  We just couldn’t put a foot on the ball and it was allowing the home team to keep coming at us. The ability to see the game out by game management seemed beyond us and Dele went off to be replaced by Giovani Lo Celso. Maybe he would be able to hold onto the ball a little longer than his team-mates.  Ndombele came on for Winks and it was hoped that his ability to keep possession might keep the ball away from the Tottenham goal.

A move that started on our left saw the ball played infield to Gio, who moved it quickly to Ben on the left. He got there before Jakic and Lucas was free on the left, spying Lo Celso hanging back and he took a touch and turned inside to put a weak shot at goal, but it came off Lauritsen, forcing his goalkeeper to save at the foot of his right post. Lo Celso then lifted the ball over the Dinamo back four for Lucas to run onto it on the left side and nudge the ball into the side netting from a very narrow angle. 

Spurs were now looking to keep the ball heading towards the other end, but they still needed more options when in possession. Aurier and Bale worked some space on the right and Gareth arrowed a ball across the pitch, just too high for Moura to reach just inside the penalty area on the left.

Too many crosses were coming into the box, with Orsic’s low ball from the left cleared in the six yard box by Ben Davies on the stretch and then a ball in from the other side saw Dier block it.  And it was that route that the knockout blow came from.  Losing the ball in midfield, Spurs were on the back foot, allowing Atimweh to play the ball in from the right, finding Orsic alone on the penalty spot to fire the ball high into the Tottenham net.  At this point, extra time loomed, as we had thrown away a two goal lead in lax fashion.

With time running out, Spurs finally decided to attack, much like on Saturday at the Emirates. Bale played a very good cross to the far post from the right wing and Kane rose to win the header that the keeper got a touch to and Theophile-Catherine hacked it away from in front of goal. It was all a little too late. Kane tried to find Bale running into the box, but it didn’t find it’s intended target and then a foul on Kane by Ademi in the first minute of added time produced a free-kick for Gareth bale to line up and loop it into the running track behind the goal.

So, making it difficult, not only for this game, but for the game against Villa on Sunday, the side had another 30 minutes to play. It was something that Spurs brought upon themselves, with no attacking intent or willingness to put the effort in.

Reguilon came on in place of Davies as Spurs looked to try and make something out of this mess. A number of players were not putting their all into the game, with a foot hung out instead of some power behind a tackle. A break when Aurier lost the ball gave Dinamo a three-on three, but Sanchez did well to hold the play up inside the D, without giving a penalty away. As Lo Celso tried to break, Stojanovic brought him down cynically, moments after receiving a yellow card for a foul on Reguilon.

Opened up again on our left, Leovac was in on Lloris in the area, but tried to pull it across goal for a team-mate who wasn’t there. Orsic was a little behind the ball and might have clinically dispatched it if it had reached him. While the home team were looking the most likely to score the next goal, Spurs were defending a little better, but still having problems creating anything up top. Lo Celso was getting a kicking, being flattened in laying the ball off to Bale, who ran forward and hit a low left footer from 22 yards, a foot wide to the right of the goal. Spurs worked the ball well on the left wing, with Bale putting Reguilon in on the left of the box, pulling it back for Vinicius, but his shot was blocked. 

Nobody seemed to really want it like it mattered. It might be that some of the players were found out tonight and told Jose what he might have thought of them. Right at the start of the second period of extra time, that all came to bear. Orsic picked up the ball just inside his own half and nobody put a challenge on him, so he buried a shot from 20 yards out past Lloris’ right hand to give the Croatians a deserved lead against a pitiful Tottenham side.

It was looking shambolic with Spurs players running into each other. Happy to knock the ball away without trying to keep hold of it. Not even looking to take the ball off the man who had it.  Bergwijn put a shot wide when there were a lot of players in the box, Kane struck a low effort from Lo Celso’s pass that the keeper save well, getting down quickly to. Bergwijn then nudged the ball to Vinicius, who mis-kicked it but it went to Kane on the far post and his shot was stopped on the line. It was frantic stuff and with four minutes left, the game looked up for Spurs. Lumping the ball forward without any intent to find a yellow shirt, Spurs looked clueless.

Things could have got worse in the very last minute of added time, when Leovac was clean through and only a well-times hand on the ball diverted it away from him as Lloris kept Spurs in with an infinitisimal hope. But it was in vain.

This was one of the most pathetic displays by Spurs, not only in Europe, but in total, as they crashed out in humiliating fashion. There was no willingness to be first to the ball. There was no determination to make sure that the two-goal lead stayed intact.  There was no leadership in the side.  There looked like there was no joined up play and no communication between the players. With one goal needed to go through (assuming that Dinamo wouldn’t score four … although on this display by Spurs it wouldn’t have been within the bounds of belief), the lazy performance got what it deserved. You might still have hoped that we had enough to see the tie through without an away goal, but frankly, the “couldn’t care less” attitude was shocking.  They are obviously not the “bunch of c***s” that Mourinho wanted them to be when he first arrived and his teams that have won things have been that.  Whether the players think they are above playing in the Europa League, but winning this was a way back to the Champions League, which isn’t likely through a top four finish after this week’s games. It was also a good opportunity to win something. Players leave to win things, but don’t seem willing to win it for Tottenham.  

Aurier, Sissoko, Sanchez, Winks, Bergwijn. None of them did anything to boost their manager’s opinion of them. Lamela ran around a lot, but where is the end product ?  It is not happening enough for him to justify his place in the squad after all this time.  At least Dier looked like he cared, but with others not shining in other games, it leaves Mourinho lacking trust in those who he has to choose from. He must shoulder the bulk of the blame for this embarrassing situation. Is he too expensive to sack ? If he is sacked, who replaces him ? Would whoever they are do any better with this group of players ?

The usual questions arise with Europa League football at best being available for next season. Who can we attract with that on offer ? Will it mean Son and Kane want to leave ? What will happen when fans are back in the ground ?

It leaves a lot riding on the League Cup final, which looks like Mission Impossible after this shambles.

Losing here means that we have to concentrate on the League now.

Stan Chun



Lucas Moura plays his 70th club European match.



Villarreal (SPA)  (won 4-0 on agg) 2 Dynamo Kiev (UKR) 0
AC Milan (ITA) 0 Manchester United  (won 2-1 on agg) 1
Woolwich Wanderers  (won 3-2 on agg) 0 Olympiacos (GRE) 1
Shakhtar Donetsk (RUS) 1 AS Roma (ITA)  (won 5-1 on agg) 2
Glasgow Rangers (SCO) 0 Slavia Prague (CZE)  (won 3-1 on agg) 2
Young Boys (SWI) 0 Ajax (HOL)  (won 5-0 on agg) 2
Molde (NOR) 2 Granada (SPA)  (won 3-2 on agg) 1