Goals from Bernando Silva and Thomas Lemar gave Monaco a valuable 2-1 victory over Tottenham in their Champions League Group E opener at Wembley on Wednesday.
- Tottenham 1 Monaco 2
- Early chance for Son
- Silva opens the scoring for visitors
- Lemar adds a second before HT
- Alderweireld pulls one back for Spurs
Despite Spurs enjoying the brighter start of the two teams, it was Monaco who broke the deadlock against the run of the play in the 15th minute through Bernando Silva.
And that lead was soon doubled as substitute Thomas Lemar scored the French outfit's second of the night midway through the first half.
The hosts managed to pull one back through Toby Alderweireld just before the break, but try as they might, they could not find another way past the Monaco defence.
FULL-TIME: Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Monaco. A valiant second-half performance is not enough to rescue a point. pic.twitter.com/4Lmhtij0Qe
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) September 14, 2016
The match started in the worst possible fashion for Monaco, who were forced into an early substitution when Nabil Dirar hobbled off, bringing Lemar on in his place.
Son Heung-min had a chance to open the scoring for Spurs on 10 minutes after receiving a great pass from Harry Kane, but Andrea Raggi arrived in time to clear the danger.
Instead, it was Monaco who opened the scoring totally against the run of play in the 15th minute. Silva surged forward after Erik Lamela was dispossessed and fired a powerful shot into the bottom corner from just inside the penalty area to give the Principality outfit a valuable away lead.
Spurs did their best to push for an equaliser, but Monaco were doing a great job of frustrating them, happy to sit on their goal, concede most of the possession and counter whenever possible.
That tactic paid off richly just after the half-four mark, as the Spurs defence failed to deal with a cross from the left, allowing substitute Lemar to unleash a venomous volley into the roof of the net from close range and make it 2-0.
Kamil Glik nearly added a third with a header on 36 minutes, as the home team's night threatened to go from bad to worse. They needed something special, and it was Alderweireld who handed them a lifeline on the stroke of half-time.
Kane was the man who won the all-important corner, Lamela provided the perfect delivery and Alderweireld was on hand to direct his header into the top corner from eight yards and halve the deficit.
Spurs then came close to equalising shortly after the break, but Danijel Subasic's fingertip save just managed to keep out a stunning volley from Dele Alli.
The hosts continued to pile on the pressure, displaying an impressive work rate, though they struggled to break down the Monaco defence. A corner had given them their first goal, but despite several more set pieces in the second half, they could not replicate that kind of success.
There was precious little for the home fans to get excited about, and the first real opportunity only arrived 11 minutes from time, as a shot from Kane flew straight at Subasic from 12 yards out.
Mauricio Pochettino brought on both Moussa Sissoko and Vincent Janssen to try and change his side's fortunes, but it proved to be in vain, as Monaco held on for the valuable away victory.