Spurs have work to do after Gent take surprise lead

Gent hold a slender advantage after they produced a solid performance to beat Tottenham 1-0 in their Europa League last-32 first-leg encounter at the Ghelamco Arena on Thursday.

  • Gent 1 Tottenham 0
  • Buffalos the better team throughout
  • Kane hits post with shot on the turn
  • Perbet breaks the deadlock on 59 mins
  • Milicevic then denied by the woodwork 

Match Summary

The Buffalos took the game to Mauricio Pochettino's side from the get-go and looked dangerous throughout, although they had just one goal to show for their efforts, scored by Jeremy Perbet after 59 minutes.

Despite the result, Spurs will feel they can still swing the tie in their favour at Wembley in the second leg.

Full Report

The hosts enjoyed a good first half with some enterprising football as they gave Spurs very little space and time on the ball.

The north Londoners were limited to a couple of long-range shots in the opening stages, with Dele Alli flashing an effort just wide of the left post on 12 minutes before Harry Kane stung the palms of Lovre Kalinic soon afterwards with a firm strike on the left.

Hein Vanhaezebrouck's men created their first real chance on 20 minutes when Stefan Mitrovic brought a cross under control with his chest before firing wide of the right post from inside the box on the left.

They threatened again in the 29th minute as Thomas Foket was played into space on the right flank and he sent in a cross that was steered well over on the volley by Brecht Dejaegere.

Spurs then enjoyed their best passage of play, with Alli volleying over from just outside the area after Moussa Sissoko had headed Ben Davies' cross down into his path, before Mousa Dembele made a strong run into the box and cut the ball back for the England winger, whose shot was blocked by Samuel Gigot.

Dembele fired straight at Kalinic from range on 43 minutes after receiving the ball in space from Harry Winks, in what was the final opportunity before the break.

Kane was a fraction away from opening the scoring four minutes into the second half as he collected an intended pass for Alli and hit a shot on the turn that bounced off the outside of the right post.

Dembele caused a problem for Kalinic moments later with an effort that was hit into the turf from 20 yards out and was gathered by the keeper at the second attempt, while the Belgian midfielder dragged another shot from range wide following Kane's lay-off on 52 minutes.

But their positive start was undone seven minutes later when the Buffalos broke the deadlock. Nana Asare played in Danijel Milicevic with a delightful through-ball and he in turn picked out Perbet, who found the bottom-right corner of the goal with a low finish.

Spurs had a good chance to restore parity from a free-kick on 63 minutes, although Eric Dier failed to test Kalinic as his set-piece cleared the wall but went past the left post.

Mitrovic was presented with another opportunity in the 73rd minute from a deep corner that he headed over the crossbar at the back post.

It was the home team's turn to be denied by the woodwork on 76 minutes when they won the ball back outside the Spurs box and Milicevic received a pass from Kalifa Coulibaly before getting off a shot that was pushed onto the right post by a diving Hugo Lloris.

Christian Eriksen looked to make an immediate impact off the bench as he lashed an effort over from 18 yards out in the 81st minute, just moments after his introduction as a substitute.

Dejaegere then made a vital block to prevent Son Heung-Min from getting his attempt on target inside the box on the left after Alli had created the chance with a flicked through-ball.

The visitors pushed forward in the closing stages as they searched for an equaliser, but the final ball was lacking on each occasion, which saw Gent hold on for victory.