Olympiakos 2-2 Tottenham: No signs of Spurs taking next step – Matthew Upson

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From Matthew Upson
BBC Radio 5 live at Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium
I looked that Tottenham have progressed as a team but I did not really find any.
Spurs will be delighted to acquire a point from an eventful 2-2 draw but, it was not the type of performance that is written their manager Mauricio Pochettino will have wanted to watch though they prevented defeat.
Their run in this competition last year depended on last-minute goals and drama, directly when they pulled themselves out after it looked like they’d be going out at the group phase.
It turned out to be a brilliant achievement, but by earning your pathway a bit easier, it is much better to prevent being in the first place, and they did not handle that here.
Yes, this is a tricky way to allow them to begin from Group B, using an Olympiakos facet that was dangerous and filled with attacking intent, a home crowd, and all the heat in Piraeus.
However, the League teams can bargain with that type of scenario by playing their own tempo, to take the bite from the resistance and keeping ownership and silence the crowd.
For a variety of reasons, Spurs never did some of that well enough on Wednesday night.
I believe that the absence of control they had right throughout the game is what Pochettino will be most disappointed about, because having that’s the step he knows they must take if they are likely to have sustained success in Europe.
Even though me impressed personally, Tottenham surely made life hard for themselves.
It was disappointing to understand they had been in the opening minutes, when there were two or three events at which they handed the ball.
But even though they seemed lethargic and had been lacking urgency, Spurs still reminded us that they’ve lots of quality in their side.
One of the reasons they ended up getting so much in the Champions League last year was because, when they got an opportunity, they could accept it.
This was exactly the same against Olympiakos, and the outstanding finishing of Tottenham was the only difference between the two teams.
Their opening goal came from a penalty but the spot-kick of Harry Kane was still delightful, and Lucas Moura’s hit a few minutes later was world class.
In 2-0 up after 30 minutes, Spurs had completed the difficult part but they could not find a means to prevent Olympiakos from applying pressure.
They might have done that by keeping hold of the ball better, but it only felt like a lot of Tottenham players have been below their levels and, when that occurs, you are not likely to acquire the team performance either.
Pochettino made five changes from last weekend’s win also there were. It showed.
Tanguy Ndombele, ben Davies and Dele Alli all fought to impose themselves on the game, Davinson Sanchez did not click in right-back, and it is rare to find Christian Eriksen give the ball.
I am not certain that was down to personal fatigue, either. It was a mental sharpness which Spurs lacked, which resulted in errors.
It could have been worse – generally, like they did like this from the Champions League, if you play, you end up being beaten.
Olympiakos let them off the hook since he had been their primary danger man after they shot Mathieu Valbuena off 20 minutes to go. Without him, they did not take the same threat.
The absolute most significant thing for Spurs was they didn’t lose.
Following this particular result I would nevertheless back Spurs to finish them above Red Star Belgrade and then make it through the last 16 along with Bayern Munich as remarkable as Olympiakos had been.
Red Star beat Liverpool in Serbia last season, and a difficult evaluation will be there in November offered by the trip of Tottenham, much like lots of ways to the one they faced in Greece.
But I am anticipating Spurs‘ dwelling form to view through them, and I think that they could improve as the year continues.
They are still developing momentum and finding as Pochettino said ahead of the Olympiakos game – .
Matthew Upson was talking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.
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