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Sporting 2-0 Tottenham: Sub-par Spurs undone by stunning late show

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Tottenham crashed to defeat in their Champions League encounter with Sporting CP as a stunning late show condemned them to a 2-0 defeat in Lisbon.

Spurs had produced a largely uninspiring performance at Estadio Jose Alvalade on Tuesday and appeared happy to settle for a share of the spoils.

But there was a twist in the tale in the closing stages when Paulinho turned home a corner at the near post in the 90th minute.

Sporting then made sure of the points in the third and final minute of injury time as Arthur Gomes doubled their tally with a superb individual effort on his debut.

Former Tottenham youth product Marcus Edwards was the primary threat in the first half and almost set up the opening goal at the end of a quick break, finding Pote only for the winger to see his effort turned behind by Hugo Lloris.

Richarlison, the hero of Spurs’ win over Marseille last week, had a close-range header comfortably held by Antonio Adan and then put the ball in the net having strayed offside.

Edwards went close to breaking the deadlock before half-time after a magnificent solo run and one-two with Trincao but was again denied by a fine save from Lloris.

Spurs upped the intensity after half-time and Emerson Royal twice forced Adan into action before Harry Kane did the same and Richarlison bent an effort wide.

However, Tottenham’s early second-half superiority eventually faded and Paulinho made them pay with a brilliant header into the top-right corner from Pote’s delivery.

Arthur Gomes, signed from Estoril this month, then added the finishing touches. He surged down the left after being found by Paulinho, knocked the ball through Emerson’s legs and beat Lloris with a composed finish.

What does it mean? – Sporting take control of Group D

Tottenham lacked sharpness having seen their Premier League fixture with Manchester City postponed last weekend.

Sporting were the superior side in possession and had more left in the tank in a dramatic finale. It is Ruben Amorim’s team who have control of the group with six points, while Tottenham have work to do ahead of two games with Eintracht Frankfurt.

Edwards shows Spurs what they’re missing

Let go by Tottenham in 2019 and snapped up by Vitoria de Guimaraes, Edwards made the move to Sporting in January and is clearly a fan favourite.

It is easy to see why. Edwards had three shots, played two key passes and produced a remarkable mazy run that deserved a goal shortly before the interval. The former Spurs man played a key role in wearing them down.

Tottenham second-best on the ball

Sporting played 565 passes, their highest total in a Champions League match since the start of last season, to Tottenham’s 455. The hosts completed 86.9 per cent of their passes compared to 84 per cent for Spurs. Sporting’s edge in possession was ultimately decisive, and Tottenham manager Antonio Conte will have been far from happy with his side’s inability to control the ball.

Key Opta Stats: Instant impact

– There were just 54 seconds between Sporting substitute Arthur Gomes coming on to him scoring against Tottenham in stoppage time.
– Sporting have won their opening two games of a Champions League campaign for the first time in their history and have now won five of their last six group stage games (L1).
– For Tottenham this was their first loss of the season, though they have suffered four defeats in their last five Champions League games (W1).
– Sporting have won at home to an English side in the Champions League for the first time, having lost each of the previous three such games – it is also their first such goals in these games.
– Paulinho scored and assisted in the same Champions League game for just the second time in his career, while he is the first to do so for Sporting at home in the competition since Nani against Maribor in 2014.

What’s next?

Tottenham host struggling Leicester City in the Premier League on Saturday, which is when Sporting travel to Porto to face Boavista.

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