Category: La Liga

'Didn't see that coming!' 'Huge decision!' – Tottenham Hotspur fans stunned by team selection for Real Madrid clash

Prior to this evening, Fernando Llorente had made just one start for Tottenham Hotspur, and that was in a Carabao Cup match.

Tonight, the Spaniard finds himself in the starting XI for Spurs’ huge Champions League group match against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.

Manager Mauricio Pochettino has made a surprise call by including Llorente in the lineup alongside Harry Kane up front.

The forward has made three Premier League appearances and two in Europe so far this season, but in none of those outings was he included in the first XI.

Meanwhile, Danny Rose, who has been out of action for the past nine months with a knee injury, has made it onto the substitutes bench, but there is no place for Moussa Dembele.

The main talking point from the fans, though, is Llorente’s inclusion, with many surprised that Pochettino has opted to start the striker in a game of this magnitude.

The 32-year-old does have experience playing against Madrid having had spells at Athletic Bilbao and Sevilla.

'My favourite human alive!' 'Never leave my club!' – Tottenham Hotspur fans in awe of this man

If there was any doubt about Hugo Lloris’s ability as a goalkeeper, then there certainly will not be now after the Tottenham Hotspur star put on a stellar display against Real Madrid.

As expected, Mauricio Pochettino’s team were under the cosh at times during their Champions League group match at the Bernabeu on Tuesday night.

Zinedine Zidane’s side are reigning champions for a reason, and they knocked on the door many times during the encounter in Spain.

However, it was Spurs who went in front thanks to some skill from Harry Kane, who forced an own goal from Raphael Varane just before the half-hour mark.

Madrid continued to unleash waves of pressure, though, and it eventually paid off when Serge Aurier’s clumsy challenge on Toni Kroos in the box resulted in a penalty, which was converted by Cristiano Ronaldo.

The hosts had numerous chances to win the game and they may have done so by a significant margin had it not been for Lloris, who made a handful of saves to keep Spurs in the game.

One stop in particular will be embedded into the memory of Tottenham fans, and it came in the second half when Lloris denied Karim Benzema a header from close range.

The Premier League club will return to England with an impressive point, and they have their goalkeeper to thank for it.

'Majestic!' 'He outplayed them!' – Tottenham Hotspur fans stunned by this man's display

Tottenham Hotspur faced the daunting task of taking on Real Madrid in Tuesday night’s Champions League group match, but they managed to come away with a point.

For a relatively inexperienced player these matches do not come much bigger, but Harry Winks looked as though he was unfazed by the occasion.

The 21-year-old, who recently made his England senior debut, had started just four games in all competitions for Spurs before Tuesday night, but manager Mauricio Pochettino included the midfielder in the starting lineup against Madrid at the Bernabeu.

Despite the calibre of opposition he was facing – Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos to name a few – Winks looked hungry on the ball.

After an own goal from Raphael Varane, Madrid levelled up through Ronaldo, who netted from the penalty spot, but Spurs were able to keep Los Blancos at bay and leave with a 1-1 draw.

Fans watching the game were very quick to praise Winks, who has come through the academy ranks at Tottenham.

'He had a stinker,' 'What happened?' – Tottenham Hotspur fans think one of their best failed to deliver

Christian Eriksen has become one of Tottenham Hotspur’s key players, but on a night when top talent had to shine, the midfielder was stuck in the shadows.

The Denmark international started against Real Madrid in Tuesday night’s Champions League group match at the Bernabeu.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men headed into the fixture as underdogs, but they held their own in the Spanish capital.

At times, the North London outfit were severely under pressure, but some goalkeeping heroics from Hugo Lloris kept them in the game.

Harry Kane, who scored 11 goals in all competitions for Spurs in September, forced open the deadlock, but the ball came off Madrid’s Raphael Varane.

Cristiano Ronaldo levelled up the scoreline to 1-1 by converting from the penalty spot after Serge Aurier brought down Toni Kroos in the box.

Tottenham managed to hold on for a point, which delighted the fans, but there was one man that the supporters felt was lacklustre on the pitch.

Southampton in talks to bring 24-year-old star to St Mary's in January

According to reports in The Mirror, Southampton have opened talks with Barcelona over a January move for striker Paco Alcacer, but they could face competition from French side Lille for his signature.

What’s the word, then?

Well, The Mirror says that Saints boss Mauricio Pellegrino is desperate to bolster his attack after his team have scored just seven goals – three of which came from the penalty spot – in their nine matches in all competitions this season.

Nine points from seven Premier League games has certainly put the Argentine under pressure considering the favourable fixtures the south coast outfit had on paper, and he is keen to bring the out-of-favour Alcacer to St Mary’s in the New Year.

However, The Mirror says that the 24-year-old is not yet sold on the potential move, which has prompted interest from Lille.

How has Alcacer done this season?

He has pretty much been frozen out by Barca boss Ernesto Valverde since starting the first La Liga match of the season against Real Betis in August.

He has played just 33 minutes of football in all competitions from that opening day appearance and he hasn’t even made the Catalan giants’ matchday squad in three of their last four league games.

It looks certain that the Spain international will be leaving the Camp Nou in January, but it remains to be seen whether he would be willing to join Southampton.

Why wouldn’t he want to join?

The fact that the 2018 World Cup is just around the corner could well be a factor, as the 24-year-old would know that it would be a huge risk to move to a new country when he is looking to find the form that may see him named in Spain’s squad for the finals.

That said, he must also consider that he needs to be playing on a regular basis and moving to a Southampton side that is struggling for goals should mean that he does that, and he would subsequently have more chance of finding some form – just as Manolo Gabbiadini did when he first joined the south coast outfit at the start of this year.

What’s the verdict?

While Saints will hope that they can get a deal over the line for Alcacer in the New Year following his previous form for Valencia, it seems they have a lot of work to do to convince the player that it will be the best move for his career right now.