Bayer Leverkusen 0-0 Tottenham: Mauricio Pochettino's side hold on for valuable point
By Oliver Yew
Last Updated: 19/10/16 7:16am
Tottenham withstood Bayer Leverkusen's second-half assault to secure a 0-0 draw and hold on for a valuable point in the Champions League.
Mauricio Pochettino's side started the better of the two sides at the BayArena, going close through Dele Alli, Vincent Janssen and Erik Lamela in the first half.
But Leverkusen, who are 10th in the Bundesliga, responded strongly after the break and they should have gone ahead minutes after the restart but Hugo Lloris produced a spectacular save to deny former Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez.
Roger Schmidt's side continued to pile the pressure on Spurs, who needed Lloris to keep out Charles Aranguiz and Admir Mehmedi, but Pochettino's side held on for a valuable draw to stay second in the group behind Monaco, who drew 1-1 with CSKA Moscow.
Tottenham, who stay a point ahead of Leverkusen, face the German side again in their next game of the competition on November 2 at Wembley.
With Toby Alderweireld absent through injury Eric Dier was tasked with filling the Belgium international's boots in the heart of the Tottenham defence.
Pochettino made three more changes from the side that drew 1-1 with West Brom at the weekend with Kieran Tripper, Danny Rose and Heung-Min Son coming in for Kyle Walker, Ben Davies and Moussa Sissoko respectively.
And the visitors thought they had the lead in the 10th minute when Son, playing against his former club, squared the ball for Janssen to tap home from close range, but the flag had gone up with the Dutchman straying offside.
After a fairly even opening, Spurs gradually grew into the game and Trippier in particular was getting joy down the right flank. Victor Wanyama's pass released the full-back and his cross picked out the head of Alli, but the England midfielder failed to hit the target with the goal at his mercy.
Spurs were starting to dominate proceedings and in the 39th minute they went so close to breaking the deadlock. First, Alli's shot was brilliantly blocked by Omer Toprak before Janssen's header rebounded off the crossbar. The ball fell to Lamela but his acrobatic volley was expertly tipped over the crossbar by Leno.
Bayer Leverkusen finally showed signs of life just before the break as Hernandez drilled an effort wide, but the hosts were certainly the happier side to reach the interval on level terms.
The second half, however, breathed new life into Leverkusen and Tottenham were twice fortunate not to fall behind.
First, Mehmedi fired the ball into an open net after Lloris failed to clear but referee Cuneyt Cakir decided to give a foul against the Frenchman.
Moments later though Lloris pulled off the moment of the match as Hernandez looked certain to score but the goalkeeper miraculously scrambled across the goal line to keep the ball out.
The former Manchester United striker protested furiously to the referee's assistant behind the goal replays showed the right decision was made.
Lloris continued to keep Spurs level, making four quick-fire saves and only Danny Rose's head prevented Hernandez from finally breaking the deadlock.
There was still time for one more Leverkusen chance late on as Stefan Kiessling side-footed wide from close range.
But Tottenham held on for what could prove a valuable point in their bid to reach the knockout stages.