Bayer Leverkusen 0-0 Tottenham: Five talking points from Champions League tie
By Peter Smith
Last Updated: 19/10/16 8:30am
Tottenham held on for a hard-fought draw at Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday, boosting their Champions League group-stage qualification hopes.
Despite good chances falling the way of both teams, neither managed to break the deadlock in Germany.
Here, we round up the talking points from the goalless draw…
Tottenham rue missed first-half chances
In the end, a point at Bayer Leverkusen, coupled with Monaco's late equaliser at CSKA Moscow, means Tottenham remain second in Group E, with just three games to play. But Mauricio Pochettino's men may well have walked away from the BayArena with all three points, had they been more clinical in the first half.
Indeed, they had the ball in the back of the net just 10 minutes in, but Vincent Janssen - still searching for his first Spurs goal from open play - was flagged offside. Had Heung-Min Son - back at former club Bayer Leverkusen - gone alone after being played in by Erik Lamela, rather than unselfishly trying to tee up his Dutch team-mate, the visitors could have taken an early lead.
The South Korea international was then denied by an Omer Toprak block after driving at the Leverkusen box, before Dele Alli headed Kieran Trippier's whipped cross narrowly wide.
Tottenham's best chance of the game then came on 39 minutes - and they really should have scored. Alli's shot from the edge of the box was blocked but the ball came to Trippier who crossed for Janssen. The striker headed against the crossbar and Lamela's volleyed follow-up was tipped over the bar.
At points in the second half, Spurs were under heavy pressure from the home side and in the end may be satisfied with a draw - but they had their moments to grab maximum points.
Busy night for Lloris
In the second half Hugo Lloris was called upon to make a string of fine saves - and the France international delivered for his team.
The pick of his stops came just three minutes into the second period. Javier Hernandez met a low cross inside the six-yard box and Lloris somehow stopped the ball on his goal-line. There were other important saves from Charles Aranguiz, Admir Mehmedi and Stefan Kiessling, too, as Leverkusen put on the pressure.
Tottenham have the best defensive record in the Premier League and have conceded just twice in three games in Europe this season. Lloris is a key part of that.
Trippier seizes rare chance to shine
With Kyle Walker enjoying a fine start to the season for Tottenham, opportunities have been few and far between for Trippier, the right-back Spurs signed from Burnley last summer. But on Tuesday night the 26-year-old delivered a reminder of his ability.
Trippier had more touches (92) than any other player on the pitch and used them well, making two key passes (more than any other Spurs player) and sending five crosses into the Bayer Leverkusen box.
Rare goalless draw
This is only the second time Spurs have drawn 0-0 in the Champions League, last doing so in March 2011 v AC Milan.
Defensively, he stood firm, especially in the second period when the hosts had the momentum. He made four tackles, seven clearances and three interceptions. No Spurs player contributed more in any of those categories.
Given Walker's form, that may not be enough for Trippier to dislodge his team-mate for their Premier League trip to Bournemouth on Saturday. But he'll have given Pochettino food for thought.
Hernandez still a threat
In the summer of 2015, Tottenham were heavily linked with a move for then-Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez. The Mexican - out of favour under Louis van Gaal - eventually moved to Bayer Leverkusen, but showed on Tuesday why he remains a dangerous attacker.
The 28-year-old perhaps should have done better with his close-range effort just after half-time, which was stopped on the line by Lloris, but he remained a thorn in Tottenham's side throughout the contest, until his 85th-minute substitution, despite receiving some rough treatment from the visitors.
A fierce shot from 20 yards skidded just wide of Lloris' post on 44 minutes, while a remarkable Danny Rose block denied him just before the hour mark. Hernandez has five goals in six Bundesliga games so far this season and is sure to be a threat at Wembley in two weeks' time.
Tight in Group E
After Matchday 3, Group E remains in the balance. Monaco lead the way but Tottenham are well placed to grab one of two qualifying spots.
Their form at Wembley will be crucial. A win over Bayer Leverkusen at the national stadium would put Tottenham in a commanding position, while they may be relying on a result in their final group game against CSKA Moscow in London, should their trip to Monaco not go to plan.
Champions League Group E