A wonderful team performance from Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur condemned the Champions League Holders Real Madrid to a rare first European defeat in eight games to Qualify for the Last 16 from Group C and ensure a historic night for English Football.
On an incredible night in West London, Spurs became the first English side since Liverpool in 2009 to defeat Real Madrid and it was the first time in history that they had done so.
The Lilywhites were helped to achieving this by a superb brace from England talent Dele Alli and a smart finish from playmaker Christian Eriksen, while Portugal Legend Cristiano Ronaldo pulled a late goal back for the Zinedine Zidane’s men that proved to be no more than a constellation.
A huge three points for the hosts elevates them to the top of Group and gave them the benefit of needing nothing more to Qualify, whilst Madrid’s second defeat in 48 CL Group Stage games means that they fall to second and may have to settle for a tougher opponent in the next Round.
From the start at The National Stadium, Pochettino decided on three changes to his side that were defeated at Old Trafford as star striker Harry Kane made an eagerly awaited return from injury.
He replaced Korean Son Heung-min, whilst Kieran Trippier came back in for Serge Aurier and Davinson Sanchez took the place of Moussa Sissoko, while Eric Dier moved up into midfield.
Meanwhile, Zinedine Zidane made just one alteration to the starting Xl that were embarrassed away at Girona in La Liga on Sunday evening.
The switch was a defensive one as Nacho came in for Raphael Varane after the Frenchman was forced off with injury at half-time at The Municipal de Montilivi.
As Bonfire Night lays just days around the corner, there would be early Fireworks in West London as Alli picked out Kane for an almost fitting return, but the England man’s chip would be easily caught by Kiko Casilla.
However, the hosts wouldn’t have to wait too long until they did then beat the Catalonian keeper as Alli gave them a 27th-minute advantage at Wembley.
Young midfield prodigy Harry Wins picked out his England teammate Trippier with a delighted chipped pass with the former Burnley man picking out Alli perfectly for a simple tap-in.
However, Madrid hit back with chances of their own just minutes after as Casemiro forced a save out of Hugo Lloris and Ronaldo forced an even better one shortly after.
Nevertheless, a compact Spurs defence were able to weather the storm brilliantly and soon felt hard done by at the other end with Sergio Ramos seeing the ball hit his arm whilst making a crucial block from Kane, penalty appeals were turned down.
But, irony would play its part early in the second period as Alli broke dangerously and saw his effort flick up off the back of Ramos and fly into the visitors’ net, Wembley was rocking by this point.
Again, the away side made themselves known though and came agonisingly close to pulling one back on 61 minutes when neither Ronaldo or Ramos could convert from a frantic goalmouth scramble.
It would only take the home side a further two minutes to kill any suggestion of a comeback from Zidane’s men with Alli finding Kane on the break and Kane finding Eriksen to slot delightfully past Casilla.
The game had been put to bed at this stage and Madrid looked lost as they slumped to a second loss in quick succession, not even a late strike from Ronaldo doing anything to alter the outcome.
A night to remember in front of over 83,000 supporters will fill The Lilywhites with confidence ahead of Sunday’s home visit of bottom place Crystal Palace in The Premier League, a game they are expected to breeze through to get their League form back on track.
While, the heat is now very much on for Zidane and his Los Blancos side, a lot now rests on the home La Liga clash with Las Palmas this weekend, both sides will be back in UEFA Champions League action later this month.