Tottenham begin the group stage of the inaugural Europa Conference League with a trip to France to take on Rennes this evening.
Spurs are England’s sole representative in Uefa’s new third tier club competition, having finished seventh in the Premier League, though they still had to survive a scare in qualifying to reach the tournament proper, overturning a first leg defecit against Portuguese outfit Pacos Ferreira.
Nuno Espirito Santo has warned his players they must forget about their Champions League pedigree, with many of the squad that reached the final in 2019 still involved, while Rennes have recent experience of Europe’s biggest competition themselves having played in it last season, though they picked up only a point as they finished bottom of Chelsea’s group.
Nuno’s men surrendered their unbeaten start to the Premier League campaign in meek fashion as they were turned over 3-0 by Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park last weekend, and with a derby against in-form Chelsea to come this weekend, a positive result tonight is something of a must.
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Full time: Rennes 2-2 Tottenham
That’s that then. A cracking game that lost a bit of puff towards the end. Spurs went up through a Bade goal but were pegged back by a sumptuous curling hit from Tait.
Tottenham were second best for most of the contest and were unlucky with injuries.
Rennes got their lead with a Laborde tap in but Højbjerg poked home the equaliser five minutes later.
Stay tuned for Simon’s report to come.
Another five to go
90mins: Five added minutes here. Petering out a touch to be honest. Both teams seem happy with a point.
Five to go
85mins: It’s been a really good game. The second half has fizzled out a touch but that was expected given the high tempo of the first and Tottenham taking off Moura and Kane.
But there’s still time for a twist. Rennes getting joy once again down the left, finding a bit if room inside the box and shooting through Guirassy. It goes out for a corner. Is this the moment?
Gill growing down the left
82mins: I was critical of the young Spaniard a little while ago but he’s found an extra step and is doing bits down the left. He’s stepping over, running at pace and putting in a low cross that was almost dangerous.
And because I started writing that he’s picked up a yellow for an over enthusiastic challenge.
Alli on for Ndombele
79mins: Ndombele had a good game, charging forward and offering neat interplay in midfield. But his race is run. On comes Alli who can turn a game on his own if in the mood.
Simon impressed with Højbjerg who gets a deserving (and rare) goal
“Out of nowhere, Spurs are level. Credit to Hojbjerg, who has been solid since coming on. Rennes sounds dead quiet all of a sudden.”
GOAL! Højbjerg taps in equaliser
77mins: That’s come from nowhere! It’s a half decent ball from the right that Rennes don’t deal with. A defender gets some contact on it but the ball bounces up kindly for Højbjerg who is on hand to poke it home. Rennes’ lead lasted five minutes.
It’s gone a bit pear shaped from Tottenham, as Simon points out
“This game started so well but it has all gone wrong. Injured players and now Rennes lead. Kane and Lloris look glum on the bench.”
GOAL! Laborde taps in!
72mins: Gollini parries Sulemana’s shot from the left straight to Laborde who taps in. Tottenham staring at a rude welcome to the Europa Conference.
Better from Gill
68mins: He’s found his range now and that’s a wonderful delivery from the left. He hugs the touchline this time making the field big. rather than drive towards the box he puts in an early ball for Scarlett. The young striker is outmuscled by two Rennes defenders and can’t get a clean connection on it but that was better from Tottenham and Gill in particular. More of that please.