So Spurs are through to the group stages, but only just. They've got a lot of work to do, and there's very little that makes you think it'll be done.
- 2nd Half
- Kane (P)80'
Lokomotiv Plovdiv - Tottenham Hotspur
Europa League - 17 September 2020
Europa League – Follow the Football match between Lokomotiv Plovdiv and Tottenham Hotspur live with Eurosport. The match starts at 18:00 on 17 September 2020. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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Full-time: Lokomotiv Plovdiv 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur
Nice from Lamela, swaying into the box, opening his body and curling towards the bottom corner ... but Lukov shoves away.
Everyone's given up, so Spurs are tapping the ball to each other as quiclly as you'd expect.
There'll be four added minutes.
Spurs knock it about.
I guess it makes sense that Dinis did that because the ball was going in, and with so little time left, a penalty miss and his team are through. I do not, though, have a clue what Karagaren was arguing about.
GOAL! Lokomotiv Plovdiv 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur (Ndombele) Spurs move it as quickly as they shuold've been moving it all night, sending the ball wide to Moura, whose low cross is missed by Kane and tapped home by Ndombele. Check Mourinho with the magic substitution!
GOAL! Lokomotiv Plovdiv 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur (Kane pen) The keeper dives low to his left, so Kane roofs it in the opposite direction. Brilliant penalty.
Spurs win a corner and Kane jumps with the keeper, whose punch goes nowhere, so when the ball is knocked back across, Lamela powers a header goalwards ... which Dinis Costa punches away! PENALTY AND A RED CARD! PENALTY AND TWO RED CARDS! Karagen is shown a second yellow card, this time for mouth!
Moura replaces Sanchez.
This is truly dreadful from Spurs.
GOAL! Lokomotiv Plovdiv 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur (Minchev) Well! Dinis Costa swings the corner out towards the near post area where, peeling off, Iliev flicks on for Minchev, arriving onto the scene, to power a header past Lloris. What a substitution! And with only one leg to be played, they're some sensible defending away from eliminating Spurs!
Lokomotiv win a corner down the left...
Another change for Spurs, Lamela replacing Bergwijn - who's been their best player. Maybe he's being saved for the weekend....
Better from Spurs, moving the ball from left to right before Lo Celso slides Doherty in down the right; his low cross is kicked clear.
Two changes for Lokomotiv, Aralia and Umarboev off, to be replaced by Minchev and Ilic.
Lukov does well to come and punch Lo Celso's corner clear, under pressure from Kane.
My stream freezes, then returns to see Spurs have a free-kick 25 yards out; Kane curls into the wall and behind, for a corner which yields another.
It's looking a bit like Mourinho wants his team to be not unlike Liverpool with two attacking full-backs, a decent forward line, and stodge in midfield. Problem being, he doesn't have the legs in that area, and he'll do well to replicate the goal contributions of the full-backs.
Better from Spurs Ndombele, Dvies and Son combining to find Lo Celso; he slides a ball between 58 defenders for Kane, and they just about squeeze him out of it.
And there it is. It's Sissoko who goes - of course it is, Mourinho didn't buy him - and Ndombele replaces him.
Sissoko crosses from the right and Lo Celso knocks down nicely for Kane, who only has room to prod, making the save easy enough for Lukov.
A goalless draw would be a great result for Lokomotiv, because a goal in London and they're right in amongst it.
But here comes Dohety, zoning forward before finding a pass to Son; he sweeps a first-time cross that's blocked by the first defender.
It's not great is it.
Spurs don't have loads on the bench. I guess they can remove one of Hojbjerg and Sissoko to bring on Lamela or Ndombele.
No half-time changes for either side, Mourinho surprisingly opting to keep faith with ... himself.
Apologies, here we are. It's still 0-0.
My stream has dropped out, apologies. Back with you a-sap.
Off we go again.
Spurs had a lot of the ball but couldn't find much to do with it. Still, at least they've got two holding midfielders on the pitch.
Half-time: Lokomotiv 0-0 Spurs
Nice from Lokomotiv, Tsvetanov sliding a ball through for Karagaren, who has Sanchez all over him, but leaning away from goal, he does really well to direct a shot back the other way which flies not that far over the bar.
Son feeds Davies, who drills a low cross into the nearest set of legs like he's Antonio Valencia.
There'll be two added minutes.
It's already dark in Plovdiv, where it's 7.45. Winter is coming, people.
Nice from Spurs, Sissoko into Bergwijn who turns around the corner for Son. His cross is low and towards the near post, but Kane can't quite get the purchase he needs to flick past Lukov.
Bit of pressure from Plovdiv, who get Iliev attacking Dier; he thinks he's won a corner, but the ref says goalkick.
Spurs have had a lot of the ball, but have created very little.
Spurs win a corner down the right and the ball bobbles about before falling to Doherty, usually a decent finisher, but he misses his kick then bundles wide, just before the flag goes up for offside.
Spurs win a free-kick 25 yards out and Dier invites himself to take it, sending a dipping, curling brute into the top corner. Not really, he passes into the wall and slopes off.
Doherty ploughs forward to no avail. I wonder if, when Reguilon arrives, Mourinho will move the 352 or 343, because the pair of them are more effective with fewer defensive obligations.
Bergwijn has been excellent so far, and comes deep to flight a diag over the top for Son, forcing Petrovic to stretch a head behind. The corner comes to nowt.
Now we see some action I missed when my stream vanished again, Bergwijn taking a pass on the half-turn and knocking it past Masoero, who extends a thigh directly into his road, bringing him down. I've not a clue how that isn't a penalty, but it isn't - to Mourinho's intense mirth.
Nice feet again from Kane, rolling studs over the ball then driving just wide from 20 yards. He's so good from that range.
I wonder what Mourinho makes of Davison Sanchez. When Man United played Ajax in the final of this competition, he had his strikers make sure it was always Sanchez left to play the ball out, because he was bad at it. And now here they both are.
Karagaren nashes down the left and chops inside Hojbjerg, who runs off for a bag of chips, then clips a decent cross to the far post, which Amalica attacks as if his life depends on it, powering through Doherty to send the ball over the top while conceding a free-kick.
Bergwijn looks really lively, dashing down the left and drawing a foul from Petrovic. I wonder what the plan for him is, because Mourinho isn't mad about rotation and there's no chance he's getting picked ahead of Bale until it's get yourself sacked time, but he looks like a player.
Why do Spurs need two midfield lumps against the sixth-best team in Bulgaria?
Spurs are starting to dictate possession - not something for which their midfield is especially suited - and they play into Lo Celso after Sissoko plays a one-two off Son, but the resultant shot, hit the when ball bounces up, flies over the bar.
Dinis Costa is late on Son, giving Spurs a free-kick that goes straight up to Didier Kane. He controls beautifully and feeds Bergwijn, whose lashed shot is blocked at source.
Nothing to do with this except everything to do with everything.
Er, my stream drops out, returns but from kick-off, then jumps just as Bergwijn rams a shot from distance that flies only just over the bar.
Nice interplay between Bergwijn and Son, exchanging passes, but the former wanders offside seeking the latter's second return.
I wonder where the return to fitness of Lo Celso leaves Dele Alli. He's still young, with plenty of time to become the player he could be, but Mourinho isn't really into number 10s, which he is. I once hoped he'd become a box to box player, because it's not enough to score, assist, or do nothing, and I think he'll have to to have a future under becomes something different to what he is now. Other hand, Mourinho might get himself sacked in a few months.
Very 1994 vibes about this Spurs kit, but weird that the players all look like they're wet about the midriff.
And Spurs counter - ctrl c - Lo Celso finding Son, who drags a low shot across Lukov that the keeper saves with his foot.
Sanchez ploughs through Vitanov, giving Plovdiv a chance to stick one in the box, but Doherty heads the free-kick away.
Off we go!
Oh good, I've got the Bulgarian commentary.
There's something very funny about a player lozzing a club as soon as possible after they get good, then coming back when they're not quite so good anymore. See Rooney, W.
Thinking more about Kane, Mourhino does love a "big man up top", and maybe that's what he wants Kane to become. I'm not sure a finisher so consummate will be happy with that.
I guess it's possible that Bale has lost his gas, but it seems unlikely at 31. If he has, he'll be a far less effective player, because unlike Kane he doesn't have much on which to fall back.
I also wonder if the arrival of Bale might see Harry Kane drop deeper. He may well have lost the pace that he had, and is a fine passer and brilliant finisher from 15-20 yards. Having someone outside him likely to deliver 20 goals gives him scope to alter his role.
I do, though, think part of Bale's problem was being stationed on the right. I much preferred him on the left because he looked more natural out there - to deliver the best of himself, he needs space.
Bale is an extremely Mourinho player, all about end product and nothing about style. Watching him play for Madrid, with Modric, Kroos and Ronaldo reminded me of watching Tevez play for Man United with Ronaldo, Rooney and Scholes: an excellent player, but clearly not as technical as the others.
But to answer the question, Spurs will want top four. With this squad and this manager, I can't see that happening.
So what does a good season for Spurs look like? A line-up like this tells me that they might struggle in the league - a schlep back tonight, then the same players schlepping to Southampton away doesn't sound good. Other hand, when the majority of teams won't be match-fit yet, playing another match gets it done sooner, so perhaps it might help. But if Mourinho picks a first XI in every game, there will absolutely be a drop-off domestically.
Naw, me neither.
Can anyone think of any Bulgarians who played for Spurs?
Exciting! (If you like ice lollies).
I was surprised - and mystified - that Moura was preferred to Bergwijn at the weekend. But the reality is that both are struggling for football when Bale arrives. A fit and focused him will make a huge difference to thing, but when I look at Spurs, it's in midfield and defence that I see serious weakness. It really doesn't matter who out of Winks, Hojbjerg and Sissoko play because none of them are all that, and until there's a change, they'll be waiting for a counter, while Reguilon will offer more attacking thrust but him on one side and Doherty on the other will give Mourinho a problem: does he curb their natural game to facilitate his, or does he let them go?
As for Spurs, they make four changes following Sunday's miserable effort against Everton. Sanchez replaces Dier in the middle of defence, Sissoko replaces Winks at the base of midfield and Lo Celso Alli at the apex, while Bergwijn is in for Moura.
Plovdiv will be playing a 3-4-1-2, reckons the Uefa website. They're currently sixth in the Bulgarian league with three wins and two defeats, three points behind Ludogorets who are top and who beat them last weekend, 3-1.
I'll just write them down, and then we can chat about what they mean.
Lokomotiv Plovdiv: Lukov, Petrovic, Masoero, Dinis Costa, Karagaren, Vitanov, Umarboev, Tsvetanov, Salinas, Aralica, Iliev. Subs: Pirgov, Muslimovic, Pugliese, Ilic, Minchev, Nikolaev, Mihaljevic.
By the way, this is a one-legger. Whoever wins tonight is through.
And anyway, Spurs - and Jose Mourhino - will want to win it. Realistically, their chances of making the Champions League any other way are slim, and it's now 12 years since they won a trophy, the one thing Mourinho is meant to guarantee. The problem with the Europa League, though, as with the Champions League, is that it doesn't get going until February.
Goodness me, this competition is a slog isn't it? But here we are.
Afternoon all, and welcome to Lokomotiv Plovdiv v Tottenham Hotspur!