The match started at a frenetic pace, but was interrupted by an unfortunate injury to Nabil Dirar with just four minutes gone. From Spurs’ first corner of the evening, Jemerson headed clear but the Moroccan international went down feeling his left calf. He immediately signalled to the bench to be substituted, and was duly replaced by Lemar, who came on without a warm-up! Moments later, Tottenham carved out the first chance of the game as a right-wing cross came in and Raggi found himself two-on-one in the box. The Italian was unable to cut out the ball, but got back onto the line to clear away Son’s shot (7 mins). The pattern of the match was set. Raggi was back in action again soon after, combining with Fabinho to avert the danger once again after Alli threatened. The ball eventually found its way to Silva on the edge of the Tottenham box, and the Portuguese man beat three defenders before powering a shot past the helpless Lloris and into the corner of the net to send shockwaves around Wembley!
Thunderbolt from Lemar
After a fine save from Subasic, Silva was about to pull the trigger again but was tripped by Alli just outside the Spurs penalty area. It looked a clear foul, but referee Mr Rocchi waved play on. The English side were shaken by the Monegasques’ cutting edge and took their foot off the pedal after the first twenty minutes had passed, although it still required a muscular intervention by Glik to deny Kane and reassure his teammates. Things then got even better for AS Monaco, as they extended their lead on the half-hour mark! Sidibé delivered a cross into the middle where Falcao and Lemar were waiting, and the latter pounced on a favourable rebound to slam an unstoppable half-volley past Lloris and into the roof of the net (31 mins). More shockwaves around Wembley! The visitors even came close to bagging a third when Glik got his head to Moutinho’s long-range free kick. The English fans held their breath and were relieved to see the ball skim the outside of the left post! Unfortunately, the Polish defender was then beaten in the air by Aldeweireld from a Spurs corner just before the break. Subasic couldn’t keep it out, and Monaco’s advantage was cut to one goal as the teams went in at half-time.
Spurs turn the screw
Buoyed by their goal, Spurs came out for the second half looking to press the visitors. Subasic had to be alert in the 47th minute to punch a decent strike from Alli behind from a corner. A few moments later, Jemerson stood firm to deny Kane who had kept his run just onside (54 mins). The Brazilian defender was then perfectly positioned to clear Eriksen’s cross from the right. The Monegasques were soaking up the pressure, while the excitement levels in the Wembley crowd rose every time their side went forward. Spurs won a succession of corners, putting the visitors under tremendous pressure with wave after wave of white-shirted attacks, but the Monaco defence stood their ground as the clock ticked past the hour mark. It took until the 67th minute for the Red & Whites to finally get the ball around the home side’s box, Sidibé finding the head of Falcao whose attempt went well over Lloris’ crossbar.
The Red & Whites hold the line
With the final fifteen minutes approaching, Silva and Lemar linked up down the right and the Frenchman arrowed a shot at goal, that was deflected and easily held by Lloris. It was a similar story in the 78th minute, but this time Lemar picked the wrong option. Spurs countered and Kane found himself with only Subasic to beat. An equaliser looked a certainty, but the Spurs star hit his shot too close to Subasic who made the save (80 mins). With less than ten minutes remaining Leonardo Jardim decided to give Falcao a breather, after the Columbian had done sterling defensive work. Germain replaced him, while Sissoko came on for Tottenham. The France international beat several defenders on the right before sweeping the ball across for Alli, who screwed his shot well wide for a goal kick (88 mins). In added time, the English side won yet another corner, but it came to nothing. In the dying moments of the match, after Moutinho did brilliantly to win the ball back from Sissoko, Silva and Germain kept possession expertly to protect AS Monaco’s lead, securing a 1-2 win to ensure the Red & Whites made the perfect start to their Champions League campaign. What else?