Antwerp upsets Spurs to go prime of Europa League group


Belgian league chief Antwerp secured a shock 1-Zero win over Tottenham Hotspur of their Europa League conflict on Thursday due to veteran striker Lior Refaelovs first-half purpose.

The outcome was a second win for Antwerp and places itself prime in Group J, three factors forward of Spurs and LASK of Austria.

Antwerp dominated the primary half and went forward simply earlier than the half-hour mark after a defensive lapse by Ben Davies allowed Dieumerci Mbokani to steal away the ball and arrange the Israel worldwide for a strong end.

Four substitutions in the beginning of the second half mirrored the irritation of Spurs supervisor Jose Mourinho, however Antwerp continued to look the extra harmful regardless of the adjustments.


Straight after the break it took a last-ditch defensive lunge by Tottenhams Davinson Sanchez to disclaim the house facet a second purpose, earlier than Mbokani had a simple probability on the again publish within the 54th minute, however one way or the other managed to overlook the goal.

Simen Juklerod then compelled Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to tip the ball over the crossbar as Antwerp saved creating possibilities, earlier than lacking a gilt-edged alternative on the finish of 72nd-minute breakaway.

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He outstripped the visiting defence and had solely the goalkeeper to beat however shot wildly over.

In between, Harry Kane got here on for Gareth Bale however the Spurs skipper was additionally unable to ignite a comeback as Antwerp proved defensively strong to hold on for the win.

Mourinho unimpressed by fringe gamers

Tottenham Hotspur supervisor Jose Mourinho mentioned the disappointing performances of his fringe gamers in Thursday’s 1-0 Europa League loss to Royal Antwerp would make it “very easy” to select his crew going ahead.

Mourinho made 9 adjustments to the lineup from Monday’s 1-0 Premier League win at Burnley however Spurs fell behind inside 30 minutes after an error from defender Ben Davies allowed Antwerp ahead Lior Refaelov to attain from shut vary.

Dele Alli, Steven Bergwijn, Giovani lo Celso and Carlos Vinicius had been all changed at halftime however the Spurs had been unable to get again on degree phrases. It was their first defeat since dropping 1-Zero to Everton on the Premier League’s opening weekend in September.

“I would like to have made 11 changes at halftime,” Mourinho informed reporters. “I didn’t make five as I was afraid of a long 45 minutes.

“I always like to think the players deserve an opportunity. We have a big squad with lots of good players,” he added.

“It’s my responsibility to give them opportunities but it’s also their opportunity to catch the chance with both hands and ask for more.

“Tonight shows my future choices are going to be very easy.”

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