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Frankfurt 0 托特纳姆热刺 0: Conte’s troops suffer North London derby hangover

THE good news was Spurs did not crack on the continent this time.

And it was considerably better than Saturday’s dismal North London derby.

Tottenham picked up a goalless draw with Eintracht Frankfurt in Germany

Tottenham picked up a goalless draw with Eintracht Frankfurt in Germany信用: 雷克斯

But this was still a performance full of frustratingly overcooked final balls that only marginally helped their 冠军联赛 situation and continued their underwhelming record on the road this term.

托特纳姆热刺 have a poor recent history in away European games.

They lost in Conference League qualifying to Pacos de Ferreira last term, as well as Vitesse Arnhem and Slovenian side Mura in the group stage.

That has been followed up this term with conceding two goals in stoppage time to lose 2-0 at Sporting Lisbon last month.

This game had a similar feel to that one in Portugal’s capital, with a stalemate looming yet the threat of chucking it away at the death inside the raucous Deutsche Bank Stadium.

In the end they held on for the 0-0, which pushed their tally to four points after three group games.

Beat Frankfurt at home next week, and Sporting back in London the week after, 和 安东尼奥·孔蒂’s men will be laughing.

Yet with most games seeming a battle this term – this draw meant they had only one away win in five games this season – there is no guarantee of that.

Conte was in a prickly mood in the press conference the day before the game and made it very clear that he would not be swayed by fan demands regarding team selection.

The Italian’s response when asked if the lesser-spotted Djed Spence would finally be given some game time soon, with Emerson Royal suspended for the next three league games, was unequivocal.

The £12.5million summer buy from Middlesbrough is “not ready” and if the supporters disagreed with that assessment, it was no skin off Conte’s nose.

He backed those words up by picking the exact same side that lost 3-1 to Arsenal on Saturday, including Royal who was sent off in the second half but eligible for the Champions League.

随着利兹联与霍芬海姆球星格里利奇的对决,曼联在菲利普斯的追逐中得到了提升 – 随着利兹联与霍芬海姆球星格里利奇的对决,曼联在菲利普斯的追逐中得到了提升

Tottenham superstar Harry Kane couldn't find the target against Eintracht Frankfurt

Tottenham superstar Harry Kane couldn’t find the target against Eintracht Frankfurt信用: 盖蒂

Many of Spurs’ games this season have been tight affairs, such as the draws at Chelsea and West Ham and the narrow home wins over Wolves and Marseille.

With Frankfurt the reigning Europa League champions and only three points off top spot in Bundesliga, unsurprisingly this game fitted a similar description.

The prospect of redemption for Royal almost looked to be on the cards when Eric Dier’s Steven Gerrard-esque, crossfield ball found the Brazilian early on.

But the wing-back crashed his first-time volley over the bar.

In a game of few clear-cut chances, a swinging delivery from Son Heung-min gave both Cristian Romero and Harry Kane a chance to find the net but both missed the ball at the back post.

It was a performance typical of Spurs this season: organised, dangerous at times, yet if they had gone into the break a goal down it would hardly have been a grave injustice.

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte saw his team being pushed back by Eintracht Frankfurt

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte saw his team being pushed back by Eintracht Frankfurt信用: 法新社

Frankfurt carried their own threat, such as when skipper Sebastian Rode had a sight of goal on the far side of the box, only for his effort to be deflected over.

Spurs stepped it up a gear for the final 20 minutes of the first half, going agonisingly close on a few occasions.

A clever move involving Son dummying and receiving a Richarlison pass saw the South Korean blast a cross across the six-yard area which Kane stretched every sinew to reach. The England striker ended up in the net, but the ball did not.

Conte’s men went even closer right at the end of the half when Royal’s deflected cross fell to Ivan Perisic inside the box.

The Croat’s shot took its own big deflection which sent the ball into a spin, but sadly for the visitors its trajectory was just the wrong side of the post.

Perisic had promised a much better performance from the “bad” one they put in at the Emirates, one with more running, fight and quality.

Tottenham are winless in their last two Champions League matches

Tottenham are winless in their last two Champions League matches信用: 环保局

The intensity was certainly upped from Saturday’s lacklustre display.

And Spurs possibly could have even have had a spot-kick just before the interval when a corner appeared to brush an Eintracht arm in the box, but nothing was given.

Spurs had two scares at the second half.

The first came when Ansgar Knauff – sent off last week against England Under-21s for leaning his head in on Manchester City’s Tommy Doyle – had a volley brilliantly saved by Hugo Lloris.

Next was far more worrying as Kane was denied a goal thanks to an excellent block by Evan Ndicka, but Spurs’ No10 then went crashing to the turf in the aftermath.

Tottenham couldn't bounce back after their loss to Arsenal in the North London derby

Tottenham couldn’t bounce back after their loss to Arsenal in the North London derby信用: 盖蒂

The blow caused the Three Lions’ main man to hobble around in discomfort – never a good sign with the World Cup less than six weeks away.

But luckily he managed to shake it off, much to the relief of any England fan watching.

The home crowd upped the noise even further in the final stages but the game petered out.

Conte can look back on a creditable point on tough territory, but they are yet to hit the heights they reached last term which got them into this competition in the first place.