Tottenham’s fighting spirit is key to Champions League progress, say Lloris and Lenglet

Hugo Lloris and Clement Lenglet praised Tottenham’s wish after a comeback win over Marseille sealed a place in the Champions League round of 16.

Spurs headed for Tuesday’s match at the Stade Velodrome knowing that one point would be enough to get them through, but Chancel Mbemba’s first-half injury goal saw them score an early exit from UEFA club competition. ‘elite.

However, a much improved performance in the second half led Antonio Conte’s side to finish the job in style, thanks to Lenglet’s header and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s finish.

It meant Spurs advanced as group winners for the third time in their Champions League history, and captain Lloris believes the team deserves a lot of credit for the comeback.

“We were expecting that kind of game,” Lloris told BT Sport. “We know that the Velodrome is a very difficult place to face and I think we have shown great personality.

“Clement scored a very important goal in France in front of the French. He helped the team get back on track. The second goal [from] Pierre is so important that he confirms his first place in the group. “

Lenglet’s first Champions League goal since scoring for Barcelona against Napoli in August 2020 helped Spurs move forward and the defender believes the bad first half was a consequence of uncertainty about whether to play up front or in defense.

“We didn’t play well in the first half, perhaps because we didn’t know if we should attack or defend,” commented Lenglet.

“But after the first half we talk in the locker room, we say what we have to tell. We start the second half with a lot more personality, a lot more aggression to go and score and we play an excellent second half.”

Conte was absent from the sideline against Marseille after being disqualified for his reaction to Harry Kane’s canceled effort in the Spurs draw with Sporting CP last week. If that goal had been counted, Tottenham would have had the guaranteed progression ahead of the final matchday.

Marseille, meanwhile, appeared trapped between two stalls after taking the lead. A draw would have been enough for them to pass, due to their record in head-to-head matches with Sporting, but given that the Ligue 1 giants finished last in Group D.

Lloris believes this played into the hands of the Spurs, adding: “It was a tough night, a great fight.

“I think it was a more psychological battle because we felt there was a team playing without fear of losing, it was Marseille. In the second half we played a team that was afraid of losing because it was 1-0 up.

“It’s a great result without our coach. It was probably even more difficult for him in the stands!”

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