Spurs have their work cut out making it through in the Europa League, with a late Demba Ba penalty condemning them to a second straight draw and earning a deserved point for Besiktas.
Tottenham Hotspur, usually so confident and clinical in making it through the group stage of the Europa League, are looking far from comfortable in the competition this evening after a frustrating draw against Turkish side Besiktas at White Hart Lane.
This always looked like being a tough game against Slaven Bilic’s Besiktas, who ran local rivals Arsenal extremely close in the Champions League qualifiers, with former Chelsea star Demba Ba coming close to opening the scoring early on until Hugo Lloris’ intervention.
Pochettino’s Tottenham side were able to grow into the game, however, with young forward Harry Kane always looking a bigger threat than Roberto Soldado – as was proven when he picked up the ball outside the box, worked it onto his left foot and fired into the far corner beyond a stranded goalkeeper.
Besiktas weren’t perturbed, however, and continued to cause problems for Tottenham, with the movement and hold-up play of Ba causing real issues for Spurs along with the pace of supporting winger Gokhan Tore. There was no doubt who Spurs’ star man was, with Lloris again coming to the fore in the second half as he made a stunning save to tip a powerful effort from Sahan over the bar with his left hand, before again denying Ba when it seemed as though he would level the scores.
The Senegalese forward kept working hard, however, and got his reward as the game ticked towards injury time – a long ball in behind Vlad Chiriches caused issues for the Romanian, who handled the ball to give Ba the chance of earning a point for Besiktas. He made no mistake, although did seem to stutter in his run-up before beating Lloris, a goal which sparked wild celebrations from the Besiktas fans, with flares sending smoke billowing into the North London sky.
The result is a disappointment for Spurs, but they remain locked with Besiktas on two points after two games after also drawing their opening match away against Partizan Belgrade.
Surprise leaders are Greek side Asteras Tripolis, who raced clear at the top of the table courtesy of a comfortable 2-0 win over Partizan, with the Serbian side now propping things up.