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Published: 20:28 | 14/9/16

Monaco sink Tottenham at Wembley


Tottenham slumped to defeat in their first Champions League tie in five years, going down 2-1 to AS Monaco at Wembley.

Arsene Wenger memorably called Arsenal's Wembley experience between 1998 and 2000 "a nightmare" - the Gunners opted to play their Champions League fixtures at the national stadium to maximise revenue, and failed to progress from the group stages in both seasons.

Tottenham are playing at Wembley for less money-centred reasons - White Hart Lane is being redeveloped - but they must now fear a repeat of what happened to their North London neighbours at the turn of the century following this defeat to Leonardo Jardim's side.

The Premier League side, who reached the quarter-finals where they last featured in the Champions League in 2010-11, were a goal down after just 15 minutes thanks to Bernardo Silva's fine strike.

The Monaco No 10 netted after cutting inside Jan Vertonghen from the right channel and drilling a shot beyond Spurs' goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, and all eyes turned immediately in reproach towards a guilty-looking Erik Lamela, who had ceded possession 35 yards from goal to give the Portugal international a run at goal.

And Spurs were two down just after the half-hour mark, with substitute Thomas Lemar slamming home the loose ball after Ben Davies and Vertonghen had got in each other's way when attempting to deal with a routine cross from the left by Djibril Sidibe.

But Tottenham hauled themselves back into the game seconds before the half-time break when Toby Alderweireld thundered a header from Lamela's corner past Monaco goalkeeper Danijel Subasic.

And Mauricio Pochettino's side finally began to look at home in the second half, with Dele Alli forcing a sharp tip over from Subasic on 51 minutes, and Jemerson blocking a goalbound Harry Kane effort three minutes later.

Tottenham fans in the 85,011 crowd, a British club record home attendance, showed their furious disapproval on 56 minutes at referee Gianluca Rocchi's failure to give a penalty for a Fabinho trip on Alli in the area ahead of a Christian Eriksen corner, but the Italian official got his decision spot on as the ball was not in play when the foul occurred.

After that, things got a bit more ragged for the "home" side, with Kane's shot on 79 minutes from substitute Vincent Janssen's cutback the only notable chance in the final quarter.

All is not lost for Tottenham - Bayer Leverkusen's 2-2 draw with CSKA Moscow in the other Group E match means they are not out of sight yet - but there will be no room for slip-ups in Moscow in two weeks' time or in Germany on 18 October.

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