Tottenham vs Marseille recap: Spurs left it rather late before Richarlison scored two goals in three minutes to make it a successful UEFA Champions League return in north London.
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The Brazilian, making his own Champions League debut from the start on Wednesday, was yet to score a goal since moving to Tottenham for $73 million this summer, though he had positively impacted the side in every other conceivable way. The fans had long since taken kindly to him All that was missing was the goals, but no more.
It was anything but pretty — at times, it was a downright slog from a Tottenham perspective — but they were rock solid defensively (outside of a wobbly period midway through the first half), and the result felt inevitable when Chancel Mbemba was sent off for denial of an obvious goal-scoring opportunity in the 47th minute. Still, Tottenham needed another 29 minutes, but the patience and self-belief which Antonio Conte has instilled in his side is paying dividends.
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What we learned from Tottenham vs MarseilleSlow starts becoming the norm for Spurs
The line between Tottenham looking awful and performing exactly as Conte wants has become so thin that it’s not quite clear it still exists. It’s clear that Conte’s top priority every game is to limit his side’s exposure to truly dangerous scoring chances. On one hand, Spurs have done exactly that this season (0.92 xG against per game, 3rd-lowest in the Premier League). On the other hand, it’s been anything but champagne football and abundant scoring chances at the other end of the field.
The pattern of allowing inferior teams to hang around too closely for too long, only to (usually) eek out the right result in the end, will eventually come back to bite them. They’ll drop points against a mid-table side when they’re just in range of keeping pace for the title, or they’ll lose 1-0 to a relegation-threatened side whose only chance comes on a penalty after the ball was kicked directly at a defender’s arm. More than it’s classic Spurs, it’s classic “club pressing up against the glass ceiling, ultimately unable to break through.”
It’s easy to see that the Tottenham squad has the mental strength to battle all the way to the final whistle, but it’s not entirely clear why they feel they must do so every game.
How to watch Tottenham vs Marseille live and start time
Date: Wednesday, September 7Kick off time: 3pm ETOnline: Live updates via NBCSports.comHow to watch: TUDN, Paramount+
This will be Tottenham’s first UCL match since bowing out to RB Leipzig in the 2019-20 tournament. Since then, Spurs went to the Europa League Round of 16 and bowed out of the Europa Conference League in the group stage.
The lowdown on Marseille
Marseille qualified via a second-place finish in Ligue 1, 15 points behind Paris Saint-Germain and two clear of third-place AS Monaco. Les Phocéens are off to a brilliant start this season, with five wins and a draw to match PSG. The club is owner by former Los Angeles Dodgers boss Frank McCourt and is loaded with names familiar to the Premier League: Eric Bailly, Alexis Sanchez, Nuno Tavares, Dimitri Payet, and Matteo Guendouzi amongst others. Marseille will likely play a 3-4-2-1 formation.
Tottenham Hotspur team news, injuries, lineup
Spurs’ lone injury concerns are Lucas Moura, who is out, and Bryan Gil, who is training again.
Tottenham vs Marseille: Richarlison bags late brace, Spurs win in UCL return (video) originally appeared on NBCSports.com