Toby Aldweireld urges Tottenham to call upon spirit of Amsterdam for second leg with RB Leipzig

Simon Collings
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Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld has urged his team-mates to call upon the spirit of their Champions League heroics from last season in order to spark a second-leg comeback against RB Leipzig.

Spurs were beaten 1-0 by Leipzig last night at home in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie after Timo Werner scored a penalty in the second half.

It leaves Tottenham facing an uphill task to qualify for the quarter-finals, but Alderweireld believes the team can draw inspiration from their semi-final heroics last season.

Like last night, Spurs lost 1-0 at home in the first leg, but they came back to beat Ajax 3-2 in Amsterdam to reach the final and Alderweireld is using that as motivation.

“We are still in it. Of course we wanted a better result, but we know we have the quality to win everywhere we want,” said the defender.

“Something we proved last season is that we can score everywhere. Of course we will need a little bit of luck, but it is the first half. The second half is yet to come.

“I think it was a difficult game. You can see they have a lot of quality. We stayed in the game and I think the second half was much better than the first.

“We were unfortunate that we could not score a goal. It is all to play for.”

The difficulty for Tottenham is that they must pull off a second-leg comeback without forwards Harry Kane and Heung-min Son, who are both injured.

Last night was the first time Spurs have played without either of the duo this season and they drew a blank as Leipzig left north London with a clean sheet.

Lucas Moura and Dele Alli were tasked with leading the line last night, but Alderweireld has stressed the whole team must now start chipping in with goals in the absence of Kane and Son.

“People have to take responsibility about that. I think we have to solve this as a team,” said the Belgian.

“I think people have to step up - not one [person]. One game it will be one guy and in the other game it will be someone else.

“We don’t have to stare blind at this result. I think we created a couple of chances against a very good opponent.”

One positive for Tottenham was the performance of captain Hugo Lloris, who excelled in goal with a number of key saves.

Like Alderweireld, the Frenchman does not want the team to use Kane and Son’s absence as an excuse and he believes they’re still in the tie after only losing 1-0.

“We are still alive. If we had conceded a second goal probably our chance would be over,” Lloris said.

“So I think the message is clear, it is to stay positive. We know the context, we know the situation but we don't have to complain.

“We can't find excuses, we just have to stay professional and stick together.”

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