Tottenham throw away 2-0 lead to kick off Champions League campaign with Olympiacos draw

Spurs players disappointed after giving up 2-0 lead. (Photo by ARIS MESSINIS / AFP)

Last year’s losing finalists Tottenham Hotspur surrendered a 2-0 lead to kick off this season’s Champions League campaign with a 2-2 draw against Olympiacos.

Three months on from their heartbreak in Madrid, Spurs will be disappointed to have seen the advantage slip from their grasp in Greece.

Backed by an electric atmosphere at a packed Karaiskakis Stadium, Olympiacos started brightly with Danial Podence and Miguel Angel Guerrero testing Hugo Loris early on.

The home side almost took the lead on 17 minutes when Konstantinos Tsimikas’ fine cross found Podence to chest down smarlty for Guerrero whose volley struck the inside of the post before Guilherme’s follow up missed the target.

With Olympiacos growing in confidence, it seemed only a matter of time before the deadlock would be broken.

However, midway through the half and very much against the run of play, it would be Spurs who would take the lead courtesy of a Harry Kane penalty.

During a rare attack, the Tottenham striker drifted his way into the penalty area before being upended by Yessine Merriah.

After a quick VAR check confirmed the infraction, Kane dusted himself down to make no mistake from 12 yards.

Harry Kane gives Spurs the lead. (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Lucas Moura celebrates after putting Spurs 2-0 ahead. (Photo by ARIS MESSINIS / AFP) (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Five minutes later it was 2-0 as Lucas Moura, hero of last year’s semi final against Ajax, capitalised on some good work by Ben Davies to fire a brilliant strike from the edge of the box beyond the despairing hand of goalkeeper Jose Sa.

Olympiacos continued to attack and just before half time Podence found an opening after a 1-2 with Mathieu Valbuena, racing through the Spurs defence to drills across Loris, halving the deficit.

Tottenham came flying out the traps in the second half and pegged the Greek side back for the opening exchanges.

They even had the ball in the net through Alli but the forward’s close range finish was correctly disallowed for offside.

However, the visitors ultimately could have had few complaints when Olympiacos scored a deserved equaliser on 54 minutes through former French international Valbuena.

The veteran was fouled by Jan Vertonghen before dispatching the resulting spot-kick to send the home fans berserk.

Daniel Podence fires Olympiacos back into the match. (Photo by LOUISA GOULIAMAKI / AFP)
Mathieu Valbuena equalises from the spot for Olympiacos. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

With the game opening up, both sides pushed to take the lead. Alli found himself in a great position bearing down on goal but his chance was pushed wide by Sa.

Olympiacos substitute Yassine Bezia then blazed over from inside the area following good work from Podence.

Tottenham’s run to the final last season was punctuated by a number of late goals but despite late pressure on their Group B opponents, it wasn’t to be.

They even missed a great chance late on through Erik Lamela who opted to shoot when a pass to the unmarked Kane would have almost certainly see them snatch a winner.

Maurico Pochettino will be unhappy with the outcome on matchday one of this season’s competition but will be heartened by the fact that they lost their first two group matches last year.

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