Champions League: Tottenham achieve mission impossible at the Camp Nou
Mauricio Pochettino’s side finish second in group B after draw in Barcelona
Barcelona 1 Tottenham 1
Tottenham qualified for the last 16 of the Uefa Champions League on a night of high European drama.
A triumphant Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino said his side had achieved “mission impossible” by making it out of group B thanks to a goal from Lucas Moura five minutes from time at the Camp Nou.
The Londoners had to either beat Barcelona or match Inter Milan’s result against PSV Eindhoven in the group’s other tie.
A brilliant seventh-minute individual effort from Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele meant Spurs were always unlikely to secure a win, but their hopes were kept alive by news from Italy where Dutch side PSV were one apiece with their hosts Inter.
Tottenham threw everything at the Spanish giants in the second-half but were continually denied by the brilliance of Barca goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen, who was standing in for regular shot-stopper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Cillessen pulled off a series of superb saves to deny Tottenham the goal they so desperately needed, but he was unable to prevent Moura stabbing home Harry Kane’s cross on 85 minutes.
“I am so happy, so proud,” said Pochettino. “We suffered because when we finished the game we did not know the result at Inter. It was two very difficult minutes, but in the end of course we were so happy. It’s so important for the club.”
With just one point from their first three group matches - a 2-2 draw against PSV - Tottenham were written off as last 16 contenders but wins against the Dutch club and Inter gave them the chance of joining Barcelona in the knockout phase.
“I remember after Eindhoven nobody believed in us,” said Pochettino. “They all said it was mission impossible, but we are here. We are in the next stage and it is a massive achievement for the club.”
Last 16 draw
The draw for the last 16 will be made on Monday 17 December and Tottenham face the daunting prospect of being paired with a group winner, although rules stipulate it can’t be a fellow Premier League club or their group’s winner.
Tottenham risk meeting Borussia Dortmund, Paris Saint-Germain, FC Porto, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Ajax, Juventus or Lyon.
Results, fixtures and TV guide
Tuesday 11 December results
- Group A: Club Brugge 0 Atlético Madrid 0; Monaco 0 Borussia Dortmund 2
- Group B: Barcelona 1 Tottenham Hotspur 1; Inter Milan 1 PSV Eindhoven 1
- Group C: Red Star Belgrade 1 Paris Saint-Germain 4; Liverpool 1 Napoli 0
- Group D: FC Schalke 04 1 Lokomotiv Moscow 0; Galatasaray 2 FC Porto 3
Wednesday 12 December fixtures
- Group E: Ajax vs. Bayern Munich (8pm, live on BT Sport Extra 2); Benfica vs. AEK Athens (8pm, live on BT Sport Extra 3)
- Group F: Manchester City vs. 1899 Hoffenheim (8pm, live on BT Sport 2); Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Lyon (8pm, live on BT Sport Extra 4)
- Group G: Real Madrid vs. CSKA Moscow (5.55pm, live on BT Sport 1); Viktoria Plzen vs. Roma (5.55pm, live on BT Sport ESPN)
- Group H: Valencia vs. Manchester United (8pm, live on BT Sport 3); Young Boys vs. Juventus (8pm, live on BT Sport ESPN)