'Brilliant' Lloris earns Spurs a point at Bayer Leverkusen

Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris thwarting the Bayer Leverkusen attack in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris thwarting the Bayer Leverkusen attack in the Champions League on Tuesday. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LEVERKUSEN (Germany) • Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino hailed goalkeeper Hugo Lloris' "brilliant" display which rescued a Champions League away point in their goal-less draw at Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday.

After a quiet first half which his side dominated, the Frenchman had a busy second 45 minutes at the BayArena as Leverkusen beefed up their midfield and fired 16 shots at the Spurs goal.

Dele Alli, Vincent Janssen and Erik Lamela all went close with first-half chances for Spurs, but Pochettino singled out Lloris' display.

"We were better in the first half, they were better in the second," said the Argentinian.

"Some brilliant saves from our 'keeper kept us in the game. I can only say good things about him. He's a fantastic goalkeeper, one of the best in the world.

"He showed in every action that he's one of the best. I think he's having the best moments of his career."

Lloris agreed the result was good for Spurs, adding that they need to prepare themselves for the return match in two weeks at home.

"We can be pleased with the point," said the France goalkeeper.

"The game turned in the second half, Leverkusen pressed high and we struggled a bit. But I think the draw is a good result for us.

"In two weeks, we're going to face them again and we need to be ready for this other battle."

The result leaves Tottenham on four points, one behind Monaco, who drew 1-1 at CSKA Moscow.

Leverkusen are third on three points, with the Russians last, a point behind.

Pochettino added that he was pleased his team have everything to play for when the sides meet again in London on Nov 2.

"It was a strong point, an important one for us, so we need to be happy with that," he said.

"We're still in the same position we were before the game, we're still fighting. It's a very competitive group. It was important to get a point from here, especially as CSKA Moscow and Monaco drew."

Spurs are now unbeaten in their six away games (three wins and three draws) in all competitions, but Pochettino says they must be more clinical in front of goal.

"The team created lots of chance(s) and dominated the first half," he said. "But we need to be more clinical. We have a lot of players who can score. With a bit more luck, we would have taken the chances in our last few games."

Leverkusen were frustrated to finish with another draw, despite an impressive display.

"We had plenty of chances to score and we should have rewarded ourselves with a goal," said captain Lars Bender.

"There were two very good teams on the pitch tonight, so we need to live with the draw now."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 20, 2016, with the headline ''Brilliant' Lloris earns Spurs a point at Bayer Leverkusen'. Print Edition | Subscribe