Football: Spurs go down to defeat in Belgium

Gent's Brecht Dejaegere (right), Samuel Gigot (left) and Thomas Foket celebrate after winning.
Gent's Brecht Dejaegere (right), Samuel Gigot (left) and Thomas Foket celebrate after winning.PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP) - Tottenham Hotspur have work to do in their Europa League round of 32 tie against Gent after losing 1-0 in the first leg in Belgium on Thursday (Feb 16).

The only goal of the game came just before the hour mark when French striker Jeremy Perbet scored at the second attempt from a Danijel Milicevic cutback, as Gent coach Hein Vanhaezebrouck celebrated his 53rd birthday with a win.

Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris pushed a Milicevic shot onto the post while Harry Kane had earlier struck an upright at the other end.

It was a disappointing performance from Mauricio Pochettino's side, who must now look to turn the tie around in next week's return at Wembley if they are to avoid being eliminated from a second European competition in barely two months.

Spurs, who are third in the Premier League, were knocked out of the Champions League in the group stage.

"The first half was even, and then in the second half we changed our formation and tried to find a solution to play better but then that is when we conceded the goal," Pochettino told BT Sport.

"I am disappointed yes because we had a lot of opportunities before we conceded, but the tie is open." Tottenham struggled to adapt to playing 'home' games at Wembley in the Champions League, losing to Monaco and Bayer Leverkusen there.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for us to demonstrate to ourselves that we can win at Wembley and be ready for next season," when they will play all home matches there, Pochettino added.

Elsewhere, Fiorentina won 1-0 at Borussia Moenchengladbach with a solitary Federico Bernardeschi goal, while Lyon romped to a 4-1 victory at AZ Alkmaar, Alexandre Lacazette scoring twice.

There were also wins for Krasnodar, Rostov, Shakhtar Donetsk and FC Copenhagen.

Manchester United face Saint-Etienne and Villarreal take on Roma in the pick of the late kick-offs.