FRANKFURT, Germany (AP)Tottenham again lacked a cutting edge in the Champions League as the English team drew 0-0 at Eintracht Frankfurt on Tuesday to leave their group wide open after three rounds of games.
The only goals scored by Antonio Conte’s side in Group D remain the late double by Richarlison in an underwhelming 2-0 win over 10-man Marseille in the opening round, with the stalemate in Frankfurt following a 2-0 loss at Sporting.
Son Heung-min and Ivan Perisic came closest for Tottenham in a match that was end to end at times but where the finishing from both teams left a lot to be desired.
Spurs missed the creativity and vision of wide forward Dejan Kulusevski, the technically gifted Sweden international who returned from international duty last week with a muscle injury.
Without Kulusevski, Tottenham lacked inspiration in attack in a 3-1 loss at fierce rival Arsenal in the Premier League on Saturday and it was the same against Eintracht, with the visitors having to rely too much on Harry Kane to be the creative influence.
”The last pass, the right run, the clear chance was not there,” Tottenham midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg said. ”I would have liked us to breathe a bit more.”
Eintracht’s best spell came midway through the second half, when a stretching Ansgar Knauff volleyed straight at goalkeeper Hugo Lloris before Jesper Lindstrom sidefooted a shot over the crossbar from a central position inside the area after Tottenham defender Cristian Romero put his team under pressure with a slack pass out from the back.
Tottenham and Eintracht moved to four points, two behind Sporting and one more than Marseille. All four teams have a realistic chance of a top-two finish to advance, with Tottenham crucially having two home games remaining.
The first is the return match against Eintracht, the defending Europa League champions, next week – when Conte will be hoping Son and Kane can be more clinical.
Son, in particular, should have done better when the ball fell to him at the edge of the area toward the end of the first half. Normally so clinical from that range, especially when he has time and space, the South Korea captain could only curl wide this time.
By then, Son had already failed to locate Kane with a cross that flashed across the face of the six-yard box. From another cross from the right just before halftime, Perisic met the ball with a shot that struck a defender and spun agonizingly wide of the post.
”There are moments you are more clinical,” Conte said, ”there are moments like the game against Arsenal and today, you create chances but sometimes you make a mistake with the last pass or you arrive one second late.”
Kulusevski might not be available next week, either, with Conte having been pessimistic about the winger’s chances of a quick return.
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