Feb 16, 2017 at 6pm UK at ​Ghelamco Arena
Perbet (59')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Walker (54'), Alli (73')

Live Commentary: Gent 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur - as it happened

Mauricio Pochettino applauds after the Premier League game between Stoke City and Tottenham Hotspur on April 18, 2016
© Getty Images
Relive Sports Mole's live coverage of Gent's 1-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in the Europa League.

Tottenham Hotspur have suffered a 1-0 defeat to Gent in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie.

Mauricio Pochettino selected a strong side for the fixture, but they were outfought and outperformed by their hosts throughout the 90 minutes.

The winning goal came from Jeremy Perbet in the second half, and Spurs must now win convincingly at Wembley Stadium next week in order to progress.

Read below to see how the action unfolded in Belgium.


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5.01pmHello, and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of the match in the Europa League between Gent and Tottenham Hotspur.

5.04pmLess than 24 hours after Tottenham Hotspur's fans watched Arsenal get thrashed by Bayern Munich, it's now the turn of their side to try to avoid European embarrassment in Belgium. The Europa League probably isn't their number-one target but they would have seen on Wednesday the ridicule they would come in for if they fail to perform away from the domestic scene.

5.08pmMauricio Pochettino would have hoped to have been preparing his squad for a last-16 tie in the Champions League at this stage of the season but but he must now juggle his players around for progress in this competition. It's almost become customary to rotate in this tournament and that's what Pochettino has done ahead of this game, to a certain extent. More details to follow.

5.11pmBefore we crack on with the team news, we will remind you that this is just the first of two Europa League offering for you this evening. After the conclusion of this game, we have full coverage of the match between Manchester United and Saint-Etienne. The Pogba brothers will be going head to head!

5.12pmAnyway, enough rambling, let's crack on with informing you who Pochettino and Hein Vanhaezebrouck have selected for this game.

5.13pmGENT XI: Kalinic, Mitrovic, Asare, Dejaegere, Gidot, Saief, Foket, Esiti, Simon, Perbet, Milicevic

5.15pmTOTTENHAM HOTSPUR XI: Lloris, Walker, Alderweireld, Dier, Davies, Wanyama, Dembele, Winks, Sissoko, Dele, Kane

5.16pmTOTTENHAM HOTSPUR SUBSTITUTES: Vorm, Trippier, Wimmer, Eriksen, Onomah, Nkoudou, Son

5.21pmI did say "to a certain extent", didn't I? Pochettino has named a strong starting lineup but he has still opted to make two voluntary alterations. Moussa Sissoko and Harry Winks come into the side in place of Christian Eriksen and Son Heung-min. The likes of Michel Vorm and Kieran Trippier usually come into the team for fixtures such as this one but they have been left on the bench.

5.24pmGent are able to hand a start to goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic, who is the club's record signing and was made at the end of 2016. However, Yuya Kubo misses out having already participated for Young Boys earlier this season. Danijel Milicevic is considered to be one of their key players.

5.31pmWhile Spurs have spent many a year playing in this competition, they have never faced Gent in their history.

However, the North London outfit are familiar with Belgian opposition having played Anderlecht in the Europa League group stages last season. They endured mixed fortunes, with the home side winning each fixture by a 2-1 scoreline. You have to go back to 2006 and 2007 for their last meetings with Anderlecht and Club Brugge.


5.34pmIf you want a better idea of how Gent are lining up this evening, hopefully this will help you out. Spurs had no problem in beating a Chelsea side who played 3-4-3...



5.41pmYou probably already know that Spurs are in this competition due to their failure in the Champions League but how did Gent do in the group stages?

In all fairness, they did pretty well. They lost both games to Shakhtar Donetsk but they came though unbeaten against Braga and Konyaspor to qualify with eight points. They also reached the last 16 of the Champions League last season so while they are only in eighth position in Belgium's top flight, they have previous for performing well in Europe.


5.45pmMoussa Sissoko and Harry Winks are the two players coming into the team this evening, but how regularly have they played this season?

Sissoko has made just six starts in the Premier League, with another appearance coming in the Champions League. That's probably not what he expected when signing for £30m. Winks has made two starts in the top flight, with a staggering 15 appearances coming from the bench. He's made six starts in other competitions, however, so he has been as involved as his midfield teammate.


5.48pmAs for Christian Eriksen, he has probably been dropped to the bench because he has made 30 starts in all competitions this season. The rest is long overdue. Victor Wanyama is also on 30 starts, while Dele Alli isn't far behind them on 28 starts. It's a lot of appearances in modern-day football so it will be interesting to see how they will be used in the coming weeks.

5.52pmPREDICTION! Spurs are favourites to prevail this evening, especially given the team selected by Pochettino, but for Gent, this is one of the biggest fixtures in their history and we expect them to rise to the occasion. That said, Spurs possess quality in all areas of the pitch and we think they will be able to fight to a 2-1 win.

5.59pmHere comes the two sides. It's extremely busy on the roads in Gent so we aren't quite at full capacity just yet. The Europa League anthem is banging out at the Ghelamco Arena so kickoff is coming right up.

1 minSpurs get us underway.

2 minIt's a very positive start from the home side who should manage to get a shot on target inside the opening 60 seconds but Milecevic fails to make a proper connection with his first-time shot inside the penalty area.

5 minGent are doing a good job in making Spurs work during these opening stages. Kane is having to put a shift in to close the ball down. He manages to do just that though and the visitors finally have some of the ball.

8 minSpurs have twice had the chance to get a cross into the box but on both occasions, the low book into Kane and Alli isn't enough to fashion a chance. Gent look lively down the right but Spurs have come back into this one quite well.

11 minSHOT! This is excellent from Spurs and it very nearly leads to a goal. Winks and Davies combine to set up Alli and he only has eyes on getting a shot on goal from distance. It's a super strike but it goes a yard wide of the post, maybe even less than that.

15 minThis developing into a good game. Spurs are creating the better football in the final third but Gent are not overawed. In fact, they are prepared to have the majority of possession, which goes against the theory that they may look to play on the break tonight.

20 minSaief does superbly down the left to earn his side their first corner of the night. It gives his teammates from the back a chance to get forward and although Milicevic's corner is poor, the ball is returned into the penalty area and a shot is scuffed well wide of the target.

23 minSpurs have retreated back into the shell to a certain degree. They are offering very little threat going forward now and Gent are growing in confidence. The Belgian side almost set up another chance to get the ball into the box from the left but the final pass had too much pace on it.

26 minSaief is becoming an increasing threat in this game and he isn't shy in getting himself into the box. A powerful run ends with him trying to find the bottom corner of the net but his effort hits a defender and goes away to safety.

29 minSHOT! This would have been the goal of the Europa League so far, but the spectacular didn't come close to succeeding. Foket's lofted pass found Dejaegere around 25 yards out but his first-time volley was directed high into the stands.

32 minSHOT! Alli tries a similar effort for Spurs down the other end but he, too, fires harmlessly into the stands after meeting Sissoko's knockdown.

36 minDembele has taken it upon himself to get into the game with a couple of bursts from midfield but he is being well marshalled by Gent. He's been quiet so far - it's been Winks or Alli who have provided the biggest threat for Spurs.

40 minAt the quarter-hour mark, I had high hopes for this game but it has been very scrappy indeed. Gent have rested half of their regular XI, too. Spurs look average. We are yet to see Kane do anything in the final third.

43 minSHOT! Dembele doesn't score many goals but he tries his luck from 25 yards, forcing Kalinic into a comfortable save. Still, it's a bit more encouraging from Spurs.

45 minHALF TIME: Gent 0-0 Tottenham Hotspur

6.47pmThe half-time whistle goes in Belgium and the fact that the referee added on no injury time tells you everything you need to know about the first 45 minutes. See you again in 15 minutes ...

7.01pmThe two teams have made their way back out. This can only get better.

46 minGent get us back underway.

47 minSpurs have returned for the second half with a greater sense of urgency but a couple of moves have broken down before reaching the penalty area. Better, though. Better.

49 minWOODWORK! Kane hits the post! It comes from some clever play from Walker and what appears to be a dive by Alli as he entered the penalty area, but Kane's shot on the turn struck the outside of the post.

49 minMoments after that near miss, Dembele saw a volley claimed by Kalinic at the second attempt. Spurs must have had a right telling off at half time.

53 minCHANCE! Gent come straight back at Spurs with the ball falling invitingly for Milicevic inside the penalty area but his volley is always going wide of the far post.

54 minBOOKING! Walker goes into the referee's book for a wild lunge on the halfway line. So unnecessary. The official got it spot on.

57 minAlli almost jinks his way past three players inside the Gent penalty area but the final defender managed to kick the ball against him and win a goal kick. Almost something very special from the midfielder.

59 minGOAL! Gent 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur (Perbet)

59 minGent take the lead! Disaster for Spurs. Milicevic managed to get to the byline before finding Perbet around 10 yards out. His first effort is blocked but he makes no mistake with the second as he finds the bottom corner. A teammate also touches the ball on the line - meaning it would have been ruled out for offside - but he jumped above it to allow Perbet to celebrate.

62 minKane wins a free kick on the edge of the area and it's in these kind of situations where Spurs could do with Eriksen. He remains on the bench.

63 minSHOT! Dier takes on the responsibility but at 30 yards out, it was always a bit optimistic to shoot from here. His shot goes wide of the post without much power.

66 minWhat a touch from Davies at the back post. He stops Milicevic from probably scoring from close range. That would have left Spurs up against it. That's putting it mildly. Eriksen needs to be introduced here because Spurs are doing very little from open play.

68 minSUBSTITUTION! It's Son Heung-min who is being introduced. Dembele is the man to make way.

71 minThere's less than 20 minutes remaining in this game and I'd say Gent are more likely to score a second than Spurs are to find an equaliser. Mitrovic goes close with a header at the back post after breaking clear from his marker.

71 minSUBSTITUTION! Georges-Kevin N'Koudou is now being thrown on by Pochettino, with Sissoko the man to be withdrawn.

73 minBOOKING! Alli is the second Spurs player to be booked after complaining to the referee.

76 minSAVE! Has Lloris just kept Spurs in this tie? Milicevic receives the ball on the edge of the area and he has so much time to get a shot on goal. His left-footed effort is a good one but Lloris gets down low to tip the ball onto the post and Spurs survive.

80 minSUBSTITUTION! Last throw of the dice from Pochettino, who finally decides to put Eriksen onto the pitch. Winks comes off, but he has been one of his side's better performers tonight.

81 minSHOT! It takes Eriksen all of a minute to get involved but he shoots over the crossbar from 20 yards.

85 minAlli has been deployed in a deeper position since the introduction of Son but he shows he should be further forward with a delicate pass through to the onrushing Davies. However, the Welsh left-back doesn't time his run and when Son gets involved, he is ruled offside.

90 minThere will be four minutes of added-on time. Can Spurs snatch an away goal?

90+2 minTwo minutes of the four have gone by and Spurs have produced nothing in the final third. This game has really gotten away from them.

90+4 minFULL TIME: Gent 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur

7.52pmThe full-time whistle has gone in Belgium and Gent have comfortably held on for a terrific 1-0 win over Spurs, who produced their second below-par display in a row. Pochettino will be concerned with how little his side offered in the final third and they must now regroup ahead of an important seven days in this competition and the FA Cup.

7.53pmThat will be all from Sports Mole for this game. Thank you for joining us this evening and we hope that you can stick around for the Manchester United match which is scheduled to get underway in just over 10 minutes time. Goodbye for now.

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino looks on during his side's Premier League clash with Crystal Palace at White Hart Lane on August 20, 2016
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