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Match Analysis: Maribor 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur

Match Analysis: Maribor 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur
© PA Photos
Sports Mole analyses the Europa League encounter in Slovenia between Maribor and Tottenham Hostpur.

Tottenham Hotspur made it three draws from three games in Europa League Group J as they again managed just a point, this time in Slovenia against Maribor.

The home side went ahead just before the break when Robert Beric converted Dejan Mezga's cross, and despite Spurs improving in the second period they could only muster one goal through Gylfi Sigurdsson.

Sports Mole analyses the key talking points from Thursday evening's clash at Ljudski vrt stadium.

Match statistics

Maribor
Shots: 10
Shots on target: 4
Possession: 50%
Fouls: 6
Corners: 0

Tottenham
Shots: 14
Shots on target: 4
Possession: 50%
Fouls: 5
Corners: 5

Was the result fair?

Definitely. Both sides had spells of possession throughout the game and neither side created enough chances to deserve the win. Maribor's goal may have come against the run of play but on balance Spurs needed to be much better to win.

Maribor's performance

Maribor's performance was exactly right playing against a more fancied opponent. They were solid at the back to keep out Aaron Lennon and Jermain Defoe for large periods and were threatening on the counter, as evidenced by their opener in the 42nd minute.

Tottenham's performance

Spurs were missing key players in Gareth Bale and Moussa Dembele, and it showed. There was not enough penetration from the midfield and the wide players and could have been caught out more than the once with some slow defending.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Robert Beric led the line fantastically ahead of the deep-lying Tavares. The pair linked up well but Beric showed pace and strength at times and capped his performance with a well-taken goal, one of the few real chances that were created in the game.

Biggest gaffe

There weren't many throughout, but this honour has to go to Andros Townsend, whose poor pass set Mezga free to create Maribor's goal. The youngster was withdrawn at half-time.

Referee's performance

Sergei Karasev showed few clues that he had issued four red cards in three previous matches. He was keen for the match to flow, if sometimes being overly lenient by letting clear fouls go. He could have given a penalty in the second-half to Kyle Naughton, but chose to book the Spurs man instead. It wasn't clear cut, but that's all he can really be criticised for.

What next?

Group J is turning into one of the tightest groups in the competition, with three points separating all four teams. The two sides meet at White Hart Lane for the reverse fixture the very next match day on Novermber 8. Perhaps someone can take control of the group then?

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Gylfi Sigurdsson
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Result: Sigurdsson earns Spurs draw in Slovenia
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