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Tottenham Hotspur fail to shine in Besiktas defeat

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Tottenham Hotspur continued their poor form to finish second in Europa League Group C after losing by a single goal away to Besiktas.

The floodlights went out twice, causing two long delays, but Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino cannot point to the disruptions as cause for yet another turgid, insipid display. 

Cenk Tosun tapped in from five yards after Olcay Sahan squared a far post cost to send the Turkish giants top of the group, with Spurs finishing second. Both sides have progressed into the knockout stage, but the North London club could face the drop outs from the Champions League.

Soldado's struggles there for all to see

Spurs actually edged the first half, with Roberto Soldado continuing to struggle in front of goal and spurning two good chances that he should have done better with. Nacer Chadli had a goal rightfully ruled out for offside, while Besiktas failed to test Michel Vorm in the visitor's goal.

The second half was a different story, with Younes Kaboul losing the ball as Pochettino's side let the initiative slip from their grasp far too easily. Besiktas surged forward as a result and Tosun hit the bar, but barely a minute later he was tapping home after a deep cross caught the returning Kyle Walker out of position, and Sahan squared for Tosun to score, the attacker have left  Kaboul behind.

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Walker's comeback a major plus point

Walker's return after nine months out was perhaps the only highlight from the trip to Istanbul, as Tottenham's defence crumbled and the midfield failed to inject any tempo into the play.

Nacer Chadli had another disappointing display, while Paulinho and Benjamin Stambouli offered a workmanlike midfield partnership that was very light on creativity. Mousa Dembele was offered a more advanced role and even though he burst forward impressively on a couple of occassions, he too disappointed, losing the ball far too often, stifling Spurs attacks, and not offering a good enough forward threat.

Soldado had another couple of chances in the second half before he was subbed for Erik Lamela, with Chadli moving into a striker position. The changes did not have the desired effect as Pochettino's side failed to create a meaningful chance, nor get men into the box.

The high tempo display that overcame Everton ten days ago seems an eon away, and Pochettino will have to take a long hard look at his side to work out what to do. If he has learned anything in his time at White Hart Lane it is that far too many of the players are simply not up to the job.

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Topics:
Europa League
Football
Tottenham Hotspur

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