A Mislav Orsic masterclass downed Tottenham 3-0 as the Lilywhites bowed out of the UEFA Europa League at the hands of Dinamo Zagreb on Thursday.
Following the FA Cup, Tottenham Hotspur stumbled in yet another cup competition and comprehensively so, after slumping to a 3-0 defeat against Dinamo Zagreb in the UEFA Europa League.
The Lilywhites held a relatively comfortable 2-0 lead heading into the Round of 16 second leg in Zagreb. They even looked somewhat in control when the tie was still 0-0 at half-time after a cagey first 45 minutes. However, a second half masterclass from Mislav Orsic took Jose Mourinho’s men by storm, as the Croat scored a marvellous hat-trick.
He initially opened the scoring around the hour mark, giving Tottenham quite a scare before eventually netting the second with just eight minutes remaining on the clock, forcing the game to extra time. Orsic then finished his hat-trick just one minute into the second half of the extra time, striking the blow that was enough to dump Spurs out of the competition.
As the away side, Spurs could have sealed a tie just by scoring a goal, but they never really managed to break the deadlock, thanks to some diligent defending from the home side as they somehow managed to resist the onslaught.
Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the Tottenham Hotspur side in their dismal performance against Dinamo Zagreb this midweek.
Hugo Lloris: 6/10
It was a poor game for Hugo Lloris, who simply had no answer to any of Orsic’s goals throughout the game. That said, he could not have done anything to deny the Croat his hat-trick as nearly all of his efforts were placed perfectly. Lloris, however, did look nervy with his distribution, though he certainly was not the worst performer for Spurs out there.
Serge Aurier: 2/10
Mourinho’s decision to start with Serge Aurier was an understandable one as Matt Doherty often lacks the defensive discipline. Unfortunately for him, Aurier equally lacked the responsibility of remaining solid in the backline up against the Dinamo Zagreb forward line in this game. Offered movement upfront but to no avail. Absolutely horrendous.
looking at the Spurs-Zagreb highlights… Serge Aurier… YIKES.
— Muhammad Butt (@muhammadbutt) March 18, 2021
Davinson Sanchez: 5/10
Davinson Sanchez looked quite strong defensively, especially in the first half as he soaked up all the pressure from the opposition. However, the defender started crumbling once Dinamo Zagreb pushed harder for the opener. Indeed, the Colombian looked all over the place in dealing with the threat throughout the remainder of the game, looking far too weak for any opposition.
Eric Dier: 4/10
Eric Dier used his imposing presence at the back to dominate the aerial affairs, but his lack of positioning sense meant Dinamo Zagreb found it rather easy to score the equaliser through a cross that found Orsic inside the box. One should expect far better discipline from a defender who has a vast amount of experience at the highest level of football.
Ben Davies: 4/10
Ben Davies played his usual role in Tottenham’s right-sided overload that saw him remain deep to assist the central defenders. The left-back, though, was far from solid and struggled in dealing with the threat of Luka Ivanusec. Offensively, he was quite ineffective as usual, barely offering any productivity or movements going forward.
Moussa Sissoko: 1/10
Moussa Sissoko was by far one of the worst performers for Tottenham Hotspur in this game. He was incompetent in dealing with the opposing midfielders, especially Lovro Majer. In addition, the former Newcastle United star struggled with his tackles or was beaten by attackers far too easily, including the lead-up to the third goal when Orsic breezed past the midfielder.
Harry Winks: 3/10
Harry Winks was brought in to the side to offer more protection in the build-up, but with Dinamo dominating the game, he hardly had a chance to do that. It was indeed a frustrating game for the midfielder and Tottenham had certainly missed the more domineering presence of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.
Erik Lamela: 6/10
Erik Lamela was one of Tottenham’s most active players in the first half. At the same time, though, the attacker was lucky to avoid a second yellow and eventually taken off around the hour mark after his influence waned.
Dele Alli: 5/10
Dele Alli was given the nod ahead of Tanguy Ndombele as part of Mourinho’s rotation policy. The Englishman, though, barely made a case for earning a more prominent place in the first-team. Apart from a first-half chance for Lamela, the playmaker did not offer anything to the game and with Giovani Lo Celso back to full fitness, his days at Spurs could be numbered.
Lucas Moura: 5/10
Lucas Moura was a useful attacking outlet for Tottenham when they did go forward. However, he was not involved in the game enough to make an impact on the proceedings. He was taken off shortly after the equaliser as Mourinho opted for fresh legs in the attacking unit.
Harry Kane: 5.5/10
Harry Kane’s legacy. Two massive misses vs Croatian opposition pic.twitter.com/hMa3fXDHlS
— B3RLlN (@B3RLlN) March 18, 2021
It was a quiet game for Harry Kane, who certainly missed the absence of Son Heung-min alongside him in the attacking third. The absence of runners forced the striker to mostly operate as a typical number nine, so it was a naturally frustrating game for him. Should have scored from a second half chance from a Gareth Bale cross.
Gareth Bale: 5.5/10
Gareth Bale replaced Lamela around the hour-mark, to add more quality in the Tottenham attack. The winger produced a stunning cross for Kane, but aside from that, he didn’t really threaten the opposing backline.
Tanguy Ndombele: 5/10
Ndombele was introduced midway through the second half to offer that additional creative essence in the middle of the park. He was somehow more incompetent than Winks, notably getting easily beaten by Orsic for the third goal.
Giovani Lo Celso: 6.5/10
Giovani Lo Celso replaced the ineffective Alli in the 68th minute. The Argentine offered the early spark with his movements, passing and willingness to test the goalkeeper. A promising display but not enough to seal the tie in Spurs’ favour.
Carlos Vinicius: 4/10
An 85th-minute replacement for Lucas. Did not do much to influence the game.
Sergio Reguilon: 4/10
Replaced Davies late in the game, offering more attacking impetus on the left-hand side. However, the left-back was poor in his forays down the flanks.
Steven Bergwijn: 4/10
A late replacement for Aurier, in what was a desperate attacking move by Mourinho.