Tottenham Hotspur vs. Olympique Lyonnais: Final score 1-1, Spurs through on aggregate

Jamie McDonald

Moussa Dembele, you're pretty neat.

Tottenham Hotspur are somehow, some way, heading to the Round of 16 in the Europa League. They struggled mightily to create chances throughout the match, but Moussa Dembele rescued his side with a spectacular 90th minute strike from just outside the penalty area. Olympique Lyonnais looked all but through for most of the match, but Spurs have advanced with a 1-1 draw on the night and a 3-2 aggregate win.

In the opening 15 minutes, Spurs looked like the better team had had control of the match, but bad set piece defending was their undoing. Maxime Gonalons nodded in a free kick in the 17th minute, slipping free of Gareth Bale on an in-swinging ball to the near post.

Spurs' best chance of the first half came just before the halftime whistle, on a long shot by Lewis Holtby. He took a speculative rip from 25 yards that took a deflection off a defender, but Remi Vercoutre was able to get his fingers on the shot and tip it onto the near post, preventing what would have been a fantastic goal.

Things didn't improve much for Tottenham to start the second half. They continued to give the ball away frequently and do very little going forward, though they did create one brilliant chance early on. Scott Parker and Emmanuel Adebayor combined to create a brilliant chance in the 50th minute, with Adebayor curling a great cross to Bale on a counter, but Spurs' star pushed a sitter just wide of the near post.

Brad Friedel almost gifted Lyon a second goal in the 62nd minute when he made a poor decision to come out and clear a ball in to Bafetimbi Gomis. He botched his clearance and the ball fell to Alexander Lacazette, who looked to have a great chance to score. Instead, he went down easily under little or no contact from Friedel in an attempt to draw a penalty, which was not given.

Two minutes later, Aaron Lennon had a penalty shout. On a corner, Adebayor backed down his defender and flicked the ball over his head, inadvertently hitting the crossbar. Aaron Lennon was barged from behind as he tried to make a play on the ball, but the referee waved play on again.

Andre Villas-Boas made three substitutions in an attempt to change the game, but didn't manage to do so. Spurs never looked like scoring until Dembele's fantastic 90th minute shot, which came out of absolutely nowhere. He blew past his defender, making space for himself, then hit a stellar shot across his body to the far post that Vercoutre had almost no chance to save.

It was an all-around poor performance from Spurs, but Lyon weren't fantastic either. Their failure to do anything more than convert on one set piece left the door open for one moment of individual brilliance to win the tie for Spurs, and that's exactly what happend.

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