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Stade Rennais 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur: Højbjerg rescues point for Spurs to open Conference League group stage

Spurs took the lead in the first half through an own goal

Stade Rennes v Tottenham Hotspur: Group G - UEFA Europa Conference League Photo by John Berry/Getty Images

Pierre-Emile Højbjerg came to the rescue for Tottenham Hotspur, scoring a second half equalizer to ensure the team would earn a point at Stade Rennais in the first match of the UEFA Europa Conference League group stage. It was a disappointing 90 minute shift for the visitors, who showed little attacking vision and made sloppy defensive errors to concede.

First Half

3’ — Tanguy Ndombele and Steven Bergwijn combine for Tottenham’s first real shot, but Bergwijn’s shot doesn’t hit the target.

11’ — GOAL TOTTENHAM! Ndombele keeps the ball in play from the right side of the pitch, which Oliver Skipp quickly picks up and sends Harry Kane’s way. Kane then quickly the ball to Lucas Moura, who makes a run for goal, with his shot hitting Rennes’ Loic Badré on the way in for an own goal.

18’ — Ben Davies sent a cross towards Lucas in front of goal for a header, but the ball heads out of play.

20’ — Benjamin Bourigeaud sends a ball towards Pierluigi Gollini, who makes the save. Adrien Truffert attempts to score on the rebound, but sends the ball over the goal.

23’ — GOAL RENNES! Near the penalty spot, Sehrou Guirassy sends the ball behind him to Flavien Tait on the edge of the box. Tait wastes no time and takes the shot, scoring an equalizer.

30’ — Højbjerg comes on for Bergwijn, who went down after Bourigeaud kicks him while trying to get the ball.

42’ — The two teams are trading spells of possession, but having mixed luck on creating meaningful scoring chances. It’s Spurs’ turn to dominate and the visitors record their second shot, with Kane’s shot saved by goalkeeper Romain Salin. Bryan Gil was unsuccessful in his attempt to score on a rebound.

45’+1 — Kamaldeen Sulemana gets on the end of a cross, showing impressive form with a diving header that eventually lands wide of the goal.

Second Half

51’ — Ndombele makes his way into the box and attempts to take a shot, but Salin pounces on the ball to stop the play.

54’ — Dane Scarlett comes on for Lucas, who also comes off with an injury picked up early in the second half. Emerson Royal also comes on for Kane at the same time.

62’ — Spurs have earned a number of freekicks in the second half, all near goal and all that are easily handled by the Rennes defense. The latest is no different, with Bryan’s strike from the right side of the field caught by Salin.

71’ — Royal sends the ball to Højbjerg, who quickly takes a shot from close range. Salin catches the ball, and though it bounces it out of his hands for a moment, he gets a good hold on it.

72’ — GOAL RENNES! Sulemana takes a shot from distance, which Gollini gets his hands on put the goalkeeper then perfectly sets up Gaëtane Laborde to his left. Laborde scores easily from close range to give the hosts the lead.

76’ — GOAL TOTTENHAM! Matt Doherty sends a cross into the box from the right side of the pitch. The ball first comes off Tait before landing at the feet of Højbjerg, who scores the equalizer just minutes after Rennes’ go ahead goal.

90’ — The two teams are going back and forth to try to find a game winning goal, but very few meaningful opportunities have come of their efforts.

Notes on the Match

  • Spurs managed to improve from a first half where they only had three shots, but not to the point where it became an above average attacking performance. By the midway point of the first half, it felt like Nuno Espírito Santo’s team was out of ideas.
  • The attacking issues against Rennes, grouped with the performances so far this season, seem to confirm that Espírito Santo will be sticking with the defense-first style he made his name with at Wolverhampton Wanderers.
  • No one truly had a standout match, but one player worth spotlighting is Ndombele. He had plenty of bright spots during his first appearance of the season, and was crucially involved in Spurs’ first goal.
  • It’s never a great match when you score as many goals as you pick up injuries. Heading into the weekend’s match against Chelsea with an already depleted squad was not ideal, but Bergwijn and Lucas may now be out with the injuries they picked up.