Tottenham Hotspur 0, Bayer Leverkusen 1: Mauricio Pochettino ashamed and embarrassed as Spurs pushed closer to Champions League exit

 
Frank Dalleres
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Tottenham Hotspur FC v Bayer 04 Leverkusen - UEFA Champions League
Kampl scored the only goal of the game in the 65th minute (Source: Getty)

Tottenham Hotspur 0, Bayer Leverkusen 1

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino admitted to being "ashamed and embarrassed" after defeat to Bayer Leverkusen left his team's Champions League hopes dangling by a thread.

Winger Kevin Kampl's second-half strike condemned Spurs to a second defeat from two home games at Wembley, meaning they must win at Group E leaders Monaco next time or risk elimination with one match to spare.

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The hosts had a goal disallowed and hit the crossbar with a late free-kick but were otherwise impotent as they failed to score in open play for a fifth consecutive game -- and failed to win for the sixth in a row.

Pochettino again insisted that the part-time move to Wembley while building work continues at White Hart Lane could be no excuse and challenged to Tottenham win their remaining two group matches.

"Tell me one place better to play in the world than here? It's impossible to find another better to play than Wembley. If we don't show our real quality it's our problem. It's here inside us, it's not Wembley," he said.

"[There were] 85,000 people for us today, like it was for Monaco. It's something to be ashamed of. It's embarrassing for me -- the players too, they feel the same. But we need to find the solution.

"Now, yes we must win. If not, forget the Champions League. That's the truth. We need to be critical, put ourselves in front of the mirror and say 'hey, come on'. That is very important."

The tight nature of the group -- three points separated the four teams before kick-off -- made for a cagey start and it took 32 minutes for either side to muster an attempt at goal, on or off target.

Spurs midfielder Christian Eriksen's run had Leverkusen retreating until he blasted straight at goalkeeper Bernd Leno, although the visitors had a better chance seconds later when former Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez's shot deflected inches wide.

Dele Alli had the ball in the net just before half-time only for a foul to be given earlier in the move, and referee Jonas Eriksson thwarted the Tottenham midfielder again early in the second half when he appealed for penalty after tumbling over Omer Toprak.

Right-back Kyle Walker proved an unlikely threat when he surged past three defenders and sent a low ball across the face of goal, but again the Bundesliga's 10th-placed team responded, Hernandez forcing a block from Jan Vertonghen and then a save from Hugo Lloris.

Livewire Kampl broke the deadlock on 65 minutes when Chile midfielder Charles Aranguiz's long-range shot ricocheted off Ben Davies and then Walker, falling kindly to the Slovenia international to slot past Lloris from close range.

Tottenham, playing their sixth game in 19 days, continued to labour but had one more chance. Defender Eric Dier's free-kick beat Leno but crashed against the bar, and Leverkusen captain Toprak beat a flat-footed Vincent Janssen to the rebound.

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