Tottenham striker Harry Kane blasted his “schoolboy” colleagues after defeat to classy Monaco extinguished the north London club’s hopes of reaching the Champions League knockout phase.
Spurs were second best throughout and Kane’s equaliser from the penalty spot, following Djibril Sidibe’s headed opener, provided only temporary relief as Thomas Lemar restored Group E winners Monaco’s lead within a matter of seconds.
CSKA Moscow had handed Tottenham breathing space earlier in the day by netting a late leveller against Bayer Leverkusen, meaning it was no longer a must-win game for Spurs, although defeat would still prove terminal.
But any European assault this season now rests with the Europa League and Spurs will need to avoid defeat against Group E basement side CSKA at Wembley Stadium on 7 December to ensure qualification.
“We weren’t good enough,” said Kane. “We got ourselves back in the game at 1-1 and it’s just a schoolboy error to concede straight after that. It wasn’t great and conceding straight away took the stuffing out of us and we didn’t have enough to come back.
“We wanted to go far in this competition. We’re all disappointed but it’s something we’ll have to deal with. We’ll look back and say the home games were where we should have been better.”
Tottenham wasted a glorious chance to break the deadlock inside five minutes as Dele Alli’s incisive through ball released Son Heung-min, only for the chance to pass as the hesitant South Korean was forced wide by goalkeeper Danijel Subasic.
Monaco are the top scorers in Europe this season but were also guilty of fluffing their lines moments later as Hugo Lloris repelled a weak penalty from Chelsea reject Radamel Falcao after Eric Dier clumsily felled Fabinho.
The Ligue 1 side’s repeated sparring eventually resulted in a landed blow three minutes after the resart; Benjamin Mendy picked out right-back Sidibe who powered a header beyond Lloris.
Tottenham’s response, however, was almost instant. Alli dropped to the ground after the merest of contact from Kamil Glik and the reassuring presence of Kane squeezed home the penalty.
But Spurs were to shoot themselves in the foot just 38 seconds later as Lemar was freed by Sidibe and lashed an accurate, low attempt beyond a static Lloris.