Tottenham Hotspur suffered their first Europa League defeat of the season on Thursday night as they lost 2-1 to Anderlecht in Belgium.
Spurs took an early lead with Christian Eriksen’s 25th goal for the club, but they were pegged back inside the opening 15 minutes when Guillaume Gillet netted a stunner.
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Despite picking what was arguably his strongest available side – apart from Harry Kane beginning on the bench to make way for Clinton N’Jie his first Spurs start – Mauricio Pochettino watched his side struggle throughout most of the match.
Kane replaced the disappointing N’Jie just before the hour and spurned an excellent chance eight minutes later.
However, most of the chances came at the other end, where Anderlecht finally made their superiority pay when Stefano Okaka tapped home 15 minutes from time.
Okaka was trying to put his left boot on seconds before he slammed Frank Acheampong’s low cross beyond Hugo Lloris.
In fact, he had to abandon his boot-attaching mission to score the goal, meaning he wasn’t properly dressed as he fired home.
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Spurs lacked composure and their play become frantic as they search an equaliser, which never looked like coming.
The result is Anderlecht’s first win over an English side in almost exactly 15 years – their last was a 2-1 victory against Manchester United on October 24, 2000.
Europa League Group J is finely poised after three rounds of fixtures. Unbeaten Monaco top the table with five points. Spurs and Anderlecht have four each, while Qarabag have three.