Tottenham Hotspur moved to the top of their Champions League group following a narrow victory over Eintracht Frankfurt on Wednesday (12 October), but they still have work to do if they want to advance to the knockout stages.
Spurs were held to a goalless draw when they visited Germany for the first-leg of the clash, but a 3-2 win at their home stadium took their tally to seven points after two wins and a draw.
Daichi Kamada put the Europa League reigning champions ahead 14 minutes into the game, but their lead did not last long as Heung-min Son drew Antonio Conte’s men level five minutes later.
Harry Kane put his side ahead nine minutes later from the spot, and Son made it 3-1 with a brilliant goal nine minutes from the break.
The Bundesliga side had their woes compounded when they were reduced to 10 men with 30 minutes left on the clock after Tuta was shown two yellow cards in three minutes.
Frankfurt fought back, though, making it 3-2 through Faride Alidou from a corner with just three minutes away from regulation time.
Spurs had a chance to make it 4-2 from the spot and put the game to bed in the closing seconds of the game, but Kane could only blast his effort way over the bar, and the miss could prove costly in the long run.
While the North Londoners top Group D, Marseille and Sporting Lisbon are just a point behind them on six points apiece, while the Germans have four points.
No one in the group is in or out of the last-16 yet, and the next two games will be very crucial.
Goal difference could end up playing a huge role in who finishes where in Group D given how tight the race has been, and it will be interesting to see how things go.
Conte will be optimistic about his side’s chances, but getting the maximum points against the French and Portuguese sides will not come easy.
They lost 2-0 to Sporting in September away from home having secured a win over Marseille at home earlier that month by the same scoreline.
The second legs are crucial for the three teams, and Tottenham need at least four points to maintain their place at the top of the standings.
While they are not widely regarded as one of the contenders for the Champions League this term, Spurs will want to go all the way, and Conte will be keen to win the top prize for the first time in his managerial career.
The club last won silverware in 2008, and the Italian was employed to help end their drought.
They are currently third in the Premier League table after 10 games, with four points between them and leaders Arsenal, and it is safe to say they are one of the title contenders in 2022-23.
It remains to be seen whether the same can be said of them in the Champions League.
On the other hand, Frankfurt are fifth in the German top-flight table after five wins, two draws and three defeats, six points behind leaders Union Berlin, and while nobody sees them as contenders for the Bundesliga title, they will be keen to impress Europe as they did last term.