Fiorentina 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur


Nacer Chadli’s goal was his sixth of the season

Tottenham will take an away goal into the second leg of their Europa League last-32 tie with Fiorentina after a draw in Italy.

Spurs took the lead in the first half when Ben Davies was fouled inside the area and Nacer Chadli stepped up to roll the ball home from the spot.

However, Federico Bernardeschi equalised when his deflected strike looped into the net.

Dele Alli shot over late on for Spurs, but a draw was a fair result.

Relive Tottenham’s draw at Fiorentina here

Can Tottenham challenge for three trophies?

Tottenham would be forgiven for prioritising domestic success over European glory this season, given that they are in a strong position to challenge for a first league title in 55 years.

They are second in the Premier League, two points behind leaders Leicester, but manager Mauricio Pochettino has expressed a desire to win every competition they are involved in.

Although he made six changes to the side that beat Manchester City on Sunday, there were still several first teamers involved, including Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen and Chadli.

For large periods of the match they looked like the home side as Fiorentina, perhaps aware of the visitors’ threat on the counter-attack, adopted a cautious approach and did not register a shot on target in the first half.

It was not a classic Tottenham display, but the fact that a much-changed team was able to secure a positive result away to a Fiorentina side that has won 10 of their 13 home games this season bodes well for Pochettino’s ambitions.

Aggressive Alli benefits from patient Pochettino

Pochettino has been much praised for nurturing Tottenham’s young talent, with one of the most exciting to emerge during his reign being Alli.

The 19-year-old was perhaps a surprise starter for Spurs and once again showed glimpses of the brilliance he is capable of, notably producing a neat bit of skill that almost got him out of trouble when surrounded by four Fiorentina players.

He did, however, show immaturity when he kicked out at defender Nenad Tomovic, and was perhaps lucky to get away with a booking.

It might have been easy for Pochettino to substitute the midfielder soon after to avoid a potential sending off, but the Argentine instead showed his trust in the youngster by keeping him on.

Pochettino was almost rewarded late on when Alli’s spectacular acrobatic effort was just over.

Man of the match – Dele Alli


His moment of frustration aside, Dele Alli was the heartbeat of Tottenham’s best moments

What next?

The return leg is at White Hart Lane on 25 February. Before then, Spurs host Crystal Palace in the FA Cup on Sunday.

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