Richarlison scored two goals with a late header to defeat Tottenham in the 10-man Marseille goal in the return of the Champions League football in north London.
It’s been more than two years since I’ve kicked a ball in this competition in their superb stadium, and although it took 76 minutes to get past their stride, it was the Brazilian who led Spurs to victory.
Marseille looked at ease until Chancel Mbemba was sent off for denying him a clear-scoring opportunity shortly after halftime to knock out Heung Min Son.
Until then, Spurs lacked any real conviction in their attacking play and Richarlison’s opening goal – a header from 10 yards – was Antonio Conte’s first attempt on goal.
Then Spurs went and scored his second goal on target when Richarlison showed superb game-ending skills to convert a Pierre-Emile Hojberg cross with another header.
The overwhelming nature of his achievement in what was his Champions League debut became too much for him throughout when his family embraced him. The new number 9 at Tottenham was left in tears, realizing the stage he had just played.
Tottenham Loris (6), Romero (7), Dier (7), Lenglet (6), Royal (7), Bentancourt (6), Hojburg (7), Perisic (7), Richarlison (8), Son (7), Kanye (7)
Subs: Tanganga (6), Davies (6), Bissouma (6), Kulusevski (8), Doherty (6)
Marseille: Lopez (5), Mpemba (5), Bailly (6), Gigot (6), Klaus (6), Roengir (6), Veretot (6), Tavares (6), Guendouzi (7), Suarez (6) Gerson (6)
Subs: Harit (6), Ballerdi (6), Under (6), Joy (6), Kolasinac (6)
Match player: Richardson
How Richarlson Saved the Stateree Spears…
Marseille were 30 minutes late arriving at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium but Spurs looked unprepared in the early stages. In a quiet first half as Spurs gave up possession and allowed the visitors to hit the ball from distance, it was Harry Kane who had the best chance in 40 minutes but sent a low shot off the far post.
Of their endeavours from distance, it took 45 minutes for Marseille to test Hugo Lloris when former Arsenal player Matteo Guendouzi sent in a low kick from 25 yards.
The game-changing moment came when Mbemba – who was at Newcastle previously – badly timed his last encounter with Son who was too quick for the defender. The referee had no choice but to raise the red card.
Tottenham’s siege was expected in Marseille’s goal, but it did not materialize, with the guests delighted with the defense in the depths of the penalty area. The introduction of Dejan Kulusevsky revitalized the lives of the landlords because his direct evasion gave Marseille a different problem to negotiate.
When the goal came it was simple but effective in getting it done. Ivan Perisic cut off his left foot from the right and found Richarlison with a delicate cross. The Brazilian hit a header through the gloves of Pau Lopez, who probably should have performed better.
There wasn’t much the goalkeeper could do with Richarlison’s second goal, which came five minutes later. Hogberg delivers ammunition from the left this time and Richarlison fires a clever-headed shot at the end.
For a boy from a small town in southeastern Brazil, that’s what dreams are made of.
Spurs can now hit you from all angles
Louis Jones from Sky Sports:
In times of stress and frustration, it is usually Harry Kane who gets Spurs out of a difficult situation. He was not needed on this occasion as Tottenham now have another world-class scorer who only needs a moment to make a difference in the match. Richarlison has been riding to save Spurs here with a rather ugly win.
One of Spurs’ problems in trying to get to the next level with Kane up front has been the difficult task of convincing a central striker with enough talent to make the move and possibly play as Kane’s replacement. That’s why Richarlison is a clever signature from Antonio Conte. They now have Kane’s replacement, who in his day isn’t too far off from the England superstar’s ability, but the beauty of Richarlison is that such is his resilience and desire to play anywhere across the frontline and he’s pretty good at him too. There is child-like joy in the way Richarlison plays football, especially in a competition he is clearly very eager to make his mark on.
“I’m happy for Richarlison,” Conte said.
“He deserved a night like this. I remember he told me when he signed that he wanted to listen to Champions League music and play in this competition. Those were important words from him.”
Conte: Three important points
Antonio Conte Talking to Sports BT: “Today we were expecting a really tough match. Marseille is a physical team but with good quality. In the first half we lost a lot of duels. When you play against this type of team, it’s really aggressive, it’s important to keep the ball in the second half we did that.”
“Marseille is a good team. For us it was important to get the three points and start well in this tournament. We need to have confidence. They are not defeated this season.
“Richardison is in good shape. We have to play in two days against Manchester City. Now we have to try to rest and recover well. City played yesterday so we have another day to rest. In my opinion this is very important.”
September 13: Sporting Lisbon (A) – The match starts at 5.45 pm
October 4th: Eintracht Frankfurt (a) The match starts at 8 pm
October 12: Eintracht Frankfurt (H) – The match starts at 8 pm
October 26: Sporting Lisbon (H) – The match starts at 8 pm
November 1st: Marseille (a) The match starts at 8 pm
Tottenham Can top the English Premier League by beating the champions Manchester on Saturday, Live on Sky Sports; Match starts at 5:30 p.m.
Marseille They will look to continue challenging the Ligue 1 title at home until night Saturday at 8 pm.