Marseille 1-2 Tottenham: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg nets last-gasp winner as Spurs top Champions League group

Match winner: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg sealed top spot in Group D with the final kick  (Getty Images)
Match winner: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg sealed top spot in Group D with the final kick (Getty Images)

Tottenham booked their place in the last 16 of the Champions League in dramatic fashion as Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg netted with the final kick of the match to seal a 2-1 win over Marseille.

At the halfway stage of their final group-stage match, Spurs were heading out of the competition after Chancel Mbemba’s thunderous header capped off a woeful first-half showing from the incredibly passive visitors.

The almost inevitable improvement came after the break though and Clement Lenglet headed them level, before Hojbjerg scored deep into stoppage-time as Marseille left themselves exposed in search of a winner. After a largely chaotic group stage, Spurs are through to the knockout stages in top spot.

Marseille took charge of the ball from the opening whistle and that proved to be the pattern for the entire first-half, as Spurs dropped deep and barely ventured beyond the halfway line.

Alexis Sanchez flicked a header wide and was then denied by Hugo Lloris, before the Frenchman was also called into action as Jordan Veretout hammered an effort at goal. The visitors’ problems mounted as Heung-min Son was forced off with a head injury to add to the woes in forward areas.

Spurs became even more negative from that point onwards, seemingly hanging on for the half-time whistle but when it came they were a goal behind. The ball was whipped to the back post after a short corner and Mbemba rose superbly to head home and give his side a thoroughly deserved lead.

As is their party piece, Tottenham woke up after the break and finally showed some attacking intent, Harry Kane just about prevented from having a tap-in by some alert goalkeeping.

The equaliser came though, with set-pieces once again the saviour for Spurs. Ivan Perisic whipped the free-kick in and Lenglet directed the header past Pau Lopez to silence the home fans. Almost exactly at the same time, Frankfurt equalised against Sporting to return Spurs to the top of Group D.

Another goal for the Bundesliga side took them to the summit of the group and knocked Tottenham back down to second, though they knew a draw in France would be good enough to see them into the last 16.

That meant Spurs were never likely to be too ambitious in their search for a winner that would have sealed top spot, though Marseille’s need for all three points made the match increasingly stretched regardless.

Hojbjerg’s strike was hammered against the bar after a lovely move from the visitors, before Kane was denied by a sensational last-ditch challenge from Mbemba. Amine Harit nearly found a winner at the other end, but found a wall of blue shirts in his way.

The biggest chance fell to Sead Kolasinac, though the narrative of the former Arsenal man knocking Spurs out of the Champions League was almost too perfect and he directed his header wide when completely free at the back post.

Marseille continued to flood forward and it cost them, as Hojbjerg broke away and finished brilliantly with the final kick of the match to send Spurs through as group winners.