Tottenham player ratings vs AC Milan: Spurs out ideas and out of the Champions League
Ten-man Tottenham crashed out of the Champions League with a whimper, drawing 0-0 with AC Milan in a dour affair.
After their 1-0 defeat at the San Siro in the first leg, Antonio Conte ensured he was back in the dugout for this match, which would define Spurs’ season however it played out.
But Cristian Romero’s careless second yellow card and subsequent dismal for a foul on Theo Hernandez was the most noteworthy action of an otherwise forgettable match. Milan, fifth in Serie A, reach the Champions League quarter-finals at Tottenham’s expense.
The defeat left Spurs ruing poor discipline and a lack of creativity rather than a catalogue of missed chances. It will be another trophyless season for them.
Dom Smith was at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to rate the Spurs players…
Fraser Forster — 6
Had next to nothing to do in the first half. After the break, just when Spurs were beginning to click, Milan broke away and Forster made an excellent save with his leg to deny Brahim Diaz
Cristian Romero — 4
Made a mistimed tackle on Rafael Leao early on, so was given his inevitable booking. It would have meant he was suspended for the first-leg of the quarter-finals if Spurs had got there. He ensured they didn’t by picking up a second yellow late on
Clement Lenglet — 5
Like Romero, picked up a needless first-half booking. Otherwise tidy enough.
Ben Davies — 6
Won the ball intelligently and was a threat down the left channel on the overlap, but more so in the first half.
Emerson Royal — 7
Seems to have really upped his game in recent weeks, conveniently since the signing of Pedro Porro in January. Popped up in surprisingly advanced positions, but only when a teammate was covering the space he had left behind. Filled in at left wing-back when Perisic made way.
Oliver Skipp — 6
Got himself about, without ever looking like he would be the person to unlock the Milan defence. A similarly workmanlike performance to that which he put in at the San Siro.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg — 6
Sometimes criticised for being a sideways passer less focused on tackling and regaining the ball for his team, that wasn’t the case here. A mature, battling display from the Dane. Nearly scored.
Ivan Perisic — 5
Was not one of the 2018 World Cup finalist’s better nights. Offered little protection defensively and did not join in with Spurs’ admittedly few attacks either. Replaced by Pedro Porro before the 55-minute mark
Dejan Kulusevski — 5
Went forward with purpose when released by the likes of Kane and Royal, but his final product was lacking once more. That’s been a familiar theme since his return from injury in November.
Harry Kane — 6
Spurs lacked their midfield-to-attack link again, so that became Kane’s job. Pivoted and played the ball typically well, but therefore wasn’t the focal point Antonio Conte wants him to be. So nearly levelled late on but Maignan saved his header.
Heung-min Son — 5
Most of his crossing was as off-colour as the South Korean’s general game has been all season.
Pedro Porro (Perisic, 53’) — 6
Offered more than Perisic did, crossing nicely for Kane to head just wide. A promising cameo, but it made little difference for Spurs in the end.
Richarlison (Emerson, 70’) — 5
Made a pretty ineffectual appearance off the bench.
Davinson Sanchez (Kulusevski, 83’) N/A
Not used: Austin, Whiteman, Danjuma, Tanganga, Moura, Sarr, Devine