Spurs travelled to France as group leaders with Sporting Lisbon second, level on points with Frankfurt who they led on head-to-head. Marseille, Tottenham’s opponents, were bottom of the group and knew a win would send them through no matter what.
Both matches kicked off with all four teams in with a chance of progressing. Within 39 minutes, Sporting took a 1-0 lead over Frankfurt, sending them top of the group, above Tottenham who would still qualify.
But then Marseille went 1-0 up on the stroke of half-time. That goal reshuffled the pack as they suddenly jumped up to second place, moving Spurs into third and heading towards the Europa League.
It did not take long for Tottenham to respond in the second half, and when Clement Lenglet made it 1-1, they jumped back up to second, pushing Marseille down to third.
Frankfurt then made a move in the 62nd minute, equalising with Sporting, meaning Tottenham returned to the top of the group.
The German side scored again 10 minutes later meaning they overtook Tottenham as group leaders and Sporting were bumped down to fourth. That game finished 2-1 and they had to wait to find out the outcome in France.
Spurs were clinging on at 1-1 as Marseille pushed for the winner, but it was Tottenham midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg who struck in the 95th minute.
That goal meant Tottenham went through as group winners and Marseille missed out on European football altogether for the rest of the season, dropping to the bottom of the table.
Hugo Lloris on Spurs victory in France
“To be honest, we expected that type of game. The Stade Velodrome is a very difficult place to deal with and I think we showed great personality”
“Clement (Lenglet) scored a very important goal in France, in front of the French people. The second goal from Pierre (Hojbjerg) confirmed things for the group. We didn’t play well during the first half. Maybe we didn’t know what would happen if we attack. It wasn’t good for us to play this type of first half.
“We speak in the locker room – we start the second half with much more personality and aggressive. We play a very good second half.
“It was a tough night, a great battle and even more psychological battle because we could feel in the first half a team was playing without the fear to lose, it was Marseille, and in the second half we face a team with the fear to lose.”