RB Leipzig 3-0 Tottenham: Spurs’ lack of squad depth ruthlessly exposed

K Kearney Soccer Leave a Comment

Spurs’ visit to Germany this evening saw the shocking lack of depth in Jose Mourinho’s squad highlighted clear as day by a superb RB Leipzig side.

Tottenham with it all to do

Mourinho’s men returned to European action a short time ago, with a trip to the Red Bull Arena.

The matchup came as the 2nd of two Champions League Last-16 meetings between the clubs.

Spurs headed into proceedings chasing a result, having been utterly outplayed and eventually downed by Leipzig in north London 3 weeks ago.

A solitary Timo Werner strike shortly before the hour-mark eventually proved telling, as Julian Nagelsmann’s visitors carried a deserved 1-0 advantage into tonight’s return-leg.

LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 19: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) head coach Jose Mourinho of Tottenham Hotspur looks on during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match between Tottenham Hotspur and RB Leipzig at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on February 19, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Roland Krivec/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Slick Leipzig march on

Tottenham’s hopes of turning things around tonight with a first win in 6 across all competitions, though, were essentially distinguished before the Lilywhites had a chance to get going.

With just 20 minutes on the clock, Leipzig had raced out to a 2-0 lead, courtesy of a Marcel Sabitzer brace.

Austrian creator Sabitzer opened the scoring in the 10th minute, with a fine strike.

After Timo Werner’s initial effort was blocked down, Leipzig’s star man cleverly picked out the arriving Sabitzer on the edge of the away side’s box.

And the latter’s driven daisy-cutter somehow managed to make its way beyond the diving Hugo Lloris, who will no doubt be disappointed that he was only able to push the effort onto his far post and in.

And, just 10 minutes later, Sabitzer was back at it again.

After Serge Aurier mistimed a long ball to present the impressive Angelino with the chance to pick out a Leipzig teammate from the left-wing, the on-loan Manchester City man duly obliged.

A pinpoint delivery onto the head of Sabitzer saw the Austrian international somehow find the target from a tight angle, with the power on the effort having again proven too much for the disappointing Hugo Lloris.

LEIPZIG, GERMANY – MARCH 10: Hugo Lloris of Tottenham Hotspur fails to save RB Leipzig second goal scored by Marcel Sabitzer of RB Leipzig during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between RB Leipzig and Tottenham Hotspur at Red Bull Arena on March 10, 2020 in Leipzig, Germany. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images)

The 2nd-half continued in much the same fashion as the opening 45 minutes, with Leipzig having looked dangerous almost every time they burst forward, and Spurs completely and utterly lacking in ideas in attacking areas.

As such, it came as little surprise when the hosts eventually bagged a 3rd.

On the back of yet more shoddy Tottenham defending, substitute Emil Forsberg got in on the act.

Just seconds after being introduced off the bench, the Swedish international slotted beyond Hugo Lloris in confident fashion from 8 yards, to clinch Leipzig’s first-ever Champions League quarter-final berth in style.

Spurs’ lack of options laid bare

For Tottenham, though, it is now back to the drawing board.

Jose Mourinho will have been left with more questions than answers by the performance of his side over the course of the 180 minutes versus Leipzig, with Spurs continuing to paint the picture of a side completely lacking an identity.

The Lilywhites have looked equally as shaky defensively as they have toothless in attack over recent weeks, with the dipping form of the likes of Tanguy Ndombele, Harry Winks and Jan Vertonghen a genuine cause for concern.

Perhaps what tonight, above any of Spurs’ sub-par performances of late highlighted most clearly, though, is the alarming lack of depth present in Jose Mourinho’s squad.

Granted, Tottenham are currently in the midst of something of an injury crisis, with Steven Bergwijn and Davinson Sanchez having joined the likes of long-term absentees Moussa Sissoko, Harry Kane and Heung-min Son on the sidelines over the last couple of days.

However, the XI fielded by Mourinho at the Red Bull Arena, and the subsequent options available to Spurs off the bench, were simply not good enough for a Champions League-calibre side.

Even taking top clubs the likes of Real Madrid, Juventus and Bayern Munich out of the equation, 2nd-tier teams like Chelsea, Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid all have quality options available to step in when their starters are unavailable.

Tottenham, on the other hand, have disaster-waiting-to-happen Serge Aurier as a starting right-back, long-time midfielder Eric Dier all of a sudden shifted back to a centre-half role, and 18-year-old Troy Parrott as the club’s only recognised centre-forward behind Harry Kane.

Tottenham Hotspur’s Dele Alli reacts after RB Leipzig’s Marcel Sabitzer (not pictured) scores his side’s first goal of the game during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match at the Red Bull Arena, Leipzig. (Photo by John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images)

The list of issues goes on, but the bottom line for Spurs is this:

If the capital outfit have any hope at all of repeating their Champions League heroics of last season over the campaigns to come, a squad overhaul, including major investment, is needed this summer.

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