Tottenham will need to deliver a Champions League masterclass in Germany as they head into their last-16 second leg against RB Leipzig trailing 1-0.
Spurs’ run to the final last season was full of great escapes and comeback wins and they will need another after Timo Werner’s second-half penalty gave the Bundesliga side a deserved win in their first ever knockout game in this competition.
It also sees 32-year-old Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann, who has been dubbed ‘Baby Mourinho’ and is a rising star of European football, gain the edge over the man he has been named after.
But Spurs boss Jose Mourinho will claim this was not a fair fight as he was without two of his best attacking players, with the loss Son Heung-min on the eve of the match adding to that of Harry Kane.
The defeat would have been much worse had Hugo Lloris not produced a number of vital saves to keep Leipzig at bay, while Spurs struggled for clear opportunities at the other end.
Giovani Lo Celso had the best of them as his free-kick was turned on to the post, but it was a frustrating night for Mourinho.
Spurs will look to last season’s semi-final, where they turned around a similar first-leg defeat to Ajax with a dramatic night in Amsterdam, and there is the sense that something similar will be required in Leipzig on March 10.
Meanwhile, Atalanta produced a stunning display to beat Valencia 4-1 and continue their fairytale debut campaign in the Champions League.
A brace from Hans Hateboer, a Jisip Ilsic strike and an absolute beauty from Remo Freuler saw off the LaLiga outfit, who were shocked by the intensity and lethal nature of their opponents throughout the encounter.
The hosts nearly took the lead after just eight minutes when Chelsea loanee Mario Pasalic played a one-two with Ilicic but saw his effort pushed over the bar Valencia stopper Jaume Domenech.
However, the deadlock was soon broken when Dutchman Hateboer fired home Papu Gomez’s cross from close range.
The Serie A side doubled their lead just before the interval courtesy of a fierce drive from Ilicic, who has now 16 goals in all competitions this season.
Then, in what was undoubtedly the goal of the evening, Freuler all but finished the tie with a beautiful curling strike past the reach of Domenech.
Hateboer added his second of the game when he marched into the area and buried a low shot into the far corner.
But at 4-0 and cruising, Atalanta eventually conceded a late goal when Jose Luis Palomino’s backpass was picked off by substitute Denis Cheryshev who struck a low shot to reduce the deficit.