The Wembley Stadium crowd may have found every supporters at full throat with a 67th minute rendition of “When the Spurs Go Marching In.”
[ RECAP: Spurs 3-1 Real ]
And why not? Their home heroes were punishing two-time defending UEFA Champions League winners Real Madrid 3-0, and it looked possible the score line wouldn’t stop there (It didn’t, but not in that way. Ronaldo soiled the clean sheet en route to 3-1).
A mandatory disclaimer before we go any further:Real Madrid is not at its best right now, aside from their sharp-looking change kits on display Wednesday at Wembley Stadium, and is coming off one of the biggest league upsets in football history with a 2-1 loss at Girona at the weekend.
With that out of the way, Tottenham Hotspur’s 3-0 win over visiting Real, coupled with the 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu a fortnight ago, should have Spurs fans dreaming of the pinnacle of European football (and they didn’t need too many Hugo Lloris heroics this time). And lest we forget Spurs were coming off a loss of their own, one at Old Trafford which sank their title hopes just a bit.
Yes, Zinedine Zidane’s tactics would’ve been a bit different had this been an elimination game, and the desperation would’ve been a notch higher, but those factors are true for both teams.
Consider: one year removed from bombing out of the UCL in a weak group, Spurs control their own destiny in a perceived Group of Death.
A tricky trip to the Westfalenstadion to face Borussia Dortmund remains on the docket, but Spurs are moving onto the knockout rounds and stand a solid chance of being Group H’s top seed for the draw.
The excuses would’ve been there had Spurs failed to win, or put in a positive performance. Harry Kane was returning from injury, and Real had been stung with their historic loss in Catalonia.
But Mauricio Pochettino‘s men simply went to work, and showed they can stick with any team in the world. Any demons from Monaco or Bayer Leverkusen were exorcised on Wednesday at Wembley on a night Spurs supporters may never forget.
Moreover, the idea that a player like Harry Kane or Dele Alli would need the Bernabeu to meet their career pinnacles found a supreme obstacle at Wembley: Why leave when you can do it on a nice night in London?