Rennes (France) (AFP) – The equalizer of substitute Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg allowed Tottenham Hotspur to come away with a 2-2 draw as they travel to France to face Rennes in the new Europa League Conference on Thursday.
Loïc Bade’s homeward goal put Spurs ahead in an entertaining game in Brittany, but Flavien Tait equalized and Gaetan Laborde gave Rennes the lead in the 72nd minute.
This lead was quickly canceled out by Hojbjerg and under the circumstances it is a good result for Nuno Espirito Santo’s side at Tottenham, who were on the rebound after their 3-0 defeat at Crystal Palace last weekend.
The result also pleased the Rennes support who, frustrated by the recent performances, had deployed a giant banner before kick-off with the message in English: “Are you ready to fight?
If finishing in the Premier League top four and returning to the Champions League is to be a priority for Spurs, it would be wise not to overlook a competition that offers a realistic path to silverware for a club that hasn’t won anything since. the Coupe de la Ligue in 2008.
Their next match in Group G is against Slovenian champions Mura, on paper the weakest side in the group and who lost 2-0 at home to Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem on Thursday.
However, it was not a smooth trip to France for Tottenham ahead of facing Chelsea this weekend.
They were forced to spend Wednesday evening 100 kilometers in the city of Saint-Brieuc because an international agricultural exhibition in Rennes this week meant a shortage of hotel rooms.
Nuno then lost his two starting wingers, Steven Bergwijn and Lucas Moura, to blows during the match.
– Quiet night for Kane –
The coach had made seven changes since the Crystal Palace debacle, with Son Heung-min among the players left behind in England while Hugo Lloris was one of those left on the bench.
Harry Kane, whose only goals so far this season have been against Portugal’s Pacos de Ferreira in play-offs, played and wore the captain’s armband.
The visitors took the lead in 11 minutes when Kane released Lucas on the right flank and the Brazilian’s low ball through the goal was transformed into its own net by the hapless Baden.
However, Rennes are an ambitious club, having spent around 80million euros ($ 94million) on new signings in the summer window.
They equalized in the middle of the first half as Tait brought the ball beautifully, played a one-two with Serhou Guirassy and completed a nice low shot past Pierluigi Gollini into the goal.
Kane had a calm evening although he forced a save by Rennes goalkeeper Romain Salin at the end of the first half. He was taken out shortly after the break to make way for 17-year-old Dane Scarlett.
Rennes’ 21,500 fans then watched as their team took the lead when Laborde hit the sidelines after Gollini fended off Kamaldeen Sulemana’s shot. It was a Rennes first goal for the striker, a recent € 15million purchase from Montpellier.
However, Spurs were tied four minutes later when Tait was only able to help Matt Doherty’s cross from the right to Hojbjerg, and the Danish midfielder jumped up to score.
The Conference League is the new third tier of European club competitions and includes a single team from each of the continent’s biggest leagues.
Roma are the representatives of Italy and Jose Mourinho’s side face CSKA Sofia later on Thursday.
Union Berlin, the only German team, face Slavia Prague, while there is no Spanish team at all as the future representative Villarreal won the Europa League and thus qualified for the League of champions.