The equalizer of substitute Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg allowed Tottenham Hotspur to come away with a 2-2 draw when they travel to France to face Rennes in the new Europa League Conference on Thursday.
Loïc Bade’s self-defeating goal gave Spurs the advantage in Brittany but Flavien Tait equalized and Gaétan Laborde gave Rennes the advantage in the 72nd minute.
That lead was quickly canceled out by Hojbjerg and under the circumstances it’s a good result for Nuno Espirito Santo’s Tottenham after their 3-0 defeat at Crystal Palace last weekend.
“It wasn’t perfect, but we showed a lot of character and conviction to change the outcome after we conceded,” Nuno said of his second string formation.
“They’re a tough team to play and it’s not easy to analyze the game – we had a lot of players out of position.”
The Rennes support was pleased with the result, 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..
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 representative of Italy and Jose Mourinho’s side came from behind to beat CSKA Sofia 5-1. Captain Lorenzo Pellegrini scored two goals for Roma with Stephan El Shaarawy, Gianluca Mancini and Tammy Abraham.
Union Berlin, the only German team, lost 3-1 to Slavia Prague, while there is no Spanish team at all as future representative Villarreal won the Europa League to qualify for the League. champions.
Meanwhile, the Lincoln Red Imps made history as Gibraltar’s first team to make the group stage of a European competition as they lost 2-0 at home to PAOK Greece.
Quiet night for Kane
Spurs’ next Group G game will be against Slovenian champions Mura, who lost 2-0 to Dutch 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 agricultural fair in Rennes this week meant a shortage of hotel rooms. Nuno then lost his two starting wingers, Steven Bergwijn and Lucas Moura, to injury during the match.
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 ball through the goal was transformed into its own net by Baden.
Rennes, who spent 80million euros ($ 94million) on new signings this summer, equalized midway through the first half when Tait played a one-two with Serhou Guirassy and completed a low shot. beyond Pierluigi Gollini in the goal.
Kane had a quiet evening although he forced a save by Rennes goalkeeper Romain Salin at the end of the first half before being sent off in the 54th minute.
Rennes’ 21,500 fans then saw their side take the lead when Laborde intervened after Gollini repelled Kamaldeen Sulemana’s shot.
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.