Kiessling miss gives Spurs a point at Leverkusen
Tottenham Hotspur preserved their unbeaten record away this season with a goalless draw at Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday in the Champions League after Stefan Kiessling’s late miss for the hosts.
A decade after Leverkusen lost 1-0 at home to Spurs in the old UEFA Cup, Kiessling was the only survivor in either team from the November 2006 fixture.
But the 32-year-old former Germany striker fired wide seven minutes to deny him the fairytale goal.
Having now drawn their three group games, Leverkusen are third with three points while Spurs stay second behind leaders AS Monaco who drew 1-1 at bottom side CSKA Moscow.
Tottenham are yet to lose in any of their six away trips this season in all competitions, but this was a game of the proverbial two halves.
Spurs dominated the first 45 minutes after Dele Alli and Victor Wanyama got the upper hand in the midfield battle against Leverkusen’s Kevin Kampl and Charles Aranguiz.
But the introduction of burly Austrian Julian Baumgartlinger after the break meant Leverkusen shaded the midfield battle and looked a different side.
Before kick-off, Leverkusen captain Lars Bender shook off the flu to take his place at right-back.
There were three changes from the team which suffered a shock 2-1 defeat at strugglers Werder Bremen on Saturday with Kiessling, right winger Admir Mehmedi and Bender back in.
Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino made four changes to the side which drew 1-1 with West Bromwich Albion on Saturday to preserve their record as the only unbeaten team in England’s top flight.
England defender Eric Dier returned at centre-back while Kieran Trippier made only his second Champions League start at right back.
Son Heung-Min, September’s Premier League’s Player of the Month, started on the left wing against his former club, while England’s Danny Rose returned at left back.
Spurs had the ball in the net with ten minutes gone.
Son got free of the Leverkusen defence and slide his pass away from Bayer goalkeeper Bernd Leno to Vincent Janseen, who slotted into the empty goal, but the offside flag ruled the goal out.
Then Alli headed wide just approaching the half hour mark.
Just before the break, Janssen’s shot smashed off the bar and when the ball bounced back into play, Leno denied Erik Lamela with a reflex save.
It had been all Spurs in the first-half, but Leverkusen gave Tottenham’s goalkeeper Hugo Lloris a busy second 45 minutes.
Bayer were literally inches away from the opening goal on 48 minutes.
Mehmedi’s cross found Hernandez with the goal at his mercy, but the ex-Manchester United ace hit his shot back at Lloris, who scrambled the goal off his line.
Javier Hernandez lambasted the assistant referee, but goal-line technology showed the ball had not crossed the line.
With 67 minutes gone, Leverkusen centre-back Omer Toprak slammed his hand on the turf in frustration after aiming his header straight at Lloris.
Then with time running out Kiessling’s miss meant Spurs left Germany with a point.