Kane's second-half brace and Mourinho's half-time talk spark Tottenham turnaround

Tottenham Hotspur turned a first-half two-goal deficit into a full-time 4-2 win against Olympiakos in Group B of the Champions League on Tuesday to book their place in the round of 16. In what was Jose Mourinho's first game in charge at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, fans' initial groans and grumbles turned to cheers and elation after Deli Alli's fortuitous first-half tap-in was complemented by Harry Kane's brace and Serge Aurier's late strike.


The hosts' ability to listen to what was evidently a strong half-time message from Mourinho must encourage supporters ahead of intriguing fixtures against Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Chelsea. They took advantage of Olympiakos' errors and proved clinical in front of goal during the second half.


Defensively, Tottenham remain vulnerable, and they certainly cannot continue to rely on Kane scoring in every game to mask sub-standard performances from the back four. Danny Rose and Toby Alderweireld must be more aware to opposition threats; taking a moment to relax may not be the worst idea either.

Manager rating out of 10

9 -- Mourinho was forced into making several key decisions throughout the game that turned the result on its head. Made the brave move of taking off Eric Dier with only a half-hour played -- a move that proved clinical.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Paulo Gazzaniga, 6 -- Found himself positioned too close to his goal line for Olympiakos' preventable first goal. No question he could've tipped the ball wide had he been placed a little higher. No criticism for the second goal, though.

DF Danny Rose, 5 -- Woeful front-post defending from corners in the first half contributed to Spurs' early downfall. Failed to mark the visitors' attacking players appropriately and poor touches led to additional chances. Improved in the second half.

DF Davinson Sanchez, 6 -- Like Alderweireld, showed no great urgency to close down Youssef El-Arabi prior to Olympiakos' opener. Recovered well to prevent what could've been a quick and embarrassing second, but squandered a second-half header that deflected off his shoulder when it should've been buried in the net.

DF Toby Alderweireld, 5 -- One of several players who can be blamed for Olympiakos' opening goal, but Alderweireld ultimately should've been the man to close down El-Arabi with greater authority. Lost Ruben Semedo, too, shortly before the visitors' second goal, which came from a set piece.

DF Serge Aurier, 7 -- Played similar to his defensive teammates in the sense that urgency was lacking -- he looked disjointed and unsettled. A different player in the second half, though, and deservedly struck a goal in clinical style.

MF Eric Dier, 4 -- Understandable why he was taken off by Mourinho after only a half-hour gone. Looked disjointed in midfield, but certainly wouldn't have been the only Spurs man that home supporters wanted off.

MF Lucas Moura, 8 -- Quiet first half, however showed a tremendous turn of foot to not only win a throw-in but proceed to advance to the right byline before delivering a well-placed cross to Kane for Spurs' equaliser. Understandably frustrated to be taken off when he appeared to be finding his feet.

MF Harry Winks, 6 -- Must improve on his attempt to win possession prior to the visitors' first goal, though admittedly wasn't the only home player at fault. Could be argued that he found himself outplayed in midfield; likely he will need to improve to win over Mourinho.

MF Dele Alli, 7 -- Grabbed a goal, but can take no credit for it -- a simple tap-in from two yards out following a defensive blunder eased the hosts' pressure. Excellent build-up play, however, prior to Spurs' match-winning goal -- brilliant creativity and vision.

FW Son Heung-Min, 7 -- Denied an equalising goal by an excellent save following a flicked-on header. Some great bursting runs through midfield, but generally lacked an end product. Worked hard and proved a nuisance to Olympiakos' defence.

FW Harry Kane, 8 -- A lifeless first half where time on the ball was at a premium, and Spurs' attacking threat suffered as a consequence. Improved for the second half, though, by linking up well with Alli and was rewarded with a typical poacher's goal in addition to a clinical second.


MF Christian Eriksen, 8 -- Stepped up to the task by getting on the ball when possible and creating chances for Tottenham while they found themselves in a serious lull.

MF Moussa Sissoko, 7 -- Came on when Spurs needed an injection of energy in midfield and delivered well. Strong performance that can be built on.

MF Tanguy Ndombele, N/R -- A calming figure in midfield to take the sting out of the game while Spurs held a comfortable two-goal lead.