Tottenham Hotspur’s troubles continued as they were humiliated in the most devastating fashion by Bayern Munich in the Champions League on one of the most embarrassing nights in their recent history as Serge Gnabry scored four goals.
The scale of this thrashing for manager Mauricio Pochettino and his players was made even more stark by the fact they took an early lead through Son Heung-min and were on level terms until just before half-time. Bayern posed a huge threat throughout and were quickly on terms through Joshua Kimmich’s superb 20-yard finish – but Spurs failed to heed the warning signs and ended up reduced to a rabble as they sunk without a fight in the second half.
Strange as it may seem looking at the scoreline, this was an enthralling encounter that really turned on the stroke of half-time when, with matters in the balance, Robert Lewandowski produced a brilliant turn and right-foot finish past Hugo Lloris from 20 yards.
“Serge has come here to play games but he just hasn’t been at that level to play the games,” said West Brom manager Tony Pulis a couple of months before Serge Gnabry returned to Arsenal in January 2016.
Six months later the Gunners sold him to Werder Bremen for less than £5m. On Tuesday, Gnabry became the first player to score four goals in the second half of a Champions League game as Bayern Munich destroyed Tottenham 7-2. It’s safe to say the 24-year-old winger, who has scored nine goals in 10 matches for Germany, enjoyed his return to north London. Gnabry put on a devastating display of speed, skill and finishing to score with four of his five shots – netting twice in the space of 112 seconds, then twice more in the final 10 minutes. His evening was so productive that he has scored as many goals at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as Spurs striker Harry Kane has managed.
However, Gnabry is not even the most prolific player in Bayern’s team. Robert Lewandowski, who scored twice, with Gnabry setting up the first, has scored in every Bayern game this season bar the season-opening German Super Cup. That’s 14 goals in his past nine games.
Tottenham 2-7 Bayern Munich: Pochettino says Spurs must ‘stick together’
“It’s a tough situation, but you have to face it,” said Pochettino. “You have to be strong and keep going. We have to stay together and help each other. The best medicine is to be all together.” Tottenham went ahead through Son Heung-min, but went 2-1 down on the stroke of half-time. Bayern were 4-1 ahead by the time Harry Kane pulled one back from the penalty spot, only for the visitors to score three in the final 10 minutes, two of which were netted by Serge Gnabry to give him four in total
“We dominated the game in the first 30 minutes,” said Pochettino. “We were unlucky we were conceded at the end of the first half and after that they were very clinical. “After we scored the penalty for 4-2, we had chances to score a third and be in the game. It’s a tough result. It’s hard to accept. In football it happens when the opponent has the quality and is very clinical in front of goal.”