There is no better place to go than the Santiago Bernabeu to play against European Champions Real Madrid for an up and coming team to test their credentials.
This dominant Real Madrid side became the first team to win back to back Champions League titles in its current format. Their squad boasts a galaxy of stars who have repeatedly swept all challengers aside.
Italian kingpins Juventus were ultimately put to the sword in emphatic fashion in the most recent Champions League final by the Spanish giants.
There were question marks if Tottenham would be able to go to the lion’s den and stand firm against their illustrious opposition.
Mauricio Pochettino and Co were not one bit phased and delivered a confident and disciplined performance. They matched the home side and deserved their 1-1 draw.
Spurs even enjoyed periods in the game where they tested the Real Madrid rearguard. The 3-5-2 formation was brave and it certainly worked. Serge Aurier and Moussa Sissoko looked threatening while Harry Kane kept Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane on their toes.
Of course, the visitors had to endure an onslaught at times as you would expect but the three central defenders were outstanding and Hugo Lloris pulled off a string of marvellous saves.
However, this was further evidence that Spurs have matured as a team now that they are performing on the biggest stage of all.
Pochettino reiterated the importance of the result after the game.
He told Sky Sports:
“This was an opportunity to show we can compete and this game is fundamental to us on a mental level.
“The result is the least important thing, the objective was to be able to compete against Real Madrid and that we managed to do that makes me more than happy.”
The result – and the performance – proved that Spurs are capable of mixing it at the highest level – perhaps another sign that the English clubs are beginning to re-emerge as the best the continent has to offer.
Vincent O’Shea, Pundit Arena