Former Chelsea striker Demba Ba scored a late penalty to deny Tottenham victory and salvage a 1-1 result for Besiktas in Europa League action at White Hart Lane. Spurs defender Vlad Chiriches was horribly at fault in a comical penalty concession that saw him first wildly miss a clearance and then handle the ball in his own box. With just over a minute of the regular time remaining, Ba converted from the spot with Hugo Lloris unmoved to make it two draws in as many games for both teams in Europa League Group C.
Harry Kane had given the hosts a first-half lead with a fine strike from 20 yards to claim his second goal of the season. But a Tottenham team featuring 10 changes from the one that drew 1-1 with Arsenal on Saturday failed to capitalize on their advantage and were grateful to Hugo Lloris for staying in front as long as they did. While Chiriches’ error proved decisive, Besiktas were well worthy of their point, especially having lost when also creating plenty of chances on their last visit to north London, in August’s Champions League playoff against Arsenal.
After the positives on show for Mauricio Pochettino from a solid performance against their local rivals at the weekend, this was a disappointing night for Tottenham and failed to aid the causes of many of those currently on the fringes of the first team. Particularly poor was the center of the defense. A slip from summer arrival Federico Fazio allowed Olcay Sahan a run through on goal and a shot that went wide of the target inside the first two minutes. Just 10 minutes later more hapless defending allowed Ba to receive a cross and turn and hit a shot that Lloris turned onto the crossbar.
It was somewhat against the run of play then when Kane gave Spurs the lead in the 27th minute. It was an impressive goal none the less, with Kane receiving Nabil Bentaleb’s pass and driving forward toward the edge of the box before striking low left-footed into the corner of the net. Kane tested visiting goalkeeper Tolga Zengin before the break, but there was again a better chance at the other end, when Lloris somehow kept out Sahan’s effort with his legs.
It became a familiar pattern, with Lloris continuing to deny Besiktas and Sahan in particular. Indeed, while Tottenham threatened on a couple of occasions on the break, their French goalkeeper was at times a one-man defense preventing a Besiktas equalizer. The incompetence from those in front of him proved too much for even Lloris to overcome at the end, though. Chiriches’s woeful intervention late on summed up much of what had gone before from the Romanian center-back. And Ba, having gone close on several occasions on the night as well as in both of Besiktas’s playoff legs against Arsenal, finally found the net to the delight of the strong contingent of Turkish fans. After playing out a goalless draw with Partizan Belgrade two weeks ago, Tottenham will go in search of their first win in this Europa League season when they host Greek side Asteras Triplois in three weeks' time.