Europa League - Group J
Royal AntwerpRoyal Antwerp1TottenhamTottenham Hotspur0

Royal Antwerp 1-0 Tottenham: Spurs lose for the first time since opening weekend

By Neil JohnstonBBC Sport
Royal Antwerp's players celebrate beating Tottenham in the Europa League
Tottenham lost for the first time away from home since a 3-1 defeat at Sheffield United on 2 July

Tottenham slipped to a first away defeat since July after a mistake by Ben Davies helped Royal Antwerp leapfrog their Europa League opponents to go top of Group J.

Davies, making his 200th Spurs appearance, was easily dispossessed by Dieumerci Mbokani, whose pass allowed Lior Refaelov to smash past Hugo Lloris.

Flat and uninspired, Spurs struggled to carve out chances and Jose Mourinho made four changes at the start of the second half in an attempt to inject some urgency into his side.

But it could have been worse for Tottenham, Mbokani somehow blazing over from three yards out before Harry Kane was sent on in an attempt to rescue the game.

Simen Juklerod also missed a fine chance for the hosts after being sent clean through as Spurs failed to score for the first time since the opening weekend of the season.

Mourinho's side are three points behind Royal Antwerp in Group J after two games, level on points with Austrian side LASK, who beat Ludogorets 4-3.

Lacklustre Spurs fail to impress

Having embarked on a 10-match unbeaten run since losing at home to Everton on the opening weekend of the season, this was as bad as Spurs have performed in a long time.

Mourinho showed his displeasure by making a string of changes at the break against a well-organised side.

Dele Alli was handed his first start since 24 September but is still to finish a match this season after being hauled off at half-time in two of the three games he has started.

Alli at least created a chance for Carlos Vinicius before he was replaced, former Manchester United full-back Ritchie de Laet producing a fine challenge before the Spurs player could shoot.

Netherlands winger Steven Bergwijn and Argentine midfielder Giovani lo Celso did manage attempts before the interval but both were comfortably dealt with by keeper Jean Butez.

Kane replaced Gareth Bale, who has also yet to complete 90 minutes since rejoining on a season-long loan from Real Madrid.

The Wales forward is still trying to reach peak fitness after missing a number of games but there was little creativity from the four-time Champions League winner in Belgium.

Kane and Son Heung-min have scored 20 goals between them this season but even their introductions from the bench failed to ignite the team, Spurs unable to test the home keeper at all in the second half.

Tottenham are three points behind Group J leaders Royal Antwerp

'Poor performance, poor result' - what they said

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho: "Blame me because I am the boss and it is my responsibility who plays and I am the one to blame.

"But I have to admit that the game confirmed to me a few things, opened other question marks and will help me in the future with my decisions.

"I'm also learning every day. The performance was poor and the result is poor."

Mourinho's first Europa League defeat since 2016 - the stats

  • This was Jose Mourinho's first defeat in a Europa League game since November 2016, ending a 12-match unbeaten run for the Portuguese manager in the competition.
  • Spurs have never won away to Belgian opposition (P6 D2 L4), losing on each of their past three visits.
  • Royal Antwerp are the first Belgian side to beat English opposition in European competition since KAA Gent beat Tottenham in the Europa League in February 2017.

What's next?

Tottenham are back in action on Sunday when they host Brighton in the Premier League (19:15 GMT).

Player of the match

de LaetRitchie de Laet

with an average of 8.07

Royal Antwerp

  1. Squad number2Player namede Laet
    Average rating


  2. Squad number11Player nameRefaelov
    Average rating


  3. Squad number70Player nameDieumerci Mbokani
    Average rating


  4. Squad number19Player nameMiyoshi
    Average rating


  5. Squad number16Player nameGerkens
    Average rating


  6. Squad number6Player nameKristiansen Juklerød
    Average rating


  7. Squad number38Player nameHaroun
    Average rating


  8. Squad number26Player nameGelin
    Average rating


  9. Squad number18Player nameHongla
    Average rating


  10. Squad number4Player nameSeck
    Average rating


  11. Squad number5Player nameVerstraete
    Average rating


  12. Squad number30Player nameAurélio Buta
    Average rating


  13. Squad number24Player nameBenavente Bristol
    Average rating


  14. Squad number46Player nameButez
    Average rating


Tottenham Hotspur

  1. Squad number7Player nameSon Heung-Min
    Average rating


  2. Squad number1Player nameLloris
    Average rating


  3. Squad number27Player nameLucas Moura
    Average rating


  4. Squad number10Player nameKane
    Average rating


  5. Squad number5Player nameHøjbjerg
    Average rating


  6. Squad number3Player nameReguilón
    Average rating


  7. Squad number9Player nameBale
    Average rating


  8. Squad number11Player nameLamela
    Average rating


  9. Squad number45Player nameCarlos Vinicius
    Average rating


  10. Squad number18Player nameLo Celso
    Average rating


  11. Squad number24Player nameAurier
    Average rating


  12. Squad number6Player nameD Sánchez
    Average rating


  13. Squad number23Player nameBergwijn
    Average rating


  14. Squad number8Player nameWinks
    Average rating


  15. Squad number20Player nameAlli
    Average rating


  16. Squad number33Player nameDavies
    Average rating



Royal Antwerp

Formation 3-5-2

  • 46Butez
  • 4SeckBooked at 20mins
  • 26Gelin
  • 2de Laet
  • 19MiyoshiSubstituted forUlineia Butaat 58'minutes
  • 16Gerkens
  • 38Haroun
  • 18HonglaSubstituted forVerstraeteat 70'minutesBooked at 84mins
  • 6Kristiansen Juklerød
  • 70MbokaniBooked at 90mins
  • 11RefaelovBooked at 49minsSubstituted forBenavente Bristolat 88'minutes


  • 1Safar Beiranvand
  • 5Verstraete
  • 15Boya
  • 23Ampomah
  • 24Benavente Bristol
  • 30Ulineia Buta


Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Lloris
  • 24Aurier
  • 6D Sánchez
  • 33Davies
  • 3Reguilón
  • 18Lo CelsoSubstituted forHøjbjergat 45'minutes
  • 8Winks
  • 9BaleSubstituted forKaneat 58'minutes
  • 20AlliSubstituted forLamelaat 45'minutes
  • 23BergwijnSubstituted forLucas Mouraat 45'minutes
  • 45Alves MoraisSubstituted forSon Heung-Minat 45'minutes


  • 2Doherty
  • 4Alderweireld
  • 5Højbjerg
  • 7Son Heung-Min
  • 10Kane
  • 11Lamela
  • 12Hart
  • 17Sissoko
  • 27Lucas Moura
  • 47Clarke
  • 48White
  • 49Cirkin
Maurizio Mariani

Match Stats

Home TeamRoyal AntwerpAway TeamTottenham
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Royal Antwerp 1, Tottenham Hotspur 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Royal Antwerp 1, Tottenham Hotspur 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Lucas Moura (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

  4. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Harry Winks.

  5. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Son Heung-Min (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Harry Kane.

  6. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ben Davies.

  7. Booking

    Dieumerci Mbokani Bezua (Royal Antwerp) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  8. Post update

    Sergio Reguilón (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Dieumerci Mbokani Bezua (Royal Antwerp).

  10. Post update

    Attempt missed. Harry Winks (Tottenham Hotspur) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high. Assisted by Son Heung-Min.

  11. Post update

    Hand ball by Cristian Benavente Bristol (Royal Antwerp).

  12. Post update

    Sergio Reguilón (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Dieumerci Mbokani Bezua (Royal Antwerp).

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Royal Antwerp. Cristian Benavente Bristol replaces Lior Refaelov.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Erik Lamela (Tottenham Hotspur).

  16. Post update

    Birger Verstraete (Royal Antwerp) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Post update

    Son Heung-Min (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Abdoulaye Seck (Royal Antwerp).

  19. Booking

    Birger Verstraete (Royal Antwerp) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  20. Post update

    Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

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