Eric Dier has been described as producing one of the “weirdest kicks” journalist Alasdair Gold has ever seen during Tottenham Hotspur’s crunch Champions League group stage clash with Marseille.
The Football.london journalist was tweeting about the events from the Stade Vélodrome with Spurs’ Champions League fate hanging in the balance.
Tottenham knew that a point would be enough to secure a place in the knockout stages of the Champions League, but Chancel Mbemba’s header at the end of the first half meant Antonio Conte’s side were in real danger of dropping out of Europe’s premier competition after a nervy opening period from the north London side.
A Clément Lenglet header levelled in the second half for Spurs, with the Lilywhites desperately trying to cling on to one of the top two positions in their Champions League group.
And Dier’s awkward decision-making led to the defender inadvertently creating a golden opportunity for the hosts when hooking a ball into his own box to prevent a throw for Marseille, before the side managed to spare his blushes – something which Gold could barely believe.
He tweeted: “Eric Dier with one of the weirdest kicks I’ve seen in a while.
“He stopped the ball from going off for a Marseille throw by booting it high over his head and towards his own penalty box.
“Almost caused a real problem for his fellow defenders.”
TIF Thoughts on Gold’s comments…
The situation was eventually cleared, but the incident summed up what was a challenging opening period for Conte’s side.
It was always going to be a tough task playing in such a hostile atmosphere in France, so perhaps some nerves during the early stages of the game were to be expected.
Luckily for Spurs and Dier, Lenglet’s equaliser and Hojbjerg’s late winner means that Tottenham will remain in the Champions League after the World Cup break.