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Spurs COLLAPSE and concede two in injury time to lose first match since April

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TOTTENHAM’S unbeaten start to the season came to an end thanks to two injury-time strikes in Lisbon.

Paulinho got the breakthrough with a near-post header with 90 minutes on the clock.

Tottenham were stunned in the closing minutes at Sporting

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Tottenham were stunned in the closing minutes at SportingCredit: AFP

While there was still time for fellow sub Arthur Gomes to double the lead with a terrific solo goal.

Antonio Conte could do little but put his hands in his pockets as his team were undone.

It had been a fairly even game until that point, with Spurs old-boy Marcus Edwards coming closest to an opener with a brilliant run.

But in truth, while Spurs had been getting results this season, performances had been no more than solid and a scoreline like this did not come out of the blue.

Tottenham’s players wore black armbands to mark the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, while there was a reasonably well-observed minute’s silence before kick-off in Her Majesty’s honour as well.

Sporting boss Ruben Amorim branded Spurs as favourites for the group in the pre-match press conference – a claim brushed off by Antonio Conte – but predicted it would be his side who would dominate possession.

Yet in the opening exchanges it was Tottenham who had all the ball, even if they did little with it.

Amorim had also talked up Spurs old boy Marcus Edwards before the game, even tipping him to play for England one day.

And it via the talented 23-year-old, who left Tottenham on a free in 2019, that the first opportunity of the game arose.

Edwards burst away down the middle and prodded it wide to highly-rated Pedro Goncalves – previously of Wolves – whose effort was heading to the far corner before Hugo Lloris pushed it wide.

Spurs are unbeaten this season but while results have been excellent, performances have been workmanlike rather than spectacular.

The first half here also fell into that category as Conte’s ultra-organised outfit rarely got caught out but struggled to create much themselves.

Son Heung-min, afforded another start to break his goal duck for the campaign, struggled to see much of the ball in the opening 45.

But then it was not as if fellow forwards Harry Kane or Richarlison were ripping it up at the top of the pitch either.

On 25 minutes the latter did have a decent chance, by his standards, which he failed to exploit.

Kane sent the ball out wide to Ivan Perisic who picked out Richarlison at the back, but the Brazilian headed into the ground and the keeper held it comfortably.

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Given it was Spurs’ new No9 who had won last week’s Champions League opener at home to Marseille with two bullet headers, he probably should have done better.

Francisco Trincao claimed in Monday’s press conference that he was doing nothing different at Sporting this year compared to his poor loan at Wolves last term, despite his spell in Lisbon already seemingly decidedly more impressive.

On a run of three goals in his last two games, the tricky wideman chanced his arm a moment later from distance but fired just wide.

Richarlison had the ball in the net a few minutes before the break, having raced onto a Kane through-ball and rounded the keeper, but he was rightly flagged offside.

Then came the electric moment in a first half which otherwise had little spark.

It came through Edwards, who had once been likened to Lionel Messi by Mauricio Pochettino when the pair were both at Tottenham.

Edwards said Pochettino was just being “nice” when discussing those comments in an interview this week – but his mazy run in stoppage time had all the hallmarks of a classic Messi dribble.

The forward picked up the ball midway through Spurs’ half, brushed off not one but two challenges from Sporting academy product Eric Dier and then another from Perisic.

Paulinho celebrated after scoring his 90th-minute winner

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Paulinho celebrated after scoring his 90th-minute winnerCredit: Getty

Playing a one-two with Trincao as he burst into the box, Edwards held off another failed tackle from Cristian Romero but was denied a stunning goal when Lloris pushed wide his close-range poke.

The move was so good that Leon Osman on commentary likened it to Diego Maradona’s unforgettable solo goal for Argentina against in England in 1986!

That may have been pushing it a tad but what was undeniable was that Edwards was causing his former side serious problems.

Spurs came out for the second half looking to up the ante, and they came close to a breakthrough with a flurry of early chances.

Royal had two of them, heading Kane’s excellent cross into the ground a la Richarlison, then failing to beat Sporting keeper Antonio Adan when played through by Kane’s clever, quick free-kick.

Richarlison then fired another effort wide but after that Spurs’ final ball seemed to desert them, winding up Conte on the touchline.

Though that could not be said for Perisic’s wicked delivery with 20 minutes to go which was almost too good as it fizzed across the six-yard box, catching Kane by surprise as he failed to get on the end of it.

Another underwhelming display from Son came to an end on 72 minutes, as he trudged off, head down, to be replaced by Dejan Kulusevski.

The Swede instantly showed his dynamism as his nifty dribbling skills drew a foul on the edge of the area, which eventually led to Richarlison heading just wide.

The match seemed to be heading to a stalemate, particularly when Lloris saved brilliantly to deny Pedro Porro at the death.

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Yet remarkably there was still time for two goals, as first Paulinho headed in the resulting corner.

Then Gomes, who came on as a sub after the opener, sealed Spurs’ fate with a mazy dribble and finish deep into stoppage time.

Richarlison thought he had opened the scoring in the first half but was offside

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Richarlison thought he had opened the scoring in the first half but was offsideCredit: Reuters
Antonio Conte demanded more from his players on the pitch

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Antonio Conte demanded more from his players on the pitchCredit: EPA
Marcus Edwards impressed against his former side

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Marcus Edwards impressed against his former sideCredit: Reuters



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