Monaco stuns Spurs with victory at Wembley

Goals from Bernardo Silva and Thomas Lemar silenced the vast majority of the 85,011 fans at the national stadium -- Tottenham's adopted home for this season's Champions League -- before the host responded.

Bernardo Silva Monaco v Tottenham Hotspur

Monaco's Bernardo Silva celebrates after scoring his team's first goal againt Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday.   -  AP

First-half goals by Bernardo Silva and Thomas Lemar earned Monaco a surprise 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur in its Champions League Group E opener at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday to silence the London club's record 'home' attendance.

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Goals from Bernardo Silva and Thomas Lemar stunned the vast majority of the 85,011 fans at the national stadium -- Tottenham's adopted home for this season's Champions League -- before the host responded.

Toby Alderweireld halved the deficit with a header shortly before halftime and Tottenham was much better after the break.

Yet despite plenty of pressure it was unable to find the equaliser as only its second Champions League campaign began in disheartening fashion.

Also read: >Jardim: 'Arsenal win helped us past Spurs'

“Scoring creates momentum and we dominated the game in the second half. We had chances but we couldn't score,” Spurs defender Alderweireld said. “We put a lot of energy in but we couldn't force it.”

Tottenham's record attendance for a 'home' fixture produced a wall of sound under the Wembley arch in the opening minutes as Mauricio Pochettino's team started quickly.

But near silence descended on the huge stadium when Monaco took the lead with its first real incursion after 15 minutes following an error by Erik Lamela.

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The Argentine playmaker carelessly gave the ball away in his own half and Portugal international Bernardo Silva ran on unopposed before smashing a shot past Hugo Lloris.

The host struggled to regain any momentum on the wide expanses of Wembley's pitch and Monaco looked increasingly comfortable on a sultry night that felt more like the Riviera than London.

The visiting team doubled its lead in the 31st minute with a goal Tottenham's defence will not want to view again. Djibril Sidibe slung in a hopeful cross and it rebounded off the body of Spurs left back Ben Davies. As the ball dropped down Monaco substitute Lemar, on for the injured Nabil Dirar, reacted quickest and shot high into the roof of the net.

Also read: >Pochettino slams Spurs' 'lack of passion'

A tiny travelling pod of Monaco fans numbering no more than 350 celebrated at the other end but it was the vast home majority who found their voices again just before halftime when Lamela's corner was headed powerfully home by Alderweireld.

Dele Alli was desperately close to equalising in first-half stoppage time, stretching to reach a Lamela cross.

Tottenham was re-energised at the start of the second half and Alli brought a superb save from Danijel Subasic after letting fly with a dipping volley from 25 metres. Harry Kane then found himself clear on goal but delayed his shot far too long and was closed down.

Kane wasted an even better chance with 12 minutes remaining, shooting straight at Subasic from in front of goal. Monaco, which knocked Arsenal out in the last 16 two seasons ago, saw out the final minutes with no more scares.

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