Monaco cruised into the Champions League last 16 at the expense of Tottenham Hotspur as goals by Djibril Sidibe and Thomas Lemar earned a 2-1 Group E win that would have been more emphatic but for visiting keeper Hugo Lloris.
All the goals came in a breathless spell just after halftime as Sidibe headed home in the 48th minute only for Harry Kane to equalise from the penalty spot four minutes later.
Lemar put Monaco back in front a minute later with an angled shot and France international Lloris, who saved a first-half spot kick from Radamel Falcao, spared the Londoners a thrashing.
Spurs, unbeaten in the Premier League after 12 games, have four points and must avoid a third defeat at their adopted Wembley home against CSKA Moscow to grab a consolation spot in the Europa League.
“It was disappointing, we weren’t good enough today,” Kane said. “We got ourselves back in the game at 1-1 and then it was just a schoolboy error to concede straight after.
“The second goal took the stuffing out of us.”
Tottenham were given a pre-match boost as news came through of Moscow’s late leveller in a 1-1 draw against Leverkusen which meant a point on the French Riviera would have kept them alive.
Son Heung-min should have put the visitors ahead inside 10 minutes when he was played through by Dele Alli’s pass but the South Korea forward tried to round keeper Danijel Subasic instead of shooting and the opportunity was lost.
The half belonged to Monaco, though, as their pace and movement proved too much for a hesitant Tottenham defence missing regulars Kyle Walker and Jan Vertonghen — surprisingly rested for Saturday’s Premier League clash at Chelsea.
Lloris was Tottenham’s busiest player.
He sprang to his right to save Falcao’s 11th-minute penalty after Eric Dier kicked out at Fabinho who tumbled acrobatically inside the area.
Lloris then kept out a header from Valere Germain who was a constant menace and dragged another shot agonisingly wide.
The goal the hosts threatened arrived three minutes after the interval in simple fashion. Benjamin Mendy turned Harry Winks and his cross was headed in by the unmarked Sidibe.
Tottenham’s were given a lifeline three minutes later when Monaco’s Kamil Glik wrestled Alli in front of the referee who pointed to the spot – Kane dispatched the penalty past Subasic despite the keeper getting a hand on the ball.
No sooner had Spurs drawn level than they were behind – 39 seconds later in fact. Left back Danny Rose was caught hopelessly out of position and Sidibe’s cross fell to Lemar who had time to pick his spot and drill a shot past Lloris.
The French keeper produced a miraculous close-range save to deflect Glik’s volley over shortly afterwards and also did well to keep out Falcao as Tottenham’s campaign ended in tatters.
Tottenham Hotspur coach Mauricio Pochettino said his players’ must improve their mentality after the London club’s hopes of reaching the Champions League knockout rounds vanished in a 2-1 defeat at Monaco on Tuesday.
It was Spurs’ third defeat in five Group E games and but for their France keeper Hugo Lloris it could have been a thrashing, even if Harry Kane gave them hope with a penalty equaliser.
“Maybe we need to improve our mentality and be ready in every game,” Pochettino told reporters as he addressed the pressures of playing in both the Premier and Champions League.
“From the beginning of the season, I said our challenge was not physical, it was tactical – to manage your mind and to play on Saturday and then Tuesday or Wednesday.
“To be ready again after two days is difficult. It’s not an excuse because I don’t think we showed enough quality to go into the next round.”
Tottenham have not won a point at Wembley, where they have played European home games due to their ground redevelopment, losing to 2-1 to group winners Monaco and 1-0 to runners-up Bayer Leverkusen, who have both reached the last 16.
They had not conceded on their travels in the competition until Tuesday but goals by Djibril Sidibe and Thomas Lemar earned Monaco a deserved win. Lloris saved a first-half penalty from Radamel Falcao and made several other great stops.
“We are in a process, in a period in the club where we need to improve. We’re in the third step of the project,” Pochettino, whose side are undefeated after 12 Premier League games, said.
“Maybe we feel bad now, disappointed, but tomorrow is another day and we need to look forward.
“We’re in a good position in the Premier League and we need to compete on Saturday (at Chelsea),” he added with Spurs in fifth, four points behind their next opponents who are top.
Monaco goalscorer Sidibe said their achievement in winning the group was a reward for their attacking style.
“We saw how good the spirit is within the team tonight,” he said. “The most important thing is that we’ve qualified and what shines through is that we’ve got a team that wants to play attacking football, something we proved again in this match.”