Crvena zvezda v Tottenham facts
Crvena zvezda will attempt to recover from a heavy defeat at Tottenham as the teams meet again in Belgrade, where the Serbian champions can draw on the memory of a famous win against English opposition in last season’s group stage for inspiration.
• Spurs were 5-0 winners in north London on Matchday 3, Heung-Min Son and Harry Kane both scoring twice and Erik Lamela getting the other as Crvena zvezda made it five away defeats from five matches in the UEFA Champions League group stage.
• Mauricio Pochettino’s side therefore climbed above their opponents on to four points, one above Crvena zvezda and three ahead of bottom side Olympiacos, with Bayern München five points clear in the Group B standings having won all three matches.
• Both sides won their home games when the teams met in the 1972/73 UEFA Cup third round, Spurs – who in the previous round had beaten Olympiacos – going through 2-1 on aggregate.
• Goals from Martin Chivers and Alan Gilzean gave the English club a 2-0 first-leg win at White Hart Lane; that proved enough to progress despite Vojin Lazarević’s strike in Belgrade.
• Having conceded twice in the final ten minutes at Bayern on Matchday 1 to lose 3-0, Crvena zvezda were facing another defeat when Olympiacos led 1-0 at half-time in Belgrade on Matchday 2, but second-half strikes from Miloš Vulić, Nemanja Milunović and Richmond Boakye secured a 3-1 win.
• In 2018/19 the Belgrade club reached the group stage from the first qualifying round and went on to finish fourth in their group, although they did claim a first group stage win for Serbia with a 2-0 home defeat of eventual champions Liverpool on Matchday 4, Milan Pavkov scoring both goals. They also held Napoli 0-0 at home on their Matchday 1 debut, although their last home fixture in the section was a 4-1 loss against Paris.
• The win against Liverpool was a first ever victory for a Serbian club in the UEFA Champions League group stage.
• This season, Vladan Milojević’s side again started their European campaign in the first qualifying round, where they were 2-1 aggregate winners against Sūduva of Lithuania (0-0 a, 2-1 h). They subsequently came through tight ties against HJK Helsinki (2-0 h, 1-2 a) and Copenhagen (1-1 h, 1-1 a, 7-6 pens) before beating Young Boys on away goals in the play-offs (2-2 a, 1-1 h).
• Crvena zvezda have won only four of their last 19 European fixtures (D8 L7) although the 4-1 defeat at home to Paris on Matchday 6 of last season’s UEFA Champions League is their only reverse in 14 UEFA matches in Belgrade (W7 D6). They have lost only two of their last 21 European home matches (W11 D8).
• Crvena zvezda were unbeaten in their first seven home games against English opposition (W5 D2), but had lost two in a row before beating Liverpool last season. Home and away, they have lost five of their last nine matches against English clubs (W2 D2).
• European champions in 1991, Crvena zvezda claimed their second successive Serbian league title in 2018/19 and a 30th national championship overall.
• Having let slip a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at Olympiacos in their opening game, Spurs then suffered a 7-2 loss to Bayern – the first time in the club’s 137-year history that they had conceded seven goals at home in any competition and the first time an English club had conceded seven goals in a European match since Tottenham themselves lost 8-0 at Köln in the 1995 UEFA Intertoto Cup.
• In last season’s UEFA Champions League, Pochettino’s team recovered from taking one point from their first three games to finish second in Group B behind Barcelona, ahead of Internazionale and PSV Eindhoven, via a 1-1 draw at the Camp Nou on Matchday 6. Borussia Dortmund were then brushed aside in the round of 16 (3-0 h, 1-0 a) before dramatic away-goal victories against both Manchester City (1-0 h, 3-4 a) and Ajax (0-1 h, 3-2 a) took Spurs into a first European Cup final. Premier League rivals Liverpool proved too strong at the Estadio Metropolitano, however, running out 2-0 winners.
• Spurs’ record in last season’s competition was W6 D2 L5. They lost three of their last four matches, with the success at Ajax in the semi-final second leg their only victory in six UEFA Champions League games before beating Crvena zvezda this season.
• Fourth in the 2018/19 Premier League, this is Tottenham’s fifth UEFA Champions League campaign, and a fourth successive group stage appearance.
• The Lilywhites picked up only two points on their travels in the 2018/19 group stage, and have won only three of their 13 away group matches in the UEFA Champions League – and one of the last six.
• The second-leg victory at Ajax in last season’s semi-final was only Spurs’ sixth win in their last 22 European away matches (D8 L8).
• Tottenham’s most recent trip to Serbia, their third, brought a goalless draw at Crvena zvezda’s Belgrade rivals Partizan in the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League group stage. That second-leg loss to Crvena zvezda in 1972 is their only defeat in seven matches against Serbian clubs, home and away (W5 D1).
Links and trivia
• Have played in England:
Rajiv van La Parra (Wolves 2014–16, Brighton 2016 (loan), Huddersfield 2016–19, Middlesbrough 2019 (loan))
José Cañas (Swansea 2013/14)
Marko Marin (Chelsea 2012/13)
• Have played together:
Ben Davies & José Cañas (Swansea 2013/14)