Tottenham boast a handy 2-0 cushion as they travel to conclude their round of 16 tie against Dinamo Zagreb.
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Tottenham Hotspur have a handy 2-0 first-leg advantage to protect as they travel to Croatia to conclude their UEFA Europa League round of 16 tie against Dinamo Zagreb.
• Dinamo are Croatia's last remaining European representatives. They enjoyed a superb autumn in the UEFA Europa League, going unbeaten through Group K as they claimed 14 points to finish first ahead of Wolfsberg, Feyenoord and CSKA Moskva. Then, in the round of 32, they saw off another Russian team, beating Krasnodar 3-2 in Russia and 1-0 at home.
• Spurs, who entered the competition in the second qualifying round, topped Group J in the autumn before enjoying a comfortable win over Wolfsberg in the round of 32, taking the tie 8-1 on aggregate (4-1 a, 4-0 h) with Carlos Vinícius supplying three of the eight goals and Gareth Bale two.
• Harry Kane was the star of the show in the first leg, the England captain scoring both goals – one in each half – as Spurs ended Dinamo's six-match winning run in the UEFA Europa League by making it six wins out of six at home in this European campaign and five in a row with a clean sheet.
• The one encounter between the clubs prior to this tie occurred in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup group stage, Tottenham overcoming Dinamo 4-0 at their former White Hart Lane home with the help of a Darren Bent hat-trick and subsequently reaching the round of 32 at their Croatian rivals' expense. That remains Dinamo's heaviest away defeat in the UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League.
• Dinamo have lost four of their six UEFA home games against English sides, the sole victory coming against Tottenham's local rivals Arsenal (2-1) on Matchday 1 of the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League. The most recent Premier League visitors to Zagreb were Manchester City, who beat Dinamo 4-1 in last season's UEFA Champions League group stage.
• Although Spurs have won all three previous two-legged ties against Croatian opposition – all against Hajduk Split – they won just one of the away fixtures, losing two, though the most recent took place in the Austrian city of Linz, a 1-0 defeat in the first round of the 1991/92 European Cup Winners' Cup. Their last visit to Croatia brought a 2-1 defeat by Hajduk in the first leg of the 1983/84 UEFA Cup semi-final, but Spurs won the return 1-0 to advance on away goals to the final, which they won on penalties against Anderlecht.
• Dinamo romped to their 21st Croatian title last season, completing a hat-trick of 1. HNL triumphs. They also reached the UEFA Champions League group stage for the seventh time, finishing fourth in their section behind Manchester City, Atalanta and Shakhtar Donetsk with five points – their best return in the competition for 20 years.
• Dinamo began this European campaign under returning coach Zoran Mamić by overcoming hosts CFR Cluj on penalties in the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round, but then lost 2-1 at Ferencváros before defeating Flora of Estonia 3-1 at home in the UEFA Europa League play-offs to reach the group stage of the competition for the sixth time. As in 2018/19, they won four and drew two of their six games to top the group, getting the better of Feyenoord (0-0 h, 2-0 a), CSKA (0-0 a, 3-1 h) and fellow qualifiers Wolfsberg (1-0 a, 3-0 h).
• This is only the second time Dinamo have qualified from a group stage in any continental competition, the previous occasion having come two years ago, when they beat Viktoria Plzeň 4-2 on aggregate in the round of 32 before falling to Benfica in the round of 16 (1-0 h, 0-3 aet a).
• Dinamo are undefeated in their last 13 UEFA Europa League home games, qualifiers included, winning ten of them and scoring 26 goals. In European competition overall that defeat by Manchester City in last season's UEFA Champions League is Dinamo's only home loss in 16 matches (W11 D4).
• Dinamo have won eight of the 21 UEFA competition ties in which they lost the first away leg, including the most recent when they overcame Plzeň in that round of 32 tie two seasons ago (1-2 a, 3-0 h). They have lost three of the four ties in which they were beaten 2-0 away in the first leg, the only success dating back to the 1964/65 European Cup Winners' Cup preliminary round, when they recovered to knock out AEK Athens with a 3-0 win in the return.
• Tottenham finished outside the top four of the Premier League for the first time in five seasons in 2019/20, their final position of sixth ending a four-year run in the UEFA Champions League that had taken them into the final in 2018/19 and to the round of 16 last season, where they were eliminated by Leipzig (0-1 h, 0-3 a).
• Spurs' 2020/21 European campaign began at an earlier stage than in any previous season, but José Mourinho's side came through qualifying ties away to Lokomotiv Plovdiv (2-1) and Shkëndija (3-1) before beating Maccabi Haifa 7-2 at home in the play-offs. In Group J they recovered from a shock 1-0 defeat in Antwerp on Matchday 2, beating bottom-placed Ludogorets twice (3-1 a, 4-0 h) then drawing 3-3 at LASK to ensure further progress before leapfrogging the Belgian side to the top of the standings with a 2-0 win in London on Matchday 6.
• This is Tottenham's fourth appearance in the UEFA Europa League round of 16. They have won only one of their three previous ties at this stage of the competition, the first, in 2012/13, on away goals against Internazionale (3-0 h, 1-4 aet a). Since then they have gone out to Benfica in 2013/14 (1-3 h, 2-2 a) and Borussia Dortmund in 2015/16 (0-3 a, 1-2 h).
• Tottenham's victory over Wolfsberg in Budapest was their first away from home in ten UEFA Europa League knockout phase matches (D4 L5). Their European record on the road this term is W4 D1 L1, with 15 goals scored and eight conceded.
• Tottenham have won 18 of the 20 UEFA competition ties in which they won the home first leg, most recently ousting Manchester City on away goals in the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals (1-0 h, 3-4 a). Their overall record after a 2-0 home first-leg win is W4 L1, the sole aggregate defeat having come in the first of those ties, against Manchester United in the 1963/64 European Cup Winners' Cup second round (1-4 a).
Links and trivia
• Dinamo's French defender Kévin Théophile-Catherine made 28 appearances in the English Premier League with Cardiff City in 2013/14, making his home debut for the club in a 0-1 home defeat by Tottenham.
• Dinamo goalkeeper Dominik Livaković made his competitive international debut for Croatia on 12 October 2018 in Rijeka in a 0-0 UEFA Nations League draw against an England side featuring Tottenham's Kane and Eric Dier.
• Livaković and Tottenham's Hugo Lloris were opposing goalkeepers when France defeated Croatia 2-1 in Zagreb in a UEFA Nations League match on 14 October 2020. Dinamo striker Bruno Petković also started the game for Croatia.
• Dinamo's one goal conceded in the group stage matched the UEFA Europa League record previously shared by Standard Liège (2011/12) and Salzburg (2017/18).
• Spurs manager Mourinho's only experience of the UEFA Europa League prior to this season was in 2016/17, when his Manchester United side lifted the trophy. His one season managing in the UEFA Cup also ended in glory as he steered Porto to victory in 2002/03.
• Tottenham's sixth appearance in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase is a record for an English club. They became the first Premier League side to chalk up 50 matches in the competition proper on Matchday 2.
• Tottenham have now scored 103 goals in the UEFA Europa League proper, becoming the first English club to reach a century in the round of 32 second leg – a day before arch rivals Arsenal, who also now have 103 goals, achieved the feat.
• Spurs are one of three former UEFA Cup winners in this season's round of 16, along with Ajax and Shakhtar Donetsk. Manchester United (2016/17) are the only club in the field to have won the UEFA Europa League.
• Dinamo have won their last six domestic league matches, all with clean sheets, and currently top the standings in Croatia, two points ahead of Osijek with a game in hand, while Tottenham's run of three successive Premier League victories was halted on Sunday as they went down 2-1 at north London rivals Arsenal.
• Dinamo coach Mamić stood down on Monday and was replaced by his assistant Damir Krznar.
• Dinamo's record in two UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W1 L1:
5-6 v Sheriff, 2010/11 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round
6-5 v CFR Cluj, 2020/21 UEFA Champions League second qualifying round
• Tottenham's record in three UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W1 L2:
4-3 v Anderlecht, 1983/84 UEFA Cup final
5-6 v PSV Eindhoven, 2007/08 UEFA Cup round of 16
1-4 v Basel, 2012/13 UEFA Europa League quarter-final