Tottenham are walking something of a Champions League tightrope in an extremely competitive Group E with Harry Kane’s absence for the last two assignments being keenly felt.
The Spurs striker may have endured a frustrating European bow this season alongside his teammates after Monaco ran out Wembley winners, yet bereft of his services in subsequent continental sojourns, the Premier League side have looked distinctly blunt offensively.
With the England striker as the attacking focal point in the national stadium on matchday one, the Lilywhites registered four shots on target. This is one more than trips to CSKA Moscow and Leverksuen produced combined.
Heung-min Son did his best to deputise and the Korean proved the difference in Russia as a vital three points were banked.
But with the Son’s scoring hot streak cooled right down, Vincent Janssen’s gritty integration has shown little signs of smoothing out.
A rattled crossbar instead of a rippled net from a close-range header at the BayArena summed up the Dutchman’s time at Spurs so far.
Other than another aerial chance Dele Alli should have buried in the Lilywhites’ brightest spell prior to the break, the White Hart Lane outfit scarcely threatened over the 90 minutes.
Mauricio Pochettino had his goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to thank for escaping Germany with a share of the spoils and given the lack of bite at the other end, Kane’s forthcoming return to the fold will be most welcomed.
Tottenham’s top scorer of the past two seasons had notched two in three games before an ankle injury struck late on at Sunderland, causing six games to be missed and counting.
Although his side’s next outing at Bournemouth appears to be off limits, the midweek EFL Cup encounter with Liverpool has been pencilled in for Kane’s comeback.
He will be sorely needed at Wembley for Leverkusen’s November 1st visit if Pochettino’s troops are to make good on their evens status to top Group E and lessen the chances of a very thorny last-16 tie.