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 By Ben Pearce

Toby Alderweireld, Spurs' backline impress against holders Real Madrid

Hugo Lloris and Keylor Navas each put on a show between the sticks as Real Madrid and Spurs battled to a draw.
Tottenham and Real Madrid drew 1-1, while there were wins for Manchester City and Liverpool.
The FC panel see Spurs' draw with Real Madrid at the Bernabeu as a statement that they can compete in the Champions League.

Tottenham could probably have lost against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu and still felt relatively confident of progressing in the Champions League. But they clearly had little intention of doing so and have instead continued their charge towards the knockout stages after a 1-1 draw away against the 12-time European champions.

Serge Aurier had an eventful first half, delivering the cross that forced an own goal from Raphael Varane in the 28th minute before then conceding the penalty that allowed Cristiano Ronaldo to level just before half-time.

The goalkeepers then stepped up to the plate in the second period, with Hugo Lloris and Keylor Navas both making heroic saves to ensure both sides left with a point.

Real MadridReal Madrid
Tottenham HotspurTottenham Hotspur
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Positives

This was a memorable night for Tottenham, further enhancing their reputation in Europe after their victory over Borussia Dortmund, and their potential under Mauricio Pochettino.

With Dortmund drawing 1-1 with Apoel Nicosia elsewhere on Tuesday, Spurs remain six points clear of both sides at the halfway point in Group H.

Harry Winks impressed on the big stage once again, while Aurier seems to be finding his feet even if he remains prone to making rash challenges.

Meanwhile, the North Londoners achieved this result without a number of key players -- Dele Alli, Mousa Dembele, Victor Wanyama and Ben Davies, in addition to Erik Lamela. It speaks highly of Spurs' squad and their strength in depth these days, while Danny Rose's return in the closing stages was another welcome sight.

Negatives

Aurier needs to think twice before going to ground, and Christian Eriksen lacked his usual influence, but these are minor gripes.

Manager rating out of 10

8 -- Pochettino was unable to select either of his main two left-backs in his starting lineup, but his defensive reshuffle worked. His decision to pick Fernando Llorente over Son Heung-min was a surprise, as was his call to introduce Rose in the second half rather than Son, whose pace could perhaps have given Spurs more chance of grabbing a decisive goal on the break. But the Argentine will doubtless feel entirely vindicated after leaving the Bernabeu with a point, and this was another milestone in his transformation of Tottenham.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Hugo Lloris, 9 -- Made a sensational save to deny Karim Benzema early in the second half and also tipped a fierce Ronaldo effort over the bar. Spurs' key man in the second half.

DF Serge Aurier, 7 -- Forced the own goal from Varane with a fine low cross, but then undid that good work by conceding the penalty that gifted Real their equaliser. Nonetheless, this was an encouraging performance overall and one second-half attack, when he raced past two players down the right flank, was particularly positive.

DF Davinson Sanchez, 8 -- Produced a mature display as the right-sided centre-back and had the confidence to bring the ball out of defence when the opportunity was there. 

DF Eric Dier, 8 -- Dropped back into defence and stood tall at the centre of the backline. His versatility remains a real asset.

DF Toby Alderweireld, 8 -- A commanding performance, both on the ground and in the air, which limited Real's number of clear chances. The Belgian made a particularly good block to stop an Isco shot.

DF Jan Vertonghen, 8 -- Allowed an early cross to bypass him and Ronaldo hit the post, but his defending was superb after that, particularly 1v1.

MF Moussa Sissoko, 7 -- A hard-working display and, although he didn't pose much of a threat himself, he was involved in a neat one-two with Aurier that helped his teammate get forward in the second half.  

After a disastrous campaign in Europe a year ago, Spurs laid down another marker by going toe to toe with Real Madrid.

MF Harry Winks, 8 -- Looked utterly unfazed by the occasion or surroundings once again and just played his game, getting Spurs on the front foot as much as possible and playing a key part in the opening goal. The 21-year-old continues to relish every challenge that is thrown at him.

MF Christian Eriksen, 6 -- One of the Dane's quieter performances and he gave the ball away more than usual, although he went close with a shot in the second half.

FW Fernando Llorente, 7 -- Set up Spurs' best chance of the second half, first winning a flick-on and then dissecting the defence to leave Kane clear in front of goal.

FW Harry Kane, 7 -- His run towards the near post put Varane in the awkward position that resulted in the own goal, but he was generally well marked and when his big chance came in the second half he was denied by Navas.

Substitutes

MF Danny Rose, NR -- Came off the bench in the 80th minute to make his first appearance since January and helped Spurs to see out of the game in a role on the left side of midfield.

MF Son Heung-min, NR -- Finally entered the fray for the final moments in place of the injured Sissoko.

Ben is ESPN FC's Tottenham blogger. Follow on Twitter: @BenPearceSpurs.

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