Eric Dier summed it up best at full-time, telling Victor Wanyama it had been an embarrassing performance from Tottenham. Little did the Spurs defender know that the misery was only just beginning for Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
They were out of the Carabao Cup a few minutes later, beaten on penalties by Colchester United of League Two. Misses from Lucas Moura and Christian Eriksen were the story of a famous upset as Spurs fell victim to the unlikeliest of shocks, leaving Pochettino no closer to winning a major trophy.
Frustration gnawed at Spurs, who have not won an away game since May. Their best chance during the first half fell to Dele Alli, who shot too close to Dean Gerken in the Colchester goal after meeting a cross from Oliver Skipp, and they found it hard to service Troy Parrot, a 17-year-old striker who made little impact on his debut.
The pattern remained the same at the start of the second half and Spurs appealed unsuccessfully for a penalty when Alli claimed he had been shoved in the back by Paris Cowan-Hall. Colchester almost conceded moments later, only for a cross from Kyle Walker-Peters to strike the woodwork.
It was still too predictable from Spurs, though, and it felt like a moral victory for Colchester when Pochettino threw on the big guns, replacing Japhet Tangana and Parrott with Son Heung-min and Eriksen in the 66th minute.
However inspiration eluded last season’s Champions League finalists against the team sitting 10th in League Two. Victor Wanyama and Skipp were ineffective in central midfield.
Penalties beckoned and the home fans roared when Gerken began the shootout by saving Eriksen’s low shot. The atmosphere dipped when Jevani Brown’s dismal attempt at a Panenka was saved by Paulo Gazzaniga but Colchester had a chance to win it when Lucas Moura’s shot struck the bar, and Tom Lapslie hammered the decisive kick past Gazzaniga, sparking delirious scenes.