Tottenham Hotspur midfielder, Dele Alli , with dual citizenship Nigeria and the English national fired the spurs into the Champions League last 16 as his brace inspired a swaggering 3-1 win over Real Madrid that condemned the troubled holders to their first group-stage defeat in five years.
Alli put Tottenham ahead from close range in the first half and the England midfielder doubled their lead with a fine solo effort after the interval.
Lacklustre Madrid were run ragged on their first ever appearance at Wembley and Christian Eriksen delivered the knockout blow to ensure Zinedine Zidane’s side won’t be wishing for a return to the English national stadium anytime soon.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s late strike was no consolation for the 12-time European champions, who hadn’t lost at this stage of the tournament since October 2012.
With two games still to play in Group H, Tottenham’s first ever win over Real means they are guaranteed to reach the knockout phase and, just as significantly, it should give them genuine belief they can mount a serious challenge for the trophy.
After an erratic start to the season, this was Alli’s coming of age party as the 21-year-old bossed the midfield on his return to European action after a three-match ban.
“It gives great belief and confidence to everyone because it’s a great result and we are in the next stage of the Champions League but it’s so important now to keep feet on the grass,” Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino said after a win that ranks among the finest in his club’s history.
While Tottenham were in dreamland, Madrid’s shambolic display, coming after a shock La Liga defeat at minnows Girona last weekend, will add to the pressure on Zidane as he struggles to handle the first major test of his coaching credentials.
Real were unable or unwilling to match Tottenham’s intensity and Zidane said: “In all aspects Tottenham were superior.
“We are going through a bad moment. We have to keep our heads high.”
In the build-up to the match, Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen had bragged he wouldn’t swap Harry Kane for even Ronaldo.
Kane buzzed around the Madrid defence with real menace and his driven pass to Kieran Trippier gave the right-back the chance for an audacious volley that flashed wide of the far post.
Despite losing Belgian defender Toby Alderweireld to injury midway through the half, Pochettino’s side were dictating the tempo and their vibrant start was rewarded in the 27th minute.
Eriksen’s pass picked out Trippier’s run and, with Madrid’s appeals for offside falling on deaf ears, the defender whipped over a low cross that picked out Alli, who got in front of the Madrid defence to stab home.