Spurs avoid embarrassment with late turnaround

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Ibrahimovic, Calhanoglu fire AC Milan through

Tottenham battled back from the brink to avoid UEFA Europa League humiliation as a late turnaround secured a 2-1 second-round qualifying win at Lokomotiv Plovdiv, which had two players sent off.

Jose Mourinho's men, who had been dominant, looked set to be eliminated from European football for the season when Lokomotiv took a 71st-minute lead, but two of the home team's players were dismissed in quick succession and Spurs netted twice in the latter stages to scrape through to the next round.

Spurs had no issue controlling proceedings as they enjoyed 72 per cent of the first-half possession, but they lacked a clinical edge in the final third, with Steven Bergwijn going closest when striking the crossbar early on.

Lokomotiv seemed to have made the most of Spurs' struggles when Georgi Minchev headed them into the lead, but Dinis Almeida was sent off for denying a certain goal – with Harry Kane subsequently netting from the spot – and Birsent Karagaren followed his team-mate in an early exit.

Tanguy Ndombele then completed the comeback with five minutes to go, though that was unlikely to be enough to prevent significant criticism of Spurs' performance.