Tottenham’s Champions League clash with AC Milan will kick-off 10 minutes later than scheduled after the Italian team arrived at the stadium late because of heavy traffic in London. Spurs are looking to overturn a 1-0 first leg deficit, with a place in the quarter-finals at stake.
After arriving at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, AC Milan manager Stefano Pioli asked UEFA to delay the 8pm kick-off to give his Players the time they needed to prepare properly for the encounter.
And before the kick-off change was announced, Pioli told Amazon Prime Italia: “We asked for the game to be postponed by 10 minutes, but haven’t had a response yet. It is an important appointment, we want to get through to the next round and will face this match with great energy.”
Ahead of the match, there was confusion over the kick-off time, with BT Sport announcing that the match had been delayed. But the broadcaster then told viewers that it would still get underway at 8pm. And they then made a further announcement to confirm the clash would start at 8.10pm.
Meanwhile, BT Sport pundits Rio Ferdinand and Glenn Hoddle both agreed that Players could struggle to adapt if they weren’t given enough time to go through their usual preparations.
However, Tottenham manager Antonio Conte was refusing to focus on the traffic issues ahead of the match. “Nothing changed here,” he told BT Sport. “It doesn’t change anything. We’re here to play a game with the right intensity, to be brave, to try to play a good game. This is a must-win game, we know very well. In this kind of game you either live or you die. We’ll try to do everything to get the win.”
The Italian is back on the touchline after recovering from gallbladder surgery in his homeland. And he had earlier revealed that club doctors were “really worried” about his health. He then added: “I have to still recover weight but for the rest I am okay. My feeling is good. I have a lot of energy. I will try to transfer my energy to my Players because it is an important game for us.”
Tottenham have plenty of work to do if they want to qualify for the last eight of the Champions League after failing to score during a 1-0 defeat at the San Siro last month. Winger Brahim Diaz scored Milan’s winner before the Italian giants shut out the Spurs attack.