Dele Alli fired Tottenham 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.
Here are three things learned from Wembley.
If they thought things couldn’t get any worse than Sunday’s shock league defeat to lowly minnows Girona, Real Madrid were forced to think again at Wembley as they produced easily the worst performance of Zinedine Zidane’s tenure.
Make no mistake, Los Blancos are now in a full-blown crisis and Sunday’s thankfully very winnable home meeting with Las Palmas could even be a last chance for Zidane to save his job.
That might sound ridiculous for a man who led his team to a league and European double just five months ago but the pace of change is relentless at the Bernabeu and president Florentino Perez will find it difficult to forgive a display like this in such a prestigious setting.
Madrid were poor all over the pitch with their performance offering virtually no redeeming features. Individuals were partly to blame, with Casemiro, Marcelo and Karim Benzema particularly poor, but more worrying was the team’s overall lack of structure and purpose.
If there isn’t a major improvement very quickly, Zidane may not last much longer.
Madrid’s shapeless mess of a display sharply contrasted with the all-round excellence of Tottenham, who were disciplined, well-ordered and fiercely united right from the opening whistle.
It was a masterclass gameplan from highly rated Spurs coach Mauricio Pochettino, who must have wondered whether he will soon be stepping into Zidane’s shoes as they shook hands at the final whistle.
Throughout the game, Tottenham were compact where Madrid were disorganised; tigerish where the visitors were flaccid; constructive where the Spanish team were aimless. And a large portion of the credit for that must go to Pochettino, who clearly has everyone in his team understanding their roles and consequently full of confidence in their ability to control and win matches.
The fact that Tottenham were able to dominate the centre of the field – normally Madrid’s strong point – was particularly impressive, with the home players knowing exactly when to sit back and allow harmless possession and when to collectively engage in an attempt to win the ball.
Make room Messrs Guardiola, Mourinho, Simeone et al…you’ve got a new rival for the best coach in the world category.
All the talk before the game was about Harry Kane and whether the goal-hungry frontman would further enhance his chances of earning a big-money move to Madrid at the end of the season.
But in the end Tottenham thrashed Los Blancos without even needing a goal from Kane, who had his thunder well and truly stolen by two-goal star Dele Alli.
Playing in an advanced midfield role in support of Kane, Alli was magnificent – not only for his two goals, but for his excellent movement, use of space, link play and relentless work rate.
The only negative was that he didn’t complete his hat-trick by missing a presentable late headed chance, but that will be easily forgiven by disbelieving Tottenham fans as their team swept aside the reigning champions.
And with Alli complemented by strong performances from Kane, Harry Winks, Eric Dier and Kieran Trippier, perhaps watching England boss Gareth Southgate could have found himself the nucleus of a pretty strong team.