Tottenham’s players endured a disrupted night of sleep on the eve of the crucial Champions League tie against Marseille as local fans set off fireworks above the team hotel.
Spurs sources reported “very prolonged” displays outside where they stayed and there being more than one of them – believed to have been at 1.30am and 4.30am on Tuesday – that woke up Antonio Conte’s players.
The north London club, who need a draw on Tuesday night to qualify for the last 16 and will be knocked out if they lose, were braced for dirty tricks from the Marseille support but there was nothing they could do to prevent the fright night on Halloween.
Spurs are preparing for an intense atmosphere at the game, even though the Velodrome’s Visage Nord will be closed after incidents involving Marseille fans when they played Eintracht Frankfurt in September.
Spurs have warned their 2,000-strong travelling support to “expect a hostile environment around this fixture” and “exercise caution at all times while in Marseille”. They have advised them not to visit the Vieux Port and, in other parts of the city, “not to wear anything that will identify them as Tottenham supporters or congregate in large groups”.
The fans are to be bused in and out of the stadium from the La Joliette area under police escort. The local police chief, Frederique Camilleri, has signed an order to prohibit Spurs supporters from being in the 1st, 2nd, 6th and 7th arrondissements of the city until 2am on Wednesday – in other words a large area of the centre that includes the Vieux Port.