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Rediff.com  » Sports » Champions League: Spurs' Kane matches Gerrard in Juve draw

Champions League: Spurs' Kane matches Gerrard in Juve draw

February 14, 2018 10:28 IST

IMAGES from the UEFA Champions League last 16 first leg matches played across Europe on Tuesday

Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane scores his side's first goal past Juventus 'keeper Gianluigi Buffon at Allianz Stadium in Turin, Italy, on Tuesday

IMAGE: Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane scores his side's first goal past Juventus 'keeper Gianluigi Buffon at Allianz Stadium in Turin, Italy, on Tuesday. Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty Images

Harry Kane continued his single-handed assault on the record books when he scored Tottenham Hotspur's opening goal in their comeback 2-2 draw at Juventus in the Champions League last 16, first leg on Tuesday.

 

Kane's 35th minute effort was his seventh goal in the competition this season -- matching Steven Gerrard, whose seven for Liverpool in the 2008-09 campaign had stood as a record for an English player.

Not only that but Kane's nine-goal haul from his first nine games is more than any other player in the history of Europe's blue-riband club competition -- one more than the quartet of Ronaldinho, Simone Inzaghi, Didier Drogba and Diego Costa.

Kane has scored nine goals in his last eight games in all competitions and has 33 for the season -- more than any other player in Europe's top five leagues.

The 24-year-old, who this month reached 100 Premier League goals in only 141 appearances, could have added to his tally on Tuesday but for two great saves by Juve's veteran keeper Gianluigi Buffon in the first half.

With the twice Premier League Golden Boot winner in this sort of form, however, Tottenham will feel they can topple Juventus in the second leg at Wembley next month -- indeed they will be favourites to do so.

Kane, who bagged Tottenham's winner against rivals Arsenal last weekend, paid tribute to the way his teammates recovered from conceding twice in the first nine minutes on Tuesday -- Gonzalo Higuain striking twice for the hosts.

"We could have capitulated, away from home in the Champions League. It showed character," he said.

"It was an excellent performance after that and we take two away goals to Wembley. A great result."

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino said his side had been sloppy in the opening 10 minutes but felt they should have been celebrating a victory after recovering to enjoy 62 percent of the possession against a side starting with seven of the players who began last year's final against Real Madrid in Cardiff.

His opposite number Massimiliano Allegri said his side had been taken aback by Tottenham's riposte.

"We started very well but then we struggled to keep the ball because Tottenham were playing so well," he said.

"After going 2-0 up, we did not decide to defend deep, Tottenham forced us to. After their second goal, however, we were the more dangerous side."

Ruthless City finish off Basel in 23 minutes

Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan (left) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against FC Basel at St. Jakob-Park in Basel, Switzerland, on Tuesday

IMAGE: Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan (left) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against FC Basel at St. Jakob-Park in Basel, Switzerland, on Tuesday. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

ManchesterCity effectively killed off their Champions League tie against FC Basel after 23 minutes on Tuesday, flattening the Swiss champions with three quickfire goals on their way to a 4-0 away win.

Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva and Sergio Aguero scored within nine minutes of each other in the last 16 first leg tie to almost certainly extend Basel's wait for a first quarter-final appearance in the competition.

Gundogan curled in the fourth from the edge of the area in the 53rd minute as the runaway English Premier League leaders clocked up another emphatic win in their remarkable season.

Basel did their best to make a game of it and created several openings but looked vulnerable every time City attacked.

City, who have lost in three of their previous four appearances at this stage of the competition, enjoyed the lion's share of the possession with 69 percent, although that was still unremarkable by their standards.

"It's an amazing result," said City coach Pep Guardiola.

"The tie is 180 minutes but we are almost there. We defended quite well, we were clinical. It's not easy to keep the level but we did it."

Despite the scoreline, City had 12 shots to Basel's 11 and the Swiss could have taken an early lead.

Dimitri Oberlin got clear of City's defence and tried to poke the ball past Ederson as the Brazilian rushed out of his area but got no power on the ball allowing Kyle Walker to clear easily.

Oberlin also had a penalty appeal turned down as he went over under a challenge from Nicolas Otamendi.

Reality struck for Basel in the 14th minute when Gundogan beat Fabian Frei to Kevin de Bruyne's corner and headed in.

Four minutes later, Leo Lacroix failed to cut out Raheem Sterling's cross and the unmarked Silva lobbed his shot over Tomas Vaclik's attempted save, then Aguero scored the third from outside the area -- City's fourth shot on target of the game.

Ederson made his first real save in the 49th minute, palming away Mohamed Elyounoussi's long-range shot, but shortly afterwards, Aguero set up Gundogan who took one touch and placed a looping shot into the far corner.

A brilliant Vaclik save denied Gundogan a hat-trick late on but, even so, the second leg looks little more than a formality for Guardiola's side.          

CSKA hold Red Star to 0-0 draw in Europa League opener

Former European Cup winners Red Star Belgrade were held to a 0-0 draw by CSKA Moscow in their Europa League last-32 first leg on Tuesday after both sides missed several chances on a cold and wet evening in the Serbian capital.

Red Star, who won Europe's premier club competition in 1991, had the best chances in driving sleet although 2005 UEFA Cup winners CSKA dominated possession in the Rajko Mitic stadium.

Visiting goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev denied Nemanja Radonjic in the 35th minute, after the winger raced clear from his markers, and also kept out a Damien Le Tallec effort with a superb save shortly after the break.

Comoros striker El Fardou Ben Nabouhane went close twice for Red Star and midfielder Nenad Krsticic glanced a header wide, while Canada goalkeeper Milan Borjan saved an early Vitinho shot at the other end.

Brazilian Vitinho missed the game's final chance when he shot wide from a good position, leaving the tie delicately balanced ahead of the return leg in Moscow on Feb 21.

"We had some good chances but we played against a tough side who have a wealth of experience in European competition so we can't be too unhappy," Red Star coach Vladan Milojevic told Serbian television.

Striker Aleksandar Pesic added: "It's not a bad result and it gives us a fair chance of progressing to the last 16."

The other first-leg ties will be played on Thursday, with Borussia Dortmund's clash against Atalanta and Celtic's match against Zenit St Petersburg among the standout fixtures.

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