Rediff.com  » Sports » Champions League PIX: Spurs, Liverpool squeeze into last 16; Inter knocked out

Champions League PIX: Spurs, Liverpool squeeze into last 16; Inter knocked out

Last updated on: December 12, 2018 10:02 IST
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Images from the Champions League matches played on Tuesday

Tottenham Hotspur's Lucas Moura celebrates with Erik Lamela and Fernando Llorente after scoring during their UEFA Champions League Group B match against FC Barcelona at Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain, on Tuesday

IMAGE: Tottenham Hotspur's Lucas Moura celebrates with Erik Lamela and Fernando Llorente after scoring during their UEFA Champions League Group B match against FC Barcelona at Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain, on Tuesday. Photograph: Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur made it into the last 16 of the Champions League by coming from behind to grab a 1-1 draw at Barcelona on Tuesday which saw them finish second in Group B at the expense of Inter Milan.

Spurs were facing a much-changed Barca side who had already qualified as Group B winners and started without talisman Lionel Messi but they fell behind to an astonishing run and strike from Ousmane Dembele in the seventh minute.

 

Tottenham dominated much of the game but were repeatedly denied by outstanding saves from Barca’s reserve goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen before pulling level when Lucas Moura turned in a Harry Kane cross from close range in the 85th minute.

Danny Rose spurned a glorious chance to give Spurs the win but they squeezed through to the knockout stages thanks to Inter Milan drawing 1-1 at home to already-eliminated PSV Eindhoven.

It meant both teams finished with eight points but Spurs qualified due to their superior head-to-head record.

Salah fires Liverpool into Champions League last 16

Liverpool's Mo Salah celebrates with Virgil van Dyke after scoring against Napoli on Tuesday

IMAGE: Liverpool's Mo Salah celebrates with Virgil van Dyke after scoring against Napoli. Photograph: Liverpool FC/Twitter

Mohamed Salah's delightful first-half strike gave Liverpool a 1-0 win over Napoli that sent them into the Champions League's last 16 and the Italian side crashing out at a tension-filled Anfield on Tuesday.

Liverpool knew that a 1-0 win, or a victory by two goals or more, would be enough to seal a top-two spot in Group C, and Salah was again the hero for the hosts, scoring what proved to be the winner with a magical individual burst in the 34th minute.

Napoli pressed for a leveller in the second half, with Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson denying Arkadiusz Milik in stoppage time with a superb save, but the home side's resolute defence stood firm to the intense relief of the home fans.

Paris St Germain's 4-1 victory at Red Star Belgrade meant they finished top with 11 points while Napoli, who started the day leading the way, exited the competition as Liverpool snatched second spot on goals scored after both teams finished with nine points.

"I’m still full of good feeling," Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said.

"This game was just amazing. Outstanding, unbelievable. The boys played with their whole heart on the pitch."

Klopp stuck with the midfield three that struggled against PSG in their last Champions League match and it was Napoli who found their rhythm first, creating some promising openings early on.

Salah was then presented with a glorious opportunity to break the deadlock, but his touch let him down at the last moment while at the other end, Marek Hamsik could not find the target from a good position.

Kalidou Koulibaly was doing a fine job of marking Salah, until the Egyptian produced a moment of magic to score the only goal of the game, skipping past Koulibaly before slotting in from a tight angle -- his 34th goal for Liverpool in 2018 in all competitions.

Liverpool really should have extended their lead in the second half, with Salah firing wide from a good position, before Sadio Mane was denied by a fine save from David Ospina.

Napoli saved their best attacking play for the latter stages, with Jose Callejon firing over from close range, before Mane somehow shot wide when he should have scored.

Milik almost broke Liverpool hearts right at the death, only to be denied by Alisson, who raced from his line to make a game-saving block.

Paris St. Germain through after 4-1 rout of Red Star

Paris Saint Germain reached the last 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday thanks to an inspired performance by their three-pronged attack of Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe in a 4-1 win at Red Star Belgrade.

All three forwards scored in an intimidating atmosphere at Red Star's Rajko Mitic stadium, and midfielder Marquinhos was also on target to cancel out a sumptuous volley by Red Star defender Marko Gobeljic.

The result lifted the French champions to the top of Group C on 11 points from six games, two ahead of Liverpool who also qualified thanks to a 1-0 home win over Napoli that left them ahead of the Italian side on goals scored.

Paris St Germain's German coach Thomas Tuchel was pleased with how his side handled the pressure in the cauldron of Red Star's ground.

"We were on the back foot in the opening 15 minutes of the second half when Red Star scored, but we controlled the rest of the contest," Tuchel told a news conference.

"We should have scored three or four in the first half, but after they pulled one back, we showed maturity and resilience to finish them off.

"We have the mentality required in the Champions League, and I am confident that we can keep the bar high. However, we also have to stay humble and take it one match at a time. Our fans can dream of the title but we have to stay focused."

The visitors dominated the first half in Belgrade, and Cavani fired them ahead with a 10th-minute tap-in from close range after Mbappe raced clear of his marker and squared the ball back to the Uruguay striker.

The home side were barely able to get out of their own half in the opening period, and livewire Neymar doubled Paris St Germain's lead in the 40th minute with an individual goal of the highest quality.

Having picked up the ball near the halfway line, the Brazilian sent one home defender after another sprawling on their backs with shimmies and lightning footwork before stroking the ball past goalkeeper Milan Borjan.

Roared on by a 55,000 home crowd, Red Star came out with renewed purpose in the second half and came close through El Fardou Ben Nabouhane before Gobeljic's delightful volley.

But PSG put the game beyond Red Star's reach with two more goals in the closing stages as the home side ran out of steam.

Marquinhos buried a header past Borjan in the 74th minute after Angel Di Maria swung in an inch-perfect free kick, and Neymar then released Mbappe to complete the rout with a clinical stoppage-time strike.

Despite crashing out of European competition, 1991 European Cup winners Red Star received a standing ovation from their die-hard supporters on the final whistle after several spirited performances in their maiden Champions League campaign. 

Inter knocked out after being held at home by PSV Eindhoven

Inter Milan players wear a dejected look after their loss to PSV at San Siro in Milan

IMAGE: Inter Milan players wear a dejected look after their loss to PSV in their Group B match at San Siro in Milan. Photograph: Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

Inter Milan were knocked out of the Champions League after they could manage only a 1-1 draw at home to Group B’s bottom club PSV Eindhoven on Tuesday to finish third behind Tottenham Hotspur.

The Dutch side, with only one point from their first five games, took a shock lead in the 13th minute when Hirving Lozano headed home after Kwadwo Asamoah lost possession in defence.

The visitors then survived incessant Inter pressure until Mauro Icardi headed in from Matteo Politano’s cross in the 73rd minute. At that point, Inter were heading into the last 16 as Tottenham Hotspur were losing to Barcelona.

Yet Tottenham later equalised to draw 1-1 at Barcelona and squeezed through ahead of Inter on their head-to-head record after the two sides finished with eight points.

Dortmund beat Monaco after Guerreiro double, top group

Action from the match played between Dortmund and Monaco

IMAGE: Action from the match played between Dortmund and Monaco. Photograph: AS Monaco/Twitter

An under-strength Borussia Dortmund deepened AS Monaco's season-long misery on Tuesday with a 2-0 away victory that ensured they finished top of Champions League Group A ahead of Atletico Madrid.

The victory took Dortmund on to 13 points and meant they won the group thanks to a better head-to-head record against the Spaniards, who drew 0-0 at Club Bruges.

Raphael Guerreiro got both goals for the Germans, the first when he tapped in following a fine counter-attack with a quarter of an hour gone and the second two minutes from time when he curled a shot into the top corner from around 10 metres out.

It was another fine performance by Dortmund, who even without several of their rested regulars extended their season's record to 17 wins, four draws and just one defeat in all competitions.

Monaco, who were destined to finish bottom of the group even before the game, suffered their 14th European match without a win and ended the group in last place with just one point, five points behind Bruges.

Atletico draw in Bruges to give Dortmund top spot in group

Atletico Madrid were denied top place in Group A of the Champions League on Tuesday after a goalless draw away at Club Bruges in Belgium meant they finished second behind Borussia Dortmund.

The Germans started the final match day two points behind Atletico, but by beating Monaco 2-0 away ended tied on 13 points with the Spanish club and took top place based on the head-to-head scores between them.

Bruges finished third in the standings and will play in the Europa League in the new year.

There were few scoring chances at the Jan Breyel Stadium, with the home team coming closest in the 74th minute when defender Luan Peres was denied, minutes after coming on for his debut in European club competition.

He made a storming run down the pitch to meet a cross which he headed almost straight down into the ground, with the subsequent bounce giving Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak the chance to pull off a point-blank save.

Lacklustre Atletico had the better of the first half as Thomas Partey shot straight at Bruges goalkeeper Ethan Horvath when well placed, and Antoine Griezmann saw his curling effort palmed away.

The home side offered little in attack, with their best effort a freekick by Stefano Denswil that was comfortable for Oblak but showed more enterprise after the break.

Porto beat Galatasaray but Turks still finish third, Schalke end 2nd in Group D

Porto struggled to a 3-2 away victory over Galatasaray in their final Champions League group match on Tuesday but the Turks stayed third in Group D and secured a spot in the Europa League's round of 32.

Porto, who had already secured top spot in the group, took the lead against the run of play in the 17th minute with a well-timed Felipe header from a free kick.

Moussa Marega doubled the lead when he converted a 42nd minute penalty, finding the net for the fifth successive group-stage match.

The hosts, who needed a win to make sure of third place, had failed to score in the competition since September but did break their goal drought with a penalty of their own from Sofiane Fenghouli in first-half stoppage time.

The Portuguese weathered a Turkish offensive early in the second half and restored their two-goal cushion when Marega pounced on a defensive mistake and Sergio Oliveira finished off a quick move.

The Turkish side reduced the deficit through Eren Derdiyok in the 65th minute and could have drawn level if Algeria international Feghouli had not hit the crossbar with his second penalty a minute later.

Lokomotiv Moscow were equally desperate for a win against already-qualified and injury-hit Schalke 04 to have any hope of snatching third place away from Galatasaray.

They could not find the back of the net, however, against the lacklustre Germans, who had already clinched second place and a spot in the competition's knockout stage.

Schalke struck in stoppage time through Alessandro Schoepf to condemn the Russians to fourth place on three points, one behind Galatasaray.

Porto finished top of Group D on 16 points and undefeated, with Schalke second on 11.

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