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Rediff.com  » Sports » Champions League PICS: Kane revives Tottenham's hopes; Liverpool shocked

Champions League PICS: Kane revives Tottenham's hopes; Liverpool shocked

Last updated on: November 07, 2018 09:24 IST

In Tuesday night’s other group stage matches, a 1-1 draw with Inter Milan ensured Barcelona a place in the knock-outs, Club Brugge trounced Monaco 4-0, Atletico Madrid beat Dortmund 2-0, Schalke were 2-0 winners over Galatasary, Napoli and Paris Saint-Germain drew 1-1 and Porto routed Lokomotiv Moscow 4-1.

Harry Kane scores

IMAGE: Harry Kane scores Tottenham's first goal against PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League Group stage match at Wembley Stadium, London, on Tuesday. Photograph: David Klein/Reuters

Already in last-chance saloon Tottenham Hotspur were staggering towards the Champions League trapdoor before Harry Kane conjured a late brace to earn his side a precious 2-1 win over PSV Eindhoven on Tuesday.

It had looked like being another night of Group B frustration for Tottenham, who spent the match huffing and puffing after Luuk de Jong headed PSV in front after 61 seconds.

 

PSV's travelling 5,000-strong army looked set to celebrate a memorable night in north London at a half-empty Wembley only for Kane to come to Tottenham's rescue and take his Champions League goals tally to 13 in 14 appearances.

He finally beat PSV's inspired keeper Jeroen Zoet in the 78th minute and then in the 89th his header took a couple of deflections before creeping into the net.

It sealed Tottenham's first win in the group although Mauro Icardi's late equaliser for Inter Milan in a 1-1 draw with leaders Barcelona means Mauricio Pochettino's side still face a huge task to reach the knockout phase.

There is still hope, though, and victory over Inter at home in their next match would draw them level with the Italians on seven points before the small matter of a trip to play Barcelona in the Nou Camp.

"Today it wasn't ideal, conceding early, but then we were dominant and created chances," said Kane, who now has 22 goals for Tottenham in Europe.

"Winning this one will be a big boost and we'll go into Inter Milan after the international break full of confidence, full of energy and hopefully we can do the same."

Dutch champions PSV are all but out with only one point.

Hugo Lloris's rush of blood to the head and red card in the 2-2 draw in the Netherlands two weeks ago meant Paulo Gazzaniga wsa handed his Champions League debut for Tottenham.

His first action, however, was to pick the ball out of his net after skipper De Jong, who equalised late on a fortnight ago, was left unmarked to thump home a header from Gaston Pereiro's corner in the second minute.

IMAGE: Harry Kane, not pictured, scores Tottenham Hotspur's second goal past PSV Eindhoven's Jeroen Zoet. Photograph: David Klein/Reuters

It provoked a response from Tottenham, with Dele Alli's effort from a corner being cleared off the line by Angelino and Lucas Moura's surging run into the area eventually smothered by some desperate PSV defending.

As the hosts cranked up the pressure PSV keeper Zoet made a superb double save to first deny Christian Eriksen's close-range effort and then Alli's follow-up.

Alli was kicking the air in frustration again 10 minutes before halftime when he was picked out by Alderweireld's raking pass and his scuffed shot looked to be sneaking inside the post before Zoet plunged to his right to save.

If anything, PSV looked the more threatening side early in the second half, especially from set-pieces, one of which ended with Pereiro's header forcing a diving save from Gazzaniga.

There was an air of resignation sweeping the home crowd as PSV threw their bodies in the way of shots and crosses, but Kane finally made the breakthrough.

Eriksen's long ball into the area was knocked down by substitute Fernando Llorente and while Kane's left-foot strike was not the cleanest, he managed to direct it beyond Zoet.

In a wide-open finale, substitute Donyell Malen had the chnace to win it for PSV but his stinging shot was tipped over by Gazzaniga and minutes later Kane snatched it for Spurs.

Ben Davies hung up a high cross and Kane's header lacked power but crucially brushed off PSV's Trent Sainsbury and crept into the corner beyond the despairing dive of Zoet.

Milan Pavkov shines as Red Star shock Liverpool

Milan Pakov

IMAGE: Milan Pavkov scores Red Star's opening goal against Liverpool at the Rajko Mitic Stadium, in Belgrade. Photograph: Marko Djurica/Reuters

Red Star Belgrade wound back the clock to their European heyday as two goals from towering striker Milan Pavkov helped the Serbian side to a memorable 2-0 Champions League home victory over a subdued Liverpool in Group C.

It was the Serbian side's first-ever win in the Champions League group stages on their maiden campaign in the present format of Europe's elite club competition and their most memorable night since they won the 1991 European Cup.

It was also thoroughly deserved after a spirited performance from the home side in the cauldron of Red Star's Rajko Mitic stadium.

The result left Liverpool facing a tricky path to the knockout stages, although they still have their fate in their own hands.

Liverpool were provisionally top of the group on six points from four games, with second-placed Napoli (six points) drawing at home 1-1 to third-placed Paris St Germain (five points) later on Tuesday.

Red Star also have four points after they bounced back from successive drubbings by Liverpool and Paris St Germain following their opening goalless home draw with Napoli.

Liverpool are away to Paris St Germain in their next match before a potentially decisive clash with Napoli at Anfield.

Visibly disappointed after what could prove to be a costly setback, Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp conceded his side played well below par in a cracking atmosphere.

"It was a good football atmosphere, not one where it would have been impossible to perform, to be honest," he told a news conference.

"We had our moments but we never really clicked or got back into the game after falling two goals behind. We gave them too many set pieces, they were more aggressive and deserved to win."

Red Star's fervent fans were taken down memory lane before kick off, as several of their stalwarts who were part of the team that beat Liverpool 4-2 on aggregate in the 1973-74 European Cup were paraded by the touchline.

Pavkov, a surprise starter up front as Red Star's third-choice striker, gave the home side a 22nd-minute lead when he headed home from the edge of the six-yard box after a Marko Marin corner from the right.

It was no more than Red Star deserved after the opening 20 minutes, with centre back Vujadin Savic firing over early on before El Fardou Ben Nabouhane forced Liverpool keeper Alisson Becker to palm his low drive from 25 metres around the post.

Alisson could do nothing, however, as Marin swung in the corner and Pavkov rose above his markers to spark wild celebrations among the fervent 55,000 home crowd.

The atmosphere reached fever pitch seven minutes later as Pavkov doubled the home side's advantage, rifling a screaming shot from 25 metres into the right corner of the net with Alisson well beaten.

Liverpool, whose midfield struggled against their more aggressive opponents, lost possession on the halfway line and Pavkov shrugged off Georginio Wijnaldum to find the time and space to unleash an unstoppable shot.

Mohamed Salah fired over the bar shortly afterwards to sum up a poor first half for Liverpool, with Daniel Sturridge also missing an early chance for the visitors when he skied his volley from close range.

Salah missed two good chances within a minute for Liverpool midway through the second half, forcing a good save from Red Star keeper Milan Borjan before he shaved the outside of the post with a shot from the edge of the penalty box.

The outstanding Borjan again denied Salah from close range in the 82nd minute as Liverpool piled on the pressure but the visitors could not find a way through Red Star's packed and well-organised defence.

Icardi snatches draw for Inter, but Barca through to knock-outs

IMAGE: Mauro Icardi celebrates scoring the equaliser for Inter Milan against Barcelona at the San Siro, in Milan. Photograph: Stefano Rellandini/Reuters

Barcelona qualified for the knockout stage of the Champions League after a compelling 1-1 draw away to Inter Milan as a late leveller from Mauro Icardi ended the Catalans’ perfect record in this season’s competition.

Former Barca youth player Icardi swivelled to smash the ball into the net in the 87th minute not long after Brazilian Malcom appeared to have snatched a late winner for Barca by scoring his first goal for the club moments after coming off the bench.

Barca were still without talismanic figure Lionel Messi through injury but were the better side for most of a game that was high on intensity but lacking in quality until an electrifying final 10 minutes at a rocking San Siro.

Barca top Group B with 10 points after four games; Inter are second with seven, while Tottenham Hotspur are third on four and PSV Eindhoven bottom, and out of the competition, with one.

“Our aim when we came here was to qualify, and ideally as group leaders by winning the game, and we did everything possible to do that,” Barca coach Ernesto Valverde told a news conference.

“We did everything well, from pressing high and combining well. We just lacked a little when it came to finishing chances in the area.

“We were also against an Inter side that have earned many points this season. But we’re happy because our first objective was to qualify, and we’ve done that.”

Barca were famously beaten 3-1 by Jose Mourinho’s Inter in the semi-finals in 2010 and had not won on any of their previous six visits to Italy.

But they coped well with the home side’s initial high pressing, thanks to the composed passing of midfielder Arthur Melo, and soon began to dominate.

Luis Suarez nearly scored what would have been a marvellous goal after controlling a high ball with his chest but sent his attempted chip inches wide of the top corner of the goal. Ivan Rakitic had also come close to finding the opener in the first period and was guilty of a glaring miss after the interval when he had only goalkeeper Samir Handanovic to beat but fired straight at the body of the Slovenian.

Brazilian Malcom had featured little for Barca since signing from Bordeaux in the summer but thrust himself into the limelight less than two minutes after replacing the ineffective Ousmane Dembele, controlling a pass from Philippe Coutinho and drilling the ball under the diving Handanovic.

Barca were on their way to a first win in Italy since beating AC Milan at the San Siro in November 2011, which would also have seen them seal top spot in the group, but the ruthless Icardi had the final say against the club that let him go as a teenager.

“Barcelona’s goal was unexpected, as it looked like the game would end goalless, but the reaction of my players was fundamental,” Inter coach Luciano Spalletti said.

“Barcelona could have scored more, but the (Inter) team played with courage and had the attitude that the crowd demanded, so we’re happy about that.”

Barca could still celebrate qualifying for the knockout stage for a 15th consecutive season, however, and they will clinch top spot if they win away to PSV Eindhoven in their next European fixture.

Napoli, PSG draw leaves group wide open

IMAGE: Lorenzo Insigne scores from the penalty spot for Napoli against Paris St Germain, at the Stadio San Paolo, in Naples. Photograph: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

Napoli and Paris St Germain battled to a 1-1 draw in their Champions League match as Neymar produced a typical performance for the French side, mixing brilliance with petulance.

Juan Bernat gave PSG a deserved lead in first-half stoppage time before Lorenzo Insigne levelled from a penalty in the 62nd minute, after Jose Callejon pounced on a mistake by PSG defender Thiago Silva and was upended in the area.

The result, combined with Red Star Belgrade's 2-0 win over Liverpool earlier on Tuesday, threw Group C wide open with only two points separating the four sides.

Liverpool and Napoli have six apiece, with PSG on five and Red Star Belgrade on four. PSG and Napoli drew 2-2 in their previous meeting last month.

Neymar did not get on the score sheet but was in the thick of the action.

The Brazilian showed flashes of inspiration and sowed panic when he ran at the Napoli defence. Yet there were also moments when he was too individualist, argued with opponents and he was eventually booked for sarcastically applauding the referee.

PSG goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, making his Champions League debut for them after completing a three-match ban from last season, did not have a save to make in the first half of his first match in Italy since leaving Juventus.

Napoli struggled to play their way out of defence against PSG's aggressive pressing and it was the visitors who had the better openings, eventually going ahead in the second minute of stoppage time.

Neymar released Kylian Mbappe down the left with a delightful chipped pass, the French World Cup winner twisted and turned his way past Raul Albiol and pulled the ball back to Juan Bernat who, despite stumbling, managed to beat David Ospina.

It was a different story after halftime as Napoli tore into the visitors.

Buffon twice denied Dries Mertens, then a Jose Callejon shot was blocked by Thilo Kehrer and Fabian Ruiz went close with a drive from outside the penalty area.

Buffon somehow managed to stop a Lorenzo Insigne shot on the line which he knew nothing about, and it took the penalty to finally beat the 40-year-old veteran.

Thiago Silva had failed to intercept the ball, Callejon nipped in and was caught in a sandwich between the keeper and the Brazilian defender. Insigne converted and the San Paolo stadium went wild.

The play remained open and niggly, but neither side was able to find a winner.

Atletico snap Dortmund's unbeaten run

IMAGE: Antoine Griezmann scores Atletico Madrid's second goal against Borussia Dortmund, at the Wanda Metropolitano, in Madrid. Photograph: Juan Medina/Reuters

Atletico Madrid dominated a toothless Borussia Dortmund to win 2-0 in their Champions League Group A match on Tuesday, exacting some revenge for last month's heavy loss in Germany and snapping their opponents' unbeaten run this season.

Saul Niguez fired the hosts ahead in the 33rd minute and Antoine Griezmann added another in the 80th in a one-sided match that ended Dortmund's unbeaten run in all competitions since the start of the season.

The Germans, who had close to 65 percent possession, did not manage a single shot on goal in the entire match and had a total of just two efforts off target.

"We really wanted to give them a game after they hammered us in Germany," World Cup winner Griezmann told reporters.

"We learned from our errors and delivered a much better image of ourselves tonight. We had important players injured but the team has respond."

The result lifted Atletico to nine points, level with leaders Dortmund, with two games left in the group stage.

Belgium's Club Bruges are third on four points after beating AS Monaco 4-0 earlier on Tuesday with the top two advancing to the knockout stage.

Dortmund, who face Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga on Saturday, found themselves on the backfoot from the start with Diego Simeone's team eager to make amends for their 4-0 demolition in Dortmund last month.

The injury-hit Spaniards, missing several regulars including captain Diego Godin and Koke, still packed a considerable punch, and Angel Correa tested keeper Roman Buerki early on.

With Dortmund opting to defend in numbers rather than attack, the breakthrough for Atletico came when Saul fired in to complete a swift move that had split open the German defence.

Dortmund, the last German team to win a Champions League game at Atletico in their title-winning 1996-97 season, were in disarray and Saul went close to a second goal in the 41st minute, firing narrowly wide.

Buerki rescued Dortmund twice more before the visitors were saved by the halftime whistle.

The Swiss then denied Correa again on the hour before Dortmund had a rare chance of their own with substitute Raphael Guerreiro's header.

Atletico captain Griezmann put the result beyond doubt when he broke free, charging into the box and slipping the ball past Buerki to seal victory on his 50th Champions League appearance.

Brugge extend misery for winless Henry with 4-0 Monaco triumph

IMAGE: Hans Vanaken celebrates scoring club Brugge's second goal from the penalty spot. Photograph: Eric Gaillard/Reuters

Club Brugge kept their Champions League hopes alive on Tuesday with a crushing 4-0 win over AS Monaco that helped knock the French club out of the competition and extended coach Thierry Henry's winless start in the principality to five games.

The result took the Belgian champions on to four points in Group A, five behind joint leaders Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid.

Atletico beat the German side 2-0 on Tuesday, meaning Monaco, with only one point in their four games so far, cannot finish in the top two and are out.

"It was shameful," said Monaco defender Djibril Sidibe. "Even if we showed good intent, it is the end product that counts. We weren't at the required level this evening, it's as simple as that. We need to ask individual questions of ourselves. If you don't win 50-50s then you cannot win matches."

Hans Vanaken turned in a low cross after 12 minutes to put the visitors ahead, and he doubled their lead five minutes later by scoring from the spot after Antonio Barreca handled inside the area.

Brazilian striker Wesley made it three after 24 minutes when he fired home an angled drive from just outside the box.

Brugge captain Rudd Vormer added a fourth with five minutes left.

"It was not our best match of the four we've played (in Group A)," said Vanaken. "But we've won 4-0 in Monaco, so we all have to be satisfied.

"We have said it before: it is important to convert your chances in the Champions League. And today I think we converted them all. Four chances, four goals - that's the key."

Monaco, whose last win came on Aug. 11, were the stronger side in the first 10 minutes, but crumbled during that killer 13-minute period.

They improved in the second half, but Vormer's fourth goal condemned them to their heaviest ever home loss in Europe.

The defeat - the 18th Champions League match in a row in which they have failed to keep a clean sheet - will heap more pressure on Henry, the former Monaco and Arsenal striker who took his first coaching job less than a month ago.

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