To enjoy the full Mail & Guardian online experience: please upgrade your browser
18 Oct 2017 06:48
The toast of the moment. (Reuters)
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a penalty but holders Real Madrid were held 1-1 at home by Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League on Tuesday, while Manchester City overcame Italian high-flyers Napoli 2-1.
Raphael Varane’s own goal gifted Spurs the lead on 28 minutes at the Bernabeu, but Ronaldo converted a spot-kick shortly before half-time after a foul by Serge Aurier on Toni Kroos.
Hugo Lloris produced a remarkable stop to thwart Karim Benzema from point-blank range and another acrobatic save to deny Ronaldo, while Keylor Navas foiled Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen as both teams remained unbeaten in Group H.
“The result is not the most important thing today. Having competed with Real Madrid today is what makes me happiest,” said Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino.
Real and Spurs top the section on seven points apiece and are well placed to progress to the knockout phase after Borussia Dortmund stumbled to a 1-1 draw at APOEL Nicosia.
A mistake by Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Burki was punished by Benin striker Mickael Pote and although Sokratis equalised with a header, Dortmund were left frustrated as both Shinji Kagawa and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hit the woodwork.
Raheem Sterling swept Premier League leaders City into a ninth-minute lead at Eastlands, with Gabriel Jesus tapping home a quickfire second from Kevin De Bruyne’s precise low cross.
Belgian midfielder De Bruyne then rattled the crossbar before Ederson preserved City’s two-goal advantage by keeping out a Dries Mertens penalty.
The Brazilian was beaten from the spot as Amadou Diawara halved the deficit 17 minutes from time after Fernandino brought down Faouzi Ghoulam, but City held on to secure a third straight win in Group F.
“It was an amazing game.
Outstanding,” Guardiola told BT Sport.
“The situation is that we go to the next game and try to win that. We are close but it is not already done. We need one more victory to qualify.”
Shakhtar Donetsk recovered from a goal down in Rotterdam to claim a 2-1 victory over Dutch champions Feyenoord.
Steven Berghuis headed the home side ahead, but Brazilian winger Bernard rounded Brad Jones to level and went on to grab the winner on 54 minutes to leave Shakhtar second on six points.
Liverpool earned their first win after back-to-back draws in Group E by dismantling Maribor 7-0 in Slovenia, falling just short of equalling the record for the biggest Champions League win they set back in 2007.
Mohamed Salah teed up Roberto Firmino for the opening goal on four minutes, with Philippe Coutinho volleying in a second before Egypt international Salah netted a first-half brace.
Firmino’s glancing header made it five as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Trent Alexander-Arnold added late goals to complete a resounding victory.
“Our attitude was really outstanding. We were spot on from the first second,” said manager Jurgen Klopp. “It looks like Maribor didn’t play well, but it was very difficult to play against us today.”
Liverpool just missed out on matching their 8-0 win over Besiktas a decade ago, with Real Madrid also thrashing Sweden’s Malmo by the same scoreline two years ago.
Liverpool moved top of the section on five points, ahead of Spartak Moscow on goal difference after the Russians routed Sevilla 5-1.
Sevilla defender Simon Kjaer cancelled out a Quincy Promes strike, but Lorenzo Melgarejo, Denis Glushakov and Luis Adriano all scored in the second half before Promes notched his second to power the hosts to their first win of the competition.
Radamel Falcao netted his first goal in Europe for Monaco this season, but the French champions are in dire trouble after crashing to a 2-1 defeat at home to Besiktas.
The Turkish champions recorded a third win in as many outings in Group G as Cenk Tosun inspired a stirring fightback with both Besiktas goals in the principality.
RB Leipzig are second in the group with four points after an entertaining 3-2 victory over Porto in Germany.
Willi Orban, Emil Forsberg and Jean-Kevin Augustin were all on target for Leipzig, while Cameroon striker Vincent Aboubakar and Ivan Marcano scored for Porto. – Agence France-Presse
Read more from Martyn Wood
Create Account | Lost Your Password?