Rodrygo Makes History As Madrid Thump Galatasaray

Real Madrid’s Brazilian forward Rodrygo celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League Group A football match between Real Madrid and Galatasaray at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, on November 6, 2019.
PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU / AFP

 

Rodrygo scored a sensational hat-trick and the fastest two goals in Champions League history on Wednesday as Real Madrid humiliated Galatasaray 6-0.

The 18-year-old had his double after just six minutes and 14 seconds at the Santiago Bernabeu before teeing up Karim Benzema to make it four, after Sergio Ramos had chipped in a penalty.

Benzema then added a fifth late in the second half, leaving Rodrygo to complete his incredible treble in injury-time.

Madrid’s emphatic victory means they are virtually qualified from Group A, sitting five points ahead of Club Brugge, even if Paris Saint-Germain who are top look certain to claim first place.

READ ALSO: Atletico’s Round Of 16 Qualification Delayed After Loss To Leverkusen

It means Zinedine Zidane’s side will likely be at the mercy of the draw when it comes to the last 16 but that is their punishment for a miserable opening defeat in Paris and an equally dispiriting draw at home to Brugge.

Yet the knock-out stages are far away and Rodrygo is the man of the moment.

After scoring the fastest ever league goal by a Real debutant in September – a sumptuous control and finish after 94 seconds – he now has his name etched into the European record books too.

Benzema made his own piece of history by equalling and then surpassing Alfred di Stefano’s 49 European Cup goals but the way he hoisted Rodrygo to celebrate his first suggested he knew this was the teenager’s night.

When club president Florentino Perez presented Rodrygo to the fans last summer, he said they had signed one of the world’s “great prodigies”, a year after Vinicius Junior had also arrived from Flamengo.

Determined to avoid a repeat of losing out on Neymar to Barcelona, Madrid flooded Brazil with scouts, each of them instructed to find the next young gems.

They found Vinicius, who excelled last season but has struggled since the arrival of Eden Hazard, and Rodrygo, who stayed at Santos for a year before finally joining in June.

He was supposed to be introduced gradually to the senior team by playing first for Castilla, the club’s B team, and there was confusion earlier this season when one weekend he turned out for neither.

“He is a first-team player,” Zidane said. “We know exactly what we’re doing with him.”

Rodrygo replaced Vinicius to make his debut against Osasuna but his four consecutive starts have come in the absence of Gareth Bale, who is recovering from a calf injury and may struggle to regain his place when he returns.

There will be sturdier opponents than Galatasaray, who offered Madrid a way back into this group by losing 1-0 at home last month and put up precious little resistance here.

But Rodrygo’s two early finishes were ruthless, both set up by Marcelo crosses from the left. The first he cushioned and steered back inside, leaving Mario Lemina on the floor, before guiding a shot into the far corner.

The second was more simple, a leap and a well-timed header past Galatasaray’s goalkeeper Fernando Muslera.

In the 14th minute, it was three. Prompted by VAR, referee Felix Zwayer decided Steven Nzonzi had caught the foot of Toni Kroos inside the area and Ramos lifted his penalty down the middle.

There was still time for Benzema to add a fourth before half-time as Rodrygo capitalised on an error from Yuto Nagatomo and played a perfect pass for the Frenchman to score.

The rest of the match was a procession, with Casemiro and Hazard both taken off, rested for the trip to Eibar on Saturday.

Benzema scored his second late on, tapping in from close range to make it five, before Rodrygo raced in from the left, exchanged passes with the Frenchman, and poked in.

After the final whistle, he kissed the match ball as he left, while the fans chanted his name.

AFP

Atletico’s Round Of 16 Qualification Delayed After Loss To Leverkusen

(L-R) Atletico Madrid’s French midfielder Thomas Lemar, Atletico Madrid’s Spanish forward Alvaro Morata and Atletico Madrid’s Spanish midfielder Vitolo react after the UEFA Champions League Group D football match Bayer Leverkusen v Atletico Madrid in Leverkusen, western Germany on November 6, 2019.
INA FASSBENDER / AFP

 

Bayer Leverkusen belatedly breathed life into their Champions League campaign by recording their first points of the group stage with a 2-1 victory at home to Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.

A bizarre Thomas Partey own goal gave Leverkusen the lead on 41 minutes at the BayArena before Germany international Kevin Volland bagged a second shortly after the break.

READ ALSO: Son Brace Help Tottenham Beat Red Star Again

Nadiem Amiri was sent off for a reckless challenge on Santiago Arias in the closing minutes with Alvaro Morata grabbing a consolation goal for Atletico in stoppage time.

Diego Simeone’s side fall three points behind Group D leaders Juventus after missing a chance to sew up qualification for the last 16 with two rounds to spare.

Leverkusen, who lost their opening three matches in Europe, are level on three points with Lokomotiv Moscow as both sides likely face the prospect of battling for a spot in the Europa League.

AFP

Son Brace Help Tottenham Beat Red Star Again

Tottenham Hotspur’s South Korean striker Son Heung-Min celebrates after scoring his team’s second goal during the UEFA Champions League Group B football match between Red Star Belgrade (Crvena Zvezda) and Tottenham Hotspur at the Rajko Mitic stadium in Belgrade, on November 6, 2019.
ANDREJ ISAKOVIC / AFP

 

Son Heung-min bounced back from a traumatic weekend by scoring twice as Tottenham beat Red Star Belgrade 4-0 on Wednesday to take a huge step towards reaching the last 16 of the Champions League for a third straight year.

The South Korean was left in tears after being sent-off for a challenge that led to Everton’s Andre Gomes suffering a horrific ankle break on Sunday.

His red card was rescinded with Gomes’s injury largely due to an awkward landing for the Portuguese midfielder.

But Son still held his hands up apologetically after two second-half strikes that secured a Spurs’ first away win in all competitions since a remarkable comeback against Ajax in May that took them to last season’s Champions League final.

READ ALSO: PSG Seal Place In Last 16 Of Champions League

Giovani Lo Celso also scored his first goal on his first start for the club and Christian Eriksen rounded off the scoring on a positive note for Mauricio Pochettino’s men, who backed up their 5-0 thrashing of Red Star at home two weeks ago.

Tottenham move four points clear of Red Star in second place in Group B and will guarantee qualification with victory at home to Olympiakos on November 26.

Spurs had tracked Lo Celso for much of the summer, but only completed a loan deal from Real Betis on the final day of the transfer window.

The lack of a proper pre-season contributed to injuries that had restricted the Argentine to just 74 minutes of action in six substitute appearances before tonight, but there were encouraging signs as Lo Celso added guile and a goal threat to the Tottenham midfield.

Red Star were celebrating the anniversary of their famous 2-0 win over Liverpool in last season’s group stage.

Milan Pavkov was the hero that night with both goals and the Serbian champions could have taken another English scalp had he not fired too close to Paulo Gazzaniga with a huge chance to give the hosts the lead.

Instead, Tottenham went ahead in comical fashion as a counter-attack found Harry Kane, who hit the post before Son’s follow-up was blocked on the line.

Kane dragged the rebound across goal where Son somehow hit the bar with the goal gaping before the ball dropped for Lo Celso to finally apply the finishing touch.

Red Star also hit the woodwork twice in quick succession just before the break as Rajiv van la Parra’s shot came back off the post and Davinson Sanchez looped a header dangerously onto his own crossbar.

However, there was no way back for Red Star once Son doubled Spurs’ advantage at the end of a flowing move just before the hour mark.

Tanguy Ndombele has also struggled to establish himself since arriving for a club record fee in July, but the French international enjoyed arguably his best game for Spurs so far and after he picked out Dele Alli, the England midfielder teed up Son to smash home.

Son soon had his fifth Champions League goal of the season, this time applying a simple finish from Danny Rose’s low cross.

The uncertainty over Eriksen’s future has been one of the scourges to a terrible start to the season in the Premier League for Spurs.

The Dane is out of contract at the end of the season and has been accused of lacking commitment as his form has dramatically dipped.

But even he received a welcome confidence boost five minutes from time when his deflected effort made it 4-0.

AFP

PSG Seal Place In Last 16 Of Champions League

Club Brugge’s Ivorian defender Odilon Kossounou (L) fights for the ball with Paris Saint-Germain’s French forward Kylian Mbappe during the UEFA Champions League Group A football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Club Brugge at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on November 6, 2019.
Thomas SAMSON / AFP

 

Mauro Icardi scored the only goal and Keylor Navas saved a second-half penalty as Paris Saint-Germain edged out Club Brugge 1-0 to secure their place in the knockout phase of the Champions League with two group matches to spare on Wednesday.

Argentine striker Icardi’s close-range finish in the first half at the Parc des Princes was his eighth goal in PSG’s last seven matches and it was enough to give the French champions a fourth win in as many outings in Group A.

However, their opponents played well enough to take something from the game and would have done so had Navas not stopped Mbaye Diagne’s 76th-minute spot-kick.

Despite failing to convince here — two weeks after a 5-0 victory when the sides met in Belgium — PSG know they will appear in the last 16 for the eighth consecutive season, and a draw in their next game away to Real Madrid will ensure that they progress as winners of Group A.

Real are also on the verge of qualifying themselves after a 6-0 hammering of Galatasaray on Wednesday.

Club Brugge, meanwhile, are now unlikely to finish higher than third — which would see them parachute into the Europa League — as they fell short of replicating their impressive display in drawing 2-2 away to Real earlier in the campaign.

READ ALSO: Son Brace Help Tottenham Beat Red Star Again

Nevertheless, they are supposed to be small fry for the behemoth that PSG have become.

On Wednesday, the Qatar-owned outfit announced record turnover for last season of 637.8 million euros ($706m), confirming their status as one of the world’s richest clubs.

What PSG do in the group stage has never really been the issue, and once again it will only be when the knockout rounds begin in February that their true potential will be measured.

The nature of their display here, just five days after a Ligue 1 loss against modest Dijon, does raise questions, yet Thomas Tuchel’s side are still yet to concede a goal in this Champions League campaign and again they won here without Neymar.

The Brazilian is scheduled to be back from his latest spell on the sidelines in time for the trip to the Santiago Bernabeu on November 26.

Cavani Left On Bench Again

After scoring a stunning hat-trick as a second-half substitute in Bruges, Kylian Mbappe made his first start in the Champions League this season, while Icardi was again preferred to Edinson Cavani up front.

Cavani, PSG’s all-time leading goal-scorer, has not started a game since suffering a hip injury in late August.

He watched on as Icardi got the opening goal midway through the first half, prodding home from close range after the visitors made a mess of dealing with a seemingly harmless ball into the box by Colin Dagba.

Icardi later hobbled off with a knock to be replaced by Cavani in the 72nd minute, with the Uruguayan being given a hero’s welcome onto the pitch by the home fans.

However, within moments of his introduction the away side won a penalty, Scottish referee Bobby Madden pointing to the spot when substitute Diagne went down under a Thiago Silva challenge.

It was a glorious chance for Club to earn a draw that they will feel they deserved, and yet Senegalese striker Diagne’s kick was clutched low down by a grateful Navas.

Having earlier made two notable saves to deny Emmanuel Bonaventure Dennis, including showing excellent reactions to get down to a deflected effort just after half-time, the Costa Rican was the real hero of the night for the home side.

AFP

Thieves Burgle Lyon Forward Traore’s House During European Tie

Lyon’s Burkinabe forward Bertrand Traore (R) shoots and scores a goal during the UEFA Champions League Group G football match between Olympique Lyonnais and SL Benfica at the Decines Groupama Stadium, on November 5, 2019.
JEFF PACHOUD / AFP

 

Burkina Faso striker Bertrand Traore was the victim of a burglary while playing for Lyon in their Champions League win over Benfica, police said Wednesday.

Police arrived at Traore’s home at around 9.20 pm (2020 GMT) Tuesday to discover the front door forced open and that thieves had broken into a safe before fleeing the scene.

Traore was brought on as a substitute in the game at Groupama Stadium and scored a late goal in a 3-1 victory for the French side.

READ ALSO: Europa League: Arsenal Held By Vitoria Guimaraes 1-1

According to the Lyon Mag website, a significant sum of money and luxury watches worth up to 300,000 euros ($332,000) were stolen from the property in the eastern Lyon suburbs.

Last February three Lyon players including Dutch forward Memphis Depay were burgled while their club was playing Barcelona.

Depay had already been robbed last September, while Lyon were playing Nice. On that occasion property worth, more than one million euros was taken.

Officials and players in Marseille and Paris have also been targets during games in recent years.

AFP

Barcelona Stumble To Home Draw Against Slavia

File Photo: Barcelona’s Spanish coach Ernesto Valverde 
Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Ernesto Valverde is under mounting pressure at Barcelona after his team followed up their La Liga defeat by Levante with a goalless draw at home to Slavia Prague on Tuesday in the Champions League.

Lionel Messi hit the crossbar in the first half but that was as close as Barca came during a disjointed display that risks dragging Valverde’s team back into the fight for qualification from Group F.

Barcelona sit four points ahead of both Borussia Dortmund and Inter Milan, whose game in hand comes against each other later on Tuesday. Barca play Dortmund at home next but will hope progress is secured before their final game at the San Siro.

The likelihood is they have already done enough to make the last 16 but Valverde will again face scrutiny, this blunt performance coming only three days after his side were beaten 3-1 by Levante in La Liga on Saturday.

If that loss was defined by three goals conceded in seven mad minutes, this one was far less dramatic, a story of stodgy possession in front of their own fans, whose displeasure made for an increasingly sour atmosphere at Camp Nou.

As a dejected Messi stood with his hands on his hips in the centre circle at the final whistle, not even the blast of the stadium music could drown out the whistles.

Slavia’s players saluted their own supporters like they had pulled off a remarkable upset.

After all, this was only the third time in 29 Champions League matches that Barcelona have failed to win at home, the other two against Juventus and Tottenham last season, when the Catalans had already qualified.

Their night was made worse by Jordi Alba being forced off at half-time with a hamstring injury while Gerard Pique’s yellow card means he will be suspended for the game against Dortmund.

Slavia’s pace in attack caused Barcelona problems in the first 45 minutes, which for the home side was illuminated only by the occasional moment from Messi.

Clement Lenglet almost conceded an early penalty when Marc-Andre ter Stegen pushed a pull-back into the defender’s chest while Pique accepted his booking after being robbed of the ball by Peter Olayinka.

Olayinka, Slavia’s gangly forward, was particularly lively as he teed up Lukas Masopust for a shot inside the area before skipping away from Nelson Semedo, who also had to take a yellow card.

Barcelona were sloppy in possession and lacklustre out of it. Ousmane Dembele was erratic and Antoine Griezmann, still playing on the left despite Luis Suarez’s injury, was quiet.

It was up to Messi to lift the mood and he almost scored with a brilliant run from the halfway line that began with a drop of the shoulder and ended with a bending shot against the crossbar.

Both sides had goals ruled out for offside either of half-time, which was greeted by whistles from the home fans, who grew increasingly restless as Barca failed to improve.

They whistled again at Dembele when he was replaced by Ansu Fati and there were groans at mistakes too, like when Semedo headed out for a corner or Lenglet miscontrolled for a throw.

Messi went close but his finish at the near post hit the goalkeeper before Ivan Rakitic, on for Sergio Busquets, curled over late on. When Arturo Vidal stretched but fell short at the far post, the game was up.

Suarez Injures Calf Ahead Of Prague Test

Levante’s Portuguese defender Ruben Vezo (L) vies with Barcelona’s Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez during the Spanish League football match between Levante UD and FC Barcelona at the Ciutat de Valencia stadium in Valencia, on November 2, 2019. JOSE JORDAN / AFP

 

Barcelona striker Luis Suarez injured his right calf against Levante on Saturday and could miss Tuesday’s game at home to Slavia Prague in the Champions League. 

Suarez had to be replaced by Carles Perez in the first half at the City of Valencia stadium.

“Luis Suarez felt discomfort in his right calf,” Barcelona confirmed. “After returning to Barcelona, he will undergo tests to diagnose the extent of the injury.”

AFP

Champions League: Inter Milan Beat Dortmund, Boost Last 16 Hopes

Dortmund’s Swiss goalkeeper Roman Buerki (Rear) deflects a penalty shot by Inter Milan’s Argentinian forward Lautaro Martinez (L) during the UEFA Champions League Group F football match Inter Milan vs Borussia Dortmund on October 23, 2019 at the San Siro stadium in Milan.
Marco Bertorello / AFP

 

Lautaro Martinez and Antonio Candreva scored in either half to boost Inter Milan’s Champions League last 16 hopes on Wednesday with a 2-0 win over Group F rivals Borussia Dortmund.

Argentina forward Lautaro Martinez continued his fine form scoring after 22 minutes in the San Siro, but missed a chance for a second from the penalty spot eight minutes from time.

But Candreva sealed the three points a minute from time to move Antonio Conte’s side move off the bottom of Group F having fallen 2-1 to Barcelona and holding Slavia Prague 1-1.

Inter join Dortmund on four points with Barcelona top with seven points from three games.

The Germans suffered their first defeat of the campaign after a 2-0 win over Slavia and holding Barcelona to a goalless draw.

Stefan de Vrij sent the ball through for Martinez in the opening half an hour with the Argentine beating the offside trap as well as goalkeeper Roman Burki from close range.

The 22-year-old’s goal, his second consecutive in the Champions League after scoring against Barcelona and fifth in four games for Inter, was confirmed by VAR.

Inter could thank captain Samir Handanovic for keeping their advantage into the break with the goalkeeper diving low to clear a Jadon Sancho angled drive.

Candreva sent a shot over just after the break as Inter pushed to close off the game.

Conte gave 17-year-old Sebastiano Esposito his Champions League debut coming on after an hour in place of Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku.

Handanovic again did well to deny Julian Brandt after 64 minutes, with Martinez shooting just wide after 73 minutes.

Dortmund’s best chance came late when Thorgan Hazard broke down the left to send through for Sancho but Marcelo Brozovic cleared the danger.

Esposito earned a penalty for Inter as he raced towards goal forcing a foul from Dortmund’s Mats Hummels to the delight of the 60,000 crowd at the San Siro.

Burki denied Martinez a brace from the spot but Candreva powered forward with a minute of normal time to play to seal victory with his fifth European goal leaving Burki with no chance.

AFP

Oxlade-Chamberlain On Target Twice As Liverpool Ease Past Genk

Liverpool’s English midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (R) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League Group E football match between (KRC) Genk and Liverpool on October 23, 2019 at the Luminus Arena in Genk. François WALSCHAERTS / AFP

 

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain made the most of a rare start by scoring twice while Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah also netted as holders Liverpool eased to a 4-1 win over Genk in their Champions League clash in Belgium on Wednesday.

The England international, who missed almost all of last season due to injury, opened the scoring in the second minute at the Luminus Arena and scored the visitors’ second — a sumptuous finish also from outside the box — just before the hour mark.

Mane and Salah then set up each other for late goals to wrap up the victory before substitute Stephen Odey pulled one back for Genk.

This was Liverpool’s second consecutive victory in Group E since they began their defence of the trophy with a 2-0 loss at Napoli last month. They remain a point behind group leaders Napoli, who won 3-2 at Salzburg on Wednesday.

Perhaps most importantly, this was an overdue away win in the group stage of the competition for Jurgen Klopp’s side, who had won just once in seven away group matches before this trip.

They went all the way last season despite losing all three away group games.

Klopp used this game to give starts to several players who have been on the fringes of his squad recently, with Oxlade-Chamberlain and Dejan Lovren coming into a team deprived of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joel Matip in defence.

Naby Keita made his first start since a League Cup win at lower-league side MK Dons a month ago, and Salah also returned after missing the weekend draw at Manchester United because of an ankle injury.

However, it was Oxlade-Chamberlain who got the visitors off to the perfect start with a goal from their first attempt, his right-foot strike from 25 yards finding the bottom-left corner with the aid of a slight deflection.

It was difficult not to fear for Genk after that, but the Belgian champions were defending a decent record at home in the Champions League group stage.

They had drawn their last five home matches taking in appearances in 2011-12 and back in 2002-03.

Among the teams unable to win here in that time were Real Madrid, Valencia and Chelsea, while Napoli were held 0-0 here recently.

 Genk denied equaliser 

Genk were encouraged by an extremely high Liverpool defensive line which almost allowed their skipper Mbwana Ally Samatta to grab a quick-fire equaliser.

The Tanzanian ran from halfway all the way to the penalty area only to fire wide of Alisson Becker’s far post. His strike partner, Paul Onuachu, and Japanese international Junya Ito both squandered decent chances soon after.

Genk were also unlucky though — they thought they had drawn level before the half-hour when Samatta rose above James Milner to head in an Ito cross.

However, the Slovenian referee disallowed the goal and a VAR review confirmed Ito was marginally offside in the build-up.

Still, Liverpool looked like scoring almost every time they attacked, with an outrageous Roberto Firmino touch setting up Mane for a shot that was saved by Gaetan Coucke.

Firmino was the provider of the second goal in the 57th minute as he laid the ball back for Oxlade-Chamberlain to send a first-time effort on the outside of his right boot off the underside of the bar and in from 20 yards.

That was Liverpool’s 200th Champions League goal, but it was not their last of the night, as Salah slipped in Mane for a dinked finish to make it 3-0 in the 77th minute.

Mane then returned the favour by supplying Salah with his back to goal just inside the box three minutes from time. The Egyptian turned away superbly from Carlos Cuesta and slotted in.

Another Liverpool win when these teams meet again at Anfield next month will leave Klopp’s men on the brink of the last 16.

AFP

Messi First To Score In 15 Straight Champions League Seasons

Barcelona’s Argentine forward Lionel Messi (2nd L) scores the 0-1 against Slavia Prague’s Czech goalkeeper Ondrej Kolar (R) during the UEFA Champions League football match between SK Slavia Prague and FC Barcelona at Sinobo Stadium in Prague, Czech Republic on October 23, 2019.
Michal CIZEK / AFP

 

Lionel Messi became the first ever player to score at least once in 15 consecutive Champions League seasons after opening the scoring at Slavia Prague on Wednesday.

The 32-year-old Argentinian beat goalkeeper Ondrej Kolar with a low left-footed shot after robbing midfielder Petr Sevcik outside the Slavia box and a quick exchange with Arthur who put him through neatly.

The goal was Messi’s 113th overall from 138 Champions League appearances.

AFP

Sabitzer Stars As Leipzig Fight Back To Down Zenit

Leipzig’s team scores the 1-1 equalizer (scorer not in picture) during the UEFA Champions League Group G football match RB Leipzig vs Zenit St Petersburg in Leipzig, eastern Germany, on October 23, 2019. Ronny Hartmann / AFP

 

Austria’s Marcel Sabitzer set up a goal and scored a spectacular winner as RB Leipzig came from behind to beat Zenit St Petersburg 2-1 in the Champions League to move top of Group G on Wednesday.

Sabitzer’s second-half heroics came after Yaroslav Rakitskyy opened the scoring for the Russians who had only lost once since August in all competitions before the trip to Germany.

“To score my first Champions League goal in this moment, in this game and then for it to be a goal like that -– it’s an incredible moment for me,” Sabitzer said.

“I’m so happy I was able to help the team with my goal. The three points count more than my goal.”

Leipzig sit on six points, two clear of Zenit and Lyon in third while Benfica are bottom without a point before the French side travel to the Portugese champions later in the day.

Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann made four changes from the weekend’s Bundesliga draw with Wolfsburg as experienced midfielder Kevin Kampl made his first start since late August after recovering from an ankle injury and striker Yussuf Poulsen dropped to the bench.

Sergei Semak kept the same starting lineup from Saturday’s 6-1 thumping of Rostov as Artem Dzyuba, who scored a hat-trick in the weekend’s fixture, joining Sebastian Driussi and Iran’s Sardar Azmoun up-front.

The home side made a positive start and midfielder Konrad Laimer made Zenit goalkeeper Mikhail Kerzhakov work after just 70 seconds.

Kerzhakov tipped Laimer’s long-range powerful shot onto the bar and out for a corner.

The visitors were in the lead after 25 minutes of play when centre-back Rakitskyy scored his first Champions League goal since 2011.

Ukraine international Rakitskyy picked up the ball 30 metres from goal. His sweetly struck half-volley left Peter Gulacsi without a chance of stopping the effort.

Win without Werner 

Nagelsmann’s first tactical move was to take Germany forward Timo Werner off for Brazilian youngster Natheu Cunha at the break to make his first Champions League appearance.

Despite Nagelsmann’s decision to replace Werner, who has eight goals in 11 matches this season, Laimer brought Leipzig level four minutes into the second half.

Former Everton winger Ademola Lookman found Sabitzer on the right-hand side.

The Austrian international then set-up his fellow countryman Laimer for his first goal of the season.

Nagelsmann’s outfit then took the lead with half an hour to play.

Sabitzer turned scorer as his curling half-volley from inside the edge of the box lobbed over Kerzhakov and Naglesmann’s men held on for their first victory in four games in all competitions.

The two sides meet again on November 5 in St. Petersburg.

AFP

Kane Challenges Tottenham To Bring Champions League Spirit Into Premier League

Tottenham Hotspur’s English striker Harry Kane controls the ball during the UEFA Champions League Group B football match against Red Star Belgrade at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in north London, on October 22, 2019. Ben STANSALL / AFP

 

 

Harry Kane says Tottenham’s 5-0 Champions League mauling of Red Star Belgrade will count for little unless they use it as a catalyst to turn around their miserable Premier League form.

Tuesday’s result at home against the Serbian champions revives Mauricio Pochettino’s sides hopes of European progress after a humiliating 7-2 defeat by Bayern Munich earlier this month.

Spurs, who reached last season’s Champions League final, are second in Group B with four points after three matches, behind leaders Bayern.

READ ALSO: Police Recover 39 Bodies In Container Near London

Kane, who scored twice against Red Star, said he hoped Tottenham would take the momentum from their win into their match against Premier League leaders Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.

“At home we were expected to win this game so we can’t get too carried away with it,” he said. “We have to stay focused and take the positives and take them into the Premier League.

“It is exactly what we needed, a great performance, a lot of energy, plenty of goals, a clean sheet — a perfect night.

“But it doesn’t stop here, it was a game we were expected to win. We have got a very tough game on Sunday so I hope we can take momentum into that.”

Spurs have only won three of their nine Premier League games so far and are in seventh place after some patchy performances, five points off the top four.

– Tough game –

Kane admits his side are playing catch-up and knows it will not get any easier against Jurgen Klopp’s high-flying side.

“It is always better when you are coming off a win rather than a loss or a draw,” said the England captain. “But of course we know in the Premier League we are far behind and have a lot of catching up to do.

“Sunday will be a tough game. They have started the season very well so we have to make sure we put in a performance similar to Tuesday.”

Dele Alli, recalled to the starting line-up for the past couple of matches, said Tottenham’s players remain “1000 percent” behind Pochettino.

“When things are not going our way it is easy for people to try and get at the manager but we need to look at ourselves as players,” said the midfielder. “We are doing that and we are going to keep working hard.”

Despite Tottenham’s struggles, Alli, whose season has been blighted by injury and poor form, said the reaction from outside the club had been over the top.

“It is strange because since we have been together here we probably have not been through this situation,” he said.

“But I do not think it is that much of a big deal. We have just got to keep working hard and focus on ourselves, not listen to too much that is going on around the outside.”

AFP