Tottenham Hotspur qualified for the round of 16 with a magnificent 3-1 win over defending champions Real Madrid at home, riding on a Dele Ali brace. Manchester City continued their flawless run away at Napoli as they overcame the Italian giants 4-2 after falling behind to advance to the next stage.
Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Real Madrid
Real Madrid are going through a bad patch in the domestic league as they trail archrivals Barcelona by eight points on the La Liga table, and it was bound to affect their European campaign as well. After providing a glimpse of their abilities back in Spain in the previous fixture, when a wasteful Madrid side almost saw Spurs winning, Harry Kame and company finally managed it on Wednesday at the Wembley Stadium.
Tottenham Hotspur booked their place in the knockout phases of the Champions League after a tight deadlock was first broken by Dele Alli through a Kieran Trippier cross, who seemed to be offside, in the 27 minute. Their luck doubled as Alli was back with another goal, deflected off Sergio Ramos’ legs, in the 56 minute after Eric Dier slotted the ball into his path.
Christian Eriksen put the final nail in the coffin ten minutes later as he provided a clinical left-footed finish past Kiko Casilla after Harry Kane set him up perfectly. Though Cristiano Ronaldo pulled one back for the Whites with a scrappy finish at the 80 minute, it was too late by then. Real, though, still remain a win away from qualification.
Napoli 2-4 Manchester City
Napoli remained no match for the mighty Manchester City once again as the Manchester outfit stormed into the round of 16 after banging in four goals away in Naples. Sergio Aguero also became City's all-time record goal scorer in the process as the Manchester side made it four wins out of four for the club in the group stages.
Napoli started brightly opening the account through a Lorenzo Insigne goal after the Italian played a fantastic one-two with Dries Mertens at the edge of the box. The Serie A giants dominated for a good one hour with their pressing tactics, before Pep Guardiola’s men turned on the heat.
Centre-halves Nicolas Otamendi and Jon Stones pulled one back on either side of the interval to give the visitors a 2-1 lead, much to the surprise of the hosts. However, Napoli was back with Jorginho converting from the spot in the 62 minute to keep the game alive. It was then that Sergio Aguero got his 178 goal for the club from a sublime counter-attack triggered by Leroy Sane to give City a lead yet again.
The goal not only ended Eric Brook's 79-year stay at the top of City’s chart but also Napoli’s hopes of winning the game. Raheem Sterling tapped in another taking the result beyond doubt as Napoli remain on the brink of elimination.
Liverpool 3-0 Maribor
The Reds had yet another easy day in the office as they took apart their Slovenian opponents 3-0 at Anfield taking a huge step closer towards knockout round. Maribor never really stood a chance in the fixture as Liverpool put seven past them back in Slovenia last game, and Jurgen Klopp knew his best shot of progressing would be from these two fixtures.
However, Maribor kept Liverpool at bay for 49 minutes before they could break the deadlock through Mohammad Salah who met a Trent Alexander-Arnold’s whipped cross with a delightful flick. It was followed by both sides missing penalties at either end, before Emre Can restored some sanity from a James Miler lay off in the 64 minute.
The final goal came as late as the 90 minute when Daniel Sturridge nicked in from Alberto Moreno’s assist. Sevilla's victory over Spartak Moscow in the other game leaves Liverpool top with eight points.
Besiktas 1-1 AS Monaco
FC Porto 3-1 RB Leipzig
Sevilla 2-1 Spartak Moskva
Shakhtar Donetsk 3-1 Feyenoord
Otamendi or Adam Smith? Who will make more tackles?
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