Barca through, Liver­pool stunned by Red Star

Thierry Henry’s Monaco elim­i­nated fol­low­ing a re­sound­ing loss to Club Brugge

Gulf Times Sport - - FOOTBALL -

Barcelona se­cured their place in the Cham­pi­ons League knock­out stage on Tues­day night with a 1-1 draw away to In­ter Mi­lan, as Harry Kane re­vived Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur’s hopes but Liver­pool slumped to a shock de­feat.

Last year’s run­ners-up were beaten by Red Star Bel­grade, al­though the big­gest losers on the night were Thierry Henry’s Monaco, who were elim­i­nated fol­low­ing a re­sound­ing loss to Club Brugge. Lionel Messi was still miss­ing for Barcelona at the San Siro, and it was sub­sti­tute Mal­com who came off the bench to give the Span­ish cham­pi­ons a late lead.

But In­ter hit back to earn a point thanks to Mauro Icardi’s 87th-minute lev­eller, keep­ing the three-time for­mer win­ners on course to join Barcelona in qual­i­fy­ing for the last 16 from Group B. Tot­ten­ham re­main in the hunt, how­ever, after Kane’s late brace se­cured a 2-1 win over PSV Eind­hoven.

The Dutch side had got off to a su­perb start at Wem­b­ley, tak­ing the lead when Luuk de Jong headed home in the se­cond minute. Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino’s team were start­ing to get des­per­ate when skip­per Kane equalised with 12 min­utes left, and he headed home in the 89th minute with the help of two de­flec­tions as Spurs got their first win of the cam­paign.

“We had to dig deep and find an­other level when it mat­tered. The whole sea­son we’ve been grind­ing out re­sults here and there,” said Kane. Liver­pool were strong favourites away to Red Star in Ser­bia, but Jur­gen Klopp’s team were poor in a 2-0 de­feat to the 1991 Euro­pean Cup win­ners.

Mi­lan Pavkov scored twice in seven first-half min­utes, head­ing in the opener and then beat­ing Alis­son with a pow­er­ful strike from range, to the de­light of a huge home sup­port. “The boys are very dis­ap­pointed, I’m very dis­ap­pointed and we have to do bet­ter,” said Klopp.

The de­feat ex­poses the An­field club to the threat of an early elim­i­na­tion in Group C, with Napoli com­ing from be­hind to draw 1-1 at home to Paris Sain­tGer­main in the night’s other game.

Kylian Mbappe set up Juan Ber­nat to put Paris ahead just be­fore the break, but Lorenzo In­signe beat Gian­luigi Buf­fon from the penalty spot in the se­cond half as these sides played out a draw for the se­cond time in a fort­night. “This is a dif­fi­cult group but we saw with Liver­pool los­ing that ev­ery­thing is pos­si­ble,” said PSG’s Ju­lian Draxler. “A draw in Naples is not bad and we still have our fate in our own hands.”

Liver­pool and Napoli are locked on six points from four games, with PSG one be­hind and Red Star an­other point adrift. Liver­pool travel to the French cap­i­tal in their next game.

Mean­while, Atletico Madrid gained re­venge for a 4-0 de­feat away to Borus­sia Dort­mund last month as Diego Sime­one’s side de­feated the Ger­mans 2-0 in Spain, Saul Niguez and An­toine Griez­mann scor­ing the goals.

The two favourites in Group A are not guar­an­teed a path to the last 16 yet, how­ever, after Club Brugge claimed a stun­ning 4-0 win at Monaco. The Bel­gians had not won a Cham­pi­ons League match since 2005, but they were 3-0 up mid­way through the first half at the Stade Louis II. Hans Vanaken scored twice, in­clud­ing a penalty, and the Brazil­ian Wes­ley belted in the third be­fore Ruud Vormer sealed the win.

Semi-fi­nal­ists in 2017, Monaco are now elim­i­nated. It was a dread­ful dis­play from a side who have not won in 15 games, in­clud­ing five matches un­der Henry. This re­sult also came on the day the club’s Rus­sian bil­lion­aire owner Dmitry Ry­bolovlev was ar­rested in a cor­rup­tion in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“We started well, but once we fell be­hind we stopped play­ing and that’s a lit­tle bit wor­ry­ing,” said Henry of his team’s per­for­mance. Porto are on the brink of qual­i­fi­ca­tion from Group D after a 4-1 win at home to Loko­mo­tiv Moscow. They lead the sec­tion by two points from Schalke, who de­feated Galatasaray 2-0 in Gelsenkirchen.

CHAM­PI­ONS LEAGUE RE­SULTS ON TUES­DAY

Group A: At Monaco: Monaco (FRA) 0 Club Brugge (BEL) 4 (Vanaken 12, 17-pen, Wes­ley 24, Vormer 85); At Madrid: Atletico Madrid (ESP) 2 (Niguez 33, Griez­mann 80) Borus­sia Dort­mund (GER) 0

Group B: At Mi­lan, Italy: In­ter Mi­lan (ITA) 1 (Icardi 87) Barcelona (ESP) 1 (Mal­com 83); At Lon­don; Tot­ten­ham (ENG) 2 (Kane 78, 89) PSV Eind­hoven (NED) 1 (De Jong 2)

Group C: At Naples, Italy: Napoli (ITA) 1 (In­signe 63-pen) Paris Saint-Ger­main (FRA) 1 (Ber­nat 45+2); At Bel­grade: Red Star Bel­grade (SRB) 2 (Pavkov 22, 29) Liver­pool (ENG) 0

Group D: At Porto, Por­tu­gal: FC Porto (POR) 4 (Her­rera 2, Marega 42, Corona 67, Otavio 90+3) Loko­mo­tiv Moscow (RUS) 1 (Far­fan 59); At Gelsenkirchen, Ger­many: Schalke 04 (GER) 2 (Burgstaller 4, Uth 57) Galatasaray (TUR) 0

(Reuters)

Red Star Bel­grade’s Mi­lan Pavkov (cen­tre) is over the moon after scor­ing against Liver­pool dur­ing the Cham­pi­ons League group stage match at Ra­jko Mitic sta­dium in Bel­grade, Ser­bia, on Tues­day night.

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