Champions League Round-Up: Liverpool and Spurs perform and progress at the expense of Italians

Tue, Dec 11 2018

Salah in action during a pre-season friendly, a 5-0 win over Napoli, in Dublin. Credit: Michael P Ryan (ETPhotos)

Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur both got the results they needed in the final round of games to progress to the last 16 of the Champions League at the expense of Italian sides.

Liverpool welcomed Napoli to Anfield knowing that anything but a win but see them fall short, while Spurs travelled to Camp Nou with the daunting task of needing to equal Inter’s result with PSV.

A late Lucas Moura goal, cancelling out an early opener from Barcelona striker Ousmane Dembélé, allied with Inter’s failure to beat PSV ensured a place in the knockout stages for Tottenham.

Hirving Lozano had given PSV an early lead at the San Siro but Inter looked to have done enough when Mauro Icardi levelled with 17 minutes remaining before Moura struck.

Liverpool’s task was somewhat simpler: they merely needed a win of any stripe to edge past Napoli – they went into the game with a goal difference lower but more goals scored

In the end, Mo Salah’s cross/shot late in the first half was all that separated the sides despite the Reds spurning a glut of chances.

Alisson made a crucial close-range save from Arkadiusz Milik at the death to preserve Liverpool’s lead, and last season’s finalists squeaked through on goals scored (nine to Napoli’s seven).

The question of who was to top the group remained, but Paris Saint-Germaine made short work of Crvena Zvezda in Belgrade.

Goals from Edison Cavani, Neymar, Marquinhos and Kylian Mbappé saw the Parisians cruise to a 4-1 victory, Marko Gobeljic’s strike having briefly pulled the score back to 2-1 in the second half.

Borussia Dortmund qualified as winners of Group A as they held their nerve to beat Monaco 2-0 away from home, a goal in either half from Raphael Guerreiro settling the tie.

They replaced Atlético Madrid at the summit as the Spanish side were surprisingly held to a scoreless draw away from home by Club Brugge, finishing second on goal difference.

Finally, the outcome of Group D was all but decided before kick-off, with Porto through as group winners and Schalke unable to catch them or be caught in second.

The Europa League spot was still in the balance, with Lokomotiv Moscow needing a win over Schalke and hoping Galatasaray didn’t do the same at home to the group leaders.

Galatasaray’s Sofiane Feghouli both scored and missed a penalty as the Turkish side were the wrong side of a 3-2 scoreline in Istanbul.

Goals from Felipe Monteiro, Moussa Marega and Sergio Oliveira were enough, despite Eren Derdiyok pulling one back for the home side.

It meant the game in Gelsenkirchen took on greater significance, but Lokomotiv couldn’t fashion a winner and Alessandro Schopf ended their slim hopes when he scored in injury time.

Group A:

Monaco 0 – 2 Borussia Dortmund

Club Brugge 0 – 0 Atlético Madrid

Group B:

Internazionale 1 – 1 PSV Eindhoven

Barcelona 1 – 1 Tottenham Hotspur

Group C:

Crvena Zvezda 1 – 4 Paris Saint-Germaine

Liverpool 1 – 0 Napoli

Group D:

Galatasaray 2 – 3 Porto

Schalke 04 1 – 0 Lokomotiv Moskva

Qualified for the Round of 16:

Borussia Dortmund, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germaine, Porto (winners); Atlético Madrid, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, Schalke 04 (runners-up).

Europa League:

Club Brugge, Internazionale, Napoli, Galatasaray