London: Jose Mourinho’s first home game as Tottenham Hotspur manager suffered a shocking start but ended happily as Harry Kane’s record-breaking double helped his side come from behind to beat Olympiakos Piraeus 4-2 to reach the Champions League last 16 on Tuesday.
The unexpected arrival of the celebrated Portuguese former Chelsea boss after Mauricio Pochettino, who took Spurs to last season’s Champions League final, has caused much head-scratching amongst the Spurs faithful.
A 3-2 Premier League win at West Ham United on Saturday won over some of the sceptics but when goals by Youssef El Arabi and Ruben Sabedo put Olympiakos, bottom of Group B, 2-0 up inside 20 minutes, Spurs fans were stunned into silence.
Mourinho’s first decisive act, sending on playmaker Christian Eriksen for defensive midfielder Eric Dier after 29 minutes, changed the flow and Dele Alli’s tap-in on the stroke of halftime proved crucial.
Tottenham looked a different side after the break and Kane struck twice, either side of Serge Aurier’s thumping effort, to take his Champions League tally to 20 in a record 24 games — beating the 26 it took Alessandro Del Piero to reach the mark.
Victory meant Tottenham are guaranteed to finish runners-up in the group to Bayern Munich who they face in a fortnight.
Mourinho, who won the competition with Porto and Inter Milan, shook hands with each of his players and applauded the fans who applauded back, if not singing his name.
Manchester City progress to last 16 despite a draw
A subdued Manchester City reached the Champions League’s last 16 and secured top spot in their group despite an unconvincing 1-1 draw at home to Ukraine’s Shakhtar Donetsk at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday.
Ilkay Gundogan had fired City ahead in the 56th minute but Shakhtar earned a potentially valuable point after Israeli substitute Manor Solomon equalised in the 69th.
Atalanta’s 2-0 victory over Dinamo Zagreb in Group C’s other game meant that Pep Guardiola’s side are guaranteed to finish top.
City have 11 points at the summit ahead of their final group game away to Dinamo with Shakhtar in second place on six points. Dinamo have five points and Atalanta four.
Yet while the goal of qualification was secured, it was a far from impressive performance from a team which harbours ambitions of a first Champions League triumph this season.
In recent weeks the crispness and sharpness of City’s pass-and-move play has not been up to its established standard and their defending remains a concern.
At a subdued Etihad, City survived a scare in the 15th minute when their Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson raced out of his area and completely missed the ball as he attempted to clear.
That allowed Tete to break towards the unguarded goal, but Fernandinho did superbly to cover the near post and block his compatriot’s shot.
Moments later, Ederson raced outside his box again but this time his intervention was well-timed and clean, as he slid to clear the danger with Tete threatening once more.
After a mostly uneventful remainder of the first half, City got themselves in front when Gabriel Jesus twisted and turned in the box before poking the ball to Gundogan who slotted home.
Yet Shakhtar drew level with a perfectly-constructed break that ended with Israeli substitute Manor Solomon drilling past Ederson after an excellent pull-back from Dodo.
PSG produce dramatic comeback to draw 2-2 at Real Madrid
Real Madrid underlined their return to top form with a spectacular Champions League display at home to Paris St Germain on Tuesday but they still had to settle for a 2-2 draw after two late strikes secured top spot in Group A for the French side.
Real had sealed their place in the knockout stages for a record-extending 23rd successive year thanks to Club Bruges’ 1-1 draw at Galatasaray earlier, while PSG had also already qualified.
Yet with top spot on the line, as well as pride after PSG had crushed Real 3-0 back in September, both sides played with the passion, skill and commitment of a blockbuster knockout tie, serving up a thrilling game at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Karim Benzema knocked into an empty net to give Real the lead in the 17th minute of his 100th Champions League start and the French forward doubled the advantage with a 79th minute header.
Yet Kylian Mbappe immediately reduced the deficit in the 81st minute, capitalising on a mistake from Real goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois before Pablo Sarabia equalised in the 82nd.
PSG’s fightback added to concern in the stands after Real winger Eden Hazard hobbled off in the second half with an ankle injury, although substitute Gareth Bale almost snatched a winner when he struck the post in added time from a free kick.
Paulo Dybala's stunning free kick gives Juventus win over Atletico
Paulo Dybala curled in a free kick from the unlikeliest of angles to give Juventus a 1-0 Champions League win over Atletico Madrid on Tuesday, which left the Spaniards with a battle to secure a round-of-16 place.
Juventus, already qualified, won the free kick just outside the penalty area and near the goal-line but the narrow angle did not deter Argentine Dybala who fired his shot over the wall and in off the crossbar in the 45th minute.
The Turin side, with 13 points from five games, made sure of winning Group D with one match to spare.
Atletico Madrid, beaten 3-0 on the same ground last season when they were on the wrong end of a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick, were left on seven points after their second successive defeat in the group, one ahead of Bayer Leverkusen.
Robert Lewandowski hits four as Bayern crush Red Star
Bayern Munich secured top spot in their Champions League group with a match to spare after four second-half goals from Robert Lewandowski inspired them to a 6-0 away mauling of Red Star Belgrade on Tuesday.
The result left Bayern top of Group B on 15 points, five more than Tottenham Hotspur who joined them in the last 16 after fighting back from two goals down to beat Olympiakos Piraeus 4-2 at home.
With inputs from Reuters
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Updated Date: Nov 27, 2019 08:41:25 IST