Jurgen Klopp missed Trent Alexander-Arnold’s ‘pure genius’ in Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona but has since watched Divock Origi’s goal 500,000 times

24 Sep

Jurgen Klopp has admitted he never actually saw Divock Origi score the decisive goal that meant Liverpool beat Barcelona to book their place in last season’s Champions League final.

With 11 minutes remaining at Anfield on May 7, Trent Alexander-Arnold spotted Origi unmarked in the six-yard box from a corner.

Aided by some quick thinking and even quicker action, Alexander-Arnold curled in the set-piece and picked out the Belgium international to sweep home his second goal of the match.

Alexander-Arnold was widely – and rightfully – lauded for his role in Liverpool’s winning goal against Barcelona
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Origi’s strike sealed a remarkable 4-0 win, completing a 4-3 aggregate victory and a truly stunning comeback given the Reds were without key players Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino on the night.

The goal will live long in the memory and is already among the most famous of moments to have occurred throughout Anfield’s storied history, but one man inside the stadium didn’t even see the stunning incident.

In fact, Jurgen Klopp wasn’t even looking at the pitch when Alexander-Arnold curled his corner into the box for Origi to lash home.

Writing in The Players’ Tribune, Klopp wrote: “Unfortunately, the most incredible moment in the history of the Champions League … I didn’t actually see it.

“Maybe this is a good metaphor for the life of a football manager, I don’t know. But I completely missed Trent Alexander-Arnold’s moment of pure genius.

“I saw the ball go out for a corner.

“I saw Trent walking over to take it. I saw [Xherdan] Shaqiri following him.

“But then I turned my back because we were preparing to make a substitution. I was talking to my assistant, and … you know, I have goose bumps every time I think about it … I just heard the noise.

“I turned to the pitch and I saw the ball flying into the goal.

Klopp is probably the only person in Anfield who missed Liverpool’s all-important goal
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“I turned back to our bench and looked at Ben Woodburn, and he said, ‘What just happened?’

“And I said, ‘I have no idea!’

“Anfield was going — boof — absolutely crazy. I could barely hear my assistant, and he was yelling, “So … do we still make the substitute?”

“Hahahaha! I will never forget him saying that! That will always be with me.”

The German, who was voted 2019 men’s coach of the year on Monday night, did admit that he’s now watched Origi’s goal probably half a million times having missed it in real life.

He also revealed just how he celebrated Liverpool’s most remarkable of wins – saying alcohol wasn’t a necessity given the pure emotion of the night.

“Can you imagine?” he added. “Eighteen years as a manager, millions of hours watching this game, and I missed the cheekiest thing that has ever happened on a football pitch.

“Since that night, I have probably watched the video of Divock’s goal 500,000 times. But in person, I only saw the ball hit the net.

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“When I got to my little boot room after the match, I didn’t even have a sip of beer. I didn’t need it.

“I sat there with a bottle of water in silence, just smiling. It was a feeling that I cannot describe in words.

“When I got back home, my family and friends were all staying over at our house, and everyone was in a big party mood. But I was so emotionally exhausted that I went up to bed by myself.

“My body and mind were completely empty. I had the best sleep of my life.”

Jurgen Klopp over Pep Guardiola? Former Man City star questions Liverpool manager winning men’s coach of the year at The Best FIFA awards

24 Sep

Jurgen Klopp was named the Best FIFA Men’s Coach of the Year because of his personality, not by Liverpool’s achievements on the field.

That’s according to Danny Mills, who has questioned why the German won the award ahead of Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.

Jurgen Klopp has landed FIFA’s best men’s coach award after leading Liverpool to Champions League glory
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The most likeable man in football collected the top manager’s prize at the FIFA Football Awards in Milan on Monday night and used his speech not to big himself up, but to pay tribute to rivals Guardiola and Mauricio Pochettino, his Liverpool team and his family.

If you didn’t like the bespectacled German before, you probably do now after watching it.

Klopp conceded that he was only up there because of the Reds’ Champions League victory, telling Pochettino – who he embraced on his way on to the stage – that it would have been him holding the gong if Tottenham had won last season’s final in Madrid.

But Mills disagrees, saying the main reason behind Klopp’s win was because it’s practically impossible not to like him – adding that if Jose Mourinho had achieved what the German achieved last season, he probably wouldn’t have won.

Speaking on Tuesday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, the former Man City defender said: “So are people saying that Klopp is better than Guardiola?

“Liverpool won the Champions League, which is sensational, but it’s a cup. They didn’t win every game going through that competition, did they.

“Manchester City won the Premier League with the way they played and got 98 points.

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City become the first English club in history to win the domestic treble last season, but he was pipped to the gong
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“It’s difficult to argue, because Liverpool went so close in the Premier League title and won the Champions League. Klopp was outstanding. But he’s also media friendly, isn’t he.

“If that would have been Mourinho coming second and winning the Champions League, would he have got the vote? No chance!

“We don’t always judge people solely on footballing ability, a lot of it comes down to personality.”

Liverpool enjoyed further success at the glitzy do in Italy as Alisson was named Goalkeeper of the Year and both he and Virgil van Dijk were included in the World XI, although the Dutch defender  lost out in the overall Player of the Year vote to Barcelona maestro Lionel Messi.


Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson Danny Mills slams FIFA World XI and insists Liverpool duo deserve places

24 Sep

Danny Mills can’t believe Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson were not selected in FIFA’s World XI.

Not just that, the talkSPORT presenter was stunned to discover there were NO players from his former team, Manchester City.

The 2019 FIFA World XI has not gone down well with fans
@FIFAcom on Twitter

This year’s all-star line-up was announced at the BEST FIFA Football Awards in Milan on Monday, but the selection has been slated by football fans in England.

The 2019 XI features THREE Real Madrid players (not including Eden Hazard, who only joined them in the summer) despite the Spanish giants not winning a major trophy.

Meanwhile, there are no representatives from Man City’s history making treble-winning team, while only Virgil van Dijk and Alisson made the cut from Liverpool’s Champions League-winning side.

Now, fantasy XIs are rarely universally agreed, but Mills believes voters got this one seriously wrong and two Reds stars in particular should have been included after their stunning individual seasons.

Speaking on Tuesday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, the former City and England defender said: “Ramos and Marcelo? I wouldn’t have those two in. They are unbelievable players throughout the course of time, but not last season.

“Eden Hazard is not a midfield player, he’s a forward. You’ve got to put him in the forward line, and then he doesn’t even get in.

“I would leave Hazard and Luka Modric out of that team. There were better players last season in midfield.

“There’s no right back in the team, either!

Trent Alexander-Arnold has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the Liverpool team over the past two seasons
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“Trent Alexander-Arnold, why is he not in there? Andy Robertson in at left-back, where are these players? They were sensational last season!

“They got goals and assists, why did they not get a vote or two?”

Best FIFA Football Award winners 2019

Men’s player – Lionel Messi (Barcelona and Argentina)

Women’s player – Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC and United States)

Men’s coach – Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool)

Women’s coach – Jill Ellis (United States)

Men’s goalkeeper – Alisson Becker (Liverpool and Brazil)

Women’s goalkeeper – Sari Van Veenendaal (Atletico Madrid and Holland)

Puskas award – Daniel Zsori (Debrecen/Fehervar)

Fan award – Silvia Grecco (Palmeiras)

Fair play award – Marcelo Bielsa and the Leeds squad

FIFPro men’s world XI – Alisson; Matthijs De Ligt, Marcelo, Sergio Ramos, Virgil Van Dijk; Frenkie De Jong, Eden Hazard, Luka Modric; Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi

FIFPro women’s world XI – Sari Van Veenendaal; Lucy Bronze, Nilla Fischer, Kelley O’Hara, Wendie Renard; Julie Ertz, Amandine Henry, Rose Lavelle; Marta, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe

Real Madrid quartet named in Best FIFA Awards Men’s World XI 2019, while Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi also make the cut

23 Sep

Eden Hazard was one of four Real Madrid players to make it into the Best FIFA Awards Men’s World XI which was announced on Monday night.

The Belgian international played a starring role in former side Chelsea’s Europa League triumph last season, with Sergio Ramos, Marcelo and Luka Modric were also included in the team, with two members of Liverpool’s Champions League squad also making the cut.

Eden Hazard celebrates winning the Europa League with Chelsea in May
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Alisson Becker and Virgil van Dijk were both crucial to the Reds’ sixth European Cup success in June.

Meanwhile, Barcelona and Juventus – like Liverpool –  have two inclusions from their respective sides.

Lionel Messi and Frenkie de Jong are Barca’s representatives – though the Dutch midfielder was part of the Ajax time which got to the Champions League semi-finals in 2018/19.

The same goes for Matthijs de Ligt who captained Ajax before switching to Juventus, while Cristiano Ronaldo unsurprisingly also get the nod in this star-studded side.

Joining Messi and Ronaldo in attack is teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe, who flies the flag for Paris Saint-Germain.

Best FIFA Awards Men's World XI

Goalkeeper: Alisson Becker

Defenders: Matthijs de Ligt, Virgil van Dijk, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo

Midfielders: Frenkie de Jong, Eden Hazard, Luka Modric

Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe

 

 

Watch Gareth Bale REFUSE to hold Real Madrid pennant before Champions League defeat at Paris Saint-Germain

20 Sep

What’s the relationship between Gareth Bale and Real Madrid like? It’s complicated…

The LaLiga giants forked out £85million to sign the Welsh wizard in 2013, which was a world-record transfer fee at the time.

2013: Gareth Bale - Tottenham to Real Madrid: £86m
The day he signed for Real Madrid must feel like a lifetime ago for Bale
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In his six years at the Bernabeu, Bale has helped Real Madrid succeed, particularly on the European stage.

He’s scored in two Champions League finals including in the victory over Liverpool in 2018 where he scored an incredible overhead kick at an important moment.

Bale was rewarded with a new contract in 2016 which sees him earn a whopping £350,000-a-week but it seems like neither the club nor the fans have really taken to him.

He’s even nicknamed ‘The Golfer’ by his team-mates due to his lack of playing time at Real Madrid.

Bale has always been a bit of an outsider at Real Madrid
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His future in Spain looked over when they re-appointed Zinedine Zidane, who does not get on with Bale as the new manager.

But Bale ended up staying despite his best efforts to move to the Chinese Super League and it looks as though he and Zidane have set aside their differences aside in order to help the team get results.

Bale started Real Madrid’s Champions League opener against Paris Saint-Germain earlier this week and he scored a brilliant volley but it was correctly ruled out for handball in the build-up.

However, it was a night to forget for Bale and Los Blancos as they suffered a 3-0 blitzing at the hands of the French giants.

Bale wasn’t at his best but neither were any of his team-mates, however some new footage could see the former Tottenham man receive more criticism from fans.

As the Real Madrid players posed for a team photo, Raphael Varane attempted to hand over the club pennant over to Bale.

Bale pauses before eventually taking it off the defender.

And while the slow motion video makes the exchange seem longer than it actually was, there’s no getting away from what Bale did next.

He took hold of the pennant before swiftly passing it on to Dani Carvajal just before the picture was taken. Below you can see the incredible footage.


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Mauricio Pochettino suggests Harry Kane ‘similar mistakes’ comments following Tottenham vs Olympiakos Champions League draw were misinterpreted

20 Sep

Mauricio Pochettino believes Harry Kane’s words after Tottenham’s draw to Olympiakos in the Champions League were misinterpreted.

Spurs threw away a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 in Greece prompting Kane to bemoan the Premier League club’s inability to see games out.

Kane was not happy with the point against Olympiakos
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The striker also suggested that Spurs were making ‘similar mistakes’ to the ones the team were making in the 2014/15 season, Pochettino’s first in charge.

Kane said: “That’s the hard part to get your head around because we’re not young anymore, we’re not inexperienced.

“We’ve played in a big games for club and country.

“I can see why the manager is frustrated because he’s been here for six years now and we’re still making similar mistakes to the ones we were in his first year.

“We’ve got to find a way to get around it, improve and get better. That’s all we can try to do.”

Speaking to talkSPORT, the Spurs boss was asked if he felt Kane’s comments about similar mistakes being made were fair.

However, Pochettino suggested the words by his star striker have been taken the wrong way.

“Be careful. Be careful when you translate what the players say after the game in the media because sometimes we can take the words in different ways.

“Always have respect with what the players say and you can assess what the players say on the media.

Pochettino believes the media have taken Kane’s comments the wrong way
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“I’m not going to ‘shush’ what one or another player is telling you. Because I wasn’t there, I cannot talk about the words and the intention of them but of course when you are disappointed you always look to try and improve and we were talking under different aspects and in my opinion we need to still improve.

However, Spurs will have to put their setback in Europe behind them quickly as they return to action in the Premier League on Saturday lunchtime.

They face Leicester at the King Power Stadium – a game you can listen to LIVE on talkSPORT, kick-off 12:30pm.

Brendan Rodgers’ side, who have been tipped to mount a serious challenge to break into the Premier League’s top six this season, are currently fifth and level on points with third-placed Spurs.

Leicester could pose a big threat to Spurs on Saturday
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But when asked about Leicester’s potential to finish in the top six, Pochettino insisted it was far too early in the season to be making predictions.

He added: “Yes we are in the same position [as Leicester]. We share the same position and have eight points.

“We’ll see [if Leicester can challenge for top six]. It’s too early to talk about contenders, to talk about what is going to happen in the future.

“Still all the teams are finding their best – we’ve only played five games in the Premier League.

“Until you play between 10 and 15 games, it’s difficult to see what is going to happen, if we are contenders, teams that are very seriously going to be contenders. It’s still too early to talk.”


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Is Zinedine Zidane at risk of ruining his Real Madrid legacy? After being ‘steamrolled’ by PSG the goodwill is starting to run out

19 Sep

“Made of glass” is how Marca described Real Madrid’s humiliating 3-0 defeat in Paris on Wednesday night.

AS bemoaned a team “without soul”. El Pais concluded that PSG had simply “steamrolled” the European giants. It was hard to disagree. 

Zinedine Zidane watches his Real Madrid side flounder in Paris
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For the first time in over a decade, in 578 games, Real Madrid failed to register a single shot on target.

“They were better than us in every aspect,” Zinedine Zidane admitted post match, but the question that Madrid will reasonably be asking now is why? As is so often the case when they falter under his tutelage, their coach blamed a “lack of intensity”. That feels like far too easy and ambiguous an excuse.

An excuse that doesn’t explain the lesson in tactics that Thomas Tuchel gave the Frenchman. From kick-off the home team were in a different gear to their opponents, winning the ball high up the pitch and clearly instructed to move it around at a pace that would expose the sluggish, disjointed visitors.

Without entering into the debate over whether Thibaut Courtois should have done better at his near post for Ángel Di María’s opener, that Mauro Icardi eliminated Raphaël Varane from the equation so simply, and Juan Bernat was able to ghost behind Dani Carvajal with relative ease to provide the assist said far more about the level of analysis that the two respective coaching teams had put in.

“Icardi writing the textbook on how to pull a defensive system apart with your back to goal in 45 minutes. He’s taking advantage of the distance Madrid leave between the lines, getting tight to Varane and Éder Militão as a reference, then releasing PSG’s second line,” Alberto Edjogo-Owono, a former striker with over a decade of experience playing in Spain, explained.

That space between the lines Madrid left was striking to see at this level. With less than half an hour on the clock Karim Benzema screamed at his counterparts, furious at his lone attempt to press, but they likely wouldn’t have heard anyway.

Madrid were divided in two, their defence so deep that the midfielders were on the edge of the box and in no way positioned to help the forward line push up. That in turn only worsened their floundering attempts to play out of PSG’s pressure.

At one stage Casemiro had no other option than to try a risky dribble past two opponents because there was no passing option available to escape his own third. 

Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro can’t halt Angel di Maria
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The mistakes, glaring as they were, could perhaps have been forgiven had the Spanish giants made any significant improvement in the second half once Zidane had time with his players to make adjustments, but instead it was more of the same.

The Parisians continued to play one-twos at will, and it is no exaggeration to say they could have been five up by the time Thomas Meunier scored the third and final goal in added time. The nature of that goal summed up Madrid’s inadequacies: finished off by the right-back after he and PSG’s left-back eliminated both of Madrid’s centre-backs and their goalkeeper with a series of passing exchanges. Chaos exposed by precision.

Cut to Neymar and Kylian Mbappe laughing in the stands. They, like Edinson Cavani, didn’t even play. This was PSG’s second string pulling Madrid’s pants down.

Paris Saint-Germain stars celebrate against Real Madrid
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Even the greatest team can have an off night, but neither the result nor the performance comes in isolation for Zidane.

Last weekend his team were a late Courtois wonder-save away from letting a three goal lead slip against Levante. They have already dropped points twice in four rounds of LaLiga, against Villarreal and Valladolid, who were in relegation battles last season.

Taking his record in the 16 matches since he returned to Madrid last spring as a whole, a pattern emerges. Valencia, Leganés, Getafe, Real Betis and now PSG are all examples of teams coached by someone with a clear philosophy, the opposite of Zidane’s man-manager style. All exposed Madrid and took something against them.

Zidane’s managerial style isn’t working second time around
AFP

In football circles there have long been rumours of Zidane’s basic approach to preparation, coaching and training.

The suspicion that Cristiano Ronaldo was behind his success in knockout competitions is overly simplistic, but it is true that the way the Frenchman has comfortably been bettered in all but one of his league campaigns at Madrid cannot be ignored.

Nor the manner in which his team continue to flounder despite significant sway over signings being conceded to their manager this year, allowing him to bring in personal targets like Ferland Mendy and Eden Hazard, while feasible club options for midfield reinforcement like Cristian Eriksen and Donny van de Beek were nixed in favour of a fruitless pursuit of Paul Pogba.

Another midfielder Zidane didn’t fancy, Dani Ceballos, was sent out on loan, while two other players he unsuccessfully tried to move on – Gareth Bale and James Rodríguez – have been among Madrid’s better performers this season.

Bale was denied a wondergoal by VAR
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A three-time Champions League-winning coach has a lot of goodwill in the bank, but it is starting to run out.

Gradually, the dissenting voices are growing. “I don’t see Zidane as capable of finding a solution,” Madrid’s 1998 Champions League final hero Predrag Mijatović lamented on Wednesday.

Zidane needs to find a solution fast. On Sunday his team travel to the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, a ground they often have trouble at.

Waiting are a Sevilla side currently top of the league and undefeated, coached by the last man to succeed Zidane at Madrid before his reign was ended after only 14 matches. Julen Lopetegui.

The Champions League statistic Tottenham Hotspur fans are going to hate seeing

19 Sep

Tottenham Hotspur returned to Champions League action last night and just about scraped to a 2-2 draw with an impressive Olympiakos side.

The Greeks gave their Premier League opponents quite a scare throughout and might have won if it had not been for the woodwork.

Davinson Sanchez was poor for Tottenham against Olympiakos
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It was a tough watch for supporters, who had been buoyed by a 4-0 win over Crystal Palace at the weekend.

Davinson Sanchez, in particular, floundered against the side from Piraeus playing in a unfamiliar right-back role.

The Colombian, who had struggled to push on in the last 18 months, looked well out of his depth with Serge Aurier rested and Kyle Walker-Peters left on the bench, presumably still nursing a hamstring injury picked up against Newcastle United.

Aurier was in fine form as Spurs eased past Crystal Palace
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Sanchez failed to push forward like his Ivorian team-mate had done against Palace, allowing Olympiakos to remain tight in the middle, restricting space for Harry Kane and his fellow attackers.

He didn’t inspire too much confidence defensively and found himself turned by the excellent Greeks on several occasions.

While Sanchez was struggling, just a few hours later ex-team-mate Kieran Trippier was making vital contributions for Atletico Madrid having been sold by Spurs in the summer.

The 29-year-old Englishman had a huge dip in form last season, something the player has put down to carrying an injury for most of the campaign, with him often seen nursing a groin issue during matches.

He said: “Tottenham probably got rid of me at the wrong time because I just needed that four-week rest for recovery, because I was struggling with injuries, to come back fresh and ready.

“So, maybe I could have stayed, but I’ve got no regrets. I’m at Atletico now and I’m just looking to the future.”

Trippier celebrates with his Atletico Madrid team-mates against Juventus
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And how supporters will have wanted a more effective player in the attacking third like Trippier against Olympiakos.

According to statistics experts OPTA, he made seven key passes – more than any other player this week, with four from corners and three from open play.

Sanchez, meanwhile, managed just one – in the 91st minute – but Kane was unable to find room to get a shot away on the edge of the area.

Trippier may have been lambasted for allowing Alex Sandro to get a cross in for Blaise Matuidi to score, although with the Brazilian flying at full pelt and Cristiano Ronaldo tearing in just behind him he can perhaps be considered unfortunate.

He did, though, get his revenge with a fine corner finding the head of fellow Atleti new boy Hector Herrera, who netted the 90th minute equaliser at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Spurs will have done anything to have some of that creativity on the field in their clash and may well be considering their options at right-back if Aurier cannot keep up the form he showed in the Premier League.

Tottenham news: Mauricio Pochettino slams players’ mentality after blowing two-goal lead in Champions League draw with Olympiakos

19 Sep

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino said his players ‘didn’t respect my plan’ as they surrendered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Olympiakos in their Champions League opener.

Last year’s Champions League finalists looked on course to begin this term’s campaign with a fine win in Greece after Harry Kane and Lucas Moura struck in the space of four first-half minutes to put them in command.

Lucas Moura’s brilliant strike put Tottenham in the driving seat in Greece, but they again let their lead slip
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But, just over a fortnight after letting a similar advantage slip against Arsenal, they again capitulated as goals from Daniel Podence and Mathieu Valbuena earned the hosts a deserved point.

Tottenham’s season so far has been beset by an uncharacteristic weakness at the back.

And Pochettino accepts his side have to work hard on the training pitch to cure their defensive woes and ripped into their performance in Greece.

“In the beginning of this season we are conceding a lot of chances and lots of goals and we need to change that,” the Argentinian said. “The only way we can change is being more demanding from ourselves.

“And that is the way we are going to approach the different days and be more consistent.

“Training needs to be harder. Psychologically harder.

“I feel very disappointed, in the first half I wasn’t happy with our performance, from the beginning we had a plan and we didn’t respect the plan, that is what disappointed me most and that is what I told the players at half-time.

“We scored two goals in my opinion, from the penalty and a good goal from Lucas, but if you only analyse the performance it wasn’t great, we conceded a lot of chances to Olympiakos, the way we conceded the first goal was so painful.”

Tottenham have got big problems at the back
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Spurs looked back to their best against Crystal Palace on Saturday, but they were unable to reproduce that in one of Europe’s most hostile atmospheres.

They endured a torrid opening 20 minutes and could have been behind by the time Kane smashed home his 15th Champions League goal in 20 games from the penalty spot.

Moura’s powerful drive from the edge of the area put Spurs in control before Podence’s goal on the stroke of half-time allowed Olympiakos back into it.

Valbuena completed the comeback with a 53rd-minute penalty, to leave Spurs licking their wounds.

“We didn’t translate from Saturday that aggressiveness that this level of game demands and that is my biggest disappointment,” Pochettino added.

Pochettino was disappointed with his players’ performance in Greece
AFP or licensors

“It’s everyone’s responsibility and it’s not possible for, in three days, how we start the game today to be a massive difference. That is my disappointment. I feel disappointed for everyone.

“At half-time we realised it and changed it and in the second half we were a little bit better and we conceded a very soft penalty.

“We created many chances to score, we dominated the second half. Overall, I thought the result was fair.”

Champions League results: Man City breeze past Shakhtar, Real Madrid blown away by PSG, Atletico snatch late draw against Juventus

18 Sep

Man City began their latest bid to claim a first ever Champions League title with an emphatic 3-0 victory over Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine.

The two sides know each other well, they’ve been drawn in the group stage together for three consecutive years, but the Ukrainians had no answer for City’s brilliance.

Man City made light work of their trip to Ukraine
AFP

Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez combined for the opener, with the Algerian blasting home when the midfielder’s shot cannoned off the post and into his path.

Then Mahrez returned the favour by setting up Gundogan for City’s second just before half-time.

Pep Guardiola was forced to play Fernandinho at centre-back due to an injury crisis, but his fringe players all stepped up to the plate to demonstrate City’s incredible depth.

Gabriel Jesus, forced to play second-fiddle to Sergio Aguero so far this season, rounded things off to help the Premier League champions negotiate what could’ve been a tricky fixture with total ease.

Elsewhere, another team with serious injury problems pulled off a remarkable result as Paris Saint-Germain sealed a dominant 2-0 victory over Real Madrid.

Former Madrid star Angel di Maria struck twice before half-time to ensure Thomas Tuchel’s men did not miss any of their regular front three: Neymar, Edinson Cavani or Kylian Mbappe.

Things could’ve been different if Gareth Bale’s sensational goal wasn’t ruled out by VAR, with the ball brusing his hand in the build up.

Di Maria haunted his former club
AFP

But, in truth, Madrid didn’t deserve anything from the game, and Thomas Meunier ensured the scoreline accurately reflected the game by rounding off a stunning team move in injury time.

There was late drama in the other heavyweight clash of the evening as Atletico came from two goals down to snatch a late draw against Juventus.

Juan Cuadrado and Blaise Matuidi gave the visitors a seemingly unassailable lead before Stefan Savic and Hector Herrera mounted a late comeback.

Earlier in the day, Spurs suffered the same fate as Juventus by squandering a two-goal lead to Olympiakos.

Herrera helped save the day for Atletico
Getty Images - Getty

Here are all the results from a dramatic night of Champions League action…

Club Brugge 0-0 Galatasaray

PSG 3-0 Real Madrid

Olympiakos 2-2 Tottenham

Bayern Munich 3-0 Red Star Belgrade

Dinamo Zagreb 4-0 Atalanta

Shakhtar Donetsk 0-3 Man City

Atletico madrid 2-2 Juventus

Bayer Leverkusen 1-2 Lokomotiv Moscow