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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Spurs stun Real, Manchester City through

Football
Thu, 02 Nov 2017


London: Dele Alli fired Tottenham Hotspur into the Champions League last 16 as his brace inspired a swaggering 3-1 win over Real Madrid that condemned the troubled holders to their first group-stage defeat in five years.

Alli put Tottenham ahead from close range in the first half and the England midfielder doubled their lead with a fine solo effort after the interval.

Lacklustre Madrid were run ragged on their first ever appearance at Wembley and Christian Eriksen delivered the knockout blow to ensure Zinedine Zidane’s side won’t be wishing for a return to the English national stadium anytime soon.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s late strike was no consolation for the 12-time European champions, who hadn’t lost at this stage of the tournament since October 2012.

With two games still to play in Group H, Tottenham’s first ever win over Real means they are guaranteed to reach the knockout phase and, just as significantly, it should give them genuine belief they can mount a serious challenge for the trophy.

Manchester City’s all-conquering season reached new peaks as Sergio Aguero became the club’s all-time top scorer with a decisive goal in a thrilling 4-2 victory at Napoli that secured their place in the last 16.

Headed goals from City’s unlikely central defensive strike force of Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones either side of halftime had seen Pep Guardiola’s side overturn a 21st-minute lead deservedly given to the Serie A leaders by Lorenzo Insigne.

Yet after Jorginho had equalised with a penalty just after the hour, Aguero’s predatory instincts ensured City were not to be denied in their bid to become the first English team to win a European match in Napoli’s forbidding San Paolo Stadium.

Raheem Sterling sealed the magnificent win in injury time, leaving City, now unbeaten in 22 matches, on a perfect 12-point haul in Group F while Napoli face elimination on just three points in third place.

Meanwhile, second-half goals from Mohamed Salah, Emre Can and Daniel Sturridge moved Liverpool closer to the knockout phase after the five-time European champions beat Maribor 3-0.

Liverpool had crushed Maribor 7-0 in the reverse fixture two weeks ago, but had to be content with three goals at Anfield as the Slovenian champions belatedly tightened things up at the back.

Victory, coupled with Sevilla’s 2-1 defeat of CSKA Moscow, left Liverpool a point clear at the top of Group E, keeping their hopes of a first appearance in the knockout rounds since 2008-09 in their own hands.

Borussia Dortmund suffered a significant set-back when Peter Bosz’s team were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Cyprus’ APOEL.

Dortmund remain winless in their four games so far and must beat Tottenham and Real Madrid in back-to-back games in order to advance.

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