301 Moved Permanently

Moved Permanently

The document has moved here.


Juventus knock Tottenham out while Man City progress in Champions League

Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-Min lies dejected after a missed chance
By Andy Sims, Press Association Sport

Uefa Champions League first knock-out round, second leg: Tottenham 1 Juventus 2 (Juventus win 4-3 on aggregate)

TOTTENHAM'S Champions League dream was ended by a second-half sucker-punch from Italian champions Juventus.

Spurs, leading 1-0 on the night and 3-2 on aggregate through Son Heung-min's goal, were half an hour from reaching the quarter-finals and proving that finally they belong among Europe's heavyweights.

But two goals in three minutes from Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala floored Mauricio Pochettino's side as their European run finally came to a halt with a 4-3 aggregate defeat.

It was a brave display from Spurs, who came agonisingly close to forcing extra time when Harry Kane hit a post with a minute to play, but Champions League glory will have to wait for another year at least.

Having battled back from two goals down to secure a 2-2 draw in the first leg in Turin last month, Tottenham knew a clean sheet would be enough to finish the job and add Juve to the scalps of Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund.

Yet Spurs were never likely to sit back and in a breakneck start from the hosts, Son had a snap-shot palmed out by veteran keeper Gianluigi Buffon with the rebound just evading Kane and Dele Alli.

Kane then surged past Giorgio Chiellini and rounded Buffon only to uncharacteristically find the sidenetting, albeit from an admittedly tight angle.

Tottenham had a major let-off when Douglas Costa raced past Jan Vertonghen and was clearly tripped by the Spurs defender, but to the disbelief of the Juve players Polish referee Szymon Marciniak gave nothing.

Meanwhile, Son had been riled by a tangle with Andrea Barzagli, who trod on the forward twice as he lay on the floor following a barge in the back.

He exacted revenge six minutes before half-time, moments after drilling a shot across goal and wide after being sent through by Alli.

That looked a big miss, but barely 30 seconds later the South Korean made amends, arriving at the far post to convert a low cross from Kieran Trippier.

It was not the cleanest of strikes, Son scuffing the ball into the turf before it spun and looped in between Chiellini and Buffon, but it elicited the almighiest of roars around Wembley.

Juve now had 45 minutes to save their European season - and in the 64th minute they gave themselves a chance.

Higuain, the man who should probably have put the first leg out of Tottenham's reach but for some poor misses, this time made no mistake when he hooked in Sami Khedira's header at the far post.

And barely three minutes later Juve had turned the tie on its head, Dybala - who missed the first leg through injury - racing through onto Higuain's pass and dispatching his shot across the exposed Hugo Lloris into the net.

Spurs tried to rouse themselves again but found Chiellini in their way, the defender whipping the ball from Kane's foot as he went to tap in Son's cross.

Son was inches wide with a curler before Kane's header came back off a post and bounced on the line, only to be hacked clear by Barzagli in a dramatic finale which spelled heartbreak for Spurs.

Uefa Champions League first knock-out round, second leg: Manchester City 1 Basel 2 (Manchester City win 5-2 on aggregate)

Pep Guardiola claimed Manchester City were "really, really poor" as Basel condemned them to their first home defeat in 15 months on Wednesday.

The Premier League leaders were beaten 2-1 by the Swiss side after allowing their intensity to drop in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

It was not enough to prevent City progressing to the quarter-finals on the back of a 5-2 aggregate success but Guardiola, who made six changes, was frustrated with his side's lack of urgency.

Guardiola said: "From tomorrow we will be happy to be in the quarter-finals for the second time at this club. We are new in that position, so of course we are so happy for that.

"The first half was quite good but in the second half we forgot to attack, we forgot to play. We just passed the ball.

"Passing the ball means passing to move the opponents and attack. To pass for itself is nothing. The second half was really, really poor. We just passed for ourselves and that is not football."

Aside from the overall result of the tie, there were some other positives for City on the night.

Gabriel Jesus, starting for the first time since suffering a knee injury on New Year's Eve, ended a personal goal drought stretching back to November when he opened the scoring.

Guardiola said: "It was important he played 90 minutes. He fought but he needs rhythm. When you are out for a long time you need the rhythm to come back.

"Of course the goal he scored will be good for his confidence."

Teenager Phil Foden also impressed having been handed a starting opportunity alongside veteran Yaya Toure.

Guardiola said of the 17-year-old's performance: "It was good. In the second half, with Leroy (Sane), he was the only one who tried to be aggressive and tried to do something.

"The other ones just passed the ball. That's why we don't create the feeling we can score a goal."

Guardiola did not want to predict how far his team might be able to go in the competition.

Speaking at his post-match press conference, he said: "We are so happy to be in the next stage. We will see the draw. When you are in the quarter-finals, at that level, all the teams will be so tough and demanding. We will try to be ready."

Basel coach Raphael Wicky has no doubt City could go on to win the Champions League.

He said: "The draw has to go right but, in terms of quality and momentum, this team is clearly for me one of the top two or three teams in the world."

Wicky was pleased with the response of his players after the 4-0 loss in the first leg. Goals from Mohamed Elyounoussi and Michael Lang secured victory on the night.

He said: "It wasn't an easy situation but they produced a really good performance. I'm really happy and proud."

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe from just £1 for the first month to get full access


Today's horoscope


See a different horoscope:  

301 Moved Permanently

Moved Permanently

The document has moved here.