The Champions League’s sixth matchday is halfway over following eight matches on Tuesday that produced just 14 goals. There were some surprising results, and no fan bases were as nervous as those of Liverpool and Tottenham, as each team was looking for a result to get by. Both had their backs against the wall and saw some late magic get them into the round of 16.
Here’s are the scores, takeaways and more:
Tuesday’s Champions League scores
- Porto 3, Galatasaray 2
- Schalke 1, Lokomotiv Moscow 0
- Barcelona 1, Tottenham 1
- Liverpool 1, Napoli 0
- PSG 4, Red Star 1
- Dortmund 2, Monaco 0
- Atletico Madrid 0, Club Brugge 0
- Inter Milan 1, PSV 1
That’s why Liverpool signed Alisson
If you’ve paid any attention to the sport over the last couple years, you would know that Liverpool has had more than a problem in goal. Be it with Simon Mignolet or more recently Loris Karius, the Reds had been far from stable when it came to the goalkeeper position, producing what seemed like more gaffes than brilliant saves.
That poor form, which was really on display in the loss to Real Madrid in the Champions League final, forced Liverpool’s hand. In the summer, they brought in Roma goalkeeper Alisson for €62.5 million to be the difference maker, and on Tuesday he was just that. A draw would have been enough for Napoli to move on, and down 1-0 late, a goal was needed. It looked like the Italian club was about to get it until Alisson made one of the biggest saves the Reds have seen in a long time on Arkadiusz Milik. Check this out:
That’s just huge. He doesn’t jump the gun, keeps his eye on the ball and his instincts do the rest. That is the difference right now between the season being viewed as a failure or a success.
Kane switches it up and delivers
As a true No. 9 striker, Harry Kane spends most of his time up top pushing towards the opposing team’s backline. He’s never been afraid to go outside of that area though, be it running in from the wing or even coming to the middle to try and get the ball. That type of flexibility is important, especially if he has players around him that can capitalize. That normally goes to someone like Dele Alli, but it was Lucas who played the role of hero on Tuesday to secure a 1-1 draw in Barcelona to move on. However, a good portion of the credit needs to go to Kane. With five minutes to go and in need of a goal, Kane was the creator, drifting outside and getting played through before he set up Lucas. Take a look:
What a fantastic pass in traffic to Lucas, and that shows you how valuable Kane can be when he isn’t scoring. Had he stayed in the middle, the box would have been congested and it probably wouldn’t have created nearly as good of a goal-scoring opportunity. Instead, he plays the role of distributor, and that decision making gets Tottenham into the knockout stage.
PSG does something Liverpool, Napoli couldn’t
It was an up-and-down group stage by PSG, but those six points in the final two matches were the difference, which allowed the club to win the group. And though to the average fan a win at Red Star Belgrade may sound easy, the truth is it isn’t. Napoli couldn’t win there and Liverpool lost there. PSG, on the other hand, was able to put four past them. Many of those top teams in Eastern Europe have huge home-field advantages, and you’ll never hear any coach or player say going to Serbia, Russia or Ukraine will be a gimme.
Yet PSG traveled to Serbia and dominated the game with 71 percent possession, nine shots on frame and four fine strikes. It’s a performance that won’t get as much buzz as beating Liverpool, but it’s a big boost to this team’s chances as it avoids having to play a group winner in the next round.
You can watch much of Wednesday’s Champions League action on fuboTV (Try for free).
Relive the games
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