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Tottenham 5-1 Stoke recap

Sky Sports - tor, 07/12/2017 - 17:40

Champions League power rankings: Manchester City are the team to beat

Guardian - tor, 07/12/2017 - 17:35

Manchester City, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are the four teams to avoid in what will be a competitive draw for the last-16 on Monday

By Martin Laurence and Ben McAleer for WhoScored?

The last-16 stage of the Champions League promises to be extremely competitive. Two of the semi-finalists from last season have been knocked out already; Atlético Madrid have been relegated to the Europa League and Monaco, who didn’t win a single match in their group, are out of Europe altogether.

Real Madrid, Juventus, Bayern Munich and Chelsea – all of whom have played in at least one of the last six finals – failed to win their groups, meaning there will be some even bigger casualties when the knockout stages return in February. It is difficult to separate remaining sides in the competition but, by looking at their domestic form this season and performances in the Champions League groups, we have ranked the teams who will go into the last-16 draw on Monday.

Related: Champions League draw: who can the Premier League five meet in last 16?

Related: Football quiz: how well do you know the Manchester and Merseyside derbies?

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Festive Football on Sky Sports

Sky Sports - tor, 07/12/2017 - 16:00
Sky Sports is the place to watch a feast of festive football across December and January.

Rose: Bust-up talk 'getting silly'

Sky Sports - tor, 07/12/2017 - 14:00
Tottenham full-back Danny Rose says talk of bad blood between himself and manager Mauricio Pochettino is "getting silly".

Tottenham’s Danny Rose: I have no issue with Mauricio Pochettino and never will

Guardian - tor, 07/12/2017 - 13:15
Rose’s dismay at being taken off at Wembley on Wednesday sparked suggestions of a rift, especially given the left-back’s recent expressions of dissatisfaction

Danny Rose felt the wound open above his left eye and the blood would not stop. The contact had come with the Apoel Nicosia substitute Roland Sallai and it was clear that the Tottenham Hotspur full-back had to come off – at least for a quick patch-up job.

Mauricio Pochettino assessed the situation and decided that “it was not necessary to take a risk”. Rose needed five stitches, there were only 20 minutes to play in what was a dead Champions League rubber and so the manager chose to keep him off and introduce Kyle Walker-Peters.

Related: Champions League draw: who can the Premier League five meet in last 16?

I hope teams look at those performances and realise Tottenham are a team to be feared

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Rose unhappy at being subbed

Sky Sports - tor, 07/12/2017 - 12:20
Danny Rose says he "wasn't happy" at being substituted during Tottenham's Champions League win over APOEL but admits it was probably the right decision.

Champions League draw: who can the Premier League five meet in last 16?

Guardian - tor, 07/12/2017 - 12:08
We break down the record-breaking achievements of the English quintet in the Champions League and look ahead to who they could meet in the next stage

Yes it is. Never before have so many clubs from one country reached this stage of the tournament. It became possible to enter five teams only from 2015-16, when the Europa League winners were awarded a Champions League place. Spain had five clubs in the 2015-16 group stage after Sevilla won that tournament but only three progressed. Manchester United’s Europa League triumph last season put them in the Champions League with Chelsea, Manchester City, Tottenham and Liverpool. Liverpool won a play-off against Hoffenheim to make it five English clubs in the group stage.

Related: Philippe Coutinho leads Liverpool's merry band of inspired attackers | Andy Hunter

Aquí tenéis TODAS LAS PROBABILIDADES de TODOS LOS ENFRENTAMIENTOS que se pueden dar en el sorteo de 1/8 de UCL que se celebrará el lunes. Es el SORTEO MÁS CONDICIONADO EN LA HISTORIA del torneo: Chelsea sólo tiene 3 rivales posibles y un 44% de opciones de jugar contra el Barça. pic.twitter.com/J0kMSjvd4E

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Premier League build-up recap

Sky Sports - tor, 07/12/2017 - 11:03

Rose: Focus now back on league form

Sky Sports - tor, 07/12/2017 - 09:10
Danny Rose says Tottenham must now focus on improving their poor league form after qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Analysing Dele Alli’s form

Sky Sports - tor, 07/12/2017 - 07:10
Dele Alli played 88 minutes of Tottenham’s comfortable 3-0 Champions League win over Apoel on Wednesday night but the debate over his performances goes on. Adam Bate was at Wembley to see this latest effort and assess Alli’s form so far this season…

PL clubs set CL record

Sky Sports - tor, 07/12/2017 - 00:20
The Premier League has set a new record as all five of its representatives in this season's Champions League qualified for the knockout stages.

CL round-up: Keita's Leipzig miss out

Sky Sports - ons, 06/12/2017 - 23:50
Liverpool cruised on a historic Champions League night for English football but their incoming midfielder Naby Keita saw his RB Leipzig side ousted.

Poch pleased with points haul

Sky Sports - ons, 06/12/2017 - 23:38
Mauricio Pochettino has hailed Tottenham's "fantastic achievement" of earning more points in the Champions League group stage than any other team this season.

Fernando Llorente off the mark for Tottenham in stroll against Apoel

Guardian - ons, 06/12/2017 - 22:56

It has taken a while – 17 appearances to be precise – but Fernando Llorente is up and running as a Tottenham Hotspur goalscorer. The summer signing from Swansea City has been used mainly as a substitute by Mauricio Pochettino but, given a starting opportunity in what was a dead Champions League rubber, he responded with a decent all-round performance and he crowned it with his first goal in the club’s colours.

Given Spurs’ recent stutters – they have won only once in five Premier League matches – it was an opportunity for them to find a bit of momentum and Llorente did so, on a personal level. Son Heung-min did likewise. The winger added Tottenham’s second goal with a curling shot from the edge of the area and he vied with Llorente for the man-of-the-match honours.

Related: Tottenham Hotspur v Apoel Nicosia: Champions League – as it happened

Related: Manchester City’s winning run ends as makeshift side fall to Shakhtar

Related: Philippe Coutinho inspires Liverpool as rout of Spartak Moscow seals progress

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Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 Apoel Nicosia: Champions League – as it happened

Guardian - ons, 06/12/2017 - 22:38

Goals from Fernando Llorente, Son Heung-min and Georges-Kevin Nkoudou gave Tottenham the most routine of 3-0 wins over disappointing opponents from Cyprus

10.16pm GMT

Related: Fernando Llorente off the mark for Tottenham in stroll against Apoel

9.38pm GMT

Spurs get the job done, then. That was as low-key a second half as you could imagine, the only talking points being a potential red card for Aurier and a deflected goal by Nkoudou. But it was thin gruel. Llorente’s performance is probably the most encouraging thing for Pochettino, as strikers need confidence and he should have garnered some with a goal and an assist. Apoel had a little flicker just after half-time but, let’s be honest, really didn’t offer anything. This one has been ticked off and Spurs, at least, can go on to more exciting things. Thanks for joining me tonight – bye!

9.36pm GMT

That was so, so easy.

9.34pm GMT

90+1 min: Ah, we’ll have three minutes. Liverpool won 7-0, Man City have pulled one back at Shakhtar ...

9.32pm GMT

90 min: I doubt we’ll see much added time.

9.31pm GMT

88 min: But now they win a corner and on he comes – to replace Alli.

9.30pm GMT

87 min: Spurs have been waiting to give Kazaiah Sterling a debut from the bench for ages but their pesky players haven’t given up possession for about three minutes.

9.28pm GMT

85 min: It is 7-0 to Liverpool, meanwhile. Yikes.

9.26pm GMT

83 min: Rueda is booked for a crude foul on Nkoudou near the edge of the area. Alli bends the free-kick straight at Perez.

9.24pm GMT

82 min: Real are 3-2 up over Dortmund now but Apoel need three goals to make that matter.

9.24pm GMT

Oh, but there you go! Nkoudou scores his first Tottenham goal too! Alli passes to him outside the box, a nice change of direction allows him to trick his way inside, the shot isn’t great but it flicks off a defender and over Perez. The cheers around Wembley are very muted but a goal’s a goal. Apoel replace Pote, the shirt-seeker, with Antoniou.

9.21pm GMT

78 min: It’s like a particularly through-the-motions friendly now. Literally nothing is happening.

9.18pm GMT

76 min: Liverpool are 6-0 up over Spartak. That’s where the action is!

9.18pm GMT

75 min: It’s almost a quarter of an hour since anything half-interesting happened on the pitch, football-wise. Can Igor De Camargo, who comes on for Apoel in place of their best player Aloneftis, change that?

9.14pm GMT

72 min: Rose had a cut to the face, by the way. Wonder what exactly he said to his manager there. Perhaps not happy at having to play in this one at all ...

9.13pm GMT

70 min: Pochettino and Rose seemed to exchange some rather frosty views as Rose went off there. Walker-Peters now replaces the left-back.

9.11pm GMT

69 min: Rose has headed down the tunnel for some treatment, which must be a concern.

9.11pm GMT

67 min: The pace isn’t high at the moment. Nobody would really mind if we called it quits here ... but hang on, Rose is now booked after his own bit of red mist, barging Sallai – also booked – after taking exception to being tugged back. Unlike in the case of Aurier, that’s probably a fair punishment.

9.07pm GMT

65 min: Aurier is rightly yellowed for a studs-up tackle on Aloneftis – upon seeing the replay that should have been red, I think. He’s got lucky, that was pretty nasty. One Tottenham player does depart now, but it’s Son – replaced by Dembele.

9.05pm GMT

62 min: Sissoko bursts through midfield and slides Nkoudou through on the left. His first touch allows the shot, which is decent and low but smothered by the busy Perez.

9.02pm GMT

59 min: Son goes off target with a dipping free-kick. Not the worst effort, or the best.

9.01pm GMT

58 min: It should be three as Llorente loses his balance when spinning to volley from close in after Rose’s cross loops off a defender. Aurier then sees a decent shot parried by Perez.

8.59pm GMT

57 min: Hey, the Europa League might be where it’s at after Christmas. Dortmund, Napoli and Atletico among those coming down from the Champions League. I’m sold.

8.58pm GMT

55 min: A really slick Apoel move ends with Ebecilio spooning one very high over from 19 yards. Could they not have tried playing like this from the start?

8.56pm GMT

54 min: But Spurs break quickly and Nkoudou tries to weigh one into the far corner. It hits Morais and goes behind. Rose takes the corner but it sails beyond everyone.

8.55pm GMT

53 min: Apoel win a dangerous free-kick and exert some pressure from it. They look, at last, like they mean a little business.

8.54pm GMT

51 min: The horse has bolted but, for the record, Apoel have started this half well.

8.53pm GMT

49 min: Oooooh, Apoel almost score! Vouros has time to size up a shot on the right of the area and arrow towards goal ... and it flicks off Rose and just wide! Sallai heads wide from the corner. Their best spell by a distance. Now Liverpool are five up, FYI.

8.51pm GMT

49 min: Dortmund equalise in Madrid! Well, well. That’s going to be it for Apoel, then.

8.50pm GMT

47 min: Apoel have brought Sallai on for Vinicius. I’m fairly sure I didn’t mention Vinicius before now. Liverpool are 4-0 up through Mane.

8.48pm GMT

Alli is out there, so that presumably means he’s fine. Apparently Pote swapped shirts with him at half-time, which says a lot about the Apoel striker’s performance so far. He’s been useless but clearly had other things on his mind.

8.46pm GMT

Nearly ready for the second half. Will we see Alli? He was struggling towards the end there ...

8.32pm GMT

Pretty easy for Spurs – Apoel have offered absolutely nothing, to be honest. But Pochettino will be pleased with how his side have set about things, and they’ve scored two really nice goals through Llorente – his first for Spurs – and Son. They could have scored a few more too. See you in a bit!

8.30pm GMT

45 min: A couple of Winks corners come to nothing. I think half-time will come right as we hit 45.

8.29pm GMT

44 min: Son has a long shot battered away to his left by Perez. The second half of this game of this game will be a procession. It might not be that way at the Bernabeu though, as Dortmund have a goal back.

8.27pm GMT

42 min: Alli went down under a challenge just now and isn’t moving too well, which was the same earlier too. A concern?

8.25pm GMT

40 min: Could have been a riposte from Apoel though! Aloneftis does well again and puts a better ball in to the back stick for Pote ... who could jump and land a free header at goal, but instead fails to jump and the ball kind of pings away off his head. Then Aloneftis goes again and wins a corner after an Aurier error. Spurs defend that well.

8.24pm GMT

They made a noise there! Son spins and advances towards the edge of the box, a bit to the right. He plays a give-and-go with Llorente, whose one-touch lay-off screams “curl me past the static goalkeeper with your left foot!”. Son obliges. Lovely goal, and that’ll be that.

8.22pm GMT

36 min: This is Spurs’ first quiet spell really, but they don’t need to be extending themselves overly here.

8.20pm GMT

35 min: Better from Apoel as the lively-ish Aloneftis hares down the left, but his low delivery is cut out. That’s as good as they’ve offered.

8.19pm GMT

34 min: Man City are now 2-0 down. You can tell who needs that one more.

8.17pm GMT

31 min: A little flicker there as Apoel play a decent ball through to Ebecilio and he claims a tug from Rose. Nothing doing.

8.15pm GMT

30 min: Apoel have not come close to mounting a meaningful attack.

8.14pm GMT

28 min: Llorente provides a cross this time, chipping in to the jumping Sissoko, whose header is straight at Perez.

8.13pm GMT

27 min: Man City are losing at Shakhtar. Not that it matters to them. Shakhtar look like going through though.

8.12pm GMT

26 min: It’s worked short and then through to Rose, who has an incredible amount of space at the byline but sees his drilled cross cleared behind. The next corner is put straight in and Llorente can’t quite get his head onto it cleanly.

8.10pm GMT

25 min: Alli has been quiet but performs a neat bit of skill to get out of a tight spot in his own half. Play switches to the Apoel area and Spurs win another corner ...

8.08pm GMT

23 min: It’s only 1-0, I know, but this currently looks like a complete mismatch.

8.07pm GMT

He’s off the mark! That was coming, it really was. Winks finds Aurier with a drilled, radar-like pass and the delivery is again good – if slightly behind Llorente. The striker turns and drags the ball back beautifully, flummoxing his marker, and the finish is then simple. He needed that; Apoel definitely didn’t.

8.05pm GMT

20 min: It’s 3-0 to Liverpool now. Klopp looks happy. Coutinho has two, Firmino one.

8.04pm GMT

19 min: And that’s another close shave there, a fine Aurier cross towards Llorente bouncing off a defender and only just over Perez’s bar. The goalkeeper had committed himself. A corner results, which soon enough leads to another – and Foyth thunders a header over from that one!

8.03pm GMT

18 min: I mean, Apoel could just play for the draw now but I have the impression they wouldn’t be very good at it.

8.01pm GMT

15 min: Liverpool are two up. Barry has the details here.

7.59pm GMT

13 min: Spurs have, in fairness, started well enough here and look sharp. We’ve seen nothing from Apoel going forward yet bar a couple of bursts that were quickly snuffed out. It’s now 2-0 to Real in Madrid though ...

7.56pm GMT

10 min: How are Spurs not ahead?! Llorente’s header is pushed away by Perez to his left, and Nkoudou seems certain to gobble the rebound .... but the Apoel defender Rueda makes a quite heroic clearance off the line with his head! The ball stays alive and is crossed back in for Sanchez, who heads wide when he might do better. Three chances in a row but Apoel somehow survive!

7.54pm GMT

9 min: In this group’s other game Real Madrid are ahead against Dortmund – so if it’s all like this an hour and a half from now, Apoel take third.

7.53pm GMT

7 min: Almost a chance for Son, who anticipates Llorente’s cushioned header from a Rose diagonal but can’t quite get the ball under his spell in the box.

7.52pm GMT

7 min: Liverpool are beating Spartak Moscow. It’s really not a great group stage for nailbiting matchday six tussles, is it?

7.50pm GMT

4 min: The flag kick is half-cleared and then Sissoko sees a shot blocked. The cameras pan to Giorgos Donis, who you’ll remember played for Blackburn and Sheffield United and is now Apoel’s manager. He used to be really quick!

7.49pm GMT

3 min: And then Son does something very similar after a nice little burst between the lines. A corner is awarded, generously as the goalkeeper Perez didn’t touch it ...

7.48pm GMT

2 min: Decent first sighter there from Aurier, raking a bouncing effort a foot wide from 25 yards.

7.47pm GMT

2 min: It’s a small crowd, less than half-full I reckon, but the Cypriot fans – a number of whom may be based in north London, you’d fancy – are in good voice.

7.46pm GMT

Apoel kick off. They play all in yellow and from right to left.

7.45pm GMT

@NickAmes82 fans should understand more than pundits that our patchy form is driven by injuries and lack of squad depth. Over the last several weeks players out and/or playing with/ coming back from injuries include: Kane, Alli, Eriksen, Lamela, Rose, Wanyama, Alderweirld etc.

7.45pm GMT

Email from Pete Corbett, timely too given the subject matter: “Hope you’re keeping warmer than we are at Wembley. Looking forward to seeing Georges N’Koudou. We sometimes need some pace in the side and it would be good for him to prove himself a viable option. Away fans are in fine voice.”

7.43pm GMT

Meanwhile, the teams are on the Wembley pitch and solemnly taking in the anthem ...

7.43pm GMT

Couple of others with points to prove: can Fernando Llorente, making only his fourth start for Spurs, score his first goal? And can Georges-Kevin Nkoudou, making just his third in a year and a half, show anything of substance?

7.30pm GMT

Pochettino speaks on his eight changes: “For everyone it’s a great opportunity there. The players that are not consistently in the starting XI every week ... we’re going to take it very seriously, being first in the table is a great achievement but to play a Champions League game is very important.”

He also says it’s a big chance for “very talented player, great character and personality” Juan Foyth.

7.27pm GMT

Apoel shouldn’t pose many problems, even to this Spurs team, and lost the home game 3-0. But! Harry Kane, who scored three in that game, isn’t around tonight. And! They drew both matches with Dortmund, which basically nixed BVB’s campaign, and the chief dangerman is Mickael Pote – a 33-year-old striker from Benin who scored in both of those games and has been on prolific form.

7.15pm GMT

Spurs fans, what would you like to get out of tonight? “The simple enjoyment of watching my team play football without pressure” is a fine and valid answer. But anything else? Are you worried by the recent dip or is it just something that had to happen sometime? Is it all down to Mauricio’s book? Anything else? Email or tweet me. We’ve time to chat.

7.05pm GMT

Pochettino rings the changes then, as expected. The likes of Nkoudou, Foyth and Llorente get a start. Spurs’ recruitment of squad players has not always been on point really, has it ... will they make a splash today though?

7.04pm GMT

Tottenham Hotspur: Vorm, Aurier, Foyth, Sanchez, Rose, Sissoko, Winks, Nkoudou, Alli, Son, Llorente. Subs: Gazzaniga, Vertonghen, Dembele, Davies, Walker-Peters, Amos, Sterling.

Apoel Nicosia: Perez, Vouros, Rueda, Carlao, Lago, Zahid, Vinicius, Morais, Aloneftis, Ebecilio, Pote. Subs: Gudino, de Camargo, Alexandrou, Sallai, Antoniou, Farias, Merkis.

10.34am GMT

Good evening everyone. Now, I don’t mean to be a buzzkill but on the face of things there’s not a huge deal riding on this. Spurs have won their group – a brilliant achievement, by any measure, even if Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund are both off-key this season – and have little clear reason to go hell for leather. Apoel, meanwhile, are bottom of the group and are out, done, finished.

Well, not quite. If Apoel better Dortmund’s result at Real Madrid then they’d end up in the Europa League, which would be no mean achievement in this quartet I guess. And that, in turn, would deeper the pall of uncertainty that has enveloped Tottenham in recent weeks. On paper this is the kind of fixture that can give everyone a bit of a bounce again – a big win tonight could beget similar in kind-looking home league games against Stoke and Brighton. But if what will, presumably, be a skeleton lineup falters then the questions will remain. It’s a delicate one for Mauricio Pochettino, really: he needs to rest a few players who are, quite clearly, trudging through quicksand at the moment but not so many that Spurs get caught short.

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Llorente inspires Spurs win

Sky Sports - ons, 06/12/2017 - 22:30
Fernando Llorente scored his first goal for Tottenham as they ended their Group H campaign with a 3-0 victory over Apoel Nicosia on Wednesday night.

Charlie's European predictions

Sky Sports - ons, 06/12/2017 - 17:30
Charlie Nicholas provides us with his predictions for the final round of Champions League group-stage action.

Tottenham 3-0 Apoel recap

Sky Sports - ons, 06/12/2017 - 15:57

Premier League questions

Sky Sports - ons, 06/12/2017 - 15:00
Will Liverpool match their unbeaten Merseyside derby run? Will Paul Pogba or David Silva be the biggest miss? We look at the weekend's Premier League questions...
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