Champions League: Matchday 4 roundup

A stern Antonio Conte believes Tottenham avoided disaster in their much needed 3-2 Champions League win against Eintracht Frankfurt on Wednesday night.

Champions League: Matchday 4 roundup

Two goals from Son Heung-min and a Harry Kane penalty gave the home side a commanding 3-1 advantage at the break after Daichi Kamada had got the Germans off to a perfect start in the 14th minute.

Despite being reduced to ten-men after Tuta saw red for a second bookable offence, the visitors grabbed a late goal through Faride Alidou’s 87th minute header to set up a tense finish which Conte, who saw his side move to the top of a tight group separated by only three points, stewed over post match.

The Italian was relieved the lapse in concentration was not more costly and hoped it provided a lesson for his team going into a pivotal period of the campaign.

“The final part [of the game] has to be a lesson for everybody,” Conte said. “For me and for the players. The game is finished when the referee blows his whistle three times.

“I think everybody thought the game had ended and for this reason we made a big mistake

“You’re leading a game 3-1, playing against ten-men and everything seems to be going right but football is difficult.

“Now we are talking with a smile because we won, but imagine if this game finished in a draw. That would have been a real disaster.”

Spurs and Frankfurt are separated in Group D by Marseille and Sporting Lisbon, just a point behind the Londoners after the French side claimed a decisive 2-0 victory in Portugal.

Matteo Guendouzi opened the scoring in the 20th minute from the spot after Ricardo Esgaio was dismissed for a foul on Amine Harit.

Igor Tudor’s side doubled their advantage on the half hour through Alexis Sanchez, but will ultimately be disappointed not to have won by a bigger margin as the home side’s numbers were further reduced with Pedro Goncalves’ dismissal on the hour mark.

Liverpool were the other English team in action on Wednesday night and manager Jurgen Klopp reckoned their 7-1 drubbing of Rangers had changed the atmosphere in the camp ahead of a titanic battle with Man City at the weekend.

Mohamed Salah made history with the competition’s quickest ever hattrick by scoring three goals in a little over six minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute, while Roberto Firmino continued his purple patch with a brace either side of the interval and Darwin Nunez scored in back-to-back games with a tidy finish just after the hour.

Harvey Elliot rounded off a near perfect night for the Reds with his maiden strike in the Champions League as all seven Liverpool goals came after Scott Arfield had sent the home fans into raptures with a crisp finish past Alisson Becker after 17 minutes.

“It has definitely changed the mood,” said Klopp. “It’s completely different.

“And that’s good, but we all know who we are welcoming on Sunday and this will be a different game, we all know that.

“But it’s better to go into a game with this feeling we have tonight than any other.”

The Anfield club could seal qualification to the knockout stages with a draw against Ajax in Amsterdam in a fortnight after the Dutch champions became the latest victims of Luciano Spalletti’s all-conquering Napoli.

Serie A’s leaders maintained their 100 percent record in the competition and powered into the next round with a 4-2 win thanks to goals from Hirving Lozano, Giacomo Raspadori, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Victor Osimhen.

While the visitors made a better account of themselves than in last week’s devastating reverse fixture with replies from Davy Klaassen and Steven Bergwijn.

In Group B, a goalless draw with Atletico Madrid was enough for Club Brugge to claim a shock spot in the last-16 as the Belgian side held on with ten-men to progress from the group stage for the first time in their history.

Diego Simeone’s men were leapfrogged in the standings by Porto after the Portuguese champions secured a commanding 3-0 victory against Bayern Leverkusen with goals from Galeno and a pair of Mehdi Taremi penalties on Xabi Alonso’s debut at the helm of the struggling German club.

Atleti’s spanish rivals, Barcelona are in even dire straits after coming up short in a thrilling 3-3 draw with Inter Milan at Camp Nou.

Ousmane Dembele opened the scoring for the Catalans before half-time before Nicolo Barella and Lautaro Martinez gave the Italian side a lead which would have ended all hopes of Barcelona qualification.

Xavi’s men hit back through Robert Lewandowski with eight minutes to play, but after trading scores with efforts from Robin Gosens and another from the Polish striker, the home side look almost certain to bow out of the competition at the group stage for the second consecutive year.

Simone Inzaghi’s Inter know a win in Matchday 5 against minnows Viktoria Plzen will be enough to join Bayern Munich in the next round after the Germans kept up their perfect record with a 4-2 win in the Czech Republic.

Four Bayern first-half goals ended the contest at the break as Sadio Mane, Thomas Muller and a Leon Goretzka double claimed victory before the Czech champions grabbed a couple of consolation strikes through Adam Vlkanova and Jan Kliment.

On Tuesday night, Juventus suffered a shock 2-0 defeat to Maccabi Haifa to heap the pressure on embattled manager Massimiliano Allegri and leave their hopes of qualification in tatters as PSG and Benfica played out a 1-1 draw to share top spot in the group with a five point gap to the Italian’s with two games to play.

There were further stalemates in Group G as Man City secured a spot in the last-16 with a goalless draw against FC Copenhagen while Borussia Dortmund all but assured their place with a 1-1 result against Sevilla which featured yest another goal for teenage sensation Jude Bellingham, his fourth effort in as many games this term.

Meanwhile, Chelsea put themselves in a commanding position in Group E with a 2-0 win against Milan at the San Siro while RB Salzburg stayed second in the standings, a point behind the Blues, after a one-all draw with Dinamo Zagreb.

The completely unrelated outfit of RB Leipzig put an end to Celtic hopes with a 2-0 victory in Glasgow while Antonio Rudiger put his body on the line for last season’s winners, Real Madrid, who rescued a point in a 95th minute against Shakhtar Donetsk.