01 November 2022

Spurs secure Champions League progress in dramatic style

01 November 2022

Tottenham progressed to the Champions League knockout stage as group winners after Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s stoppage-time goal snatched a 2-1 win in Marseille.

Hojbjerg slammed home Spurs’ winner in the fifth minute of added time after Clement Lenglet had cancelled out Chancel Mbemba’s opener for Marseille.

A draw for Antonio Conte’s side would have been enough to reach the last 16 on a dramatic night, which saw all four sides in Group D occupy the top two places at some stage during the final round of matches.

Eintracht Frankfurt pipped Sporting Lisbon to second place after coming from behind to beat them 2-1 in Portugal.

Sporting were on course to progress after Arthur Gomes gave them a half-time lead, but Daichi Kamada’s penalty and Randal Kolo Muani sent the Germans through.

In Group A, Liverpool halted Napoli’s unbeaten start to the season in all competitions with a 2-0 win at Anfield.

Both clubs had already booked their place in the last 16, while Napoli were bidding to go through with a 100 per cent record.

But Mohamed Salah struck for Liverpool with five minutes to go to equal Steven Gerrard’s record of 41 European goals for the club and Darwin Nunez added a second deep in time added on.

Rangers slumped to a sixth defeat from as many group matches – 3-1 at home to Ajax – to finish with the worst-ever Champions League group-stage record.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side ended with no points and a -20 goal difference to take the mantle from Dinamo Zagreb, who lost all six games with a goal difference of -19 in 2011-12.

Ajax, whose third-placed finish secured them a place in the Europa League play-offs, led 2-0 at half-time through Steven Berghuis and Mohammed Kudus.

James Tavernier pulled one back for Rangers with a late penalty after Edson Alvarez’s foul on Rabbi Matondo, but Francisco Conceicao restored Ajax’s two-goal advantage.

Porto clinched top spot in Group B with a 2-1 home win against Atletico Madrid, who finished bottom and missed out on the Europa League play-offs.

Portuguese champions Porto, who had already qualified for the round of 16, led 2-0 at half-time through Mehdi Taremi and Stephen Eustaquio, while Ivan Marcano’s stoppage-time own goal was scant consolation for Atletico.

Bayer Leverkusen edged out Diego Simeone’s side on head-to-head points after a goalless home draw against Bruges, who finished second in the group.

Bayern Munich finished with a 100 per cent record in Group C after a 2-0 home win against Inter Milan.

Inter, who had already qualified for the knockout phase in second place behind Bayern, conceded goals in either half from Benjamin Pavard and Eric Choupo-Moting.

Group rivals Barcelona, whose third-placed finish was confirmed last week when they lost 3-0 at home to Bayern, closed with a 4-2 win on the road against bottom club Viktoria Plzen.

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