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Champions League

Player ratings as much-improved Spurs held to draw

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Tottenham did everything apart from score on Tuesday evening as they were held to a goalless draw with German side Eintracht Frankfurt.

Both sides had plenty of shots, with Spurs seeing the better opportunities, but of the 23 shots on goal the two teams managed, just four of those were actually on target.

Spurs were on top in the opening stages, with Emerson Royal looking particularly dangerous inside the first few minutes, but Frankfurt grew into the game and even had the first real opportunity of the match as Sebastian Rode strike needed scrambling away by the Spurs defence.

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Harry Kane and Son Heung-min began clicking, with the former seeing a nice strike from distance whistle wide of the post.

The pair linked up again five minutes before the break and this time it was Son who fired wide, with Spurs looking dangerous in flashes and just about asserting their dominance against a Frankfurt side who also had more than a few good moments across a fairly even first half.

As was the case in the first period, Frankfurt had the first chance of the second half. Ansgar Knauff ran on to a nice ball from Djibril Sow but had to stretch to connect with an acrobatic shot which Hugo Lloris dealt with fairly comfortably.

Son then fired over following a poor cut-back from Richarlison, and continuing the trend of somehow not hitting the target, Jesper Lindstrom skied his strike after some unconvincing work from the Spurs back line.

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The half-chances kept flying in, with both sides doing more than enough to score a goal but somehow failing to break the deadlock.

As the clock ticked on the tempo slowed down, with both sides seemingly happy to take a share of the points.

Jesper Lindstrom, Clement Lenglet

Lenglet had an excellent game / Matthias Hangst/GettyImages

GK: Hugo Lloris – 6/10 – Solid with his hands but continues to be terrifying with the ball at his feet.

CB: Cristian Romero – 7/10 – Nice and solid at the back. Flashed some nice pace to keep up with Frankfurt’s forwards.

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CB: Eric Dier – 7/10 – Did an impressive job of leading his defence, screaming at them to push forwards and get more involved. Played some gorgeous passes.

CB: Clement Lenglet – 8/10 – Kept Kolo Muani very quiet down the left. Continues to look like a shrewd signing.

RM: Emerson Royal – 7/10 – A good response to his derby day disaster. Looked really threatening down the right and regularly found himself in acres of space going forwards.

CM: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg – 6/10 – His passing limitations continue to be a bit of a problem for Spurs. Didn’t get much wrong and did well to walk on eggshells after being shown a harsh yellow card in the first half.

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CM: Rodrigo Bentancur – 5/10 – Found it hard to get into the game and didn’t really exert the level of control you’d expect from him.

LM: Ivan Perisic – 6/10 – Deserves a higher rating as he made some excellent runs which went unspotted by his teammates. A little sloppy when he did get the ball in the final third.

AM: Richarlison – 6/10 – Some nice moves, dropping deep to try and link things up, although his sloppy first touch slowed things down more than they needed to be.

AM: Son Heung-min – 7/10 – Played much closer to Kane and clearly benefited from that link-up play. Looked a real threat but perhaps a little sloppy in the final third.

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ST: Harry Kane – 6/10 – Had a subtler role as he spent more of his time winning the physical battle against the Frankfurt defence and trying to set up those around him. A real shift and unfortunate not to get anything from it.

SUB: Ryan Sessegnon (72′ for Perisic) – 7/10 – Had some good moments down the left. Got involved almost immediately.

SUB: Ben Davies (78′ for Lenglet) – 6/10 – Didn’t get involved too often.

SUB: Bryan Gil (78′ for Richarlison) – 6/10 –
The odd nice flash.

Manager: Antonio Conte – 7/10 – The front three played far closer together in this one than they have done this season, and the fluidity was clear to see. Can’t fault the tactics for Spurs’ struggles in front of goal.

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Player of the Match – Clement Lenglet



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Champions League

How can I watch the 2022/23 Champions League last 16 draw?

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So, the excitement of the group stage is over. Having witnessed some European powers breeze through their groups and others progress by the skin of their teeth, we can now look forward to the thrill and the ‘there’s nothing quite like it’-feeling of Champions League knockout football.

Here’s all you need to know about the Champions League round of 16.

The draw for the first round of this campaign’s Champions League knockout phase will take place on Monday 7 November at 11:00 (GMT).

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How to watch the 2022/23 Champions League last 16 draw in the UK

How to watch the 2022/23 Champions League last 16 draw in the United States and Canada

The eight group winners and the eight second-placed sides will feature in the Champions League round of 16 stage.

All four English teams that entered the competition have made it through to the knockout phase, with Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City joining Napoli, Porto, Bayern Munich, Benfica and reigning champions Real Madrid as the eight seeded sides.

Meanwhile, Liverpool are joined by Club Brugge, Inter, Eintracht Frankfurt, Milan, RB Leipzig, Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain as the unseeded sides.

The table-toppers and runners-up will be drawn against each other – apart from those that competed in the same group and those from the same Associations.

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We’ll be able to see these European heavyweights lock horns after the turn of the year, with the first legs set to be played over the 14 and 15 February, and the second legs over the 21 and 22.

We’ve got to get through a World Cup first, though.



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Who could Tottenham face in the 2022.23 Champions League knockout stages?

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After a two-year absence from the Champions League knockout stages, Tottenham Hotspur will return to the competition’s last 16 this campaign.

Spurs famously earned a runner-up finish in 2018/19 before crashing out at the round-of-16 stage with a 4-0 aggregate defeat to RB Leipzig the following year. After a sixth-placed Premier League finish in 2019/20 to boot, the 2020/21 season saw them bow out at the same stage in the Europa League before a humiliating group-stage exit from the Europa Conference League last term.

But, after topping a very competitive Group D this time around, all that seems irrelevant now. So, who could Tottenham face in the knockout stages of this season’s Champions League?

Tottenham’s return to Europe’s top table has yielded mixed results.

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Frustration was the prevalent theme of their Matchday 1 bout with Marseille, although the French giants were eventually put to the sword by Richarlison’s first two Spurs goals to ensure Antonio Conte’s side enjoyed a winning return to the Champions League.

Things subsequently got a little murkier for Conte’s men as a 2-0 defeat to Sporting Club and a goalless draw with Eintracht Frankfurt left them second in the group just a point above the basement spot.

Amid a drop in domestic form, however, came results in Europe. Having earned a 3-2 victory over Frankfurt when welcoming the German outfit to north London on Matchday 4, Spurs’ 1-1 tie with Sporting on Matchday 5 left Group D wide open before its conclusion.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s dramatic crashing strike in the final seconds of Conte’s side’s visit to the French Riviera, however, ensured they flew back to England from the Stade Velodrome with a table-topping 2-1 comeback victory.

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Tottenham have shared the goals around somewhat in this year’s Champions League campaign, with Son Heung-min and Richarlison both tied on two strikes to top their scoring charts, while Ivan Perisic boasts a squad-leading three assists.

As group winners (just about), Spurs can look forward to a clash with one of the eight runners-up from the group stage.

This leaves a few very tasty options for the neutrals to look forward to. Being from the same Association, we won’t see Tottenham face Liverpool in a rematch of the 2019 final, although we could see them battle Leipzig in a repeat of that last-16 demolition (of Spurs) back in 2020.

Other intriguing matchups include potential battles with either of the Milan teams, Borussia Dortmund or Paris Saint-Germain, while Club Brugge also represent potential opponents.

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Khvicha Kvaratskhelia: ‘My dream is to win the Champions League with Real Madrid’

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Khvicha Kvaratskhelia: 'My dream is to win the Champions League with Real Madrid'

Napoli winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, who we rank among the strong competitors for Ballon d’Or next year, has stood up on his greatest dream.

In a meeting with Corriere dello Sport, Kvaratskhelia: “My biggest dream? To win the Champions League. With who? With Real Madrid.

“Since I was a kid, I was a Real Madrid fan. Always watched their games,” the winger added in the interview just before joining Napoli for just €10m from Dinamo Batumi.

The Georgian technician has registered as many as 8 goals and 10 assists in just 17 games for the Neapolitans this season.

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It’s why many top clubs seem to have their sights set on the Georgian international. But the man of the moment only dreams of Real Madrid.

Source: Corriere dello Sport (h/t Total Cristiano @ Twitter)
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