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Three things learned: Tottenham v. Juve

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LONDON — Tottenham Hotspur blew it on the big stage as they crumbled at home in the UEFA Champions League and lost 2-1 on the night and 4-3 on aggregate against Juventus.

Heung-Min Son put Tottenham ahead in the first half but two goals in three minutes in the second half from Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala stopped Spurs in their tracks as their dreams of a place in the Champions League last eight were dashed.

It wasn’t to be as Gianluigi Buffon and Co. were the team celebrating at the final whistle as Harry Kane and Spurs stood with their hands on their hips and were left devastated.

Here’s what we learned from a dramatic night at Wembley.


Let’s get this straight, Juventus were made to look very ordinary for vast swathes of the two legs. A win would have been a huge statement by Tottenham but they crumbled when it mattered most.

83 percent of teams to have drawn 2-2 away in the first leg of a UCL knockout tie have progressed to the next stage. Not Spurs.

So much has been talked about Tottenham’s potential to dine at the Premier League’s top table, let alone Europe’s, but those questions will now remain.

Pochettino has cultivated a young, hungry squad over the past three years and their progress is clear for all to see. Third and second place finishes in the Premier League in the past two seasons prove that, even if there’s no silverware in the trophy cabinet to back up the brilliance of Kane, Eriksen, Alli and Co.

But this was a seminal moment in Spurs’ present, it was meant to be a momentous leap forward for a club which has taken huge strides forwards on and off the pitch in recent years.

Reports about Kane, Alli and even Pochettino leaving will now be rife with Tottenham unable to match the wages of England and Europe’s elite. Their project is genuinely exciting but once again they have come up short. They shouldn’t have.

Tottenham should have been in the last eight of the Champions League for just the second time in club history. Pochettino should have led Spurs into uncharted territory and that should have been enough to keep their stars together for at least another season.

Now, it seems like all of that is in jeopardy once again.


This is a team who have been in two of the last three UEFA Champions League finals. They have won the Italian title six years on the spin.

Never write off Juventus.

As soon as Higuain hooked home brilliantly to make it 1-1 on the night and 3-3 on aggregate, he punched his fists in the air and screamed back at Juve’s goalkeeper and inspirational leader Gigi Buffon. That was the goal they needed.

They never looked back and three minute later Dybala was given the freedom of Wembley to race through and slot home the killer second goal. All of this came after Max Allegri’s tactical switch to bring on Stephan Lichtsteiner for Mehdi Benatia and shifting veteran defender Andrea Barzagli to center back, as Juve swung the game in their favor in the matter of 189 seconds.

In truth, Allegri made a mistake by placing Barzagli, 37, at right back for the injured Mattia Di Sciglio as he was roasted by Son on several occasions, but he put it right superbly and Juve never looked back.

Over the 180 minutes of this encounter, Juventus had dominated about 20 minutes of the action. In those 20 minutes they scored four goals and missed one glorious chance in the first leg. They weren’t going to make that same mistake again.

Giorgio Chiellini put his body on the line late on as the Spurs onslaught came. His last-ditch tackle to deny Tottenham a tap in was greeted by Buffon grabbing him by the scruff his neck and screaming with delight in his face. Kane’s header hitting the post and staying out late on was the luck they needed and they dug deep to make the last eight. Experience counts for a lot in these moments. Juve had it. Spurs didn’t.


He could have had a hat trick in the first half alone and he had five decent chances but scored just once.

The South Korean star has been in red-hot form for Spurs, scoring five goals in his last three games in all competitions and he tormented Juve’s right back Andrea Barzagli, who stepped in for the injured Mattia De Sciglio.

Spurs constantly looked out to the left flank in the first half to isolate Barzagli and it worked. Son had a shot across goal which Buffon pushed out, another he somehow dragged wide and then he put another agonizingly wide late on.

On another night Son could have wrapped this tie up by half time but his costly misses, coupled with quiet nights for Kane and Eriksen, compounded Tottenham’s miserable exit from Europe.

Relegation rivals react to big day at the bottom

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It was another big day at the bottom of the Premier League table.

Crystal Palace moved out of relegation zone with a win at relegation rivals Huddersfield, while Stoke City suffered a damaging defeat at home to Everton in the snow and Bournemouth fought back late on to seal a dramatic win against basement boys West Brom.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings

Below is a look at the contrasting emotions of the relegation rivals after Saturday’s three early games in the Premier League.

West Brom led 1-0 at Bournemouth but Alan Pardew‘s side conceded two late goals from outside the box to lose 2-1 and they’re now 10 points from safety with seven games to go. The Baggies are all but certain of being relegated.

“It is just tough for us, we have had one of those seasons when nothing has gone right for us. The players have worked so hard, it is hard to look them in the eye when they haven’t got anything for it. They are walking out of here injured animals because they didn’t deserve it,” Pardew said. “We are not getting the results and that is the business we are in. I have to take responsibility for that. It is more and more difficult [to stay up] as the games tick by. It is just galling. It was a really committed effort to get something.”

Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace won 2-0 at Huddersfield to move out of of the bottom three as the Eagles ended a run of seven games without a win. Wilfried Zaha‘s return made a big difference and Hodgson believes the away win at Huddersfield was a big moment in their season.

“It is vitally important. All the points teams get down near the bottom are vitally appoint. We have had a difficult run of games and not got any points but to get something here at least puts us back in some sort of equilibrium,” Hodgson said. “I don’t think I have ever had a feeling we are on a slide. We are getting players back to fitness and our squad is looking like what it was when we were getting results.”

Everton moved onto the magic 40-point marker after winning at 10-man Stoke City and Sam Allardyce believes they’re now safe from relegation and he can start planning for next season as Cenk Tosun made it four goals in his last three games.

“Under the circumstances we are extremely pleased. Considering the elements both teams competed with today they’ve given everything – even Stoke after they went down to 10 men,” Allardyce said. “It looked a bit iffy for us again but Cenk popped up with a super goal and that’s why we bought him. It’s paid dividends for us and it puts us on the 40-point mark, and even though mathematically we are not safe I don’t think anyone can catch us now and we can start to prepare for next season.”

Huddersfield boss David Wagner didn’t seem too worried about his team moving just two points above the relegation zone with seven games to go and other teams have games in hand around them.

“Credit to Crystal Palace; they deserved this win. We were below par, particularly with the ball. There’s no doubt about our attitude and effort – we fought – but in ball possession, we were not good enough,” Wagner said. “We were two steps too late today. It’s important how you manage defeats and a disappointment like today. The good thing is that we know what we have done wrong and what we need to put right.”

Stoke City manager Paul Lambert didn’t have any complaints about Charlie Adam being sent off in the first half of their defeat against Everton.

The Potters now have an incredibly tough run of games coming up and time is running out as they second from bottom in the PL table.

“I couldn’t ask more for the effort. We had 10-men for most of the game and got ourselves back into it. It’s a disappointing result but effort, I couldn’t have asked for anymore,” Lambert added.

VIDEO: Salah scores sublime goal for Liverpool

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Mohamed Salah is at it again.

After two games without a goal (a serious drought by his standards) it took Salah less than four minutes to give Liverpool the lead against Watford at Anfield.

The Egyptian wizard danced past multiple Watford defenders before slotting home a cool finish for his 25th goal in the Premier League this season.

Salah has now scored 33 goals in 41 games for Liverpool and his incredible season continue.

Watch his latest moment of magic, here.

Bournemouth 2-1 West Brom: Cherries fight back

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  • Late goals from Ibe, Stanislas seal comeback
  • West Brom 1 win in last 28 games
  • Baggies 10 points from safety

Bournemouth launched a late comeback to beat West Brom 2-1 at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday.

West Brom led through Jay Rodriguez but two spectacular goals late on from Jordon Ibe and Junior Stanislas sparked a dramatic comeback.

With the win Bournemouth move into 11th on 36 points, while West Brom stay bottom on 20 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ] 

West Brom started well and Salomon Rondon’s header was saved by Asmir Begovic after good work down the right from Allan Nyom.

Rodriguez then forced Begovic into another save and Bournemouth were forced into a defensive change as Simon Francis was replaced by Charlie Daniels.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Some hefty challenges flew in as both sets of players were fired up and ready for battle, with Josh King going down in the box at one end and Rondon at the other end as the Venezuelan also forced Begovic into another save.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Early in the second half West Brom went ahead as Kieran Gibbs‘ cross found Rondon who nodded down and Rodriguez finished to breath new life into the Baggies’ survival hopes. Or so they thought…

Junior Stanislas put a free kick just over as Bournemouth started to turn the key and soon they were level. Ibe spanked a shot in from distance which skipped into the far corner to make it 1-1, then came Stanislas’ heroics.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

The winger curled home a sumptuous free kick to make it 2-1 and send the home fans wild as Bournemouth’s Premier League status was all but secured for another season.

Watch Live: Liverpool v. Watford

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Liverpool host Watford at Anfield on Saturday (1:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via with Jurgen Klopp‘s men aiming to go third in the Premier League table.


With Liverpool’s other top four rivals Manchester United, Tottenham and Chelsea all in FA Cup action this weekend, this is a chance for the Reds to give themselves some breathing space.

Javi Gracia and Watford know the pressure is off as they sit in 10th place in the table and they will see this game as a free hit.

In team news Liverpool bring in Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and Georginio Wijnaldum come into the starting lineup.

Watford bring in Britos for Janmaat.