Christian Eriksen

AP Photo/Francisco Seco

Real Madrid 1-1 Spurs: Lovely Lloris!

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An error from each time in its own box and outstanding goalkeeping gave Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid a 1-1 draw in UEFA Champions League play on Tuesday at the Bernabeu. (video)

Raphael Varane recorded a 28th minute own goal, but Serge Aurier gave away a penalty as Cristiano Ronaldo equalized for Real Madrid at home in the 43rd minute.

Hugo Lloris and Keylor Navas were the stars of the show, with Lloris making the lion’s share of saves.

[ MORE: Champions League standings ]

Both teams are well-positioned to advance, with seven points. Spurs have the tiebreaker advantage, but both Tottenham and Real are six points clear of Borussia Dortmund and APOEL Nicosia after a surprising draw in Cyprus.

Early nerves were apparent for Mauricio Pochettino‘s men, but Tottenham grew into the game and took an early lead.

Concerned with the presence of Harry Kane, Real defender Raphael Varane saw a cross move off his pegs and behind Keylor Navas to put Spurs ahead.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

The lead was short-lived, however, as Spurs back Serge Aurier cut short Toni Kroos’ rare foray into the 18, and Ronaldo buried the ensuing penalty kick.

Lloris made an outstanding save on a point-blank Karim Benzema header in the 54th minute.

A moment later, offside Ronaldo flashed a sitter over the goal before the whistle alerted viewers to his offense.

Ronaldo had another chance stymied by Lloris as Real really began to pile on pressure past the hour mark.

Kane had a 71st minute chance against the run of play off a gorgeous pass from Fernando Llorente, but Navas got low quickly to redirect Kane’s point-blank shot wide of the far post.

Navas made another save when Llorente cued up Christian Eriksen for a chance, and the Dane then sent in a corner that led to a Davinson Sanchez’s header wide of goal.

Llorente was quite good in the second half in this surprise two-striker move from Mauricio Pochettino, and the Spurs boss also deployed Danny Rose for a season debut off the bench.

Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Bournemouth: Eriksen nets difference maker

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  • Eriksen scores lone goal
  • Spurs sit third
  • Cherries remain 19th

Spurs made Christian Eriksen‘s goal stand up in a 1-0 win over visiting Bournemouth at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.

Though Spurs finishing left much to be desired, backstop Hugo Lloris was there when needed to stymy the Cherries.

The win boosts Spurs to 17 points, five back of Man City and three behind Manchester United. Bournemouth remains in the drop zone with four points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Eriksen appeared to have made a very dangerous move, but a missed touch inside the 18 stopped Spurs from a chance at a 14th minute lead.

At the other end, Junior Stanislas just missed a chance when Davinson Sanchez blocked his effort. The ensuing corner missed the wild hair of Nathan Ake, and it remained scoreless.

A missed challenge from Simon Francis allowed Eriksen on goal, and the Danish playmaker buried his chance.

Harry Kane had the ball in the goal but turned to see a raised offside flag. Then Asmir Begovic stopped him twice at close range just after the hour mark to keep it 1-0.

Spurs fans would be forgiven for a bit of deja vu as Spurs couldn’t find their finish and Bournemouth occasionally looked capable of a smash-and-grab a la Chris Wood last month. Jermain Defoe was stopped by Hugo Lloris in the 78th minute in one example.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Report: England to play 3-man backline at World Cup

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England National Team fans better get used to seeing their team use a three-man backline because it’s here to stay.

That’s according to a report from the Telegraph, which states that Southgate will use a three-man defense as part of his preferred formation for November’s friendly matches against Brazil and Germany as a way to build the team’s identity ahead of next summer’s World Cup in Russia.

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“We have to focus on a system and really try to hone it, work on it, improve it, that might mean we might have to leave some good players out. But we have to start to make those decisions over the next couple of camps,” Southgate said after England’s 1-0 win over Lithuania.

In the past, England has been criticized for not having an identity, for playing a bland style of soccer with the hopes of individual moments of brilliance taking them forward. While some may criticize the use of a three-man backline, it does allow England to release wingbacks Danny Rose and Kyle Walker farther up the field, as well as give John Stones more cover at centerback.

“For me, in terms of the way we’d want to play from the back, I think it (a three-man defense) is a better option,” Southgate said. “At the moment we turn the ball over too much and when we do we split into two centre-backs wide open, we are still open (against Lithuania) with three. So we will benefit if we don’t keep turning the ball over.”

The decision is a change, or evolution, from the 4-2-3-1 formation used by Southgate through most of the qualifying campaign, but with a changed formation, it could lead to some attackers not getting a chance to start, whether it’s Marcus Rashford or Jamie Vardy.

According to the report, Southgate’s preferred attackers behind Harry Kane include Dele Alli and when fit, Adam Lallana, to play in a similar way to Tottenham, with Lallana playing in Christian Eriksen‘s role.

UEFA wrap: Germany, England qualify for the World Cup

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Northern Ireland 1-3 Germany

Not that it was ever in doubt, but Germany will officially have the opportunity to defend its crown as they qualified for the 2018 World Cup in Russia with a 3-1 victory over Northern Ireland.

Sebastian Rudy scored an absolute howitzer from extremely far out just two minutes into the game, and that set the tone as the Germans controlled 74% of the possession to ease their way through. Sandro Wagner struck in the 21st minute and young Josh Kimmich finished things off for the Germans with four minutes left in regulation, while Northern Ireland grabbed a consolation in stoppage time through Charlton striker Josh Magennis.

Germany tops Group C by eight points with still one match remaining, while Northern Ireland has secured the second spot, leaving them likely to make the playoff round on 13 points.

England 1-0 Slovakia

Harry Kane continued his blistering form, smashing England into the 2017 World Cup with one swift boot four minutes into stoppage time to give his country a thrilling 1-0 victory at home. Kyle Walker stole the ball with the visitors switched off as time ran down, and he crossed to his Spurs teammate Kane who beat Meha Mevlja in the box to poke home.

The home side was poor at times, holding 67% possession but only putting five shots on target of their 17 attempts on net.

The result leaves England six points clear at the top of Group F with one match remaining, locking them into the top spot. Scotland, Slovakia, and Slovenia will now all duke it out for a second place finish.

Scotland 1-0 Slovakia

Scotland picked up an absolutely massive goal as they chase a playoff spot. Derby County striker Chris Martin, a second-half substitute, forced a Martin Skrtel own-goal in the 89th minute, giving Scotland all three points and putting them in pole position for the 2nd spot in Group F.

Slovakia had been playing a man down since the 23rd minute when Robert Mak was sent off for a second yellow, correctly booked for a pathetic dive in the box under no contact. Still, the hosts were unable to grab control of the match, finishing with just 50% of the possession despite the long man advantage. Eventually, the ball came down the right flank and great work by Leigh Griffiths to keep play alive despite going to ground allowed Ikechi Anya to cross the ball for Martin on the doorstep, and his pressure saw the ball cut off the sliding Skrtel into the back of the net.

The win puts Scotland into 2nd place in Group F, two points above their opponents Slovakia and three above Slovenia with one match to go. They face Slovenia in the final round and do not have a goal differential advantage, so only a win would ensure them a spot in the playoff round.

Armenia 1-6 Poland

(Hrant Khachatryan/PAN Photo via AP)

Poland moved onto the doorstep of automatic qualification as they pummeled Armenia 6-1. Robert Lewandowski scored a hat-trick and got help from Jakub Blaszczykowski, Kamil Glick, and Rafal Wolski to pile it on. The win puts Poland three points ahead of Denmark with one to play, although the teams are even on goal differential, so there could be some final day drama should Poland suffer an unlikely slip against Montenegro.

Montenegro 0-1 Denmark

Denmark kept pace with Poland at the top of Group E, leaving them three points back of the top spot heading in to the final day. It wasn’t as comfortable as it could have been, but an early Christian Eriksen (who else?) goal in the 16th minute saw them through. It was a superb goal, if not glittery, as Eriksen was under pressure from three defenders but surprised goalkeeper Danijel Petkovíc with the shot as it slid by for the lead and eventual winner.

While they’re three back of the automatic qualifying spot, Denmark will also be looking over its shoulder, as Montenegro sits three back of them and two back in goal differential, and playing for their World Cup lives in the final game.

Azerbaijan 1-2 Czech Republic

San Marino 0-8 Norway

Romania 3-1 Kazakhstan

Malta 1-1 Lithuania

Premier League player Power Rankings

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With the international break here, it is time to take stock of the players who have been ripping it up in the Premier League.

[ MORE: Power Rankings archive ]

Stars from Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United are all trending in the right direction as the big boys made their mark ahead of the international break.

Remember: this is a list of the top 20 performing players right now in the Premier League.

Let us know in the comments section below if you agree with the selections of the top 20 players in the PL right now.


  1. Harry Kane (Tottenham) – Even
  2. Kevin De Bruyne (Man City) – Even
  3. Marouane Fellaini (Man United) – New entry
  4. Romelu Lukaku (Man United) – Even
  5. Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal) – New entry
  6. Marcus Rashford (Man United) – New entry
  7. Jack Butland (Stoke City) – New entry
  8. David Silva (Man City) – Down 5
  9. Phil Jones (Man United) – Up 9
  10. Nemanja Matic (Man United) – New entry
  11. Christian Eriksen (Tottenham) – Even
  12. Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) – Even
  13. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) – Down 5
  14. Ben Davies (Tottenham) – New entry
  15. David De Gea (Man United) – Even
  16. Ederson (Man City) – New entry
  17. Anthony Martial (Man United) – New entry
  18. Ben Mee (Burnley) – New entry
  19. Richarlison (Watford) – New entry
  20. Jamaal Lascelles (Newcastle United) – New entry