Tottenham 0-1 Arsenal: Early Rosicky goal, solid shape give Arsenal derby double over Spurs (video)

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Spurs were held goalless for the third North London derby this season – two in the Premier League – as Tomas Rosicky gave Arsenal the win in the second minute and the back line solidly kept the home attack at bay. The home side held nearly 60% of the possession throughout the match, but solid shape at the back for the visitors meant Spurs were left with a handfull of half-chances and not much more. Arsenal led just 72 seconds after the opening whistle as Rosicky and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain worked a quick break and Rosicky finished strong into the top corner for a shock away lead. Sandro gave the ball away in the attacking half, and with the defense playing up Rosicky and Ox beat them back easily. The Czech worked the ball down the right edge, and cut back in to Ox.  The English winger was defended well, but before he was dispossessed he laid back off to Rosicky who cannoned his shot home past Hugo Lloris from a tight angle. Coming just a minute and 12 seconds into the match, the goal is the fastest ever for Arsenal against Spurs. Spurs settled in after the goal, but were left vulnerable on a number of occasions thanks to a very high defensive line put in by manager Tim Sherwood.  It resulted in a very open match on both ends.

source: AP
Tomas Rosicky (R) gave Arsenal the early lead with a stunning strike and Spurs could never find their own breakthrough.

Tottenham came the closest to an equalizer in the 28th minute, as Andros Townsend on the right edge cut across for a streaking Emmanuel Adebayor, but defended well the Togolese striker couldn’t get a clean look and put it just wide. Their high line earned Spurs 62% of possession in the first half, but could not manage a shot on target. The hosts came out of the blocks firing in the second half, with two wide open chances, but botched them both.  The second on 48 minutes was the more clear-cut, with Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny spilling the ball out of net, but Nacer Chadli couldn’t finish as Per Mertesacker threw his body in the way. Continuing to press, Adebayor three minutes later played Townsend in, and the winger cut across to Chadli in front of net but again he couldn’t finish.  Adebayor later on 65 minutes got a head to a ball from Chadli but could only put it wide as Laurent Koscielny proved barely strong enough. They peppered the Arsenal area in the final 20 minutes, but couldn’t get anything solid out of it as Mertesacker and Koscielny led the stand. With the win, the Gunners draw level with Liverpool who won earlier today as well, as both pull four minutes back of Chelsea.  They also pull nine points clear of Spurs, whose Champions League hopes are all but dashed, seven points out of the final Premier League spot. Arsenal have now beaten Spurs all three times they’ve played their London rivals this season – twice in the league and once in the FA Cup – by a total scoreline of 4-0. LINEUPS: Tottenham – Lloris; Naughton, Kaboul, Vertonghen, Rose; Sandro (Paulinho 68′); Townsend, Bentaleb, Eriksen (Soldado 82′), Chadli (Sigurdsson 69′); Adebayor. Arsenal – Szczesny; Sagna, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gibbs; Arteta, Rosicky (Flamini 69′), Oxlade-Chamberlain (Vermaelen 85′), Podolski (Monreal 77′), Cazorla; Giroud. Goals: Rosicky 2′

Champions League preview: Spurs host Leipzig, Valencia visits Atalanta

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Two more UEFA Champions League Round of 16 ties kickoff Wednesday, including one being labeled as the biggest in a club’s existence.

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That would be Serie A side Atalanta, which hosts Valencia at 3 p.m. at Gewiss Stadium.

Atalanta had played in two consecutive Europa Leagues, but this is their first move into the Champions League. To make the knockout rounds is exceptional, and club president Antonio Percassi is fired up.

“We must be honest, this is the most important game in the history of this club,” Percassi told Sky Sport Italia. “It doesn’t seem real. It’s exciting just thinking that tomorrow we’ll be in a Champions League Round of 16. It’s wonderful for our fans too. … This is going to be a unique experience that will stay with us for the rest of our lives.”

Atalanta finished second in its group to Manchester City, and is fourth in Serie A. Valencia won its group.

There’s a Premier League side in action on Wednesday, too, as Spurs begin life without Heung-Min Son.

Jose Mourinho spun a tale about how badly Tottenham will need its fans against RB Leipzig, comparing the home-field advantage to an emergency rescue crew of sorts.

Leipzig is led by Julian Nagelsmann, who was once referred to as “Baby Mourinho” by his players.

The 32-year-old was quick to distance himself from the story.

“Tomorrow it is Leipzig against Tottenham, not Mourinho v. Baby Mourinho,” he said. “I have great respect for Mourinho. He has won lots of titles with big clubs, the Champions League twice. He has made his mark on European football at some big European clubs. I think it his 59th knockout game in the CL and it is my first so there is obviously respect there.”

Liverpool’s Robertson not a fan of Atletico Madrid theatrics

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Liverpool fullback Andy Robertson was not impressed with Atletico Madrid’s display as his side fell 1-0 in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League’s Round of 16 tie on Tuesday.

The Reds fell behind on a fourth-minute Saul Niguez goal and couldn’t get a shot on target despite 73 percent possession in Spain.

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Atleti executed its plan to near-perfection, slowing restarts and taking advantage of counterattacking opportunities to assuage the constant pressure of Liverpool.

At times it was reminiscent of early-century Italian national team play, and both neutrals and Liverpool knew what they were in for once Atleti took the lead.

“We gave them the best possible start to get the fans behind them and then they can start falling over and things like that, trying to get under our skin a bit which I think we handled quite well to be honest,” Robertson told BT Sport. “We know we are better than (how they played). We put in a decent performance and we can be better than that. Luckily we have got a second leg to put it right.”

Given the performance and the reputation, you’d still fancy the Reds to “put it right” at Anfield. Jurgen Klopp thinks Atleti will feel plenty of pressure at Anfield, and he will certainly feel the officiating will be more to his liking.

Liverpool’s Klopp: ‘Our people will be ready’ for second leg at Anfield

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Jurgen Klopp didn’t have any issue with Diego Simeone’s defense-first Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie on Tuesday.

The Spanish side flummoxed Liverpool’s attack and the Reds didn’t manage a shot on target despite eight attempts and 73 percent possession at the Wanda Metropolitano.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

What Klopp didn’t appreciate was the referee’s work, though, implying that Polish official Szymon Marciniak was overwhelmed by the occasion. Marciniak has worked UCL matches for six seasons, twice overseeing quarterfinal ties.

Klopp was shown a yellow card in the second half, and the Liverpool boss felt Sadio Mane was harassed by Atleti. Klopp removed yellow-carrying Mane at halftime.

“He was targeted obviously,” Klopp said after the game. “The only thing they wanted was to make sure he got a yellow card. The score is 1-0, that’s all but you need to be really strong as a ref in this atmosphere. So many things happened, after 30 minutes already three players were on the ground. The first yellow card was a striker from us. I’m not sure they even got a yellow card, which is funny.”

Atleti’s Angel Correa was shown a yellow, while Klopp, Mane, and Joe Gomez were cautioned for Liverpool.

The Liverpool boss found himself laughing a few times, especially when he was asked about Simeone’s touchline personality.

Klopp said before the game that if the German was a four in intensity, then Simeone was a 12. Simeone followed suit by constantly urging the crowd to get behind the home side on Tuesday.

That didn’t bother Klopp, but he issued a public relations officer’s dream in reacting to it.

“Wow, wow,” he laughed. “That’s energy. I don’t think I have to do it that much (at Anfield). Our people will be ready. Welcome to Anfield. It’s not over yet.”

Klopp finished his remarks by saying of Jordan Henderson‘s removal from the game with a hamstring injury, “I hope it was a precaution, but I’m not 100 percent sure”

Haaland wins first leg after Borussia Dortmund-PSG comes to life late

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Erling Haaland scored twice in a mid-second half flurry as Borussia Dortmund beat Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie on Tuesday.

The hosts also got an assist from teenager Giovanni Reyna, who became the youngest American to appear in a Champions League match.

Haaland now has 39 goals in 29 appearances between Red Bull Salzburg and BVB, 11 of those for his new German employer.

Neymar scored off a Kylian Mbappe goal for PSG, who brings an away goal back to the Parc des Princes for a March 11 second leg.

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Neymar had an early free kick, missing just wide of the far post.

Jadon Sancho troubled the keeper twice in the first half hour, first with a cross that Mats Hummels headed over goal. Then, Keylor Navas picked another Sancho offering out of the air.

Sancho kept serving, and Erling Haaland couldn’t turn a promising cross on target.

Dortmund walked into halftime with a scoreless match but a 7-2 edge in shot attempts. Neither of PSG’s shots were on target.

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Borussia Dortmund boss Lucien Favre put in American teen Giovani Reyna in the 67th minute.

Two minutes later, it was 1-0 to the hosts through Haaland’s close-range goal.

Neymar replied from close range himself after a powerful, clever dribble from Kylian Mbappe led to a pass through the box.

But Haaland got his second in the 77th minute with a scorching shot that serves as the first senior assist of Reyna’s senior career with Dortmund (Watch it here).