Getty Images

Champions League Preview: Tottenham, Dortmund battle in Wembley

Leave a comment

Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League matchup between Tottenham and Borussia Dortmund will be a battle between which team can overcome injuries to star attacking players.

The glamour of the game has been slightly diminished, as Tottenham will be without Harry Kane and Dele Alli while Dortmund are without Marco Reus and Paco Alcacer. Tottenham will then once more lean on Christian Eriksen and Heung-Min Son, while Christian Pulisic is likely to start for Dortmund, with Thomas Delaney providing the engine in midfield.

[READ: PSG stun Man United in UCL]

One reason for some hope in this match in Tottenham circles is the recent struggles of Dortmund’s defense. The club has allowed six goals in its last two games, including coughing up a 3-0 lead over the weekend against Hoffenheim. While Fernando Llorente could be contained, it may be up to Son to use his creativity and dribbling ability to break through the Dortmund backline, or have Eriksen find him breaking the lines.

Of course, one of the players to watch is Pulisic, who is in England for the first time since completing his record-setting $73 million transfer to Chelsea. The U.S. Men’s National Team star has often started in Champions League and cup matches, even over Jaden Sancho, though it’s possible that Sancho could start in coach Lucien Favre’s 4-3-3 back in his homeland.

[ MORE: UCL: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

With Pulisic, even though he’s not been at his best, he injects speed and a dynamism that will challenge Eric Dier in midfield and whoever suits up at outside back for Tottenham, especially if Jan Vertonghen deputizes at left back.

Elsewhere, Real Madrid flies north to face Ajax, with stars Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt hoping to make a big impression at the Johan Cruyff ArenA. Ajax, however, is coming off two defeats in its last three games, including a 1-0 loss last weekend to Heracles, while Real Madrid has won four of its last five as it surges up the table.

Vinicius Jr. has been a revelation the past few months and now he gets a chance to show off his speed and dribbling ability in the Champions League, and Real Madrid is coming off a huge confidence-boosting win at Atletico Madrid, where the side’s defense held strong against an Atleti side looking for a season-defining win.

Son scores again as Spurs beat Foxes (video)

Leave a comment
  • Spurs third team this season to reach 60 points
  • Foxes play well, but finish six points off seventh
  • Son scores again, Eriksen bags beauty

Heung-Min Son‘s 11th goal of the season put a cap on Tottenham Hotspur’s action-packed 3-1 defeat of Leicester City at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

Davinson Sanchez and Christian Eriksen also scored for Spurs — Eriksen’s a true spectacle (above) — who sit five points back of leaders Liverpool and meet the Reds on March 31.

Son’s 11 goals have come in his last 13 league matches dating back to Nov. 24. Crucially, he’s been red-hot in the absence of Harry Kane and Dele Alli.

Jamie Vardy scored his 100th senior goal after missing a penalty with his first touch of the game for Leicester City, who remains 12th on the table.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Harry Maguire nodded a long free kick on frame, and Hugo Lloris had to slap it over the bar in the name of safety. The ensuing ninth minutes corner was popped over the frame, and Spurs were off the hook.

Harvey Barnes pulled a Leicester shot wide of the far post off a James Maddison feed moments later.

The other side saw a penalty shout become a yellow card to Heung-min Son for simulation after Maguire got a piece of his ankle in the box and Son hit the deck. If it would’ve been awarded, you’d say Son embellished but the contact was sloppy. Shoulder shrug emoji.

Danny Rose continued a fine run of form in the early stages, and had an 18th minute run and shot foiled by Kasper Schmeichel‘s right arm.

A designed set piece allowed Spurs to break through in the 34th, as Christian Eriksen spotted a just onside Sanchez for a 33rd minute header. The goal was the Colombian’s first for Spurs.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

Leicester’s second half was much improved, with Ben Chilwell getting a left-footed shot on target.

That’s when Jamie Vardy got his final instructions, but he wasn’t introduced until after James Maddison won the Foxes their penalty after coming together with Jan Vertonghen.

Vardy came on for Gray, and Maddison gave him the ball. His first touch of the game came from the spot, and Lloris saved the effort!

Three minutes later, Ricardo Pereira‘s clearance skills doomed Leicester for a second-straight week. His effort his Oliver Skipp and wound up on the boot of Eriksen, who ripped a classy long strike past Schmeichel.

Here’s a stat!

Lloris then stopped a hard Barnes drive at the other end, as the Foxes did not quit.

And Vardy got his goal anyway, sliding in front of Toby Alderweireld to get onto the end of a Pereira cross from the right.

Just as Leicester seemed prepared for stoppage time heroics, Son dribbled the better part of 60 yards after meeting a Moussa Sissoko clearance. He beat Schmeichel 1v1 from outside the 18 to close out the win.

Transfer rumor roundup: James to Spurs, Martins to Newcastle

AP Photo/Martin Meissner
Leave a comment

Tottenham Hotspur reportedly want more than $100 million to sell Christian Eriksen to Real Madrid, but Los Galacticos have something else in mind to lower the price.

Spurs would get Colombian playmaker James Rodriguez as part of a deal, says AS, though the player’s star has fallen in recent years.

[ MORE: Barca lands De Jong ]

James has been on loan at Bayern Munich for a year and a half, and has played more under Niko Kovac. He missed six matches with a knee injury, but has three goals in nine Bundesliga appearances this season. It’s better than that, actually, as he has three goals and one assist in the matches which saw him on the field for more than a dozen minutes.

Would James plus cash be enough? Rodriguez is seven months older than Eriksen.

Newcastle has been linked with a pair of loan moves, with The Chronicle saying Mike Ashley sanctioned both during a weekend meeting with Rafa Benitez.

The manager had been reported as ready to walk away from the club if the Magpies hierarchy could not provide two players to his relegation battle.

Antonio Barreca and Gelson Martins are both starving for playing time at AS Monaco and Atletico Madrid, and Newcastle is looking moves which include the chance for permanent summer purchases.

Martins was linked as a possible swap piece in an Alvaro Morata deal, but he’d be a far more important part of Newcastle. The 23-year-old Portuguese playmaker only has 224 league minutes for Atleti, but scored 10 goals and registered nine assists for Sporting Lisbon last season.

The 23-year-old Barreca has struggled at both Torino and Monaco after a strong debut season in 2016-17.

— We’ve saved perhaps the best for last: If Chelsea doesn’t want to sell Callum Hudson-Odoi to Bayern Munich, do you believe they’d let the youngster stay in the Premier League. Bild is reporting that Liverpool is trying to bring the 18-year-old to Anfield.

The ‘other’ Harry! Winks scores late for Spurs (video)

Leave a comment
  • Fulham strikes first
  • Dele finds equalizer
  • Winks gets winner
  • Babel lively in FFC debut
  • Spurs with 73 percent possession

Harry Winks‘ goal in the third minute of stoppage time led Tottenham Hotspur past Fulham 2-1 at Craven Cottage on Sunday.

It was Winks first goal since November 19, 2016 v. West Ham United.

Dele Alli scored and was injured in the win, which started with Fernando Llorente scoring an own goal.

Spurs are now nine points back of Liverpool, while Fulham has 14 points, seven behind 17th place Newcastle United.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Spurs had most of the ball in the first 10 minutes, but Fulham came alive in spurts. New addition Ryan Babel worked Davinson Sanchez to earn a corner kick, and Denis Odoi sliced a chance wide off the set piece.

Fulham went deservedly ahead five minutes later, when Llorente’s vision was obscured on a corner kick and his reaction only prodded the ball into his net.

Sergio Rico saved a Llorente chance at the other end in the 23rd minute, as Spurs angled for an equalizer.

Fulham appeared to have made it 2-0 when Aleksandar Mitrovic nodded a rebund over the line in the 41st minute, but the Serbian striker was ruled offside.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

Spurs leveled the score off a flub from American center back Tim Ream in the 52nd minute, with Christian Eriksen flicking a cross to Dele for the headed finish.

Danny Rose had a shot deflected off a sliding Odoi and hit the bar near the hour mark.

Llorente missed turning Rose’s free kick into the goal from near-sitter range in the 82nd minute, and was denied a penalty shout as the match entered stoppage time.

Spurs sail to win at Cardiff City

Leave a comment
  • Son goal, assist
  • Eriksen scores beauty
  • Kane rejoins Aubameyang as joint goals leader

Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son each had a goal and an assist as Tottenham Hotspur opened 2019 with a 3-0 win over Cardiff City at Cardiff City Stadium on Tuesday.

Christian Eriksen also scored for Spurs, who moved back into second place ahead of Liverpool and Man City’s Thursday match. Tottenham is a point ahead of City and six behind the Reds.

Cardiff’s 18 points have them 16th, behind Newcastle on goal differential and three points clear of the Bottom Three.

[ STREAM: Watch every PL match live ]

Kane prodded Cardiff City into a sloppy concession within 150 seconds of kick off, with a Sean Morrison clearance bounding off Kane’s shin and into the goal.

The Bluebirds answered well… for about 10 minutes. Eriksen scored a classy goal as the clock struck 12, taking a Son pass and setting for the far post before slotting inside the near one. Brilliance.

Son made it 3-0 in the 26th minute, sculpting a Kane assist past the diving paw of Etheridge.

The Cardiff keeper would deny Son a chance at 4-0 in the 66th minute, but neither goalkeeper was under considerable duress in the second half.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]