AP Photo/Manu Fernandez

Spurs draw in Barcelona, advance in Champions League

Leave a comment

Lucas Moura‘s late goal off the bench gave Tottenham Hotspur a 1-1 away draw at Barcelona in UEFA Champions League play on Tuesday at the Camp Nou.

The draw, coupled with Inter Milan drawing PSV Eindhoven, is enough to send Spurs into the knockout rounds.

Ousmane Dembele scored for Barcelona, who had already won the group.

[ MORE: Champions League standings ]

Dembele cooked Kyle Walker-Peters and then waited out a sliding challenge of Harry Winks before slotting past Hugo Lloris for a cool opener.

Spurs’ fight back was lively with a pair of attempts each for Heung-Min Son and Harry Kane that were thwarted by goalkeeper Jesper Cillessen or shot-blocking defenders.

Kane made a fine run past Clement Llenglet but hit his shot well over the bar as Tottenham’s second half began with chances.

Walker-Peters made a fine sliding block on Philippe Coutinho in the 55th minute, and Barcelona would sub Lionel Messi into the game a few minutes later.

Lucas Moura entered the game for Spurs, and forced a save out of Cillessen before missing wide from an odd angle.

Coutinho hit the post again, a minute before Spurs got their huge equalizer. Lamela slipped Kane into the left side of the box, and Moura popped Kane’s square cross past Cillessen.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Messi, Dembele combine to give Barca late equalizer at Atleti

Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images
1 Comment

Barcelona may not finish the weekend atop La Liga’s table, but a dramatic late equalizer means Atletico Madrid won’t leapfrog their longtime foes.

Lionel Messi set up Ousmane Dembele for a 90th minute winner to cancel out Diego Costa‘s 77th minute opener, as Barca won a stingy affair at the Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday.

[ MORE: Real blown out at Eibar ]

Streaking toward the top of the 18, Messi trapped a cross with a thigh and used his second touch to play Dembele into the right side of the box. The young Frenchman than coolly fooled Jan Oblak to pot the match-tying goal.

Barca had 70 percent of the ball, and Costa’s goal was the only Atleti effort on goal.

The match was one of just five staged Saturday in La Liga, with five more on tap for Sunday. If Sevilla beats visiting Real Valladolid, it will go atop the table.

Messi reclaims hat trick record, Dembele scores marvel in Barca rout

AP Photo/Manu Fernandez
Leave a comment

Lionel Messi scored 75 percent of Barcelona’s goals on Tuesday against PSV Eindhoven, but Ousmane Dembele scored the best one in a 4-1 win at the Camp Nou.

[ MORE: PL Power Rankings ]

Messi’s eighth UEFA Champions League hat trick moved him ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo for the most in the history of the competition.

He’s now scored UCL hat tricks against Arsenal (2010), Viktoria Plzen (2011), Bayer Leverkusen (2012), Ajax (2013), APOEL Nicosia (2014), Celtic (2016), and Manchester City (2016).

He also became just the second player to score in 14-straight UCL campaigns (Raul).

But Dembele’s darting dribble and fantastic curling effort is the one that will have eyebrows raised around the world (nothing against Messi’s marvelous goals, which were not low quality at all).

Samuel Umtiti collected his second yellow in the second half and was sent off prior to Messi’s third goal.

La Liga: Dembele rescues Barcelona again; Real Madrid drop points

Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images
Leave a comment

A roundup of all of Saturday’s action in Spain’s top flight…

[ MORE: What did we learn today in the Premier League? ]

Real Sociedad 1-2 Barcelona

Ousmane Dembele has a lot to live up to ($120 million, to be more specific), but the 21-year-old Frenchman is beginning to repay Barcelona for the massive transfer fee they paid to acquire his services last summer. Three times this season already, including Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Sociedad, Dembele has scored the game-winning goal to snatch victory from the jaws of a draw. First, he did it in the Spanish Super Cup against Sevilla, before scoring the only goal in Barca’s victory over Real Valladolid last month.

Barca fell behind after Aritz Elustondo’s opener in the 12th minute, an advantage they maintained until after the hour mark. Luis struck in the 63rd, though, and Dembele completed the comeback three minutes later (his fourth goal of the season – all competitions). The victory makes Barca a perfect four-for-four to start the season, and they now lead the rest of the league by at least two points, thanks to results elsewhere on Saturday.

Atletico Bilbao 1-1 Real Madrid

Speaking of results affecting the top of the table, Real Madrid dropped points for the first time this season as they, too, had to overcome a halftime deficit. Iker Muniain put Bilbao ahead in the 32nd minute, but the lead would last only 32 minutes more. Isco got on the end of Gareth Bale‘s cross to the top of the six-yard box and headed home from close range (his first goal of the season).

Elsewhere in La Liga

Atletico Madrid 1-1 Eibar
Valencia 0-0 Real Betis

Sunday’s La Liga schedule

Leganes vs. Villarreal — 6 a.m. ET
Espanyol vs. Levante — 10:15 a.m. ET
Real Valladolid vs. Alaves — 12:30 p.m. ET
Sevilla vs. Getafe — 2:45 p.m. ET

Messi wins record 33rd title as Barcelona lift Super Cup

AP Photo/Mosa'ab Elshamy
Leave a comment

TANGIER, Morocco (AP) — Lionel Messi won his 33rd title with Barcelona on Sunday to become the most successful player in the Catalan club’s history.

[ VIDEO: USMNT’s Tim Weah scores first Ligue 1 goal in goofy fashion ]

Barcelona beat Sevilla 2-1 in the Spanish Super Cup as Messi overtook Andres Iniesta, who had 32 titles when he left this summer for the Japanese league.

Ousmane Dembele scored a late winning goal with a blistering strike from outside the area. The 21-year-old France winger stunned Sevilla’s defense with a right-footed shot that hit the underside of the crossbar in the 78th minute.

Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen saved a penalty kick from Sevilla substitute Wissam Ben Yedder in the 89th after Ter Stegen fouled former Barcelona forward Aleix Vidal.

[ MORE: Ronaldo made Juventus fans wait only eight minutes for first goal ]

Pablo Sarabia opened for Sevilla in the ninth, when the video assistant referee overruled an offside call in the first use of VAR in Spanish competition.

Gerard Pique equalized three minutes before halftime when he finished off a free kick by Messi that hit the post and ricocheted off the back of goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik — and again off the upright — before falling to the Barcelona defender.

Former Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal debuted for Barcelona as a late substitute.

[ MORE: Pogba makes eyebrow-raising comments about Man United ]

The Super Cup is played between the previous season’s league and Copa del Rey winners. Since Barcelona won both competitions, Sevilla played the match as the Copa runners-up after losing 5-0 in last season’s cup final to Barcelona.

Played in Tangier, Morocco, this was the first Spanish Super Cup held outside Spain and the first time it was played as a single match, instead of a two-leg series.