The Champions League returned on Tuesday night, as Tottenham and Liverpool secured potentially vital quarter-final first leg victories. Here is what happened in those big games:
Kane injured as Tottenham edge out City
Tottenham recorded a vital 1-0 win over Manchester City at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. A second-half injury to Harry Kane marred the victory though.
City had an early chance to take the lead from the penalty spot. Referee Bjorn Kuipers adjudged that Danny Rose had handled from a Raheem Sterling shot, despite the defender being in close proximity to the winger. The Dutch referee referred to VAR before pointing to the spot. Sergio Aguero stepped up and saw his penalty kick brilliantly saved by Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
Tottenham had the next sight of goal, as Harry Kane saw an effort from 12 yards out saved well by Ederson. The rest of the half was pretty tight. The home side experienced a big injury blow on 55 minutes, as Harry Kane sustained an ankle injury after going into a tackle with City’s Fabian Delph. The England striker needed to help to leave the pitch.
The game remained tight and lacked clear-cut chances until the 78th minute when the home side scored the only goal of the game. Heung-Min Son showed good pace and determination to keep a Christian Erikson pass from going out at the byline, before cutting back inside and firing a low effort past Ederson from ten yards out.
City were unusually subdued in attack and failed to really threaten an equaliser. Despite still being favourites for the tie, the Citizens have major work to do to recover this tie next week at the Etihad Stadium.
Liverpool cruise past Porto
Liverpool recorded a comfortable 2-0 home win over Porto in what was a near-perfect night for the Reds, who could afford to substitute key players early on in this clash.
Jurgen Klopp’s team took just five minutes to open the scoring against the Portuguese visitors. A move involving James Milner, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, eventually led to Naby Keita firing home with a deflected effort.
Mohamed Salah should have made it two but failed to beat wily veteran Porto goalkeeper Iker Casillas. However, the Reds doubled their lead on 26 minutes. Jordan Henderson produced an excellent ball to set Trent Alexander-Arnold away down the flank. The full-backs cross then found Firmino, who tapped home.
Alexander-Arnold was then involved in a handball incident that was dismissed after the use of VAR. Sadio Mane also saw a goal disallowed for offside after another VAR review.
Liverpool noticeably strolled for much of the rest of the game. However, Porto striker Moussa Marega threatened the home sides goal by firing into the side netting from a difficult angle. VAR was once again in action, as Salah connected with the shin of Porto’s Danilo.
On further viewing, it was decided that the Egyptian’s challenge was not malicious. The former Roma could probably count himself highly fortunate. On another day he may well have received a red card for the challenge.
In the end, it was a comfortable victory for Klopp’s team who head into Sunday’s big league game with Chelsea with no fresh injury worries and one foot into the semi-finals of the Champions League.
Who will progress to the last four of the Champions League from Tuesday night’s ties?