Neymar on target to leave Liverpool hopes in the balance

Thursday, 2018-11-29 07:30:18
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Paris St Germain's Neymar (R) celebrates with Kylian Mbappe at the end of their Champions League Group C clash against Liverpool at Parc des Princes, Paris, France, on November 28, 2018. (Photo: Reuters)
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Paris St Germain revived their Champions League campaign with a 2-1 win over Liverpool in Group C on Wednesday, leaving the English club’s hopes of reaching the last 16 hanging in the balance.

PSG set out like a team determined finally to prove their credentials on the big European stage, and went in front in the 13th minute through Juan Bernat, before Neymar made it 2-0 eight minutes before halftime after a lightning PSG counter-attack.

Yet with the French champions in cruise control, Angel Di Maria needlessly brought down Sadio Mane to concede a penalty, which James Milner converted in first-half stoppage time, to give Liverpool hope.

The visitors could not find an equaliser, though, slipping to a third away group defeat - the first time they have lost all three group matches away from Anfield in the Champions League.

The result sees PSG leapfrog Liverpool, with eight points to Liverpool’s six, with Napoli top of the group on nine and everything still to play for in the final round of matches.

Liverpool head into the game against Napoli at Anfield needing to win 1-0 or by two goals or more to guarantee their spot in the knockout stages, while PSG will go through with a win over Red Star Belgrade.

Late Eriksen winner keeps Tottenham in hunt for last-16 place

Tottenham's Christian Eriksen scores their first goal past Inter Milan's Samir Handanovic during their Champions League Group B clash at Wembley Stadium, London, Britain, on November 28, 2018. (Photo: Reuters)

On the same day, Christian Eriksen kept Tottenham Hotspur's hopes of reaching the last 16 of the Champions League alive when he came off the bench to score a late winner in his side's 1-0 victory over Inter Milan at Wembley.

Inter, needing just a draw to reach the knockout rounds at Tottenham's expense, were holding firm until Eriksen smashed home his side's winner in the 80th minute after superb work from midfield powerhouse Moussa Sissoko.

The win meant Tottenham and Inter both have seven points in Group B but Tottenham leapfrogged the Italians into second place by virtue of their head-to-head record.

Mauricio Pochettino's side will complete an unlikely salvage job if they win against group winners Barcelona at the Nou Camp next month or if they at least match Inter's result against bottom club PSV Eindhoven.

Eriksen and Son Heung-min, two of the stars of Tottenham's 3-1 defeat of Chelsea on Saturday, were both left on the bench, and their late introductions proved pivotal.

But it was French midfielder Sissoko, so often a misfit since his 30 million pounds move to London in August 2016, who proved the key to unlocking Inter's defence.

With the clock ticking down and Tottenham's plight becoming desperate, he barrelled his way into the area and played the ball across for Dele Alli, who showed great vision to help it on to Eriksen, who fired high past Samir Handanovic.

UEFA Champions League group phase results:

Atletico Madrid 2-0 Monaco

Borussia Dortmund 0-0 Club Brugge

Tottenham 1-0 Inter Milan

PSV Eindhoven 1-2 Barcelona

Napoli 3-1 Red Star Belgrade

Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 Liverpool

Lokomotiv Moscow 2-0 Galatasaray

Porto 3-1 Schalke