UCL: Spurs crash out, Leicester wins its group, Dortmund takes 12-goal thriller
- Tottenham falls short of the Champions League knockout stage again, while Leicester is one of a handful of teams to punch its ticket to the next phase.
More places were booked in the Champions League knockout stage Tuesday, but one ticket not punched–and one that won't be–belongs to Tottenham.
Monaco and Bayer Leverkusen both secured their last-16 places out of Group E on another disappointing European night for Spurs, while Juventus came from behind to beat Sevilla and book its spot in the knockout phase. There was also a record-breaking 12-goal thriller as Borussia Dortmund beat Legia Warsaw 8-4, and another record set in Seville as Juventus brought on Moise Kean, the first player born after 2000 to play in the Champions League.
Goals from Djibril Sidibe and Thomas Lemar helped Monaco to a 2-1, fate-sealing win over Tottenham, for whom the door had seemed to have been opened as Bayer Leverkusen was held to a 1-1 draw by CSKA Moscow in the day's early match. The Bundesliga side took a first-half lead as Kevin Volland converted after a clever free-kick move bamboozled the CSKA defense but Bibras Natcho leveled from the penalty spot with quarter of an hour remaining to force the draw.
Juventus secured its place in the last 16 after a bad-tempered win away to Sevilla. The home side went ahead after nine minutes, Nicolas Pareja volleying past an unsighted Gianluigi Buffon. But after Franco Vazquez had been sent off for his second yellow card after 37 minutes, Juve leveled with a Claudio Marchisio penalty on the stroke of halftime. Sevilla manager Jorge Sampaoli was sent to the stands in the second half and Leonardo Bonucci smacked in a second from just outside the box before Mario Mandzukic sealed a 3-1 win with a calm finish in injury time.
Elsewhere, Alexandre Lacazette turned in Rafael's cross to give Lyon a 1-0 win away to Dinamo Zagreb. Lyon will go through with a victory by two goals or more at home to Sevilla in two weeks.
The most eye-opening game of the day was hosted by Borussia Dortmund, which needs to draw against Real Madrid in their final game to top Group F, after an astonishing 8-4 win over Legia Warsaw, the highest-scoring game in Champions League history. Real Madrid beat Sporting 2-1 in the other game in the group. Raphael Varane pounced to give Madrid a first-half lead as Luka Modric's free-kick fell to him in the box. Sporting's Joao Pereira was red-carded following an off-the-ball clash with Mateo Kovacic but Sporting leveled with an Adrian Silva penalty before a Karim Benzema header gave Madrid the win.
Leicester beat Club Brugge 2-1 to secure top spot in Group G, while Porto holds a two-point advantage in the race for second after a 0-0 draw away to FC Copenhagen.
Here's what stood out from the day in the Champions League, starting with the Foxes:
Leicester wins its group
Leicester City may be struggling in the Premier League, sitting just two points above the relegation zone, but it is through to the last of the Champions League as group winner in its first season in the competition. Needing only a point to secure progression, Leicester beat Club Brugge 2-1 meaning it continues to have taken more points in the Champions League this season than it has in the Premier League.
Leicester was ahead within six minutes, with Shinji Okazaki lashing in a Christian Fuchs cross at the near post. Riyad Mahrez fired in from the penalty spot on the half hour to double the advantage. Jose Izquierdo pulled one back with the first goal Leicester has conceded in the competition, but the victory was comfortable enough, and the fearless Foxes are through to new ground yet again.
Pochettino's gamble backfires
If Mauricio Pochettino's team selection raised eyebrows before kickoff, by the end of the game it looked a desperate mistake.
An injury denied him Toby Alderweireld, but why did he leave out Jan Vertonghen and Kyle Walker? The result was a strangely insipid display that saw Spurs slip out of the Champions League, despite the boost of CSKA holding Bayer Leverkusen earlier in the day. It took a Hugo Lloris penalty save from Radamel Falcao to keep the scores level at halftime. Monaco struck early in the second half, though, with left back Benjamin Mendy crossing for Djibril Sidibe to head home. Harry Kane soon leveled from the penalty spot, but within 38 seconds a Sidibe cross fell for Thomas Lemar who drove past Lloris to make it 2-1 and seal Tottenham's fate, even after Lloris's tremendous reflex save that kept the deficit at one.
Spurs can still salvage a place in the Europa League knockout stage by finishing third in the group.
A cool dozen of goals in Dortmund
With Dortmund already qualified, the Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel rested a number of players, and the result was a bizarrely open game, the highest-scoring in Champions League history, breaking the record set by Monaco's 8-3 win over Deportivo de la Coruña in 2003. Aleksandar Prijovic struck for Legia after 11 minutes but was answered by two goals in the space of a minute from Shinji Kagawa, both set up by Ousmane Dembele.
Within another two minutes Nuri Sahin capitalized on some goalkeeping hesitancy to turn in a Marco Reus free kick. Prijovic made the most of some static defending to pull one back after 25 minutes, but Dembele soon crashed in Dortmund's fourth before a fluent move led to Kagawa setting up Reus to make it 5-2 by halftime–only the second time there have been seven goals in the first half of a Champions League match.
Reus touched in a Dembele cross to make it 6-2 before Michal Kucharczyk struck on the break. Felix Passlack made it 7-3 and Nemanja Nikolic made it 7-4 before Marco Reus completed his hat trick with the record breaking 12th goal.
Goal of the day: Aleksandar Prijovic, Legia Warsaw
Prijovic may not be one of Europe's more vaunted strikers, listing Yeovil and Northampton on his list of former clubs, but there was no doubting the quality of his finishing in that crazy game at the Westfalenstadion. His first goal was his best, as he took a pass from Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe on the right, let it run across his body and shaped a finish into his top corner with a stab of the outside of his right foot.
Player of the day: Robin Olsen, FC Copenhagen
Copenhagen goalkeeper Robin Olsen hasn't been overly involved in this season's Champions League, as his side has conceded fewer shots than any other side, but he made an extraordinary close-range double save from Porto's Andre Silva in the second half to keep the score level at 0-0 and keep alive the Danish champion's hopes of reaching the last 16.