From Tottenham’s troubles to why Liverpool can’t be written off, we round up the talking points from the midweek Champions League action.
Problems piling up for Mourinho
Tottenham have work to do to reach the quarter finals of the Champions League after going down 1-0 at home to RB Leipzig on Wednesday night in the first leg of their last-16 tie. Spurs were second best for much of the contest and could have been trailing by more goals before a late rally nearly earned an equaliser when Giovani Lo Celso hit the woodwork.
But for Jose Mourinho it feels like Spurs’ problems are mounting up. The manager was downbeat on Heung-Min Son’s potentially season-ending arm fracture and after defeat to Leipzig he bemoaned his lack of attacking options, the fact Erik Lamela and Tanguy Ndombele were just coming back from lay-offs and the quick turnaround time they have before facing Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday lunchtime.
As well as Chelsea, there is another key top-four race fixture with Wolves, an FA Cup fifth round tie with Norwich and a tricky Premier League trip to Burnley before the second leg with Leipzig on March 10.
It’s a decisive couple of weeks for Tottenham’s season – and Mourinho knows it.
Hope in defeat for Liverpool?
“It’s half time, we are 1-0 down,” said Klopp after just their third defeat of the season. Not only is it half-time, but Liverpool will have the advantage of a home crowd in three weeks’ time.
On Tuesday, the atmosphere did nothing for them. Diego Simeone darted up and down touchline like a young full-back, conducting the crowd and his players to one of those masterful defensive performances on a deafening evening at the Wanda Metropolitano. No wonder they make the technical area so big…
But unlike Liverpool’s other two defeats this season, all is not necessarily lost, and Klopp can take encouragement from Tuesday night’s showing.
Yes, they neglected to register a shot on target, but Liverpool were completely dominant on the ball, and more importantly, moved the ball quickly in dangerous areas.
Atletico Madrid did allow for gaps to appear, but Liverpool’s final pass was routinely missing. Correct that, and add the cauldron of Anfield to the mix, and the champions will feel confident of turning this around.
They may need one of those infamous blitzes, however, with the away goal now only up for grabs for the Spanish side.
Haaland’s stock continues to rise
It was another record-breaking night Erling Haaland as his double secured Borussia Dortmund a 2-1 victory against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday evening.
The goals took his tally to 10 in seven Champions League games and he has now scored 11 time since joining Dortmund in January from RB Salzburg.
And the records continue to tumble for the 19-year-old.
Haaland’s shot map from open play in the Champions League this season
He now has the most goals of any player for a club within the top five European leagues (all competitions) since his Dortmund debut in January. He is also the first Dortmund player ever to score on his debut in the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and the Champions League.