Belgrade, Dec 12 (AP/UNB) — The attacking trio of Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Edinson Cavani struck again as Paris Saint-Germain advanced to the round of 16 of the Champions League with a 4-1 win at Red Star Belgrade on Tuesday.
Cavani and Neymar were both assisted by their 19-year-old teammate, with Mbappe putting on an excellent display of speed, strength and dribbling throughout the game. The France striker sealed PSG's win with a goal in added time.
Marquinhos was also on the scoresheet for PSG after Marko Gobeljic cut Belgrade's deficit in the second half.
Despite just one victory in its first four games, PSG advanced as Group C winner, two points ahead of last season's runner-up Liverpool, which qualified for the last 16 with a 1-0 win over third-place Napoli.
"We knew this would be a very tough group that would be up for grabs right to the end," Marquinhos said. "We've managed to finish top, which is very good, and it gives us an advantage for the next round."
PSG coach Thomas Tuchel fielded the same players who started against Liverpool in a 2-1 victory two weeks ago.
Knowing that a win would seal its spot in the next stage, PSG immediately took control of the ball and forced Red Star players to defend close to Milan Borjan's goal.
Mbappe created the visitors' first opportunity with a surge down the left, easily getting past Belgrade captain Filip Stojkovic to cross the ball for Cavani, who scored in the ninth minute with a simple tap in.
With top-ranked tennis player Novak Djokovic watching from the stands, the hosts played more aggressively after conceding their first goal at home this season in the Champions League but PSG continued to dominate with better discipline and team play.
Neymar made it 2-0 five minutes before the interval with a beautiful solo goal. After latching onto a pass from Mbappe on a counterattack, the Brazil star cut into the area from the left, got past two defenders, feinted a shot in the run-in and chipped the ball into the net.
The hosts were more inspired in the second half and threatened with a series of well-built attacking moves. Red Star pulled one back in the 56th, following a good combination on the left side when Milan Rodic crossed the ball for Marko Gobeljic, who beat Gianluigi Buffon with a fine volley at the near post.
The goal ensured some suspense until Marquinhos made it 3-1 with a header from Angel Di Maria's free kick in the 74th. Mbappe wrapped up the win in added time with a powerful strike through Borjan's legs.
Liverpool, Dec 12 (AP/UNB) — Liverpool paid a world-record fee for a goalkeeper to fix the problem that caused the team to fall agonizing short in the Champions League last season.
With one last-minute save , Alisson Becker showed it was $85 million well spent.
The Brazil international came off his line and spread himself to block a shot from Arkadiusz Milik in stoppage time to ensure Liverpool beat Napoli 1-0 on Tuesday to advance to the knockout stage at the expense of the Italian side.
Ultimately, it was Mohamed Salah's latest wonder-goal — an individual effort scored in the 34th minute — that was the difference between the teams on another atmospheric European night at Anfield. Yet it was Alisson who earned most of the post-match praise from Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp.
"The goalie made the save of the season," Klopp said. "I have no clue how he made that save. Thank God we have him. If I'd known how good he was, I'd have paid double ... I think nobody expected a save in that situation. It's a goal, no?"
Liverpool finished tied on nine points with Napoli, and with the same goal difference and head-to-head record as its rival after a 1-0 loss in Italy earlier in group play. The English club finished above Napoli because of goals scored in group play — nine vs. seven — and was second behind Paris Saint-Germain, which won 4-1 at Red Star Belgrade on Tuesday.
Liverpool swept to the Champions League final last season on the back of its devastating forward line of Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, and an improved defense marshalled by $99-million signing Virgil van Dijk.
But goalkeeper was the big issue for Klopp and it showed in the final when Loris Karius made two huge mistakes in a 3-1 loss to Real Madrid in Kiev.
Klopp, once unwilling to pay big money for players, altered that policy when he signed Van Dijk in January and did the same in the offseason by bringing in Alisson from Roma. The result? Twelve clean sheets in 23 games in all competitions this season.
Salah is still delivering at the end of the field, too. Three days after scoring a hat trick against Bournemouth in the Premier League, he showed another example of both his strength and trickery with the winning goal. There might have been a little luck thrown in, too.
Napoli left back Mario Rui struggled all evening up against the Egypt forward and he was thrust aside as Salah received a pass from James Milner with his back to goal. Finding himself suddenly with room to maneuver, Salah ran at center back Kalidou Koulibaly and beat him by dropping his shoulder, leaving just goalkeeper David Ospina between him and the goal.
Salah looked up to see who was with him in the area and only he knows if his effort that squeezed through the legs of the diving Ospina and inside the near post was actually a misdirected pass. It was his 34th goal of 2018, 13th in all competitions this season, and ninth in nine Champions League games for Liverpool at Anfield.
"He's a match-winner, a world-class player," Milner said, "and he's done it for us again."
While the first half was tight, it was more one-sided after halftime as Liverpool picked off Napoli on the counterattack, with the Italian side needing a goal to advance.
Mane, in particular, was guilty of squandering three great chances, with Ospina saving one shot with his legs and the Liverpool forward twice shooting wide with only the goalkeeper to beat.
Alisson ensured Liverpool did not pay for its profligacy, standing tall then spreading himself to block a shot from Milik from point-blank range with the last chance of the match. Minutes earlier, Jose Callejon blazed over from close range at the far post with Napoli's other good chance.
Barcelona, Dec 12 (AP/UNB) — An eye-popping goal by Ousmane Dembele and a superb performance by Barcelona's backup goalkeeper were minutes away from keeping Harry Kane's Tottenham out of the Champion League's last 16 on Tuesday.
But Kane provided the pass that substitute Lucas Moura used to finally score one past Jasper Cillessen in the 85th minute and secure a 1-1 draw that was as good as a victory to the English visitors and the few thousand fans that traveled with them to Spain.
Mauricio Pochettino's team will now look to improve on its round-of-16 exit last season, when it lost to Juventus 4-3 on aggregate. The draw for the knockout stage will be on Monday.
Barcelona rested Lionel Messi for the first hour, having already locked up first place before the match. The Spanish league leaders finished Group B with 14 points, while Tottenham secured second place by edging Inter Milan on its head-to-head record after both finished with eight points.
Inter was held to a 1-1 draw at home against PSV Eindhoven in the group's other match on Tuesday, sending the Italian side to the Europa League.
"We left it until late," said Kane. "Thankfully PSV got a draw for us, and a draw away to Barcelona is not a bad result."
Barcelona won its group for a record 20th time. With the draw, Barcelona also set a milestone after finishing its group unbeaten for a 12th time. It further matched Bayern Munich's streak of 29 Champions League unbeaten home matches that the German side established from 1998 to 2002.
With nothing at stake, Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde rested Messi and regular starters Luis Suarez, Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba, and Marc-Andre ter Stegen — and gave European debuts to youngsters Miranda and Carles Alena.
Dembele, who has clashed with his club for being late to practice at least twice this season, has earned applause on the field with his goals and playmaking in his second season at Camp Nou.
His goal against Tottenham was his best yet.
The 21-year-old France forward combined strength, speed and a fine finishing touch to turn a free kick by Tottenham into a superb seventh-minute opener for the hosts.
Dembele hustled to win the ball from Kyle Walker-Peters, one of two Tottenham defenders left near midfield to stop a possible Barcelona counterattack. Dembele then turned on the speed to go past Walker-Peters, before he cut back to his left foot to avoid a sliding Harry Winks and coolly fired in his eighth goal in all competitions this campaign.
But other than Dembele's great goal, the match was an onslaught by Tottenham that eventually proved too much for even the inspired Cillessen.
"You could see that we had less to play for than they did," Valverde said. "(Cillessen) is a top-rate goalkeeper. We are fortunate to have him. Every time he gets the chance to play, he impresses us."
The backup to Ter Stegen turned back shots by Son Heung-Min and Christian Eriksen before Barcelona's Philippe Coutinho almost doubled Barcelona's lead just before halftime when he hit the post.
Messi, who scored twice in a 4-2 win at Tottenham in October, came on in the 64th.
But Tottenham maintained the pressure and Cillessen blocked a shot by Eriksen before making his best save in the 76th when he palmed away a powerful, point-blank header by Moura just as it was about to cross the line.
Coutinho hit the woodwork again in the 83rd, but with Tottenham on the brink of finishing third behind Inter, Kane found Moura unmarked near the six-yard box to drill home a shot that Cillessen was helpless to turn away.
"I always believed that it was possible to win the game. We created a lot of chances and always had the game under control (and) in the end Lucas' goal arrived," Pochettino said.
"It's a massive, massive achievement for the club."
Milan, Dec 12 (AP/UNB) — Inter Milan's first season back in the Champions League in seven years was brought to a swift end on Tuesday after it failed to beat a team with nothing to play for.
Mauro Icardi rescued a 1-1 draw for Inter against PSV Eindhoven but it wasn't enough to prevent the Italian team from being eliminated from the knockout stage.
Inter needed to better Tottenham's result at Barcelona to progress to the round of 16 but that match also finished 1-1, thanks to Lucas Moura's late equalizer.
Both Inter and Spurs finished the group stage with eight points but the Premier League side took second spot in Group B thanks to the away goal it scored in the 2-1 defeat at Inter in September. Tottenham beat Inter 1-0 at home last month.
"We're disappointed," Inter coach Luciano Spalletti said. "We got a bit nervous, a bit disunited and playing in a frenzy doesn't lead to anything. When such a high place is at stake it's not easy and if you don't keep your shape everything becomes more difficult.
"We did better in the second half and we had good chances but we didn't manage to finish them off. So we need to accept this result. It's not as if we had a terrible match, we had an OK one, but we could have done better."
Inter dominated at San Siro, where it had 22 shots compared to five for PSV, but the Dutch side took a surprising lead in the 13th minute through Hirving Lozano.
However, Inter had gone behind in all of its five previous group matches — and recovered in three of them.
And so it proved again for Luciano Spalletti's side as Icardi pounced with 17 minutes remaining for his fourth goal in the competition.
Inter poured forward in search of the winner, increasing their efforts after news of Spurs' equalizer filtered through, but couldn't find a breakthrough.
PSV finished last with two points and is without a win in 12 Champions League group stage games.
"We have to be realistic," PSV coach Mark Van Bommel said. "If we had passed the group it would have been really an incredible thing ... It was a very difficult group, but we can really learn a lot from these matches.
"We played here in a really beautiful way, with a lot of courage. We could have won and four points would have been better than two but two is better than one."
Inter will be left to regret its wasted opportunities, which included Ivan Perisic heading Icardi's long ball off the left post in the sixth minute during a strong start for the hosts.
The Nerazzurri fans were further buoyed by Barcelona taking the lead against Spurs but shortly after the stadium went quiet.
Kwadwo Asamoah was dispossessed by Steven Bergwijn, who raced down the right flank and crossed for Lozano to head in at the far post.
Matters almost got immediately worse for Inter following another Asamoah error but Samir Handanovic rushed off his line to deny Luuk de Jong.
PSV stuck to its tactics of sitting back and hoping to hit Inter on the break, and the hosts continued to waste their opportunities.
Perisic just failed to connect with a tantalizing cross from Antonio Candreva and, shortly after halftime, PSV goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet did well to parry Icardi's powerful effort.
Inter continued to pile on the pressure and it finally paid off as Icardi headed in a cross from Matteo Politano.
Dhaka, Dec 11 (UNB)- Bangladesh have lost the second ODI of the three-match series on Tuesday at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium to the Windies by four wickets. The hosts’ captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza regrets more 20-25 runs at the end of the match.
Bangladesh posted 255 for seven wickets in the first innings after being sent to bat first. Tamim Iqbal, Mushufiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan hit the fifties for the Tigers. But their effort went in vain as they finished the match being in the losing side. Mashrafe, however, believes if they had scored more 20 to 25 runs, the story of the match could have been written in a different manner.
“We should have scored 270 to 280. It was an unusual performance by us as per our recent success. On the others days, we have some scores nearly 80 or 90, and sometimes, we have 1 or more centuries as well. But today, batsmen failed to do so. We made some silly mistakes that also cost the match. We need to minimize it in the next encounter,” Masrhafe said after the match.
On the other hand, Shai Hope, who hit his career-best unbeaten 146 to secure a combative win for the visitors, expressed his joy at the post-match press conference. The right-handed batsman rated his latest century above of his previous two.
“It was just about to bat as deep as possible. We know Keemo (Paul) has very good batting ability. I had full confidence in him. We just tried to rotate the strike as best as possible. We knew the wicket was a bit difficult to come in, and strike from ball one, so he played a very crucial hand here to go over the line,” Shai hope said after the match.
Bangladesh have won the first match by five wickets on Sunday at the same venue which helped the Tigers to take a step ahead to secure the series. But, they failed to grab the chance in the second ODI. Now they have to win the last match to ensure the second successive series win over the Caribbean boys. The last match of the series will be played on 14 December at Sylhet International Stadium.
Right after the ODI series, both teams will lock horn in a three-match T20Is series. In the previous occasion when they played in a T20Is series, Bangladesh came up as victorious.