Inter never gave up, says goal hero Icardi

Mauro Icardi celebrates against Barcelona

Inter had to wait until the 87th minute to tee up Mauro Icardi in front of goal, but he did the rest to earn a draw against Barcelona.

Mauro Icardi hailed Inter’s fighting spirit as another late show in the Champions League rescued a point against Barcelona in Group B.

The Nerazzurri netted twice in the closing stages of their previous European home game to defeat Tottenham, but this time Icardi’s 87th-minute strike was only enough for a 1-1 draw at San Siro.

The Inter captain was disappointed that his side ran out of time to complete another remarkable turnaround, yet he celebrated a result that looked unlikely when Malcom deservedly put Barca in front just four minutes earlier.

“We played the best team in the world and they scored a typical Barcelona goal,” Icardi told Sky Sport Italia. “But we never gave up, we kept fighting and I got the goal.

“We’ve showed a lot of belief throughout the tournament, as Tottenham scored quite late against us too and we kept fighting then to turn it around. Unfortunately, we just ran out of time here.”

Icardi’s effort was a scrambled strike from his first sight of goal, but he credited “lucky charm” Matias Vecino for his role as Luciano Spalletti’s team maintained their fine form.

“The goal was fortunate; it fell kindly for me and I was able to turn,” he added.

“Matias Vecino is our lucky charm, so we keep him on until the end even if he is falling apart. He always gets a goal or an assist.”

While the result ensured Barca’s progress to the last 16, Inter now face stiff competition from Spurs, who moved to within three points of them.

Spalletti’s side travel to Wembley to meet the Premier League club in their next group clash later this month.

Henry worried by Monaco’s Champions League capitulation

Thierry Henry admits he is worried by Monaco's mentality

Thierry Henry’s Monaco are now out of the Champions League following their humiliating defeat to Club Brugge.

Thierry Henry believes that his Monaco side “stopped playing” after missing an early chance in a 4-0 defeat to Club Brugge that saw them crash out of the Champions League.

Sofiane Diop had a great opportunity to preserve Monaco’s slim hopes of staying in the competition, but Brugge goalkeeper Ethan Horvath made a superb save.

That was the only chance Monaco – who sit second bottom in Ligue 1 and face runaway leaders Paris Saint-Germain next – manufactured, however, as the visitors cruised to a first Champions League victory in 12 attempts.

Goals from Hans Vanaken, Wesley and Ruud Vormer condemned Monaco to their heaviest home defeat in Europe’s elite competition, with Atletico Madrid’s win over Borussia Dortmund subsequently ending any chance of progression.

And Henry, whose side are now without a win in 15 games across all competitions, revealed his concern over Monaco’s mentality.

“The score does not really reflect the face of the match but in the Champions League if you do not score you find yourself in this situation,” he told a news conference.

“Despite our good start we failed to score. After we concede three goals in 12 minutes, it’s a blow. As soon as we missed [the chance] we stopped playing.

“I am upset with the way we reacted to falling behind. We started well. But once we fell behind we stopped playing and that’s a little bit worrying.”

Monaco’s misery was further compounded by Kamil Glik sustaining an injury, although Henry insists that his faith in the club’s youngsters is not misplaced.

“We lost another player to injury in Glik. That’s not going to help matters as we already had 10 or 11 injured players,” Henry added.

“I have to be positive, otherwise what can you do? The performance of [Han-Noah] Massengo off the bench pleased me.

“Sofiane Diop was still good and Moussa Sylla. The young people are pulling us up.”

Brugge boss Ivan Leko, meanwhile, emphasised the importance of a historic victory for the club, who remain in with a chance of progressing heading into the final two group fixtures.

“This is a big success. Not only because of the result – the quality of our football was very good too,” Leko said.

“This is also important, not just the result. Now we are finally getting the rewards [for our good play]. This is historic.”

NBA free agency news: Lakers sign C Tyson Chandler

Tyson Chandler

Tyson Chandler’s contract was bought out by the Suns on Sunday.

The Lakers announced Tuesday they have signed Tyson Chandler.

According to ESPN, the Lakers will pay Chandler approximately $2.11 million for this season with a cap hit of about $1.33 million. He is eligible to be traded Feb. 6, one day before the deadline.

Chandler’s contract was bought out by the Suns over the weekend, and he became a free agent.

It was rumored the Lakers were the favorite to sign him once the news of his departure broke.

“Having observed our roster for the first 10 games of this young season, one of the areas that Earvin (Magic Johnson) and I discussed with (head coach) Luke (Walton) that we desired to upgrade is interior defense and rebounding,” general manager Rob Pelinka said, via the team website. “In Tyson Chandler we addressed that need, and so much more.

“We are excited that Tyson will bring championship-level experience to our Lakers team that will solidify our veteran leadership and help positively shape our young core. We are thrilled for Tyson to join us as we progress towards our ultimate goals as a team.”

The Lakers are tied for 23rd in the NBA in opponents field goal percentage (47.6) and 24th in rebound differential as opponents grab 3.8 more rebounds than Los Angeles every game.

Chandler played seven games for the Suns this season averaging 3.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and one block.

The 36-year-old has made one All-Star game and made the NBA’s All-Defensive Team three times. He won the NBA Championship with the Mavericks in 2010-11.

He will join JaVale McGee and Ivica Zubac as centers on the Lakers’ roster.

Inter 1 Barcelona 1: Blaugrana through despite Icardi leveller

Mauro Icardi celebrates his late equaliser against Barcelona

Mauro Icardi rescued Inter a point at home to Barcelona, who progressed to the Champions League knockout stages despite the late setback.

Barcelona secured their place in the Champions League last 16 despite late drama in a 1-1 draw against Inter at a rain-soaked San Siro.

The Blaugrana looked set to register a fourth victory from four Group B matches when Malcom netted his first goal for the club seven minutes from time.

However, Mauro Icardi – otherwise anonymous as Inter struggled to trouble Barca – pounced to strike following a goalmouth scramble three minutes later, his goal crucial as Tottenham defeated PSV elsewhere.

Barca were still able to celebrate a place in the next round thanks to their superior head-to-head record against Inter, but this was a frustrating evening as they missed Lionel Messi’s ruthless nature in the final third.

Ousmane Dembele drew an early stop from Samir Handanovic and Luis Suarez then curled one effort just over the top and sent a delicate lob wide, with Barcelona in control of proceedings from the off.

A sloppy start from Inter included a poor close-range Kwadwo Asamoah miss, but the majority of the chances continued to fall at the other end and Handanovic was again alert as the dangerous Suarez fizzed in a low strike shortly before half-time.

Handanovic turned away a Philippe Coutinho drive following the restart, before the goalkeeper blocked Ivan Rakitic’s tame finish, with Suarez furious that his goal seconds later was in vain as the ball was ruled to have gone behind for a corner.

The breakthrough finally came just after Malcom’s introduction in place of Dembele, charging through on the right to meet Coutinho’s pass and shoot beyond Handanovic.

But Barca were denied the three points as Icardi finally saw a ball drop at his feet in the area, swivelling to bury the ball past Marc-Andre ter Stegen to the delirium of the home fans.

What does it mean? Barca through but defensive worries persist

Barcelona wasted chance after chance. Icardi and Inter did not. The visitors looked Champions League contenders throughout the contest, yet they should have been able to see the game out. The Nerazzurri scarcely came forward but still managed to find a route back into the game, with confusion at the back for Barca. That should worry Ernesto Valverde going forward.

Coutinho controls second half

Artur was sublime in the first 45 minutes, patrolling the midfield, before compatriot Coutinho came to the fore after the break. Returning to former club Inter, his close control around the penalty area gave Milan Skriniar and his team-mates nightmares, before a brilliant break and pass teed up Malcom’s strike.

Inter struggle to supply Icardi

Inter’s chances were always going to be limited, but Icardi took the only one that came his way. The delivery to the Nerazzurri’s main man was too often poor, with Sime Vrsaljko – so impressive at the World Cup – particularly wasteful when given time and space. Inter need their captain involved to make strides in this competition.

Key Opta Facts

– Barcelona drew their first UCL game without Messi since the 2006-2007 season: W15 L3 (83.3% of winnings).
– Malcom scored his first goal for Barcelona in all competitions with his first touch in his CL career.
– Gerard Pique has played his 100th CL game for Barcelona (including the two qualifying games vs Wisla in August 2008).

What’s next?

Inter’s attention now returns to chasing down champions Juventus in Serie A, with a tricky trip to Atalanta up next. LaLiga leaders Barcelona welcome Real Betis to Camp Nou on Sunday.

Napoli 1 Paris Saint-Germain 1: Silva mistake hands Partenopei top spot

PSG captain Thiago Silva.

Paris Saint-Germain gave up a first-half lead during an absorbing draw with Napoli at Stadio San Paolo.

Paris Saint-Germain squandered a chance to ignite their stuttering Champions League campaign as Napoli came from behind to earn a 1-1 home draw on Tuesday.

Lorenzo Insigne punished a Thiago Silva error from the penalty spot after 61 minutes to hand the Italian side leadership of Group C following Liverpool’s earlier 2-0 loss to Red Star Belgrade, Napoli’s next opponents.

Gianluigi Buffon, making his Champions League debut for PSG, had made several saves to preserve a lead earned by Juan Bernat, but his foul in attempting to atone for Silva’s loose touch allowed his former Parma boss Carlo Ancelotti to have the last laugh.

Edinson Cavani’s late introduction against his ex-employers failed to provide the inspiration PSG needed to convert a point into something more valuable to their hopes of advancing.

Neymar was lively in the opening exchanges and carved out a promising early chance for Marco Verratti, which drew Kalidou Koulibaly into a crucial block.

The Brazil star also provided the pass for a thumping Kylian Mbappe strike that flew across the face in the 23rd minute.

For all their attacking riches, PSG had wing-back Bernat to thank for breaking the deadlock with a composed close-range finish, Mbappe having bamboozled Raul Albiol before supplying the cutback.

Napoli started the second half with purpose but ran into an inspired Buffon, who twice denied Dries Mertens in quick succession.

Eventually, the incessant Napoli pressure told. Buffon bore little blame for clattering into Callejon and, with lasers shone in his eyes, could do nothing about the emphatic Insigne spot-kick that put Napoli in the driving seat.

There was some late frustration for the hosts as they lost Mertens to a serious-looking shoulder injury in a match that saw Marek Hamsik become the club’s all-time appearance leader.

What does it mean? PSG fail to dispel flakiness fear

Accusations of a soft centre have long been levelled at PSG and, though they clung on here for a handy point, their inability to see through a period of pressure will only heighten the focus on the team’s character.

Callejon showcases class

He was frustrated in his attempts to get on the scoresheet, but attacker Callejon deserves plenty of credit for pouncing on Silva’s error as the most important moment of a consistently dangerous display.

Silva slip-up costs PSG

Silva will receive no sympathy for the error which came from nothing and handed Napoli their equaliser.

Key Opta Facts

– Of sides they have faced at least four times across all European competitions, against only Real Madrid (0/4) and now PSG (0/4) have Napoli failed to win any of their first four meetings against a single opponent.
– PSG’s tally of five points from their opening four matches of this season’s Champions League is their lowest total at this stage since 2004-05, the last time they failed to make it out of the group stages.
– Napoli’s Lorenzo Insigne has scored in each of his last five home matches in the Champions League (seven goals), becoming the first Italian player in the competition’s history to achieve this feat.
– PSG forward Kylian Mbappe has been directly involved in 17 goals in his last 18 Champions League games (12 goals, five assists).
– PSG goalkeeper Gianlugi Buffon (40y 282d) has become the second oldest player to make their Champions League debut for a club after Mark Schwarzer (41y 65d), when he turned out for Chelsea back in December 2013.

What’s next?

Napoli will aim to stay in touch with Serie A leaders Juventus when they visit Genoa on Saturday, while PSG head to beleaguered Monaco the following day.

Atletico Madrid 2 Borussia Dortmund 0: Saul & Griezmann get Simeone back on track

Saul Niguez celebrates against Borussia Dortmund

Saul Niguez and Antoine Griezmann scored as Atletico Madrid saw off Champions League Group A rivals Borussia Dortmund 2-0.

Atletico Madrid returned to form in Champions League Group A as goals from Saul Niguez and Antoine Griezman earned a 2-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund.

Dortmund’s 4-0 rout on matchday three condemned Diego Simeone to the heaviest defeat of his Atleti tenure, but Los Rojiblancos got back on track in style at Wanda Metropolitano.

Saul’s goal after the half hour – a crisp finish at the culmination of a slick team move – opened the scoring, and despite a string of superb saves from Roman Burki, Griezmann wrapped up the points with 10 minutes remaining.

Things might have been different had Raphael Guerreiro kept a close-range header on target, but Atleti were well worthy of a win that lifts them level on points with Dortmund at the top of Group A.

Despite a glut of Atleti pressure, Burki remained relatively untested until Saul broke the deadlock in the 33rd minute.

After winning possession in Dortmund’s half, Saul exchanged passes with Filipe Luis before sending a first-time effort goalwards – Manuel Akanji failing to keep the ball out on the line.

Dortmund were fortunate not to be further behind in the next 10 minutes, Filipe Luis and Griezmann finding Burki in top form, while Lukasz Piszczek’s last-ditch tackle denied Saul a second.

Juanfran’s pinpoint pass into Angel Correa looked to have set up a certain goal on the hour, but Burki’s crucial touch turned the ball wide.

Guerreiro’s introduction added balance to Dortmund’s attack, and the substitute spurned the visitors’ only true chance, heading over from Paco Alcacer’s cross.

Griezmann showed no such profligacy at the other end, however, racing clear of his marker and keeping his cool to slot past Burki and make sure of a win that puts Atleti on the verge of progressing into the knockout stages.

What does it mean? Dortmund’s yellow wall crumbles

Dortmund went into Tuesday’s encounter as one of two teams to have kept three clean sheets in their opening three Champions League fixtures, but once the visitors conceded, their defensive resilience seemed to dissipate rather quickly.

Fortunately, Lucien Favre did have Burki to rely on, but the goalkeeper cannot be expected to be on such fine form in every appearance.

Sensational Saul lifts Simeone

Handed a free role on the left in the absence of Koke, Saul certainly took his chance. His first goal of the season capped an all-action display, and his clever interplay with Filipe Luis provided a constant attacking outlet for Simeone’s side.

Pulisic proves ineffective

Jadon Sancho has taken much of the limelight at Signal Iduna Park this season, with Christian Pulisic taking something of a back seat.

That again proved the case in Madrid, with Favre’s brave decision to start both young wingers backfiring, and it was only when Pulisic made way and Sancho moved over to the right flank that Dortmund started to offer a threat.

Key Opta Facts

– Since the start of the 2013-14 season, Atletico have kept more clean sheets at home in the Champions League than any other team (20).
– Dortmund have won just one of their last six Champions League games against Spanish teams (W1 D2 L3), losing three of the last four.
– Only Griezmann (20) has scored more Champions League goals for Atletico than Saul (9 – level with Diego Costa).
– Lukasz Piszczek made his 44th appearance in the Champions League for Dortmund – pulling level with Stefan Reuter as the joint-record appearance maker for the club in the competition.

What’s next?

Atleti are in LaLiga action against Athletic Bilbao on Saturday, with Bundesliga leaders Dortmund facing Bayern Munich in a huge Klassiker.

Schalke 2 Galatasaray 0: Germans tighten grip on second place

Schalke's Mark Uth

Schalke opened up a four-point lead over third-placed Galatasaray in Group D after a deserved victory at Veltins-Arena on Tuesday.

Guido Burgstaller and Mark Uth scored in either half as Schalke eased past Galatasaray 2-0 and tightened their grip on second place in Champions League Group D.

Burgstaller’s opener – his first goal in the competition – after just four minutes was gift-wrapped by Galatasaray goalkeeper Fernando Muslera, who made a mess of collecting a throughball.

Domenico Tedesco’s side should have put the game beyond the visitors’ reach before half-time, but were denied by a combination of the woodwork, Muslera and some wayward finishing.

Uth settled any nerves with a cool finish 12 minutes into the second period to help Schalke open up a four-point gap over their third-placed opponents.

Schalke got off to a stunning start courtesy of some slapstick goalkeeping from Muslera, who – upon realising he was in danger of carrying the ball out of the area – released it into the path of Burgstaller, who whipped into an empty net from an acute angle.

That lead should have been doubled after 21 minutes, but Amine Harit inexplicably blazed over from 10 yards, while Muslera went some way to redeeming himself with a sharp block to deny Alessandro Schopf six minutes later.

Garry Rodrigues lashed a half-volley wide after breaking the offside trap in what was Galatasaray’s best chance of the first half before Sebastian Rudy steered a 20-yard effort against the post and Muslera repelled Burgstaller’s instinctive strike shortly before the interval.

Burgstaller turned provider for Schalke’s second after 57 minutes, picking out an unmarked Uth with a low cross, which the former Hoffenheim man whipped past Muslera from 12 yards.

Fatih Terim’s side rarely looked like setting up a grandstand finish as Schalke comfortably kept them at bay to put one foot in the last 16.

What does it mean? Schalke within touching distance

Schalke travel to Portugal in three weeks to face Porto knowing that a win will book them a last-16 spot. Galatasaray, meanwhile, know that third place and a berth in the Europa League beckons barring a series of dramatic results in the group’s final two matchdays.

Burgstaller makes light of poor form

The Austrian striker has endured a torrid season – scoring just once in 15 appearances – but showed superb composure to curl home early on and set Schalke on their way to a fine victory.

Muslera’s moment to forget

The Galatasaray goalkeeper let Antoine Griezmann’s speculative effort slip through his grasp in Uruguay’s World Cup quarter-final defeat defeat to France and he experienced another nightmare moment on Tuesday. There was no sympathy from Burgstaller, who mercilessly punished the 32-year-old with a clinical finish.

Key Opta Facts

– Schalke are unbeaten in their last five Champions League matches (W3 D2); their longest such streak in the competition since February 2013 (7).
– Galatasaray have failed to score in three consecutive Champions League games for the first time since October 1997 (4 games).
– Guido Burgstaller (03:06) scored Schalke’s quickest goal in the Champions League since Raul netted vs Hapoel Tel Aviv in October 2010 after three minutes (02:38).
– Galatasaray have conceded at least one goal in each of their last 25 away games in the Champions League, last keeping a clean sheet on the road in the competition in September 2002 (2-0 v Lokomotiv Moscow).
– Schalke have kept three consecutive clean sheets in the Champions League for the first time.

What’s next?

Schalke return to Bundesliga action on Sunday with a visit to Eintracht Frankfurt, while Galatasaray travel to Kayserispor a day earlier in the Super Lig.

Tottenham 2 PSV 1: Spurs back from the brink as Kane inspires late turnaround

Tottenham striker Harry Kane

Tottenham’s hopes of getting out of the Champions League group stage are still alive after they came from behind to beat PSV 2-1 late on.

Harry Kane inspired a turnaround in the final 12 minutes to transform Tottenham’s Champions League outlook as they beat PSV 2-1 to move to within three points of second-placed Inter.

Spurs appeared to be doomed as they trailed for much of the Group B match, but they turned things around late on to capitalise on the Italian side dropping points at home to Barcelona.

An early Luuk de Jong header forced Spurs to throw caution to the wind and they racked up 30 shots, but, for the most part, they came up against an inspired goalkeeper in the shape of Jeroen Zoet.

Spurs’ pressure eventually told in the 78th minute as Kane got the equaliser and he then had a major role in the winner as Trent Sainsbury deflected the England striker’s header past the despairing Zoet, teeing up Mauricio Pochettino’s men nicely for two huge clashes with Inter and Barcelona.

Spurs were trailing after 61 seconds as De Jong rose highest in the penalty area after losing Dele Alli and sent an unstoppable header into the bottom-left corner.

For the rest of the first half the home side were dominant, but Zoet in PSV’s goal was in fine form, making a brilliant double save to deny Christian Eriksen and Alli in the 28th minute.

Alli was thwarted again just before the break, with Zoet acrobatically getting down to his right and pushing the shot away.

Spurs remained the controlling force after the restart, but they almost found themselves two behind in the 58th minute – Paulo Gazzaniga crucially stopping Gaston Pereiro’s goal-bound header from a corner.

PSV’s resistance was finally broken when Kane found the bottom-right corner with a left-footed strike following a Fernando Llorente knockdown.

Kane was to the fore once again in the dying embers of the contest, his headed attempted clipping Sainsbury on its way into the net to leave PSV on the brink of elimination.

What does it mean? Do or die against Inter
Following late drama in both Group B matches, Inter’s trip to Tottenham at the end of the month suddenly takes on even more importance. Victory for Spurs in that game will leave both teams on seven points with a match to play.

Winks a star in midfield
Kane was the hero in the end with his part in the goals, but Harry Winks was exceptional in midfield, constantly driving Spurs forward and keeping them positive with his use of the ball.

Son fails to shine
Although he was full of running, Son Heung-min struggled to influence the game, with Denzel Dumfries generally frustrating the South Korean. He also picked up a yellow card for a foul on Hirving Lozano and was replaced by Llorente.

Key Opta Facts

– Spurs won a Champions League game that they were trailing in at half-time for just the second occasion, after their 2-1 win versus Borussia Dortmund in November 2017.
– PSV are winless in their last 12 games in the Champions League (D5 L7), with their last win coming against CSKA Moscow in December 2015.
– Spurs had 30 shots in total against PSV; their most ever in a Champions League game.
– Spurs striker Harry Kane has been directly involved in 15 goals in 14 appearances in the Champions League (13 goals and two assists).
– PSV opened the scoring after just 61 seconds at Wembley; the earliest goal that Spurs have conceded in a Champions League game.

What’s next?
Spurs return to Champions League action on November 28 when they host Inter in a vital match, following Premier League meetings with Crystal Palace and Chelsea. PSV have Eredivisie encounters with De Graafschap and Heerenveen coming up, before then facing Barcelona in Europe, a match that will likely bring their elimination.

Tsitsipas impresses in Next Gen opener, Tiafoe off the mark

Stefanos Tsitsipas in action at the Next Gen Finals

Stefanos Tsitsipas, Frances Tiafoe and Andrey Rublev all battled to victories in their opening matches at the Next Gen Finals in Milan.

Top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas impressed in his opening match of the Next Gen Finals round-robin stage as he recorded a four-set victory over Jaume Munar.

Tsitsipas won the first ATP Tour title of his career in Stockholm last month and his confidence has remained high, the Greek beating seventh seed Munar 4-3 (7-5) 4-3 (7-3) 3-4 (4-7) 4-2 in Milan.

There was little between the pair in an entertaining Group A encounter, but when it mattered Tsitsipas had more quality, his backhand working smoothly to convert openings.

Munar saved three match points in the fourth set but he was unable to stop Tsitsipas completing the victory.

It is Frances Tiafoe who tops Group A after the opening round, though, the American very much in form in his 4-1 4-2 2-4 4-3 (12-10) win over Hubert Hurkacz.

Tiafoe’s groundstrokes were a class above those of his Polish opponent and he raced into a two-set lead in just half an hour.

Hurkacz forced a fourth set and a tie-break but Tiafoe’s power proved too much, a huge ace followed up by a rasping forehand as he secured the win.

Last year’s beaten finalist Andrey Rublev came from 2-1 down to open his tournament with a win over Taylor Fritz.

Rublev rued a string of missed opportunities during their one hour and 55 minutes on court, the fifth seed only converting three of his 16 break chances.

Alex de Minaur also started Group B with a victory, the Australian having no problems as he beat wildcard Liam Caruana 4-1 4-1 4-2.

Porto 4 Lokomotiv Moscow 1: Conceicao’s men dump Russians out

Porto midfielder Hector Herrera

Porto beat Lokomotiv Moscow 4-1 to strengthen their grip on Champions League Group D, with Hector Herrera scoring inside 90 seconds.

Hector Herrera scored inside 90 seconds of Porto’s 4-1 win over Lokomotiv Moscow as Sergio Conceicao’s men dumped their opponents out of the Champions League and strengthened their grip on Group D.

The Mexico international turned provider for Moussa Marega to double Porto’s lead before half-time as Lokomotiv failed to deal with two players who had scored against them in a 3-1 defeat just two weeks earlier.

The result, combined with Schalke’s victory over Galatasaray in the group’s other game, condemned Yuri Semin’s Lokomotiv side to a Champions League exit after failing to earn a single point from their four games so far.

Porto dealt with a potentially tricky final half-hour after Jefferson Farfan pulled one back, Jesus Corona and Otavio scoring to wrap up a third consecutive Champions League victory for the first time since November 2015, when Julen Lopetegui was in charge of the club.

 

Lokomotiv were caught out by an electric start by Porto and Marega powered his way into the penalty area in the second minute before cutting the ball back to Herrera, whose angled shot from just outside the six-yard box took a deflection on its way past Guilherme into the net.

Herrera returned the favour just before half-time, chipping a delightful pass into the path of Marega who drilled a low shot under Guilherme, beating the goalkeeper with power.

Herrera flashed a header onto the outside of the post after nine minutes of the second half and he was made to rue the miss when second-half substitute Farfan lost his marker and headed Aleksey Miranchuk’s corner just inside the post shortly before the hour mark.

Any hopes Lokomotiv had of mounting a comeback disappeared when Guilherme’s scuffed clearance fell to Oliver Torres and he played in Corona who guided the ball through the goalkeeper’s legs and into the net before Otavio came on and lashed home a fourth in stoppage-time.

What does it mean? Porto poised to qualify

Porto are firm favourites to win Group D after claiming 10 points from four games, and victory over Schalke on November 28 would confirm their place in the knockout stages.

Herrera leads by example

Lokomotiv struggled to contain Porto captain Herrera, who built on his early goal with an all-action performance and gave the game one of its best moments with his weighted pass for Marega to score the second.

Corluka succumbs to Porto duo

Experienced defender Vedran Corluka should have known all about the threat posed by Herrera and Marega after they scored in Moscow but he and his fellow defenders were caught napping early on and never really recovered.

Key Opta Facts

– Porto have won three straight Champions League matches for the first time since November 2015 under manager Julen Lopetegui.
– Lokomotiv Moscow have now lost each of their last five matches in the Champions League, conceding 3+ goals in three of those games (12 goals conceded total).
– Porto’s haul of 10 points after their opening four matches in this season’s Champions League is their highest tally at this stage since 2015-16, though they did end up falling out at the group stage, finishing third.

What’s next?

Three more home games await Porto, starting with the visit of Sporting Braga on Saturday, while Lokomotiv must prepare for a trip to mid-table Rubin Kazan in the Russian Premier League on Sunday.

Liverpool’s weaknesses exposed in Red Star defeat, admits Klopp

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool missed key chances in their defeat to Red Star Belgrade and Jurgen Klopp conceded: “A few things are not going too well.”

Jurgen Klopp admitted that Liverpool’s weaknesses were laid bare to their Premier League rivals as they lost 2-0 in the Champions League at Red Star Belgrade.

Milan Pavkov’s first-half brace condemned Klopp’s men to a result that contrasted starkly with their 4-0 win over the same side two weeks earlier, the Reds squandering the chance to strengthen their hold on Group C.

With rock-bottom Fulham heading to Anfield in the top flight on Sunday, Klopp said his players would need to reflect on their mistakes to ensure an improved performance as they seek to extend their unbeaten run in domestic action.

“[We have] A long flight home, a long time to think, and then Sunday Fulham are waiting,” Klopp told BT Sport.

“They saw the game probably and will be thinking ‘okay, this team has weaknesses’.

“So we have to not show them anymore on Sunday.”

Liverpool’s forwards failed to take opportunities that Klopp claimed they would normally expect to score, and the German coach picked out chances that fell to Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah as being significant misses.

He hinted at defensive problems being to blame for Pavkov’s goals, which arrived inside seven first-half minutes.

“Of course you could see that a few things are not going too well,” said Klopp. “They had chances, but we had chances that we usually score with.

“They defended on the line twice, but they had too many set-pieces and with one of them they scored, and then out of the blue they more or less score the second one.

“And then the atmosphere was completely different, you could feel it. They were on their bikes and we had to deal with the situation.

“At half-time we tried to change a few things and the second half was really dominant, but we didn’t score.

“We had the situations of Sadio [Mane], Mo [Salah], big chances, a lot of ones that won’t count as a shot on target because we missed.

“If we score one of them the game changes but we didn’t. We were fighting hard, but they deserved the three points.”

Klopp stopped short of offering a detailed explanation for a performance that paled in comparison to their recent Premier League displays, and expressed belief in his players to make amends for the defeat.

“I am a human being,” he said. “If 10 minutes after the game here I have a big speech I will look a bit silly.

“We will go for the other two games 100 per cent, but I have no message in the moment, we all have to deal with it.

“It was a game we lost, we feel it, the boys are disappointed, I am disappointed, and we have to do better, because we can do better, but tonight it’s too late, we have to learn.”

Kyrie Irving fined $25K for throwing ball into stands against Nuggets

Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving was not pleased when Nuggets guard Jamal Murray went for 50 points.

Celtics guard Kyrie Irving has been fined $25,000 for throwing the ball into the stands Monday at the Pepsi Center in Denver the NBA announced Tuesday.

Irving threw the ball into the stands in anger after Nuggets guard Jamal Murray shot a 3-pointer in the waning seconds with the game at hand.

Murray, who is from Canada, broke the Canadian record by scoring 48 points in the game. The previous record of 47 was held by Steve Nash.

But he admitted he was going for 50 by taking the 3-pointer and Irving did not take kindly to the 21-year-old trying to make that shot with his team up 115-107 with virtually no time on the clock.

“He was the primary concern tonight and he made us pay in certain instances of making some tough shots and some tough layups,” Irving told reporters after the game, via ESPN. “But the ball deserves to go in the crowd after a bulls— move like that. So I threw it in the crowd.”

Russell Westbrook injury update: Thunder star out Wednesday vs. Cavs, report says

Westbrook left Monday’s win over the Pelicans with an ankle sprain after landing awkwardly on Anthony Davis’ foot.

Russell Westbrook has suffered another setback.

The Thunder star will not play Wednesday against the Cavaliers after injuring his ankle in Monday’s win over the Pelicans, ESPN reported.

According to the report, X-rays came back negative and further evaluation “confirmed an ankle sprain and nothing more.”

Westbrook left Monday’s game in the third quarter with the injury after landing awkwardly on Anthony Davis’ foot. He limped off the court and was unable to put any weight on his left leg.

Westbrook will still travel to Cleveland with the Thunder, as the team wants to see how he responds to treatment before determining a timeline for his return.

The seven-time All-Star and 2017 MVP is averaging 24.1 points, 8.9 assists and 8.3 rebounds through seven games this season after sitting out the team’s first two matchups.

The Cavs (1-9) are slated to host the Thunder (5-4) at 7 p.m. ET.

Milner baffled as Liverpool fail to take their chances in Red Star defeat

Red Star Belgrade defeated Liverpool 2-0 on Tuesday, though James Milner is adamant they had enough chances to get a result in Serbia.

James Milner was left bemused by Liverpool’s inability to make the most of their chances in Tuesday’s shock 2-0 Champions League loss to Red Star Belgrade.

Milan Pavkov scored both goals for Red Star, as they picked up their first win of the season in the Champions League and blew Group C wide open.

Liverpool would have been four points clear at the top – for at least a few hours – had they won, but their inability to do so means Napoli or Paris Saint-Germain can overtake them.

The Reds certainly had their chances in Belgrade, but they hit the frame of the goal twice and came up against a Milan Borjan in good form between the posts.

Nevertheless, Milner was frustrated by Liverpool’s failure in front of goal.

“I think the chances just aren’t going in for us,” Milner told BT Sport. “I don’t know how many chances, very good chances, we had tonight, but it felt like a lot.

“That’s the thing, not taking the chances when we’re creating them. Last season we were scoring a lot of goals and they were going in and now they’re not.

“If we take those chances tonight the game looks a lot different. We can’t be letting teams get a start.

“From the first whistle, we didn’t start well enough, and that showed with them getting the two goals.

“In the second half I thought we did better, obviously, we had enough chances to get back into the game, but we didn’t take them and you get punished.”

In the build-up much was made of the atmosphere Red Star fans create, though Milner insists they were aware of what they were walking into.

“We knew [about the atmosphere],” he said. “The crowd was big for them and it’s been a long time since they’ve been in the Champions League, it was always going to be a big game.

“Napoli came here and found it tough as well, so it’s a tough place to come, but we expected that.”