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Champions League: Real Madrid 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur

Match Report
Real Madrid 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur
Real Madrid goal by Cristiano Ronaldo 43 pen
Tottenham Hotspur goal by Raphael Varane 28 o.g.

Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid lead Champions League Group H with 7 points each, while their group rivals will battle for third place with just 1 point apiece. On Tuesday, Spanish La Liga giant club Real Madrid hosted titan England Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur in an exciting Champions League Group H match at the Bernabeu. The Spurs were the visitors for a clash between two popular sides who each had two Group H wins going into the third round of Champions League Group stage games. The two teams were level on goal difference, goals for and goals against after their wins over Apoel and Borussia Dortmund. Real and Tottenham fought to the finish to win top spot in the group ahead of the knockout stage – but ended in a draw.

A very entertaining first half at the Bernabeu ended with the score tied at 1-1. Cristiano Ronaldo rifled the ball inside the right upright, while Spurs No. 1 goalie and captain Hugo Lloris dived the wrong way after a Raphael Varane own goal put Tottenham Hotspur ahead. Spurs superstar forward Harry Kane got on the end of a cross from Serge Aurier and flicked the ball home off the Real Madrid defender’s shin. Real Madrid equalised courtesy of a penalty by superstar striker Cristiano Ronaldo that was gifted to the home side by a bad Serge Aurier challenge on Toni Kroos. Spurs defender Aurier has been criticized in the past for being immature and impetuous on more than one occasion this campaign and he’s likely to be highly criticized again for the challenge that led to Ronaldo’s penalty, his 110th Champions League goal, and cost Tottenham Hotspur the victory. Toni Kroos had possession of the ball stuck under his feet in the Spurs penalty area. Clearly there was no need for Aurier to dive in and bring him to the ground. The penalty was also gifted by Kroos who maneuvred into Tottenham’s area and decided to wait for the wild, inappropriate tackle coming from Aurier and go over. The referee did not hesitate in booking Aurier before Ronaldo levelled the score.

At 55 minutes, the Spurs incredible French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris denied Real Madrid’s French striker Karim Benzema with a sensational save. Benzema sent a powerful downward header goalwards from 5 yards out, but his compatriot managed to stop it with his left foot. Then at 83 minutes, Spurs defenders Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld leap on either side of Cristiano Ronaldo stopping him from getting a header on goal as he climbed to reach a left cross.Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino was interviewed before the match and the one-time La Liga pro talked about playing at Real Madrid’s ground. “It’s always special to play at the Bernabéu against Real Madrid in the Champions League,” said Pochettino. “They’re the club with the most European Cups. For English players to come here and play here is a dream from their childhoods and that’s why it’s a baptism. You feel that when you play here; that you feel the reality of football.”

On Monday, Pochettino was asked if he thought his side was up to the challenge of competing in Madrid. “We want to grow our level together,” Pochettino replied. “We’re up against the best side in the world right now. In the Premier League we have played against good sides, but there’s another last step to take to be competitive with the best sides in Europe and we’ll see tomorrow if we are there.” Before the game, Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane was asked how he felt facing Tottenham Hotspur and about his career to date as Madrid manager with 100 matches under his belt. “We give all sides maximum respect and we treat them as big tests. We have two games against Spurs now. The first ‘final’ is tomorrow – a ‘final of the group’ between two sides on the same points. We want to produce a performance and I think it will be a good game for everyone who likes football – they’ll see a good game. Hopefully we’ll get the three points.”

“I’m not going to give myself a mark – I’m happy,” Zidane added. “My dream was always to play in Spain, I’m at the best club in the world and my passion is still coaching this club and hopefully I’ll get at least another 10 games.”

Squads

Spurs left-back Danny Rose returned to the lineup as a sub from injury to take a place on the bench, while his teammate fellow left-back Ben Davies was left behind suffering from illness after his amazing start to the season scoring two goals and providing two assists. Dele Alli did not compete as he sits out the final match of a suspension. Moussa Dembele traveled to Madrid after missing Tottenham’s past six games through injury. “Danny Rose will be on the bench – that’s important, maybe he’s not fit to play from the beginning but to help the team,” said Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino. “It’s very good for the team, good for him after nearly 10 months away and it’s always important that players feel they can be involved and part of the team. Mousa Dembele is here as well. Dele wanted to come and stay with the team.”

Meanwhile, Zidane chose 18-year-old Moroccan international Achraf Hakimi, a  product of the club’s academy at right-back. Hakimi played well despite only two Spanish La Liga appearances to his name. Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale is injured and could not battle his former club due to a calf injury that kept the Wales superstar from playing in his national teams World Cup qualifier against rivals Ireland.Real Madrid’s star goalkeeper Keylor Navas recovered from a thigh injury to start, while Jesus Vellejo, Dani Carvajal and Mateo Kovacic were out. Marcelo and Karim Benzema both played at the weekend after spells on the sidelines and were on the starting line up for the hosts.

Real Madrid
Navas, Hakimi, Sergio Ramos, Varane, Marcelo, Kroos, Casemiro, Modric, Isco, Benzema, Ronaldo. Subs: Casilla, Nacho, Hernandez, Lucas, Llorente, Asensio, Ceballos.

Tottenham Hotspur
Lloris, Aurier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen,  Sanchez, Dier, Winks, Sissoko, Llorente, Eriksen, Kane. Subs: Vorm, Trippier, Rose, Son, Foyth, Walker-Peters, Georgiou.

Referee: Szymon Marciniak (Poland)

Other Champions League games today featured Maribor v Liverpool, and Manchester City v Napoli. Apoel and Borussia Dortmund also shared the points after their match in Cyprus finished with an identical score of 1-1. Plan ahead to watch your favourite teams compete in the prestigious Champions League tournament to determine what club will be named “Kings of Europe” for 2017-18. Buy great Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid football tickets online from 1st4FootballTickets.com! Coming up, Real Madrid has some not to be missed matches. On October 22, Real Madrid hosts SD Eibar at the Santiago Bernabeu in Spanish La Liga. Then on October 29 Real travel to play Girona Fc at Estadi Montilivi. Tottenham Hotspur play host to Real Madrid On November in a Champions League clash at Wembley Stadium in London that will surely sell out. Buy Tottenham Hotspur v Real Madrid tickets now online from 1st4FootballTickets.com. Real Madrid host UD Las Palmas in Spanish La Liga on November 5th. Then on November 19th Atletico Madrid host Real Madrid in a Madrid Derby at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano. Buy Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid tickets now! 

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