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Champions League Review: Liverpool suffer a shock defeat in Serbia

TAGs: champions league, liverpool fc, Serbian SuperLiga

A round-up of the night’s action in the Champions League with Liverpool suffering a shock defeat in Belgrade, Dortmund experiencing a first defeat of the season, and Harry Kane giving Spurs hope with a Wembley brace.

Red Star Belgrade 2 v 0 Liverpool

Champions League Review: Liverpool suffer a shock defeat in SerbiaThe heat on Liverpool to qualify from the Champions League Group of Death is intense enough to melt rocks after the misery of a shock defeat in Belgrade last night.

At the back end of October, a 4-0 triumph at home must have lulled Liverpool into a false sense of superiority, because they were poor on a night when the Rajko Mitić Stadium barked like a rabid dog.

Red Star may be the whipping boys of a group that also contains Napoli and Paris Saint Germain, but they are a different proposition at home, having kept ten clean sheets in the past 15-home games, and they have won 14 of their first 15 ties in the Serbian SuperLiga, without tasting defeat.

The loss is a disaster for a Liverpool side who could have gone three points clear of Napoli, after the Italians drew 1-1 at home to Neymar and his buddies, and who now have to travel to Paris and host Gli Azzurri in their final two group games.

Red Star dominated the first half, but it was Liverpool who carved open the earliest gilt-edged chance when the ball dropped to Daniel Sturridge, who blasted over the bar from eight yards.

Then came the quick one-two that floored Jürgen Klopp’s side.

In the 22nd minute, Red Star won a corner on the right, and Milan Pavkov rose higher than anyone to send a bullet header past Alisson. It was a brilliant goal, but even that paled into the shadows when compared to what happened seven minutes later.

James Milner lost possession near the halfway line, and the ball broke to the gangly looking Pankov. The lad was a mile from goal, but without injecting any semblance of pace into his stride, he moved up the pitch before releasing a thunderbolt into the top corner. Alisson could have done nothing to prevent the strike from kissing the net, but Klopp won’t be happy that Pankov was able to walk through his midfield with the ease of a lonely caged rat taking a stroll on his treadmill.

Liverpool reacted better in the second half where they enjoyed 80% of the possession, but never honestly looked like they would pull the game back from the brink. Andy Robertson saw his cross catch a deflection before striking the top of the bar, and Mohamed Salah had a few chances late on, including a strike that hit the post, but Red Star was good value for money.

In the group’s other tie, a penalty from Lorenzo Insigne rescued a point for Napoli after Juan Bernat had opened the scoring for Paris Saint Germain. The win moves Napoli ahead of Liverpool at the top of Group C on goal difference. Despite Liverpool’s tough run-in the bookies still have them as the 4/9 favourites to qualify from the group head of Napoli (4/11), and PSG (8/15).

The Best of the Rest

Atlético Madrid managed to find Borussia Dortmund’s handbrake to inflict the German’s first defeat of the season with a 2-0 win at home. Saúl and Antoine Griezmann scored the goals that move the Spaniards level on points with the Germans albeit trailing on goal difference. Dortmund is the 4/5 favourite to win the group, but it’s as tight as a pair of jeggings on a kid who has scoffed too much birthday cake.

Two late strikes from Harry Kane mean that Spurs still have an outside chance of making the knockout stages after Mauricio Pochettino’s men recovered well after going down to a Luuk de Jong opener. The Londers are three points behind Inter Milan, who drew 1-1 with Barcelona. The Catalan giants lead the group, and with Spurs having to travel to the Nou Camp in the last group game, the Wembley confrontation with Inter Milan at the end of the month is the one that Spurs must win if they are to eke through.

Here are the results in full.

Results

Red Star Belgrade 2 v 0 Liverpool

Monaco 0 v 4 Club Brugge
Atlético Madrid 2 v 0 Dortmund
Spurs 2 v 1 PSV Eindhoven
Schalke 04 2 v 0 Galatasary
Napoli 1 v 1 Paris Saint Germain
Porto 4 v 1 Lokomotiv Moscow
Inter Milan 1 v 1 Barcelona

Tables

Group A

1. Dortmund – 9 pts
2. Atlético Madrid – 9
3. Club Brugge – 4
4. Monaco – 1

Group A To Win Odds

Dortmund 4/5
Atlético 5/6

Group B

1. Barcelona – 10
2. Inter Milan – 7
3. Spurs – 4
4. PSV Eindhoven – 1

Group B To Qualify Odds

Inter Milan 1/7
Spurs 11/4

Group C

1. Napoli – 6
2. Liverpool – 6
3. PSG – 5
4. Red Star Belgrade – 4

Group C To Qualify Odds

Liverpool 4/9
Napoli 4/11
PSG 8/15

Group D

1. Porto – 10
2. Schalke 04 – 8
3. Galatasaray – 4
4. Lokomotive Moscow – 0

Group D To Win Odds

Porto 2/7
Schalke 04 2/1
Champions League Winner Odds
Man City 7/2
Barcelona 5/1
Juventus 11/2
Bayern Munich 9/1
PSG 9/1
Real Madrid 12/1
Liverpool 12/1

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