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Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris hails his side’s personality after dramatic comeback win in Marseille | Football News

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Hugo Lloris believes Tottenham’s Champions League comeback win over Marseille highlighted the growing personality among his team-mates, but Paul Merson warns they cannot keep relying on fightbacks.

Antonio Conte’s side grabbed an unlikely last-gasp 2-1 victory at the Stade Velodrome to reach the Champions League last 16 as Group D winners after a nerve-jangling climax.

The Londoners, who needed only to avoid defeat to go through, endured a first-half siege and trailed to Chancel Mbemba’s header in stoppage time before the break. However, Clement Lenglet proved to be Tottenham’s saviour when he headed in his first goal for the club in the 54th minute to level.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg then sealed the victory in stoppage time to put Tottenham top of the group and leave Marseille, who at one stage of the evening sat top, in fourth spot and out of Europe.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg celebrates a late winner
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Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg celebrates a late winner

Stoppage-time drama for Spurs this season

  • Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham – injury-time equaliser from Kane
  • Tottenham 2-1 Fulham – Richarlison injury-time goal ruled out by VAR for offside
  • Sporting 2-0 Totteham – Paulinho and Arthur Gomes score for Sporting in stoppage time
  • Tottenham 3-2 Frankfurt – Kane misses injury time pen and Lloris has to make save from Faride Alidou
  • Tottenham 1-1 Sporting – ruled out Kane winner in stoppage time by VAR
  • Bournemouth 2-3 Tottenham – injury-time winner from Bentancur
  • Marseille 1-2 Tottenham – Tottenham weather a first-half siege before snatching an unlikely 2-1 victory at Marseille to reach the Champions League last 16 as Group D winners after a nerve-jangling conclusion

“To be honest, we expected that type of game. The Stade Velodrome is a very difficult place to deal with and I think we showed great personality,” Lloris said.

“Clement (Lenglet) scored a very important goal in France, in front of the French people. The second goal from Pierre (Hojbjerg) confirmed things for the group. We didn’t play well during the first half. Maybe we didn’t know what would happen if we attack. It wasn’t good for us to play this type of first half.

“We speak in the locker room – we start the second half with much more personality and aggressive. We play a very good second half.

“It was a tough night, a great battle and even more psychological battle because we could feel in the first half a team was playing without the fear to lose, it was Marseille, and in the second half we face a team with the fear to lose.”

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Harry Kane and his Tottenham teammates celebrated their progress in the Champions League with some dancing in the changing room!

Merson: Spurs through but must improve

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Paul Merson reacts to Tottenham’s late win away in Marseille which sent them through to the knockout stages of the Champions League as group winners

It was a result that barely looked possible in the opening 45 minutes as Spurs appeared dazed and confused by Marseille’s relentless onslaught.

Spurs, who lost forward Heung-Min Son to a head injury in a torrid opening period, were a different proposition after the interval and took control after Lenglet’s equaliser. Hojbjerg struck the crossbar for the visitors but Marseille should have scored late on when Sead Kolasinac somehow missed an open goal with a header.

Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson believes Tottenham will have to improve if they are to progress any further in the competition having reached the last-16 stage.

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Tottenham defender Ben Davies says the squad are delighted to reach the knockout stages of the Champions League after a 2-1 victory in Marseille

“Spurs couldn’t put three passes together in the first half,” Merson told Soccer Special. “As soon as they started putting more passes together the game opened up for them and they were a threat. They managed the game well.

“Tottenham did very well in the second half but when you get to the last 16 you can’t keep giving teams head starts. It will catch up with you sooner than later.

“When the shackles are off and the fear factor goes out of the game, Spurs have some good players who can move the ball about very quickly. But they don’t do that, they sit back. Kane was literally 35 yards from his own goal in the first half. They didn’t have an outlet; they’ve got to take a chance sometimes. It’s too negative for me.

“You can’t keep giving teams head starts. They’ve been fortunate in a couple of games like Bournemouth on Saturday and again today against an average team in Marseille.”

Son ‘feeling better’ but head injury to be assessed

Tottenham's Son Heung-min leaves the field injured
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Tottenham’s Heung-Min Son leaves the field injured

Tottenham will wait until Wednesday to assess the extent of the injury suffered by Heung-Min Son in the Champions League win at Marseille.

The South Korean went off in the first half at the Stade Velodrome after a collision with Chancel Mbemba and looked very wobbly as he left the pitch.

Spurs went on to book their place in the last 16 with a last-gasp 2-1 win as second-half goals from Clement Lenglet and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg overturned Mbemba’s first-half opener.

But the injury to Son is a worry, especially with the Premier League clash with Liverpool coming up on Sunday, while he could have worries over the forthcoming World Cup.

Assistant head coach Cristian Stellini, standing in for the banned Antonio Conte, said: “In this moment we don’t know. We have to wait for a medical assessment. Sonny feels better now. I saw him in the dressing room, he celebrated with us.

“In this moment we don’t know. We have to wait for a medical assessment and we have to wait until tomorrow.

Son leaves the field midway through the first half
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Son leaves the field midway through the first half

“We are not sure if he is concussed. It is Son’s face. His eye is a bit swollen.”

Spurs’ place in the last 16 was not guaranteed until Hojbjerg won it with the last kick of the game to seal top spot in Group D.

With Marseille needing a win to go through and a defeat knocking Spurs out, it was an evening of jeopardy for the Premier League side in a hostile environment in Provence.

Conte, who celebrates one year in charge on Wednesday, was forced to watch from the stands due to his red card after the VAR controversy against Sporting Lisbon last week, which meant Tottenham’s qualification fate went down to the final game.

Lenglet celebrates after scoring at Marseille
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Lenglet celebrates after scoring at Marseille

And the Italian was put through the wringer as his side produced a listless first-half performance, deservedly falling behind to Mbemba’s header.

The second half was a different story, though, and Lenglet put Spurs back in control with a header of his own in the 54th minute.

But with Marseille needing just one goal to send them out, it was a nervy evening until Hojbjerg’s late intervention.

And it was not an evening Conte enjoyed.

Stellini added: “I had the possibility to talk with Antonio. He was very tired. He lived the game in the crowd, it’s not normal.

“Maybe he spent more energy in the stands than he normally spends on the touchline.

“It was very difficult the first half. In the difficulties, we didn’t lose our minds. We stayed in the match. It was terrible the goal we conceded because from a corner they took it quickly and we were not prepared.

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Tottenham defender Eric Dier says it was a new experience not to have his manager, Antonio Conte on the touchline during their 2-1 Champions League win in Marseille

“It is an important lesson for the future. But in the second half, something changed and we spoke in the dressing about the energy we need in the second half and the way we have to press them and counter the game.

“In this type of stadium and this type of match, a knockout, it is not very easy.

“The stadium was very hot in the first half and sometimes it is normal to give the possibility to the opponent to play, to use the energy you have in the second half. It could also be a strategy.

“We need to try to play all the 90 minutes in the same level.”

Which teams are already through to the last 16?

Hojbjerg celebrates his late winner in Marseille
Image:
Hojbjerg celebrates his late winner in Marseille

  • Bayern Munich*
  • Benfica
  • Chelsea*
  • Club Brugge
  • Dortmund
  • Frankfurt
  • Inter Milan
  • Liverpool
  • Manchester City*
  • Napoli*
  • Paris Saint-Germain
  • Porto*
  • Real Madrid
  • Tottenham*

*indicates sides who will definitely be seeded in the last-16 draw

What’s next?


Sunday 6th November 4:00pm


Kick off 4:30pm

Tottenham have three more fixtures ahead of the World Cup. They face Liverpool on Super Sunday this weekend, live on Sky Sports from 4pm; kick-off 4.30pm. They will then face Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday November 9 before their final Premier League match against Leeds on Saturday November 12; kick-off 3pm.

Marseille have two further Ligue 1 fixtures ahead of the break – they face Lyon on Sunday before a trip to Monaco on Sunday November 13.

The draw for the last 16 of the Champions League will be held at 11am on Monday, November 7, at the House of European Football at UEFA headquarters in Switzerland.





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Who’s to blame for Atlanta Hawks turmoil — Trae Young or Nate McMillan?

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Nate McMillan and Trae Young

Nate McMillan and Trae Young
Photo: Getty Images

Here’s a multiple choice essay question. You’ve got a blossoming superstar in Trae Young who has plateaued after some early career triumphs. Young is 24, played in a conference finals two seasons ago, but he’s also got a penchant for taking too many heat-check shots which are exhilarating to watch go in, but most observers shudder when he hits inevitable cold streaks.

However, Young has been working through soreness in his right shoulder, and during a shootaround Friday, was undergoing treatment on his shoulder according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Sam Amick, when an argument between McMillan and Young erupted.

According to The Athletic, McMillan did not approve of Young’s stance and presented him with an ultimatum: Play off the bench or don’t show up to the arena. As a result, Young was surprisingly scratched from Atlanta’s lineup before their home contest on Friday against the Denver Nuggets.

So how would you respond?

A) Nate McMillan was right to give Trae Young an ultimatum!

B) Trae Young beefs with every coach. No big deal.

C) This is about more than just one shootaround.

D) All of the above

Correct Answer: D

McMillan needed to ease up, but he and Young have never vibed on the same frequency, and it remains to be seen if McMillan’s coaching style even fits this franchise’s needs.

McMillan chalked his dispute with Young up to a misunderstanding, but leaders in a locker room shouldn’t have the communication standards of two strangers arguing in a nightclub. In a climate where organizations hand nights off to their star players at a dizzying pace, treating one of the NBA’s most high-usage stars like a problematic diva before a low-stakes early December matchup, while he receives treatment on a shoulder injury, hints at some turmoil bubbling beneath the surface.

To paraphrase the sage words of Allen Iverson, “we’re talkin’ about shootarounds. Not a game, not a game, not a game, but a shootaround.” To his credit, Young is surprisingly durable, despite being one of the league’s bantamweight guards. In five seasons, he’s missed only 23 games.

However, this is about more than just one failure to communicate. Young and McMillan are speaking different languages. Since Atlanta’s run to the Eastern Conference finals in 2021, McMillan’s connection with Young has deteriorated to the point that the Hawks have held several team meetings to address their issues. Lloyd Pierce’s record led to his firing, but discord with Young was also at the forefront of his departure.

McMillan and Young’s tenuous relationship wouldn’t be as much of a concern if the Hawks were producing wins at the pace expected of them. Their 13-10 record to start the season is strikingly similar to Atlanta’s sluggish 12-11 record through its first 23 games in 2021. To McMillan’s credit, the shorthanded Hawks are still fourth in the East and beat Denver on Friday, 117-109. However, Atlanta is also three games out of the Play-In Tournament, and the team’s ceiling has more leaks in it than when team president Travis Schlenk constructed his Dejounte Murray-Trae Young backcourt atrium.

The white-hot offense that torched opposing defenses and led the league in points per 100 possessions last season is no more. The Young-Murray Hawks have improved from the 26th-worst defense to the top-10, but at the expense of their halfcourt offense, which is now a bottom-10 unit. McMillan’s offense ranks last in 3-pointers made, is ranked 22nd in effective field-goal percentage, which weighs 3-pointers more heavily and they’re missing the je ne sais quoi that made them an All-League Pass team.

Atlanta’s Kevin Huerter trade illustrates how the Hawks front office and their coaching staff have mismanaged their roster. Soon after the offseason of Dejounte Murray, Atlanta shipped Huerter, 24, to Sacramento in exchange for 33-year-old Justin Holiday, 29-year-old Mo Harkless and a 2024 first-round pick. The Hawks envisioned Huerter evolving into Klay Thompson Lite, playing off of Young, but more importantly they seemed to be taking a chance on Sacramento stumbling so they could inherit a lottery pick.

Instead, Huerter has reached new heights playing in Sacramento’s more decentralized offensive system that ranks second in the NBA in assists and more closely resembles Golden State’s than Atlanta’s Trae Young central attack.

Back to Huerter. In Sacramento, Mike Brown has channeled Huerter’s brilliance into a battery powering the NBA’s second-highest scoring team. He’s the NBA’s most frequent scorer off of handoffs and his two-man game with Domantas Sabonis has allowed him to flex his entire range of skills. Starting alongside Fox, Huerter is averaging a career-high 15.5 points per game, shooting better than 42 percent behind the arc and taking nearly seven 3s per game. He wasn’t getting those looks in Atlanta.

After getting bagged up by the Miami Heat in a first-round sweep last season, Atlanta didn’t just need a personnel change, they needed a cleanse. Trae Young needs a shooting profile that is more similar to Steph’s than James Harden’s. Young’s struggles are a microcosm of what ails the Hawks. They aren’t putting their offensive stars in the best position to score. Atlanta is heavily reliant on predictable isolations and runs more pick-and-rolls than all but one team. Even with De’Aaron Fox at the point, Sacramento has gone the Golden State route by running fewer pick-and-rolls than any team after ranking fifth during their abysmal 2021-22 campaign.

Last season, 14.2 percent of Young’s 2-point field goals were assisted on and 22.3 percent of his 3-balls were. Young has improved slightly, but only to 15 percent assisted 2-pointers and 38 percent of his 3-point makes.

Curry, the most efficient off-the-dribble shooter in league history, is scoring 36.5 percent of his 2-point field goals off of assists, nearly three times Young’s rate. On triples? 58 percent of the time. Getting Young easier buckets so he’s not wearing himself out would be a path to assure McMillan’s future employment in Atlanta.

How Schlenk navigates their plans to trade John Collins will determine Atlanta’s short-term success, but the hands on McMillan’s clock are approaching midnight. Former Warriors assistant Mike Brown unlocked the peak-Red Velvet version of Huerter that Atlanta thought they were getting. Atlanta upgraded the roster, but not the staff that deploys it. If the tumult continues in Atlanta, they may want to consider taking a bite off the Golden State coaching tree.





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Japan vs Croatia LIVE! World Cup 2022 match stream, latest team news, lineups, TV, prediction

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Japan this afternoon will look to add another famous scalp to an already remarkable World Cup run when they face 2018 finalists Croatia. With Spain and Germany already put to the sword, a place in the quarter-finals is now up for grabs. The Samurai Blue have never made it to the last eight.

Croatia are the seasoned veterans, though, with a midfield of Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic and the versatile Ivan Perisic patrolling the flank, meaning little with phase them at the Al Janoub Stadium today. Head coach Zlatko Dalic says his country continue to perform punch above their weight and a last-eight spot would be just their third in history.

The winner will face the victor between Brazil and South Korea, who play later today. Follow the game LIVE below with our dedicated match blog, featuring expert insight and analysis from Nizaar Kinsella at Al Janoub Stadium.

Live updates

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Croatia team news: Defenders taken ill

For Croatia, left-back Borna Sosa could be sidelined due to illness, while defender Josip Stanisic has a muscle issue. Otherwise manager Zlatko Dalic chould have a full squad to choose from.

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Japan team news: Tomiyasu looking to start

Hiroki Sakai and Takehiro Tomiyasu should both be fit for Japan today, although Ko Itakura is suspended and there is an injury doubt over Takefusa Kubo.

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How to watch

TV channel: In the UK, the match will be televised free-to-air and live on BBC One, with coverage beginning at 2.30pm.

Live stream: Fans can also catch the game live online via the BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport website.

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Welcome

Good afternoon and welcome to the Evening Standard’s LIVE coverage of the World Cup last-16 clash between Japan and Croatia.

Japan have never made it to the quarter-finals, while Croatia are looking to at least emulate their runners-up spot from four years ago.

Kick-off at the Al Janoub Stadium is at 3pm GMT. Stick with us.

ES Composite



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Pakistan vs England | Day five morning highlights

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Morning session highlights from day five of the first Test between Pakistan and England in Rawalpindi.



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