Harry Kane scored his first UEFA Champions League hat-trick on Tuesday night, whilst Liverpool endured another frustrating evening after dropping two more points.
After brilliantly despatching of Borussia Dortmund in their opening group fixture, Tottenham Hotspur again found their form in easing past Apoel Nicosia in Cyprus. The star of the show was undoubtedly Kane, who scored the perfect hat-trick – left foot, right foot and header – to take his tally of goals for the club to 108, and 11 for club and country this month.
“All the strikers that have this type of level they have something special in front of goals. They are killers,” said head coach Mauricio Pochettino, who joked he was ‘in love’ with the striker after his double against West Ham United on Saturday. “He has unbelievable skills in front of goal. He has something special. That is why he is one of the best.”
Next up for Tottenham in the Champions League is a double-header against holders Real Madrid, who also have a 100% record after beating Dortmund 3-1 in Germany. Gareth Bale was on target to open the scoring with a delicious first-half volley, and a brace from Cristiano Ronaldo – who else? – wrapped up the points for the Spanish giants.
There was a familiar feeling for Liverpool, who felt as though they should have defeated Sevilla in their opening group match a fortnight ago. Instead, they were held to a 2-2 draw and they are still waiting for their first win in the competition this season, after they came from behind to draw with Spartak Moscow 1-1 in the Russian capital.
“I have said it a few times already,” said coach Jurgen Klopp. “At this moment we are not the most lucky team in world football. It is not that things go easy for us. We did well in creating chances. There were good saves from both of their goalkeepers. That is how football is and the only way you can change it is to do it again and again and again. We carry on.”
This draw allowed Sevilla to move clear of Group E after a Wissam Ben Yedder treble saw off Maribor at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. In scoring three times in the same match, the Frenchman becomes the club’s first player do so in a European fixture.
Top of the Premier League, Manchester City are – thus far – making light of their Champions League group. Having defeated Feyenoord in Holland in their opening game, Pep Guardiola’s side faced surprisingly stiffer competition against Shakhtar Donetsk, but second half goals from Kevin de Bruyne and Raheem Sterling maintained their 100% start.
“We made an extraordinary performance, especially in the second half,” said Guardiola after his latest Etihad Stadium win. “They play short passes, they make amazing build-up, they are a machine. They are well organised defensively. So, a lot of credit (for) our victory. We faced a team who demand a lot to beat them. It was a big victory for us.”
Napoli, who lost their opener against Shakhtar, bounced back with a 3-1 win against Feyenoord, who missed a penalty when they were trailing 2-0.
Besiktas maintained their fine start to the campaign with a 2-0 win over RB Leipzig, whilst last season’s semi-finalists Monaco lost 3-0 at home to Porto.