LONDON – Tottenham Hotspur became on Wednesday the first English club ever to defeat Real Madrid in the Champions League group stage, besting the Blancos 3-1 to assure themselves a place in the elite European tournament’s round of 16, while Manchester City also advanced with a 4-2 win over Napoli.
The two English sides joined Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich in punching their tickets for the knockout stage.
The victory at London’s Wembley Stadium boosted unbeaten Spurs to 10 points and the top spot in Group H, three ahead of Real Madrid, the defending two-time champions.
Dele Alli had a double for the hosts, while Tottenham superstar Harry Kane – rumored to be at the top of Real Madrid’s shopping list – assisted on the Christian Eriksen goal in the 65th minute that made it 3-0.
Cristiano Ronaldo pulled one back for the visitors in the 80th minute, his sixth goal of the current Champions League campaign and 111th overall in the competition.
Borussia Dortmund and APOEL drew 1-1 in the other Group H contest. With just 2 points apiece, they are all but mathematically eliminated from contention.
Man City remained perfect, conceding an early goal to hosts Napoli before coming back to win 4-2, climbing to 12 points and tightening their grip on first place in Group F.
The crucial third goal was the work of Argentine striker Sergio “Kun” Agüero, who become City’s all-time leading scorer.
With two matches left in the group stage, Napoli have just 3 points, six behind Shakhtar Donetsk, 3-1 winners Wednesday over Feyenoord, who have yet to earn a point.
In Group E, Sevilla revenged their earlier 5-1 away loss to Spartak Moscow, defeating the Russian club 2-1 in Spain to improve to 7 points.
Liverpool vanquished Maribor 3-0 and top the group with 8 points, while Spartak’s 5 points are enough to keep them in the hunt.
Monaco, one of last season’s semifinalists, remained winless, playing to a 1-1 draw with Group G leaders Besiktas in Istanbul.
The Turkish have 10 points, followed by Porto, who improved to 6 points with a 3-1 win against RB Leipzig, sitting in third place with 4 points, 2 better than Monaco.