Winning is a must Klopp warns

Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp says his side have no option other than to keep on winning if they are to edge out Manchester City in the race for the Premier League title.

The Reds moved two points clear at the top of the table with a hard-fought 2-1 at Fulham on Sunday, with James Milner converting a late penalty to secure a crucial three-point return.

Afterwards, Klopp admitted that his team had not been at their fluent best, but he was keen to stress the importance of continuing to put wins on the board – with the Merseysiders having claimed three victories in the last week in all competitions.

The German told reporters: "I think we fully deserved to win the game. It was an average game, massive result. We want to stay in the title race and that's what we did.

"First is the best position you can be in. City don't look as if they drop a lot of points, so we have to win, to win and to win.

"I am not in any doubt about my players' nerves. It is about intensity. We go for perfection, but it is rare that you get it.

"People will say we need to be more convincing, but we are at the start of a development, not the end."

Next up for Liverpool is another tough fixture, with Tottenham Hotspur the visitors to Anfield on the final day of March.

The Reds are 8/13 to win that game, with the draw priced at 14/5, while Klopp's men are 2/1 to be crowned Premier League champions this season.

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Klopp revels in Reds progress

Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp was delighted to see his side take a 'massive step' by seeing off Bayern Munich to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

The Reds claimed a 3-1 victory in Munich to progress to the last eight of the competition, having been held to a goalless draw by Bayern in the first leg of the tie at Anfield.

And Klopp, who led the Merseysiders all the way to the Champions League final last season, was full of praise for his side's performance.

He told his club's official website: "It's massive, a big step for us – a big, big, big one for us. We will see what we can do with it.

"But it is still fantastic sign that we again set a mark for LFC – that we really are back on the landscape of international, top-class football.

"We all think that's where this club belongs and tonight we proved it a little bit. I am really happy about the result and the fact we are through.

"Whoever we get as an opponent we will take. The boys love the competition, they really dig in in these moments."

Liverpool join Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur in the last eight of the Champions League, with the quarter-final line-up completed by Juventus, Barcelona, FC Porto and Ajax.

The Reds can be backed at 9/2 to win the Champions League, with the Citizens priced at 5/2 and Barca available at 10/3.

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Sheringham issues Spurs warning

Former Tottenham striker Teddy Sheringham claims the north London club will have to win silverware if they want to keep hold of forward Harry Kane for the long-term.

Kane bagged his 17th Premier League goal of the season on Saturday but it came in a 2-1 defeat for Spurs at St Mary's.

England star Kane has been linked with moves away from Spurs in the past, with Manchester United and Real Madrid being connected.

Sheringham feels that if Spurs don’t win trophies soon then they will risk losing their prize asset.

He told the BBC: "Harry will want to win stuff. He will be wanting to play at the very top."

Sheringham added: added: "It's going to be a big factor with Harry that Tottenham are moving into a new stadium – but they have to win something.

"At the moment, they are nearly at the top. For me, that's not good enough for Harry Kane because he is tops."

Tottenham are 4/6 to finish in the top four this season and 12/1 to win the Champions League.

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Pochettino talks up Spurs challenge

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino claims his side face a huge challenge to try and replicate their Champions League standards in the Premier League.

Spurs thrashed Borussia Dortmund on their way to the Champions League quarter-finals but Saturday saw them suffer a 2-1 defeat at the hands of struggling Southampton in the Premier League.

Tottenham looked like they were going to wrap up the three points when Harry Kane struck with his 17th Premier League goal of the season.

However, Yan Valery and James Ward-Prowse both struck in the second half to helps Saints secure a valuable win in their bid to avoid the drop.

After the disappointment of the defeat on the south coast at his former club, Pochettino has admitted consistency has been an issue for his side.

"It is so difficult to understand why we changed so much from the first half to the second," he said.

"The second half, we did not take it seriously, I don't want to criticise too much but when you lose a game that was under control after 45 minutes – we should be 3-0, 4-0 – and finishes in 2-1 defeat, it is difficult to accept.

"Their first goal was a cross in front of the goal where four players can put the ball out of the stadium.

"This is our reality. People talk about perceptions but we need to realise if you do not fight with intensity for the Champions League, you will struggle. We are fighting against big sides. We had a big gap, welcome to the reality, we are under pressure to win games. It is a massive challenge for us."

Tottenham are 4/6 to finish in the top four this season and 12/1 to win the Champions League.

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Saints cautious over Ings retuirn

Southampton hope to have striker Danny Ings available for the final weeks of the Premier League season, with the loanee still sidelined by a hamstring problem.

Ings has scored seven goals in 18 league appearances since joining the Saints from Libverpool last summer, but has not featured at all in the last month, having been forced off during the 1-1 draw at Burnley.

And head coach Ralph Hasenhuttl has ruled his player out of the visit from Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, with the South Coast outfit then having a three-week break before their next game.

Hasenhuttl told reporters: "Danny is not in the group at the moment. We don't take any risks, we want to give him the time to come back during the three-week break.

"We have one friendly game against a Championship team and maybe he can get 45 minutes to build him up for the games that are coming up then, because they are very important."

Southampton lost 3-1 when they faced Spurs at Wembley earlier on in the season, with the Londoners unbeaten in their last 13 meetings with the Saints.

Hasenhuttl's side are 13/5 to claim a draw at St Mary's on Saturday, with a 1-1 final scoreline priced at 13/2.

Meanwhile, Southampton, who are currently two points and one place above the drop zone, are available at 8/1 to be relegated this season.

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Poch: We need to show more

Mauricio Pochettino accepts that Tottenham will have to "move to the next level" if they are to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Spurs produced a solid display on Tuesday to win 1-0 at the Westfalenstadion and seal a 4-0 aggregate success against Borussia Dortmund in the round of 16.

Harry Kane scored the only goal of the second leg four minutes into the second half to effectively end the tie as a contest after Dortmund had created numerous chances before the break with Hugo Lloris keeping out efforts by Marco Reus, Mario Goetze and Julian Weigl.

"For me, to move to the next level or the last level, I think it is not only today to show a very professional performance," Pochettino said after the match.

"It is so important to be in the quarter-final, but you need to show more if you want to be at the next level.

"To build that possibility to be at the same level as the clubs that we are talking about, you need to start from the first step always. We are in the middle or 70 per cent of moving forward."

Spurs, who were knocked out of last season's Champions League by Juventus at the same stage, had only taken one point from their last three Premier League fixtures. They are 4/11 to finish in the top four this season. Meanwhile, they can be backed at 14/1 to win the Champions League.

"We fully deserved this. We scored four goals, did not concede and this was against a team that is top of the Bundesliga with great players," added Pochettino.

"Job done. I am happy for our players, for the fans. We suffered a bit in the first half but it is very important to be in the quarter-final."

Spurs are 4/5 to beat Southampton at St Mary's in the Premier League on Saturday.

Champions League: Kane Fires Spurs Into Last Eight

Borussia Dortmund 0-1 (0-4 on agg.) Tottenham Hotspur

Spurs put in the perfect away performance in Dortmund tonight as Harry Kane scored the only goal of the game to make it a 4-0 aggregate win over BVB.

Dortmund were the better side in the first half of the first leg, but a disastrous second 45 gave them a mountain to climb. And it was a similar pattern at the Signal Iduna Park: BVB attacking throughout the first half and then succumbing to a sucker punch in the second. It’s Mauricio Pochettino who takes his side to the last eight of the 2019 Champions League.

This was a great Euro victory for Spurs, but you’d have to say the big Champions League 2019 news of the night came from Madrid where Ajax hammered Los Blancos 1-4. What about that then, us Champions League fans? The 2016, 17 and 18 champions are out!

But it was Spurs’ night in Dortmund, and King Harry Kane was the man for the big moment yet again.

Highlights of the game

Favre started with Marco Reus and Paco Alcacer in a clear indication that he thought the game was not yet up. The Yellow Wall was alive with flags waving and drums banging as Dortmund started at a fierce tempo. Spurs hardly touched the ball in the opening five minutes. Reus had the first opening of the game, clean through on goal, but Jan Vertonghen made a great tackle.

Hugo Lloris had a fantastic first half to preserve his team’s lead as BVB threw everything at the visitors, making a superb save to keep out a deflected Reus shot. He also got down well to stop a header from Julian Weigl on the line. The French keeper then made a brilliant save to palm away a shot from Mario Gotze and denied Alcacer who curled one from the edge of the box.

Jadon Sancho has been box office in his first full season in Dortmund and has, unsurprisingly, attracted the attention of PSG and Manchester United. However, he had a quiet first 45 minutes, though he did force another save from Lloris before half-time.

Borussia Dortmund forward Marco Reus reacts after conceding with Harry Kane’s away goal

Borussia Dortmund forward Marco Reus reacts after conceding their first goal scored by Tottenham’s Harry Kane

The hosts began the second half as they ended the first, and Reus got behind the Spurs defence to fire a dangerous ball across the six-yard box, but there was no-one there to make the vital touch. And then, wouldn’t you know it, as the home fans wondered how on earth they weren’t ahead, Spurs scored!

Moussa Sissoko won the ball in midfield and played a quick ball through to Kane who finished beautifully with a curling shot to beat Roman Burki. Dortmund now needed five goals to win and that was, pretty much, the end of their European dream.

Favre’s last throw of the dice was to bring Christian Pulisic and Jacob Bruun Larsen on to try to achieve the impossible, but it was Spurs who had another attempt on goal, with Toby Alderweireld heading a Christian Eriksen corner over the bar.

Pulisic did have a chance when a cross reached him in the middle of the penalty area. He had time and space but headed over the bar. There was still time for man-of-the-match Lloris to make another save to deny Alcacer.

Key Statistics

The pre-match BVB vs Spurs betting odds pointed to a home win and a tense evening, but it turned out to be quite the opposite in the end.

Dortmund were totally dominant in the first half but just couldn’t beat Spurs’ last line of defence as Lloris made five saves and the shot count read ten to one. Harry Kane’s goal, early in the second half, knocked the stuffing out of their hosts.

Kane is now Spurs’ all-time leading scorer in Europe and has hit the net in three of the four games he’s played since his return from injury.

And Spurs have scored 12 of their 13 Champions League goals this season in the second half.

What’s next?

BVB and FC Bayern are now neck and neck at the top of the Bundesliga, and Lucien Favre must lift his players quickly for the challenge.

Stuttgart are the next visitors to the Signal Iduna Park, and languishing in 16th they should be there for the taking. FC Bayern are at home to Wolfsburg, and that might present a stiffer challenge as their visitors are unbeaten in five and chasing a Europa League place.

After a poor run in the league, Spurs are now ten points behind leaders Manchester City and only four ahead of Arsenal in fifth place. An away trip to Southampton won’t be easy; the Saints are on a decent run and fighting for their lives.

 

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Poch plays down Spurs lead

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino has warned his side to forget about the three-goal advantage they hold over Champions League opponents Borussia Dortmund.

Spurs powered to a 3-0 victory in the first leg of the last-16 tie with the current Bundesliga leaders at Wembley, but Pochettino says that that will count for little when they run out for the second leg in Germany on Tuesday evening.

He told reporters: "We need to play like we always play – trying to win the game. It's so important to be aggressive, to start the game in a very good level, with a high tempo.

"They will start aggressively and we need to show the same aggression.

"We cannot think about the 3-0 advantage, it's not important now. We can't think it's going to be easy. If we think that, it's going to be a massive problem."

As well as having defeated BVB last month, Spurs also have the boost of knowing that the two meetings of the two teams at the group stage of the competition last season both finished in their favour.

The clash in Dortmund ended 2-1 to the visitors, with Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min scoring second-half goals for the Londoners.

Spurs can be backed at 14/5 to secure a draw on Tuesday evening, with a 2-2 final scoreline available at 10/1, while Kane is priced at 21/20 to score at any time in the game.

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Reus calls for Dortmund belief

Borussia Dortmund ace Marco Reus has urged his colleagues to believe that they can turn around their Champions League last-16 tie with Spurs in the second leg.

BVB were beaten 3-0 at Wembley in the first leg and now face needing to put on a huge display on Tuesday evening to try and reach the quarter-finals of the competition at the expense of the Londoners.

And the omens are not good, with Dortmund having won only one of their last seven games in all competitions and been beaten twice by Spurs in the group stage of the Champions League last season.

However, a bullish Reus told a pre-match press briefing: "It is important to believe in ourselves and give a great performance.

"We need to find the right balance between defence and attack. We need to reach our peak and score the goals in the right moment.

"We're not satisfied with results at the moment. We are in a good situation, especially in the Bundesliga, but in the last few weeks we've lost unnecessary points because we made too many mistakes.

"It is important to be positive and really work hard and stop the mistakes because we know we can always score in attack."

Dortmund are 19/20 to win the game on Tuesday and are 8/1 to do so by a three-goal margin, with BVB 10/1 to qualify for the last eight of the Champions League.

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Kane urges Spurs to ‘step up’

Tottenham skipper Harry Kane says he and his team-mates have to 'step up' to the pressure of trying to deliver in big games, both domestically and in Europe.

Spurs are back in action on Tuesday evening when they head to Germany to take on Borussia Dortmund in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie, with the Londoners holding a 3-0 advantage from the home first leg.

That game comes with Tottenham having not won any of their last three Premier League matches, a run which has extinguished any lingering hopes they may have had of challenging for the title.

And Kane is aware that the pressure is on to deliver, telling reporters: "I wouldn't say we're one of the favourites to go and win it (the Champions League), but we've shown in certain games that we can beat the big teams.

"The thing for us now is that when the pressure's on and we need to step up, we find a way to get it done. We haven't done that in recent years."

Of the challenge of visiting Bundesliga leaders Dortmund, he added: "They'll have a great atmosphere there. They'll want to get out of the blocks firing and it's down to us to settle the nerves, play under pressure and make sure we dictate the game.

"It's not going to be easy, but it's down to us to put a performance in – we'll never have a better chance to get to a quarter-final."

Dortmund can be backed at 19/20 to win the game on Tuesday evening, while the draw is priced at 3/1, with Spurs 9/2 to keep a clean sheet.

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