If I could offer Mauricio Pochettino one piece of advice with regards to the Manchester United and Real Madrid rumors, it would be this:
The Champions League Round of 16 draw results are in, and although we have to wait until mid-February to get started, some things are too tasty to be left on the back-burner for that long. Here’s a look at all eight matchups, and an incredibly scientific ranking of which ties get us all hot and bothered.
Champions League Round of 16 Draw Results 2019, Ranked
Spectacular. The round of 16 draw
The Champions League on TNT has had its share of snafus. But what we saw on Tuesday might have been the toughest to watch for fans of the beautiful game.
Turner Sports has not proven a great steward of the world’s most popular annual tournament since taking over the U.S. broadcast rights from FOX starting with the 2018-19 season.
Before he retired a month ago, Rafael van der Vaart's career took him to some of the greatest clubs in the world, where he played with some of the legends of the game. He started in Ajax and went on to play with Hamburg, Real Madrid, Tottenham and Betis while also appearing more than 100 times for the Dutch national team.
Except for a four-minute spell of tilt which resulted in two Tottenham goals, Arsenal thoroughly enjoyed a 4-2 derby victory over Spurs on Sunday after a glorious second half fightback that included strikes from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (his 10th of the season), Alex Lacazette and the inspirational Lucas Torreira.
The match quickly set about foreshadowing the madness to come in the ninth minute, when Jan Vertonghen inexplicably handled a corner to give Aubameyang his first goal of the match from the spot.
Chelsea hadn’t lost in any competition this season before facing London rival Tottenham at Wembley on Saturday. Then Spurs ripped the Blues apart with two early goals and a stunning third for an impressive, deserved 3-1 victory.
Dele Alli scored in the eighth minute and Harry Kane doubled Spurs’ lead in the 16th minute before Son Hueng-Min scored a rip-roaring third in the 54th minute to put the game away.
Wolverhampton Wanderers fell behind by three goals after an hour of play to Tottenham Hotspurs in a (weirdly late) Premier League match on Saturday. And yet, the underdog nearly found a way to come back to tie the match but for a Wolves disallowed goal and a referee who completely forgot the rules in a 3-2 Spurs win.
Playing at home, Wolves didn’t back down from Tottenham, racking up more shots than Spurs, 16-10. But it was the visitors who dominated on the scoreboard, with Eric Lamela, Lucas Moura and Harry Kane all scoring in the first hour of play.
Having watched Minnesota United on the turf field at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis for the last two years — often complete with the white football field markings and the giant University of Minnesota “M” at the center — I could only laugh at those with any vested interest in a crucial Premier League encounter between Tottenham and Manchester City today.
The ball looped up into the air and time slowed down. Goalie Hugo Lloris watched helplessly as a deflected shot sailed just out of his reach. Tens of thousands of fans inside the Philips Stadion in Eindhoven held their collective breath. Then the Hirving Lozano goal vs Tottenham fell into the net and the crowd exploded into jubilant celebration.
Mexico international Chucky Lozano scored against the run of play with his first Champions League group-stage goal on Wednesday in Group B action, and it all came down to a poor piece of play from Spurs defender Toby Alderweireld.