Gareth Bale helped Real Madrid beat Roma on Tuesday to ensure they will go through top of their Champions League group despite a chaotic start to the season.
Bale scored one and then provided the cross that led to another as Lucas Vazquez wrapped up a clinical 2-0 win at the Stadio Olimpico.
Roma squandered several chances in the first half, the best of them falling to Cengiz Under, who was guilty of a shocking miss from six yards, with the goal gaping.
Here, though, we analyse the performance of Roma’s other precocious young star Justin Kluivert.
Stephan El Shaarawy had softened up Dani Carvajal with a series of touch-and-go runs on Roma’s left, but when he went off injured in the 22nd minute, Kluivert was unable to land a killer blow when introduced.
The young Dutchman is just as direct, yet Roma curiously opted for long diagonals over the top and the passes were often awkwardly caught between being over or under hit.
With El Shaarawy, his starting position was much deeper and the midfield found him earlier, allowing the Italian to run at Carvajal. When Kluivert entered, they went longer and his influence suffered as a result.
He did manage one glimpse of what he can offer with a neat shift and strike in the second half, but his effort was comfortably smothered by Thibaut Courtois. That was actually his second effort on goal, he had an opportunity soon after rising from the bench, only to blaze over when a loose ball arrived at his feet inside the box.
From an attacking sense, there’s not much to write home about, although he may lament Patrik Schick for not anticipating his clever pass across the face of goal after bursting into the box. Defensively, the teenager can be commended because he was diligent and hard working in that regard, filling in for the enterprising Aleksandar Kolarov whenever the full-back ventured forward.
This, though, was not the best game to dissect the true potential of Kluivert.
Work rate – It’s easy to be frustrated on a night when the delivery isn’t quite what’s required but credit to Kluivert for remaining disciplined on both sides of the ball. He continued to try and make intelligent runs in behind and never shied away from his defensive responsibility either.
Shot accuracy – The 19-year-old had two attempts at goal he really should have done better with. The first was immediately after being introduced so perhaps he was caught cold, the second was following the break. On both occasions he had space and his accuracy let him down.
Failed to really make any kind of discernible impression and that after El Shaarawy had looked like he could create real problems for the visitors.
Kluivert is still very young, though, and being exposed to quality duels with the likes of Carvajal will help his development massively.
All statistics are compiled using whoscored.com
Big-spending Paris St Germain face the unthinkable prospect of failing to qualify for the Champions League knockout stages as they host Liverpool in the French capital.
We take a closer look at the Ligue 1 champions.
Group C is the tightest of them all with all four clubs separated by just two points. PSG are third on five points, one behind leaders Liverpool and Napoli, which means if they were to lose against Jurgen Klopp’s side and their Serie A rivals were to beat Red Star Belgrade they would not be able to progress to the knockout phase. Liverpool will go through if they win and Red Star do not beat Napoli.
PSG are expected to win Ligue 1 every season but even by their standards the current campaign has been impressive. They broke their own record with a 14th successive league victory from the start of the season against Toulouse at the weekend – without the injured Neymar and Kylian Mbappe. They have conceded just seven goals in that time and scored 46, already leading the table by 15 points. They have scored in every match this season and have found the net at least three times in 13 of their 19 games.
PSG are seeking to reach the knockout phase for the seventh time. In four of those previous seasons they have lost in the quarter-finals but in the last two campaigns exited in the last 16. In the last seven seasons they have played 40 group games, winning 26, drawing eight and losing six. They have not lost at home in that time, winning 15 with five draws. Only once in those 20 games have they failed to score – against Real Madrid in 2015 – while they have scored 56 and conceded 14. In their last seven Champions League games at home they have scored 28 times.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
It is not difficult to highlight the forward line of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani. The former two trained on Monday and Tuesday and manager Thomas Tuchel said they have recovered from injuries sustained on international duty and both will feature. The trio have scored 36 league goals between them already, sharing six in four Champions League fixtures to date. Midfielder Marco Veratti will give Liverpool something else to think about, having missed the defeat at Anfield through injury.
Provided by Press Association Sport
The second leg of the Copa Libertadores final between Buenos Aires rivals Boca Juniors and River Plate will be played outside Argentina on either December 8 or 9, South American football’s governing body CONMEBOL has announced.
Billed as the biggest club game in South American football history, the second leg was twice delayed on Saturday, postponed until Sunday and then called off following an attack by River Plate fans on the Boca team coach.
With the tie poised at 2-2, Boca players were left injured by shards of broken glass and affected by tear gas, which was fired by police to disperse the crowd outside River Plate’s El Monumental stadium.
It had been hoped that the final of the South American equivalent of the Champions League, the first between Argentina’s most famous clubs, could be completed on Sunday, but Boca asked for another postponement, as some of their players were still suffering from the after-effects of the tear gas.
Having summoned the bosses of the two clubs to CONMEBOL’s headquarters in Paraguay on Tuesday, confederation president Alejandro Dominguez issued a statement to say a decision on whether the game will be played in either two Saturdays’ time or the day after will be made by its disciplinary committee.
OFFICIAL: CONMEBOL confirm that the Copa Libertadores 2018 final second leg between River Plate and Boca Juniors will be played on either the 8th or 9th December and will be played outside of Argentina. pic.twitter.com/ORgfVb7Pa4— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) November 27, 2018
The statement did not say where the final would be played, but Dominguez told a press conference afterwards that the game would not take place in Argentina.
Several potential venues have been suggested by the South American media, with Miami, Paraguay’s capital Asuncion and the United Arab Emirates among the possible candidates.
It has also been reported that Boca formally asked CONMEBOL to disqualify River Plate and award them the trophy – a request the confederation has appeared to decline.
Crowd trouble in South American football is hardly new and the two legs of the final were scheduled to be played without away fans, as their safety could not be guaranteed.
But the scenes from the weekend were deeply embarrassing for Argentinian football, particularly as the country hopes to lead a joint bid for the 2030 World Cup with Paraguay and Uruguay, a tournament that England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales would like to host, too.
Provided by Press Association Sport