6 Truths: Harry Kane's goalscoring habit is getting very serious, Cristiano Ronaldo is a machine
6 Truths from Tuesday evening's Champions League action with Harry Kane slamming in another hat-trick and the best and worst of Liverpool on show again.
Liverpool competing in spite of their defence
It must be as frustrating for Liverpool’s forwards as it is for the club’s fans and manager just how bad their defence remains. Everything Jurgen Klopp’s side achieve appears to be in spite of their defenders and it means constantly facing an uphill battle.
Klopp’s latest desperate plan was to simply start with as many forwards as possible against Spartak Moscow, but it wasn’t sufficient as Fernando’s early goal – capitalising on more shoddy defending, of course – set the visitors back enough to ensure they couldn’t complete the turnaround after Philippe Coutinho’s equaliser. Liverpool won’t win anything with this defence and Klopp has had long enough to sort it out, all to no avail.
Kane’s goalscoring habit is getting very serious
Harry Kane really is an unstoppable goalscoring force right now. The England striker has already racked up an astonishing 11 goals in September alone and his hat-trick against APOEL Nicosia only further demonstrated just how clinical he is in the final third.
It is no understatement to say that he was playing badly before his opening goal. Very, very badly. But, as ever, it really doesn’t matter how poorly Kane plays because he invariably pops up when it matters – and so it was again as he netted a hat-trick to fire Spurs to another crucial win. Six hat-tricks in 2017 alone is all you need to know: he really is a remarkable goalscoring talent.
400-up and still firing
Cristiano Ronaldo has endured an indifferent start to the 2017/18 season, but the Champions League appears to be his safe place after another brace for Real Madrid – in what was his 400th match for Los Blancos – downed Borussia Dortmund.
It was yet further evidence that the 32-year-old shows no signs of slowing down, even when the doubters were starting to creep in. That’s 411 goals in 400 games. Let that sink in for a moment, then move onto the next truth…
Bale boo boys ridiculous
Gareth Bale silenced the doubters, for now, with a stunning performance in Germany. The Welsh wizard opened the scoring for Real Madrid with a sumptuous volley against Borussia Dortmund, and followed that up with an assist for Cristiano Ronaldo.
Those who boo the forward will argue that tonight’s performance is exactly what they have been yearning for from the 28-year-old, but hopefully a corner has been turned on that aspect and all parties can switch focus back to footballing matters - namely winning a third-straight Champions League trophy and resurrecting their shaky start in La Liga.
Coutinho won’t be at Liverpool for much longer
Philippe Coutinho produced more magic as he cancelled out some typically bad defending from Jurgen Klopp’s men with an exquisite finish, but again it counted for little as Liverpool could only muster a point against Spartak Moscow.
With his move to Barcelona coming so close but never materialising, the Brazilian must feel as though his efforts are so often in vain playing in Klopp’s hugely frustrating side. For now, he remains the main bright spark in the final third capable of pretty consistent magic but, as with Luis Suarez before him, Coutinho may soon force a move away from Anfield if things continue like this.
City going about their business
Manchester City are moving along nicely in the Champions League without creating much noise, and that will be a welcome sight for City fans as they struggled at times to make it out the group stages.
Dan Quarrell and Michael Hincks