Spurs into second round after Madrid thumping


November 02, 2017
Tottenham's Christian Eriksen scores his side's third goal during the Champions League group H match against Real Madrid at Wembley Stadium in London yesterday. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

LONDON, England (AP):

Tottenham stunned defending champions Real Madrid 3-1 yesterday to qualify for the knockout phase of the UEFA Champions League for only the second time and increase the pressure on coach Zinedine Zidane.

The European champions in three of the last four seasons had not been beaten in the group stage for five years, and the humbling in London came straight after Madrid's Spanish league defence was hit by a surprise loss at Girona.

Madrid was torn apart too easily by Tottenham, a club that has not won the English league since 1961. Dele Alli, suspended for the opening three games in Group H, made an explosive return to the Champions League with two goals.

Christian Eriksen also netted for Tottenham in the 65th minute to build a commanding lead that ensured Cristiano Ronaldo's strike in the 80th was a mere consolation.

The victory took Tottenham three points clear of Madrid at the top of the group, ensuring passage into the last 16 with two games to spare. Tottenham, which was eliminated in the group stage last season, has only competed in the knockout phase once before in the 2010-11 season when it was eliminated by Madrid in the quarterfinals.

Then, Madrid beat Tottenham 5-0 on aggregate, but the tables have turned. Last month, Tottenham secured a 1-1 draw in the Spanish capital and now it has beaten Madrid for the first time as Zidane endured one of the most painful games of his 22-month reign.

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