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Hugo comes up huge in holding Madrid

China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-19 07:17

Hugo comes up huge in holding Madrid

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo fails to score against Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris during Tuesday's Champions League clash at Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid. The Group H game ended 1-1. Francisco Seco / AP

MADRID - A pair of stunning second-half saves from Hugo Lloris salvaged a precious point for Tottenham Hotspur as it held European champion Real Madrid to a 1-1 draw at Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday.

Both sides remain unbeaten in this season's Champions League and well placed to progress to the last 16. They each have seven points after Cristiano Ronaldo's penalty canceled out Raphael Varane's own goal in the first half.

"Hugo was fantastic, he deserves a big prize. He showed his real level," said Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino.

"Today we see why Hugo Lloris is one of the best goalkeepers of the world. The performance was fantastic; the effort, the belief. It is important to congratulate our players."

The sides meet again on Nov 1, with top spot in Group H on the line at Wembley.

Borussia Dortmund's 1-1 draw at APOEL Nicosia means the Germans and Cypriots remain six points adrift of the group leaders.

"We can't ever be happy not to win at home, but today there were two great goalkeepers," said Real coach Zinedine Zidane.

"Keylor (Navas) for us and Lloris for them and sometimes you have to accept it."

Hugo comes up huge in holding Madrid

An entertaining encounter got off to a flying start as 18-year-old Moroccan Achraf Hakimi - in his Champions League debut for Real - teed up Ronaldo to head off the post and Karim Benzema pulled the rebound wide of the gaping goal.

After a nervous opening 10 minutes, Tottenham settled with Harry Kane predictably a constant threat up front.

The England international's sensational form saw him labeled a "complete player" by Zidane on the eve of the game, fueling speculation the 24-year-old could follow Luka Modric and Gareth Bale's lead in leaving Spurs for Madrid.

"A point at the Bernabeu, you'd take that every day of the week," said Kane. "It shows how far we've come as a team."

Kane's downward header was turned over by Navas before he broke free down the left and, from his cross, Fernando Llorente appeared to be chopped down by Casemiro inside the area, but Polish referee Szymon Marciniak was unmoved.

Despite failing to get the final touch, Kane was involved once more when Spurs went in front in the 28th minute as Varane turned Serge Aurier's cross into his own net under pressure from the striker.

Madrid's frustrations shone through when Ronaldo was booked for a petulant slap on Jan Vertonghen.

However, Real demonstrated why it has won this competition for the past two seasons by restoring order and parity before the break.

A flowing team move put Toni Kroos clean through, and after he was upended by Aurier, Ronaldo stepped up to bury the resulting penalty.

Spurs were then bailed out by two outstanding saves from Lloris after the restart.

The France captain's outstretched leg diverted Benzema's powerful point-blank header to safety, much to his former international teammate's dismay.

And Ronaldo then couldn't believe his eyes as Lloris leaped to turn over his rising drive which was headed for the top corner.

"At this level it's a great feeling to get a good draw," Lloris told BT Sport.

"They put a lot of pressure on. We could have buckled and conceded a second, but 1-1 at half-time was good and we kept working together until the end."

"Today was a game for the two keepers," said Navas. "Both of them were outstanding."

Agence France-Presse

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