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Spurs sneak into UCL knockout rounds after fighting back for draw at Barca

Lucas Moura's 85th-minute goal saw Tottenham advance to the Champions League knockout rounds.

BARCELONA -- Three quick thoughts on the 1-1 Champions League draw between Barcelona and Tottenham on Tuesday at the Camp Nou.

1. Spurs sneak into Champions League knockout rounds

Tottenham Hotspur remain in the Champions League by the skin of their teeth after Lucas Moura's 85th-minute goal cancelled out Ousmane Dembele's fine individual effort as they came from behind to draw with Barcelona and reach the round of 16.

Mauricio Pochettino's side only had to match Inter Milan's result to progress,...

LIVE Transfer Talk: Barcelona desperate for Spurs' Harry Kane in £200m deal

Jose Mourinho jokingly suggested Man United were trying to save money for January after he found no water at his press conference.
ESPN FC's Ale Moreno feels Miguel Almiron may be better suited for a move to La Liga with reports swirling over a potential move to Newcastle.
Alejandro Moreno examines the latest transfer rumours involving Chris Smalling, Edinson Cavani and more.

Europe's biggest clubs continue to work behind the scenes as the winter transfer window approaches. Transfer Talk has been scouring the world's media to see who could be heading to your club when Jan. 1 arrives.

TOP STORY: Barca desperate to land Kane in £200m deal

It is said that timing is everything,and that phrase springs to mind when reading The Daily Star's report that Barcelona are desperate to land Tottenham's Harry Kane -- with the two sides set to meet in the Champions League this...

Weekend numbers: Lionel Messi's free-kick record, Romelu Lukaku ends home rut

Craig Burley was surprised to not see a reaction from Manchester City to N'Golo Kanté's first-half goal, in Chelsea's 2-0 win over the title-holders.
Gabriele Marcotti outlines Lucien Favre's tactics in Borussia Dortmund's 2-1 win over Schalke.
Craig Burley and Adrian Healy breakdown Manchester United's thrashing of Fulham and Jose Mourinho's cryptic comments after the match.
Pep Guardiola insists anyone can win the Premier League title and there is no favourite after Man City's loss to Chelsea.
Jose Mourinho praised Paul Pogba and outlined what he needs to do to get back into the starting XI.
Jurgen Klopp insists he isn't surprised by Mohamed Salah's desire to score after he stayed on his feet during Liverpool's second goal.
Mauricio Pochettino has immediately switched his focus to Barcelona after Tottenham's 2-0 win in the Premier League over Leicester.
Niko Kovac admits Borussia Dortmund would have to make mistakes in order for Bayern Munich to win the Bundesliga title.
Jose Mourinho feels Man United fans cannot point the finger at any of his players following their 4-1 win over Fulham.
Maurizio Sarri was quick to rule out Chelsea's title chances after their victory over Manchester City.
Jose Mourinho jokingly suggested Man United were trying to save money for January after he found no water at his press conference.

Chelsea stunning Manchester City and Liverpool thrashing Bournemouth to go top have made the Premier League title race exciting again. In Spain, Lionel Messi eviscerated Espanyol with a display of supreme skill, while in Italy, Juventus continued their remorseless march to an eighth straight scudetto with a 1-0 win over Inter. Here are the best numbers from an action-packed weekend of football.


15

Here's a ridiculous Messi stat: Messi has more free-kick goals over the last four La Liga seasons (15)...

Lionel Messi is 10/10 perfection as Barcelona take derby honours

Diego Lopez watched the ball fly past his fingers twice, as Lionel Messi put two fantastic free kicks into net to lead Barcelona to victory on the road.

BARCELONA -- A Lionel Messi-inspired Barcelona produced one of their best performances of the season to beat Espanyol 4-0 in the Catalan derby and move three points clear at the top of La Liga.

Messi scored two stunning free kicks, opening and closing the scoring, to take his season goal tally to 17 in all competitions as Barca. He also set up Ousmane Dembele for Barca's second; Luis Suarez completed the scoring on his return from injury.

Positives

Some of the attacking play in the first half --...

 By Shaka Hislop

Power Rankings: Juventus, Man City, Barcelona 1-2-3; Liverpool, Arsenal in

Giorgio Chiellini talked up the rivalry between Juventus and Inter Milan, insisting there's more than just three points at stake.
Sebastian Salazar and Alejandro Moreno debate whether or not Juventus has assembled enough talent to live up to lofty expectations this season.

The top three stay the same this week, but there's movement down below. Liverpool make their return to the top 10, as do Arsenal.

Dropping out: Paris Saint-Germain, Tottenham, Sevilla.

Agree? Disagree? Let us know, and watch Shaka defend his picks on ESPN FC TV.

Ballon d'Or absentees: What did Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar do instead?

Some people don't consider the Ballon d'Or a big deal, but Sid Lowe explains why Luka Modric winning the prize will resonate in Spain.
DJ Martin Solveig made an apology on Twitter apology for asking Women's Ballon d'Or winner Ada Hegerberg to twerk whilst she accepted her award at the ceremony.
Real Madrid's Luka Modric insists that although Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are exceptional talents, his Ballon d'Or win was for those players like Xavi who missed out because of their domination of the trophy.
Real Madrid star Luka Modric has won the 2018 Ballon d'Or, with Lyon striker Ada Hegerberg becoming the first female winner and PSG's Kylian Mbappe claiming the inaugural Kopa Trophy for best under-21 player.
Antoine Griezmann was disappointed to finish third in Ballon d'Or voting but insists Luka Modric 'earned' the trophy.

For the first time in a decade, the Ballon d'Or was not won by either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, the twin giants of the modern footballing epoch.

While Ronaldo finished runner-up, Messi was not even included in the final three for the first time since 2006 and neither player -- nor fellow global icon Neymar -- was in attendance in Paris to see Luka Modric being bestowed with the prestigious award at the ever-gaudy gala evening.

But what were they up to instead?

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar were all absent from the 2018 Ballon d'Or ceremony in Paris
Neymar, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo made their own plans during the 2018 Ballon d'Or ceremony.

Lionel Messi

Roughly...