Manchester City and Barcelona make it to the Round of 16; Liverpool, Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund will have to wait
A game that was headed for a 1-0 Real Madrid win at the Bernabeu against Paris St. Germain burst into life after the hosts got their 2nd goal in the 79th minute. Karim Benzema’s double-strike was negated dramatically in the 81st and 84th minute with goals coming from Kylian Mbappe and Pablo Sarabia. The 2-2 draw means that PSG still remain at the top of Group A accruing 13 points from their 5 fixtures while Real end up with 8 points in the 2nd place. Both teams qualify for the Round of 16 with the other 2 sides of the cluster Club Bruges and Galatasaray bidding adieu to the Championship.
Bayern Munich and Tottenham Hotspur scored emphatic wins in the Group B cluster to enter the knock-out stage.
Robert Lewandowski scored four in Bayern’s 0-6 thrashing of Crvena Zvezda away at the Rajko Mitic Stadium on Tuesday night while Tottenham’s first European outing under new coach Jose Mourinho saw the Spurs prevailing over visiting Greek club Olympiakos 4-2. Coach Hans-Dieter Flick’s side are the only one to win all five of their Group games ending up with the maximum of 15 points.
In Group C, Manchester City went through the motions as they drew with Shakhtar Donetsk 1-1 at the Etihad. Ilkay Gundogan scored for the hosts in the 56th only to have the lead equalized by substitute Manor Solomon in the 69th. For the hosts a draw was what was needed to move into the next round. Shakhtar Donetsk have only won one of their five games in this group but are still 2nd place after the Etihad draw and will qualify only if they beat Atalanta who are the bottom of the Group C.
Juventus secured a berth in the Round of 16, beating Atletico Madrid 1-0 in Turin on Tuesday night. The hosts’s lone winner came from a Paolo Dybala on the stroke of half-time from a powerfully struck free kick that went into the roof of the net. The Serie A champs ended the Group stage with 13 points from 5 games while Atletico and Bayer Leverkusen are on the 2nd and 3rd of the Group D with 7 and 6 points respectively. Atletico now need to beat Lokomotiv Moscow next month to qualify.
Defending champions Liverpool will need at least a point in their final group game at Red Bull Salzburg to guarantee reaching the last 16 of the Champions League after playing out a 1-1 draw against Napoli at Anfield. In fact, the Italian visitors were in the lead well into the second half on the back of a Dries Mertens 21st minute goal. Dejan Lovren came to the rescue of the Reds in the 65th, converting a header from a corner. The equalizer prompted the Anfield crowd to push their side for the crucial winning goal but the Napoli defence held firm. It means that coach Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool will have to go to Red Bull Salzburg on 10 December needing a draw or hope Napoli lose at home to Genk.
Chelsea played out a thrilling 2-2 draw away in Spain against Valencia but are still not clear about their qualification chances from the Group H cluster. Carlos Soler gave the hosts the lead in the 40th-minute when he converted a Rodrigo Moreno cross. But Chelsea equalised inside 2 minutes as Mateo Kovacic turned at the edge of the area and struck a low effort into Jasper Cillessen’s right-hand corner.
Chelsea looked set for a place in the last 16 after Christian Pulisic gave them the lead in the 51st minute and Kepa Arrizabalaga brilliantly saved Daniel Parejo’s penalty in the 63rd. But with 8 minutes of play remaining, Daniel Wass’s intended cross from the right left deceived Kepa, who misjudged the flight of the ball and allowed it to enter in. Courtesy the 2-2 outcome, Chelsea may have to defeat Lille in the final match to secure a place in the knockout round, with Ajax who beat the French side 2-0 and Valencia still in the fray.
Barcelona rode on goals by Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann to beat Borussia Dortmund 3-1 and make it to the Round of 16 from Group F. Dortmund are now third in Group F behind Inter Milan but on equal points (7). The German club will fancy their chances in a home game at Dortmund on December 10 against Slavia Praha while Inter have a tougher proposition when they host Barcelona on the same date for their final Group game.
Standings and points after 5 Group games
|Red Star Belgrade||3|
|Bayer 04 Leverkusen||6|
|FC Lokomotiv Moskva||3|
|SK Slavia Praha||2|