PSG, Bayern Munich Stroll into Champions League Knock-out Phase
Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich are the first teams in the Champions League knockout rounds after the group rivals both won Tuesday to advance with two games left. PSG routed Anderlecht 5-0 with defender Layvin Kurzawa scoring three to outshine Neymar — and Bayern won 2-1 at Celtic. Manchester United, like PSG, won a fourth straight game but beating Benfica 2-0 was not yet enough to ensure advancing from Group A. Roma started early, scoring after 40 seconds in a 3-0 win against Chelsea that seized leadership of Group C from coach Antonia Conte’s team. Atletico Madrid is still winless after being held 1-1 by visiting Qarabag. Barcelona and Juventus both drew away from home to maintain their steady progress in Group D. Here is a look at what happened in Tuesday’s games.
Another Man United win at Old Trafford seemed routine, and it was 18-year-old Benfica goalkeeper Mile Svilar who again had the most eye-catching night. Svilar saved a penalty kick from Anthony Martial before conceding an own goal for the second straight game against United — his only two Champions League appearances. Two weeks after carrying a cross over his own goal-line, Svilar was unlucky this time when Nemanja Matic’s 45th-minute shot struck the post and rebounded into the net off the goalkeeper’s shoulder. United’s second goal came from another penalty, which coach Jose Mourinho seemed to insist should be taken by defender Daley Blind and not by Romelu Lukaku, the forward who now has not scored in six games. Basel would have joined United in the Round of 16 by beating CSKA Moscow and led at halftime through Luca Zuffi’s lobbed shot into an empty goal. CSKA perked up when substitute Alan Dzagoev came on, and the fit-again playmaker scored in the 65th minute before Pontus Wernbloom forced the winner in the 79th. CSKA and Basel both have six points, and United will advance by avoiding defeat in Switzerland in three weeks’ time.
In a mismatched group, Paris Saint-Germain has won all four games, scoring 17 goals without conceding. Anderlecht has lost four, conceding 15 without scoring. Marco Verratti and Neymar scored in the first half, and left back Kurzawa lit up Parc des Princes by getting three in the second half.Bayern also moved into the Round of 16 draw with nine points after emerging from a typically raucous night in Glasgow to beat a spirited Celtic 2-1. Since replacing Carlo Ancelotti as coach, Jupp Heynckes has led Bayern to six straight wins. Kingsley Coman gave Bayern a first-half lead, Celtic’s Callum McGregor leveled in the 74th, three minutes before Javi Martinez secured the win.
For the second time in two weeks, Roma put three goals past Chelsea’s experienced defense. After a rousing 3-3 draw in London, it was a surprisingly comfortable 3-0 win in Rome that began with Stephan El Shaarawy’s powerful shot inside 40 seconds. El Shaarawy scored again before halftime to punish hesitation by former Roma defender Antonio Rudiger. Diego Perotti struck with a long-range shot midway through the second half. Roma edged one point ahead of Chelsea in the standings, and there is four-point gap to Atletico Madrid in third place. Atletico has gone to at least the quarterfinals in each of the past four seasons but now risks missing out after another draw against newcomer Qarabag of Azerbaijan, 1-1 in Madrid. Qarabag led in the 40th minute with a header by midfielder Michel, and Atletico equalised with a stunning side-foot shot from Thomas Partey in the 56th. Both teams finished with 10 men. Atletico hosts Roma on November 22.
Barcelona and Juventus are still heavily favored to advance despite both sides missing their chance on Tuesday. Barcelona drew 0-0 at Olympiakos and Juventus needed a late leveler from Gonzalo Higuain to earn a 1-1 draw at Sporting Lisbon. The two powerhouses meet in Turin in three weeks’ time, when Barcelona will need only a draw to progress. Barcelona has 10 points, three points clear of last year’s runner-up Juventus, with Sporting a further three points back.
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