Friday, 9 December 2016

Champions League Matchday Six Review

Ahead of the European winter break in all but one of the elite leagues, the final matchday of the Champions League group stage saw the final spots in the knockout stages confirmed.

A- Arsenal advanced as group winners after a comfortable 4-1 win away to FC Basel who finish bottom.

The Gunners raced into a 2-0 lead inside 17 minutes with a brace from Lucas Perez with the young striker completing his hat-trick three minutes after the interval for 3-0.

Alex Iwobi made it 4-0 with just 53 minutes on the clock with the last say on the scoreline coming on 78 minutes as Doumbia struck for Basel.

Ludogorets Razgrad were denied their first win of the campaign by Paris Saint Germain who salvaged a 2-2 draw late on. The visitors opened the scoring with a 16th minute strike from Misidjan before Edinson Cavani levelled on the hour. Wanderson restored the visitors lead on 69 minutes but their hopes of a first win were ended in added time by Angel Di Maria's equaliser.

B-The battle for top spot saw Napoli come out as winner with a 2-1 victory away to Benfica who advance in second spot.

The Italians took the lead just before the hour mark with Callejon's strike before Dries Mertens looked to have sealed the win on 79 minutes. A late effort from Rodriguez with 87 minutes played set up a tense finish but the hosts were unable to avoid defeat.

A shock result saw already eliminated Dyanmo Kiev thrash Besiktas 6-0 to deny the Turks a spot in the next stage. Besedin fired the hosts ahead before a triple blow for the visitors saw Beck dismissed, Yarmolenko doubling the lead with the resulting penalty and Buyalsky instantly making it 3-0.

Kiev were 4-0 ahead at the interval with Gonzalez striking late on before the miserable trip for Besiktas got far worse with Aboubakar dismissed ahead of strikes from Sydorchuk and Moraes to complete the rout.

C- Barcelona made it five wins out of six with a comfortable 4-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach who slip into the Europa League. Lionel Messi opened the scoring on 17 minutes before a 17 minute second half hat-trick from Arda Turan (50,52,67) completed the rout.

Manchester City ensured Celtic ended their woeful campaign without a win as they shared the points in a 1-1 draw. The goals came early on as Patrick Roberts gave the visitors a surprise lead with just four minute played before Kelechi Iheanacho levelled in the eighth minute.

Bayern Munich ended Atletico Madrid's hopes of a perfect campaign as they secured a 1-0 win.

The crucial strike came early on as Robert Lewandowski scored in the 28th minute.

FC Rostov secured the Europa League spot as they shared the points in a 0-0 draw with PSV Eindhoven.

A draw which left the Dutch side not only eliminated from European competition but ending the campaign without a win.

E- Monaco advanced as group winners despite suffering a 3-0 loss to Bayer Leverkusen who also reached the next stage. The hosts went ahead on the half hour as Yurchenko struck before Brandt doubled the lead four minutes after the interval.

The visitors' miserable night was completed seven minutes from the end as De Sanctis scored an own goal.

Tottenham Hotspur drop into the Europa League despite a 3-1 win over CSKA Moscow. The visitors went ahead as Alan Dzagoev scored on 33 minutes but Spurs went into the interval 2-1 ahead after Dele Alli levelled and Harry Kane gave them the lead. After conceding for the 39th game in a row in the competition, Igor Akinfeev capped off a miserable campaign with a 77th minute own goal.

F- Legia Warsaw secured their first win and in doing so claimed the Europa League spot after defeating Sporting Lisbon 1-0.

The crucial strike came on the half hour mark as Costa Marques struck and the evening got worse for the visitors late on with Carvalho's 85th minute dismissal.

Borussia Dortmund advanced as group winners after salvaging a 2-2 draw with fellow qualifiers Real Madrid. A brace from Karim Benzema either side of half time gave Madrid a 2-0 advantage but Dortmund were not to be outdone as Pierre Aubameyang struck on the hour with Marco Reus securinga point two minutes from the end.

G-Club Brugge completed a miserable campaign, without a win or a point after suffering a 2-0 defeat to Europa League bound FC Copenhagen.

The Danes struck both goals early on as Mechele scored an own goal inside seven minutes before Jorgensen doubled the lead on 15 minutes.

FC Porto advanced to the next stage after ruining Leicester City's hopes of an unbeaten campaign with a 5-0 thrashing.  An early opener from Andre Silva was followed by a strike from Corona to double the lead.

Brahimi extended the lead to 3-0 before the interval with Silva striking for a second time just after the hour mark. The rout was completed on 77 minutes as Teixeira struck to hand leave the Foxes with the unwanted record of heaviest defeat for an English side in the competition.

H- Juventus claimed top spot in the group after securing a 2-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb without a win or even a point.

The Italians took the lead with 52 minutes on the clock as Gonzalo Higuain struck before Rugani confirmed the win with a 72nd minute strike.

Olympique Lyonnais drop into the Europa League after a 0-0 draw with Sevilla who advanced in second spot.