The UEFA Champions League group stage is reaching a thrilling conclusion, with a week of action that saw more of Europe’s top clubs qualify for the knockout rounds at the start of 2017.
We highlight key matches and results from around the tournament in Matchweek Five.
AS MONACO 2 / TOTTENHAM 1 – STADE LOUIS II
Ligue 1 side AS Monaco secured the top spot in Group E on Tuesday night with a 2-1 home victory over Tottenham. The result eliminates Spurs from advancing to the next round.
The visitors avoided danger early in the match when Monaco’s Radamel Falcao missed a penalty kick in the 11th minute. Tottenham’s defence struggled throughout the match to clear out opportunities and to keep their shape.
The first eight minutes of the second half saw a wild sequence, with both sides exchanging goals at a frantic pace. Dijbril Sidibe (48’) gave Monaco the lead, a penalty converted by Harry Kane (52’) levelled for Spurs and midfielder Thomas Lemar scored the match-winner in the 53rd minute.
Despite an attacking approach in both tactics and substitutions late in the match, Spurs and manager Mauricio Pochettino will not move on to the Round of 16.
Tottenham will host CSKA Moscow on Wednesday, December 7th. A win or a draw will clinch third place in the group and send them to the UEFA Europa League.
BORUSSIA DORTMUND 8 / LEGIA WARSAW 4 – WESTFALENSTADION
A new record for the most goals ever scored in a Champions League match was set on Tuesday in Germany. A thoroughly entertaining encounter saw Borussia Dortmund defeat Legia Warsaw 8-4 on a memorable night for all in attendance.
The first half resembled a FIFA video game, with seven goals and a 5-2 advantage for Borussia Dortmund at the break. Marco Reus (52’) and Felix Passlack (81’) added more in the second half, along with tallies from Michal Kucharczyk (57’) and Nemanja Nikolic (83’) for Warsaw.
The result keeps Dortmund on top of the Group F standings. A visit to the Santiago Bernabeu against Real Madrid on December 7th will determine the group winner.
SPORTING CP 1 / REAL MADRID CF 2 – ESTADIO JOSE ALVALADE
Real Madrid saw off a determined effort from Sporting CP on Tuesday in Portugal for a 2-1 victory. Second-half substitute Karim Benzema scored the match-winner in the 87th minute for Los Blancos.
Raphael Varane opened the scoring in the 29th minute and excellent work along the backline gave Real a 1-0 half-time lead. A straight red card to Sporting defender Joao Pereira in the 64th minute seemed to sink the home side’s chances, until Adrien Silva converted a penalty (80’) for the equaliser.
Benzema’s late heroics sets up a key home match against Borussia Dortmund on December 7th, with the winner finishing on top of Group F.
LEICESTER CITY 2 / CLUB BRUGGE 1 – KING POWER STADIUM
The Premier League title-holders have struggled domestically, but their form in Europe is simply unstoppable. Leicester City will finish on top of Group G and move on to the Champions League knockout rounds after a 2-1 home victory over Club Brugge on Tuesday.
Shinji Okazaki (5’) and Riyad Mahrez (30’) gave the Foxes a 2-0 half-time lead. Club Brugge brought one back through striker Jose Izquierdo (52’), but Leicester and manager Claudio Ranieri were able to keep the match in front of them and find a historic victory.
In their first UEFA Champions League appearance, Leicester City continue to both surprise and entertain just as they did last season in the Premier League.
ARSENAL 2 / PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN 2 – EMIRATES STADIUM
A frustrating night for Arsenal will see the final matchday determine the Group A winner after a 2-2 draw against Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday. The Gunners and PSG are level on 11 points each.
A sluggish first-half for the home side saw PSG take the lead when Edinson Cavani scored in the 18th minute. Olivier Giroud equalised from the penalty spot just before half-time.
A Marco Veratti own-goal (60’) gave Arsenal a 2-1 advantage until Lucas Moura’s header (77’) ended the match with points split between the two clubs.
Arsenal will host FC Basel on Tuesday, December 6th. Paris Saint-Germain will host Ludogorets Razgrad on the same evening.
SCORES AROUND THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
TUESDAY NOVEMBER 22ND
CSKA MOSCOW 1 / BAYER LEVERKUSEN 1
FC COPENHAGEN 0 / FC PORTO 0
DINAMO ZAGREB 0 / OLYMPIQUE LYONNAIS 1
SEVILLA FC 1 / JUVENTUS 3
WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 23RD
FC ROSTOV 3 / BAYERN MUNICH 2
BESIKTAS 3 / SL BENFICA 3
ATLETICO MADRID 2 / PSV EINDHOVEN 0
CELTIC 0 / BARCELONA 2
BORUSSIA MONCHENGLADBACH 1 / MANCHESTER CITY 1
LUDOGORETS RAZGRAD 0 / FC BASEL 0
NAPOLI 0 / DYNAMO KYIV 0
Roy Emanuel, TFN Deputy Editor and US Correspondent on 23/11/2016 at 21:52
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