Champions League: Manchester United, Juventus Progress to Last 16; Chelsea Drop to Second
New Delhi: Manchester United, Juventus, Roma and Basel booked a place in the last 16 of the Champions League following respective wins in their final group games. However, Atletico Madrid, beaten finalists in 2014 and 2016 were eliminated.
Jose Mourinho’s United side came from behind to beat CSKA Moscow 2-1 at Old Trafford as they reach the knockout rounds for the first time since 2013-14.
Only a heavy defeat could have eliminated United in Group A, but Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford scored two minutes apart in the second half to seal victory at Old Trafford, where they are unbeaten in 40 games in all competitions now.
CSKA had taken the lead with a contentious goal on the stroke of half-time, a shot from the Brazilian Vitinho going in off the back of Alan Dzagoev.
At first glance, Dzagoev appeared offside, but replays showed he had been played on by Daley Blind, who had just slid off the pitch. The goal was credited to Vitinho.
CSKA drop into the Europa League, while Basel reached the last 16 for the third time this decade, the Swiss champions beating Benfica 2-0 in Lisbon with goals from Mohamed Elyounoussi and Dimitri Oberlin.
Last season’s beaten finalists Juventus progressed from Group D thanks to their 2-0 win away to Olympiakos in Greece, Juan Cuadrado opened the scoring early on before Federico Bernardeschi completed the victory late on.
The Italian champions go through behind Barcelona, who rounded off their group phase by easing to a 2-0 win at home against Sporting Lisbon.
Lionel Messi was left on the bench at a sparsely populated Camp Nou as Paco Alcacer headed the hosts in front on the hour and Jeremy Mathieu then scored a late own goal against his old side. Sporting drop into the Europa League.
Cuadrado, Bernardeschi send Juve through
Juan Cuadrado and Federico Bernardeschi scored in either half as Juventus sealed a berth in the Champions League knockout rounds on Tuesday with a 2-0 win over Olympiakos in Piraeus.
Colombian international Cuadrado turned in Alex Sandro’s cross after 15 minutes with Italian Bernardeschi getting the second in the final minute as last year’s finalists advanced to the last 16 for the fourth straight year.
Massimiliano Allegri’s side needed to win to assure their berth even though a draw or even defeat would have been sufficient for the six-time defending Serie A champions depending on the other Group D result. But Barcelona eased past Sporting Lisbon 2-0 to comfortably finish top on 14 points, with Juventus second on 11 followed by Sporting on seven and Olympiakos at the bottom with just one point.
Chelsea Drop to Second
Roma knew they would go through from Group C with a win, which they got, although they could only edge out Qarabag of Azerbaijan 1-0 at the Stadio Olimpico with a Diego Perotti effort early in the second half.
That turned out to be enough for Roma to win the section ahead of Chelsea, who had to come from behind to draw 1-1 at home to Atletico.
Saul Niguez headed Atletico in front on 56 minutes at Stamford Bridge, but Eden Hazard’s ball across goal was turned into his own net by Stefan Savic to restore parity.
Diego Simeone’s Atletico, who have only been knocked out by Real Madrid in each of the last four years, reaching at least the quarter-finals every time, must now accept a spot in the Europa League. They won that trophy in 2010 and 2012.
(With PTI inputs)