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Champions League Review: Arsenal, Paris, Atlético, Bayern Advance

Champions League trophyArsenal, Paris Saint-Germain, Atlético Madrid and Bayern Münich are the first four teams through to the round of 16 while Barcelona’s progress was halted by Manchester City.

Group A
Ludogorets Razgrad 2-3 Arsenal

Ludogorets were two up inside 15 minutes thanks to goals from Jonathan Cafú and Claudiu Keșerü but by half-time Granit Xhaka and Olivier Giroud had drawn Arsenal level. And with just two minutes to go, Mesut Özil’s individual effort secured Arsenal’s qualification from the opening group stage for the 17th year in a row.

Basel 1-2 Paris Saint-Germain
Blaise Matuidi’s cute finish just before half-time was cancelled out with 14 minutes left as Basel substitute Luca Zuffi caught Alphonse Aréola off his line from distance. But Paris, against opponents reduced to ten men by Geoffroy Serey Dié’s red card, made sure of victory and a round of 16 place even later than Arsenal –with a stunning 90th-minute side-footed curling volley by Thomas Meunier.

Group B
Beşiktaş 1-1 Napoli

A superb 82nd-minute curling finish from Marek Hamšík gave Napoli a point and kept them ahead of Beşiktaş, who had won 3-2 in Italy a fortnight ago. Just three minutes earlier Ricardo Quaresma seemed to have given the visitors another victory from the penalty spot.

Benfica 1-0 Dynamo Kyiv
Eduardo Salvio converted a penalty on the stroke of half-time and Benfica’s success was sealed when Ederson saved a spot kick from Júnior Moraes. Benfica join Napoli on seven points, with Dynamo six off the top two.

Group C
Borussia Mönchengladbach 1-1 Celtic

Lars Stindl broke the deadlock just as he had in Gladbach’s victory in Glasgow last time out but with 14 minutes to go Moussa Dembélé equalised with a penalty for which Julian Korb was sent off. That kept Celtic in contenntion, two points behind their hosts and within five of second position.

Manchester City 3-1 Barcelona
Fresh from his hat-trick in Barcelona’s 4-0 matchday three triumph, Lionel Messi claimed his 90th UEFA Champions League goal to fire Barcelona in front, but they were to be beaten. İlkay Gündoğan equalised late in the first half and added his second after Kevin De Bruyne had put City in the ascendant with a free-kick. Barcelona are still two points clear of City at the summit.

Group D
PSV Eindhoven 1-2 Bayern Münich

Robert Lewandowski notched a first-half penalty and again 16 minutes from time to give Bayern the win they required to book progress tonight. PSV had led through Santiago Arias but must now battle Rostov for a UEFA Europa League berth.

Atlético Madrid 2-1 Rostov
A last-gasp clincher from Antoine Griezmann ensured Atlético were the first side to reach 12 points as they joined Bayern in the last 16. Griezmann’s opener had been quickly cancelled out by Sardar Azmoun for Rostov, who are level with PSV on one point while Atleti lead Bayern by three.

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