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Inter, Bayern And Benfica Advance In Champions League

Inter Milan, Bayern Munich and Benfica all advanced to the knockout stages tonight, while Ajax and Napoli took huge strides towards joining them. Meanwhile both Manchester teams, City and United, are in real danger of being sent to the Europa League.

Inter knew before their game against Trabzonspor that all they needed was a point to win the group after Lille surprised CSKA Moscow and won 2-0 in Russia. Ricardo Álvarez’s fine opener was cancelled out by a deflected Halil Altıntop effort, but the former Champions held out for a comfortable 1-1 draw.

Trabzonspor are now a point ahead of Lille, who they visit on 7 December. Whoever wins out of Lille and Trabzonspor will go through; CSKA needs that game to be a draw and then they need to win in Milan in order for them to advance.

Bayern also only required a draw at home to eliminated Villarreal, but two Franck Ribéry goals helped them to a comfortable 3-1 victory. The loss means that Villarreal, who have yet to pick up a point in Europe this season, cannot even qualify for the UEFA Europa League.

And Napoli look well placed to join Bayern after they beat Manchester City 2-1 at home thanks to two goals from Edinson Cavani. With the win, Napoli are now a point ahead of Man City with a visit to Villarreal to come. The Premier League leaders need to got to Germany and beat group winners Bayern and hope that Napoli are unable to defeat Villarreal if they are to have any hope of advancing to the knockout stages.

Things are not much better in the red side of Manchester, after United were held to a 2-2 draw at home against Benfica. The draw was United’s third in five European games this season.

Both United and Benfica are one point ahead of Basel in the standings, which means that United need to go to Switzerland and get at least a draw if last season’s runners-up are to avoid being knocked out.

Benfica’s head-to-head record against both United and Basel means that they cannot finish below second even if they lose to Oţelul.

In Group D, Real Madrid confirmed that they are one of the best teams in Europe as they thrashed Dinamo Zagreb 6-2. Madrid will progress to the knockout stages as group winners but the race for second place is still alive after Ajax stayed three points ahead of Lyon with a 0-0 draw in France, matching their opening result. Ajax have a superior goal difference to the tune of seven but they play Madrid at home next while Lyon go to Dinamo.

Groups E to H continue on Wednesday night with holders FC Barcelona and AC Milan, who meet at San Siro, the only two clubs currently through from those sections.

Group A
SSC Napoli 2-1 Manchester City FC
FC Bayern München 3-1 Villarreal CF

• Bayern have won group
• Either Napoli or City will finish second or third
• Villarreal will finish fourth

Group B
PFC CSKA Moskva 0-2 LOSC Lille Métropole
Trabzonspor AŞ 1-1 FC Internazionale Milano

• Inter have won group
• Any of the other teams can finish second, third or fourth

Group C
FC Oţelul Galaţi 2-3 FC Basel 1893
Manchester United FC 2-2 SL Benfica

• Benfica are through
• United or Basel will join them
• Oţelul will finish fourth

Group D
Olympique Lyonnais 0-0 AFC Ajax
Real Madrid CF 6-2 GNK Dinamo Zagreb

• Madrid have won group
• Either Ajax or Lyon will finish second or third
• Dinamo will finish fourth

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