Bayern Munich and Manchester City became the first two teams to qualify for the knockout stages of this season’s Champions League. Bayern made hard work of beating Viktoria Plzen 1-0, but the result was Bayern’s ninth Champions League win in a row, equaling the record set by Barcelona in 2002/03.
Manchester City reached the knockout stages for the first time, with a 5-2 thumping of CSKA Moscow in Manchester. Since losing to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge 10 days ago, Man City have scored 12 goals in their last two games. That is what you call rebounding from a difficult defeat.
Real Madrid came close to joining them, but having gone 2-1 up in Turin against Juventus they they were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw when former Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente equalized for Juventus. Cristiano Ronaldo’s opener for Real tied him for the record number of goals scored in the group stages with eight, while Gareth Bale continued his good form by scoring his first European goal for Los Blancos.
One of the big shocks of the night was the other game in Group B and Copehagen beat Galatasaray 1-0 at home, throwing a huge wrench into the Turkish sides hopes of advancing.
French champions Paris Saint Germain also missed out on claiming their knockout place on Tuesday as they were held to a surprise 1-1 draw at home to previously pointless and goalless Belgian outfit Anderlecht, who the French side had thumped 5-0 a fortnight ago in Brussels. Elsewhere in Group C, Olympiacos saw off Benfica 1-0 thanks to a first half Kostas Manolas effort.
Manchester United had Marouane Fellaini sent off in the closing stages of their scoreless draw at Real Sociedad. Robin van Persie missed a second half penalty for United who still lead the group by a point over Bayer Leverkusen with two matches remaining.