As Europe’s elite teams head to the last round of the UEFA Champions’ League group fixtures, we take a look at what transpired on match-day five of the prestigious tournament.
By SportBrief Reporter
English Premier League champions Chelsea progressed to the last 16 of the Champions League with a comprehensive 4-0 win over the 10 men of Qarabag. Brazilian attacker winger bagged a brace for the Blues, whilst Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas scored from the penalty spot to seal an easy night for Antonio Conte’s side at the Baku National Stadium.
Athletico Madrid kept their hopes of progression alive with an impressive 2-0 win against Roma. French Striker Antoine Griezmann opened the scoring with a spectacular overhead kick. Roma was reduced to ten men in the 83rd minute when Bruno Peres was sent off for his second yellow card. Just two minutes later Kevin Gameiro rounded the keeper to seal the win for Athleti.
Madrid can leapfrog Roma into second place in match-day six providing they can beat already qualified Chelsea and Roma drop points against Qarabag.
FC Basel shocked Manchester United 1-0 to keep their champions league hopes alive thanks to a late Michael Lang goal in Switzerland. Basel rode their luck at times in the first half but stayed in the game and on the 89th minute Raoul Petretta played a perfect pass to Lang who was left with a tap-in. Basel now goes to Benfica in match-day six with a real chance of progressing to the round of sixteen, they just need Manchester United to beat CSKA Moscow. United will be disappointed with the defeat, but only need a point to progress against Moscow in matchday six.
PSG romped to a comfortable 7-1 win against Celtic. The Scottish side took the lead in the first minute, through former PSG youth player Moussa Dembele. However, Paris grabbed four in the first half which included a brace for summer signing Neymar and goals for Edison Cavani and Kylian Mbappe. The goals didn’t stop in the second half and Veratti, a second for Cavani and a goal for Brazilian defender Dani Alves completed the rout.
One crumb of comfort for Celtic is that they are the first side to score against PSG at home this season in the Champions League. Whilst Celtic know that a win against Anderlecht at home in matchday 6 will guarantee Europa League football after the New Year.
Anderlecht fell to their fifth straight defeat in the Champions League with a 2-1 home loss to Bayern Munich. The visitors took the lead when striker Robert Lewandowski grabbed his 18th goal of the campaign. Anderlecht fought back and levelled up through Algerian midfielder Sofiane Hanni in the 63rd minute. That lead didn’t last long and the 77th minute Bayern grabbed the winner through Corentin Tolisso. Bayern will now take on PSG on match-day six.
Barcelona progress as group winners with a 0-0 draw in Turin. The visitors came close with Rakitić hitting the post in the first half, Juve could have had a winner with Dybala right at the end. Both teams will be happy with the result, after a tense match which had few clear-cut chances. Juventus, though, now need to better Sporting’s result in match-day six to progress to the round of sixteen.