The final games for the group stages of the UEFA Champions League took place last night with a few spots till up for grabs for the knock out stages. Manchester City, Roma and CSKA Moscow were all in the running to get 2nd place in Group E behind group winners Bayern Munich. There was a battle at the Nou Camp to see who would claim top spot between Barcelona and PSG. Sporting and Schalke both had a chance to qualify in the 2nd spot from Group G behind group winners Chelsea while a whole host of teams were looking to continue their European adventure by coming third in their group to go into the Europa League.
After a tense night of football, here are the results from all the games played last night
Bayern Munich 3-0 CSKA Moscow
Moscow needed to defeat Bayern Munich to have any chance of qualifying to the next round but were defeated by the German champions. Bayern were utterly dominant having 73% of the possession and notched up 3 goals to wipe out any chance of CSKA going through. Thomas Muller scored with an 18th minute penalty while Rode and Gotze scored late goals for the Germans.
AS Roma 0-2 Manchester City
Manchester City were almost out of the competition a couple of weeks back, they only had 2 points from their first 4 games but they won their final 2 games and now have qualified into the next stage for the 2nd year in succession. Goals from Samir Nasri and Pablo Zabaleta sealed an away victory for City as they soaked a lot of pressure in Rome. AS Roma go through to the Europa league when they really should have sealed their place in the last 16 weeks ago, credit to City for beating Bayern and Roma in back to back games.
Barcelona 3-1 Paris St. Germain
PSG were leading the group heading into the final game, they had beaten Barcelona 3-2 in the reverse fixture and were looking to go away from the Nou Camp with a point. PSG took an early lead thanks to former Barcelona player Zlatan Ibrahimovic but goals from Neymar, Messi and Suarez helped Barcelona win the game. PSG had a few chances to score more goals but were not able to seal the deal; they both qualify for the next round.
Ajax 4-0 Apoel Nicosia
Apoel Nicosia needed to defeat Ajax to qualify for the Europa league but the Dutch team had other ideas as they blew Apoel away. They dominated Apoel and began the scoring in the 45th minute thanks to Schone from the penalty spot, who then doubled the scoring in the 50th minute. Klaassen and Milik finished the scoring to take the Dutch champions through to the Europa League.
Chelsea 3-1 Sporting Lisbon
A much changed Chelsea side were too strong for Sporting Lisbon. Lisbon needed to at least draw at Stamford Bridge but were without Nani. Chelsea began the scoring through the penalty spot thanks to Cesc Fabregas; Andre Schurrle made it two for the Blues with a low shot in the 16th minute. Sporting got one back from Silva but Mikel scored the third to snuff out any hopes Sporting had of qualifying into the next round and left their fate in the other game between Maribor and Schalke.
Maribor 0-1 Schalke 04
Schalke made it through to the last 16 at the expense of Sporting thanks to a scrappy 1-0 win away at Maribor. Schalke made hard work of what should have been an easy win, Maribor were playing for pride and made it tough for the German team. Schalke got the only goal of the game through Max Meyer, who came on as a second half substitute. The win propelled Schalke into 2nd position in the group with Sporting moving down to third and entering the Europa League.
Group H –
FC Porto 1-1 Shaktar Donetsk
Both teams had already qualified for the next round of the Champions league, the game was technically a dead rubber as Shaktar could not overtake Porto for the top spot of the group. However it was the Ukrainian team which took the lead silencing the home crowd, Shaktar’s Stepanenko scored in the 51st minute but they could not hold onto the lead as Aboubaker scored in the 87th minute to give both teams with a point each.
Athletic Bilbao 2-0 BATE Borisov
Atheltic Bilbao sealed their position into the Europa league with a win over BATE, they needed a draw from the final game to ensure qualification but won 2-0 thanks to goals from San Jose in the 47th minute and Susaeta in the 88th minute. BATE needed to defeat the Spanish team but were unable to muster much of a challenge as Athletic dominated possession and were relentless in attack, notching up 29 shots on the BATE goal.
Picture courtesy: Getty Images & Reuters