Manchester City into UEFA Champions League last 16 as Juventus crash  

Wed, Oct 12, 2022
By editor


MNCHESTER City are through to the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds even though they were held 0-0 at Copenhagen on Tuesday.

But they without Erling Haaland, while also missing a penalty kick and having Sergio Gomez red-carded.

However, the English champions advanced with two games to spare because Sevilla did not win the other group game which they drew 1-1 at Borussia Dortmund.

They were the only club to clinch a last-16 berth on the night, because Borussia Dortmund did not win, whike reigning champions Real Madrid were held 1-1 at Shakhtar Donetsk.

The match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Benfica also did not have a winner after a 1-1 draw.

Elsewhere, Maccabi Haifa stunned Juventus 2-0, while visiting Chelsea won 2-0 at 10-man AC Milan.

Dinamo Zagreb and Salzburg drew 1-1, just as German side RB Leipzig prevailed 2-0 at Celtic.

Bayern Munich, Liverpool and others can also clinch last 16 berths on Wednesday.

England international Jude Bellingham cancelled out Sevilla’s lead from Tanguy Nianzou for Borussia Dortmund which meant that Manchester City advanced from Group G with two games to spare.

This was in spite of a frustrating night in Copenhagen in which they dropped their first points.

Norwegian star striker Haaland was not a starter for the first time, after netting 20 times in his opening 13 games for Manchester City.

Manager Pep Guardiola had claimed he was “so tired”.

Moreover, this has come six days after they had hammered Copenhagen 5-0 with a Haaland brace.

Rodri had a stunning strike into the top corner disallowed after a video review because Riyad Mahrez was deemed to have handled the ball in the build-up.

Mahrez then failed to convert a penalty kick against home goalkeeper Kamil Grabara, given for handball upon review.

And a third video review led to Manchester City defender Sergio Gomez red-carded for a last-man foul on Hakan Arnar Haraldsson at the half-hour mark.

“We started really well with 11. Then we had an hour and 10 minutes to hang on. When we had the ball we were clever. (But) it’s a good point,” Guardiola said.

PSG have to wait to qualify after their second 1-1 with Benfica in Group G.

With Lionel Messi not fit to play on a turbulent day, amid speculation on the future of teammate Kylian Mbappe, the France forward made it a club record.

He scored his 31st goal in the competition from the penalty kick spot in the 40th minute.

Mbappe curled inches wide right after the restart but Benfica were level when they also got a penalty kick which was calmly converted by Joao Mario in the 62nd minute.

The two sides are a win away from advancing as they are five points ahead of Juve and Maccabi Haifa.

Omar Atzili got a first-half brace to delight the Israeli hosts and add further misery to the Italian visitors.

“We knew it would be a complicated game against a very well-organised Benfica team. We started very well, played to win and finished the first half well.

“In the second half we looked for the goal until the end, but we didn’t have that chance,” PSG defender Danilo said.

Real Madrid would have needed victory in Warsaw against Shakhtar Donetsk to progress from Group F.

But, instead, the hosts led from Oleksandr Zubkov shortly after the restart.

This was before Antonio Rüdiger headed a stoppage-time equaliser for the record champions at the expense of a head injury in a collision.

Real Madrid are four points ahead of RB Leipzig who beat Celtic after late goals by Timo Werner and Emil Forsberg.

Now, 2021 champions Chelsea have climbed from last to first in Group E with two wins over AC Milan.

The hosts had former Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori sent off for a last-man foul and Jorginho converted the ensuing penalty kick to put the Blues 1-0 up.

AC Milan striker Olivier Giroud missed a glorious chance to equalise against his former club and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang got the second before the break.

Chelsea are one point ahead of RB Salzburg, with Zagreb and AC Milan another two behind in a wide open group.(dpa/NAN)