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Rediff.com  » Sports » Champions League PIX: Barca drub Roma; Arsenal's hopes alive

Champions League PIX: Barca drub Roma; Arsenal's hopes alive

November 25, 2015 10:36 IST

Barca's Suarez and Messi hit doubles in Roma rout

Lionel Messi

IMAGE: Barcelona's Gerard Pique, second left, celebrates with Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Neymar during the UEFA Champions League Group E match against AS Roma at Camp Nou. Photograph: David Ramos/Getty Images

Barcelona’s Luis Suarez hit a brace and set up a double for a spritely Lionel Messi to score in his first start after injury in a rampant 6-1 Champions League victory over AS Roma on Tuesday.

The win ensured Barca go through to the last 16 in first place in Group E. They have 13 points from five games, Roma and Bayer Leverkusen both have five and BATE Borisov have four.

Barcelona are in the last 16 for the 12th consecutive season following another blistering attacking display that comes hot on the back of their 4-0 destruction of Real Madrid in La Liga last Saturday.

Gerard Pique and Adriano also scored for Barcelona with Roma striker Edin Dzeko, who had a penalty saved, netting a consolation goal in stoppage time.

Sanchez double helps keep Arsenal's hopes alive

Alexis Sanchez

IMAGE: Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez scores his side's third goal past Eduardo of Dinamo Zagreb. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Alexis Sanchez scored twice and Mesut Ozil headed the other goal as never-say-die Arsenal beat Dinamo Zagreb 3-0 and kept alive their hopes of reaching the Champions League last 16 for a 16th straight season.

The Gunners, whose chances of advancing looked remote after defeats by Dinamo, Olympiakos Piraeus and Bayern Munich in their opening four matches, were given a huge helping hand by Bayern Munich who thrashed the Greeks 4-0 in the other Group F match.

Those results mean that Bayern are through to the knockout round and Arsenal will join them if they beat Olympiakos by two clear goals in Greece on December 9.

Bayern have 12 points, Olympiakos have nine, Arsenal are on six and Dinamo have three. If Olympiakos gain at least a point against Arsenal they will go through instead of the London side while Dinamo are already eliminated and will finish bottom.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told reporters he was pleased his side now had their fate back in their hands. "It was important we did not concede the first goal because they (Dinamo) were quite dangerous going forward.

"We had to come out of the game tonight with a chance to qualify -- we needed to do the job and Bayern needed to do the job and it happened -- and now I believe we can do it.

"We have to go there (Olympiakos) and win, and if we are winning 1-0, then we can win 2-0."

There was nervous apprehension from the home fans on a chilly night but that eased as Arsenal weathered early pressure before taking control with excellent quick-passing football.

Chelsea repeat drubbing of Maccabi to close in on last 16

Kurt Zouma

IMAGE: Chelsea's Kurt Zouma scores his teams fourth goal against Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC. Photograph: Ian Walton/Getty Images

Chelsea enjoyed their second 4-0 Champions League victory over 10-man Maccabi Tel Aviv this season to move into prime position to reach the knockout stages of the competition from Group G.

With Dynamo Kiev winning 2-0 at Porto, however, the qualifiers for the last 16 will only be determined in the last round of matches when Chelsea host Porto and Kiev welcome Maccabi.

Goals by Gary Cahill, Willian, Oscar and Kurt Zouma secured the victory for Chelsea whose task was made easier when Maccabi captain Tal Ben Haim, a key player in the heart of the defence, was sent off five minutes before halftime.

After five games, Chelsea, who only need to draw their final match to progress, and Porto each have 10 points with Kiev on eight, while Maccabi are bottom without a point.

Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho said the result flattered his side.

"I think we played very well in the first half, the pitch didn't help," Mourinho said.

"In the second we slept a bit for the first 15-20 minutes waiting for the second goal to come and only when we were again in danger did we react well. No doubt about the victory but I think Maccabi deserved a bit more than that."

Ten-man Bayern crush Olympiakos to book knockout place

Robert Lewandowski

IMAGE: From left, Arjen Robben, Thomas Mueller and Robert Lewandowski celebrate after Lewandowski scored a goal. Photograph: Michael Dalder/Reuters

Ten-man Bayern Munich eased into the Champions League knockout stages after demolishing Greece's Olympiakos Piraeus 4-0 on Tuesday to secure top spot in Group F with a game to spare.

The German champions, who had defender Holger Badstuber, back from injury, sent off early in the second half with a straight red card, were unstoppable in the opening 20 minutes, scoring three times to put the game to bed early.

"We wanted to play our game from the start, with a lot of motivation and drive. We wanted to get an early goal and not have to reach the 70th minute with the game tight," scorer Thomas Mueller said.

Douglas Costa struck after eight minutes, Robert Lewandowski doubled the lead in the 16th with Mueller adding another four minutes later as dazed Olympiakos found no answer to the continuous attacks.

Kingsley Coman headed in their fourth goal in the 70th as Bayern moved up to 12 points ahead of their final game at Dinamo Zagreb on Dec. 9. Olympiakos, in second place on nine, need a point against Arsenal to secure a spot in the last 16.

Casillas blunders as Porto blow chance to qualify

Iker Casillas

IMAGE: Porto's Iker Casillas reacts against Dynamo Kiev. Photograph: Miguel Vidal /Reuters

A blunder by Iker Casillas helped Dynamo Kiev seal a 2-0 win away to Porto in the Champions League which threw Group G wide open on Tuesday and left the hosts in danger of missing out on the knockout stage.

Andriy Yarmolenko put the Ukrainian champions ahead with a first-half penalty before the former Real Madrid goalkeeper completely misjudged a weak Derlis Gonzalez shot in the 64th minute.

The Paraguayan forward, under pressure and being forced wide by Giannelli Imbula, managed to get in a seemingly harmless shot which Casillas tried to punch away with one hand, only to see the ball loop into the air and land in the net.

Porto, previously unbeaten in all competitions this season, had needed only a draw to qualify with a game to spare but are now in danger of missing out as they visit Chelsea in their final game probably needing to win.

Porto have 10 points from five games, the same as Chelsea after their 4-0 win away to Maccabi Tel Aviv, and Kiev have eight, with a final game at home to the eliminated and demoralised Israelis to come.

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