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Rediff.com  » Sports » UEFA Champions League: Real Madrid edge Dortmund; Liverpool rout Spartak

UEFA Champions League: Real Madrid edge Dortmund; Liverpool rout Spartak

Last updated on: December 07, 2017 15:17 IST

Images from the UEFA Champions League matches played across Europe on Wednesday

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's second goal against Borussia Dortmund during their UEFA Champions League Group H match at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid on Wednesday

IMAGE: Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's second goal against Borussia Dortmund during their UEFA Champions League Group H match at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid on Wednesday. Photograph: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo set a record for scoring in every Champions League group game as his side won an entertaining encounter 3-2 on Wednesday at home to Borussia Dortmund, who clinched a spot in the Europa League.

Real were guaranteed a place in the last 16 as Group H runners up behind Tottenham Hotspur, but coach Zinedine Zidane still fielded a strong side for the game, only resting Marcelo, Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric.

 

Real's Spanish striker Borja Mayoral got his first Champions League goal in the eighth minute with a chipped finish from close range while four minutes later Ronaldo struck for the sixth group game in a row, sending a wonderful curled shot into the top corner from outside the box.

Borussia Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scores the equaliser against Real Madrid

IMAGE: Borussia Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scores the equaliser against Real Madrid. Photograph: Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang led a short-lived fight back by scoring either side of the break for the Germans, who have failed to win a game in the group stage campaign, but finished above APOEL Nicosia on goal difference to qualify for the Europa League.

Real averted a third consecutive draw in all competitions thanks to an 81st-minute strike from Lucas Vazquez to end their group campaign with 13 points.

They could, however, be without defender Raphael Varane for the next few games after the Frenchman limped off with a muscle injury.

Coutinho hits hat-trick as Liverpool rout Spartak to top group

Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho celebrates with teammates Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah during their Group E match against Spartak Moskva at Anfield in Liverpool

IMAGE: Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho celebrates with teammates Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah during their Group E match against Spartak Moskva at Anfield in Liverpool. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Brazilian Philippe Coutinho struck a hat-trick as Liverpool crushed Spartak Moscow 7-0 to move into the knockout stages of the Champions League as Group E winners.

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp fielded an attacking line-up with Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah in attack, with Coutinho playing behind them, and it was simply too much for the Russians to handle.

The five-time European champions took the lead in the fourth minute with a Coutinho penalty after Salah was pulled down by Georgi Dzhikiya.

Spartak allowed Liverpool’s attacking trident far too much space and they took full advantage in the 15th minute with a super team goal as Mane fed Salah, who slipped the ball inside to Firmino to set up his compatriot, Coutinho, for a simple finish.

Three minutes later, Liverpool added their third. Mane chipped the ball into the box, Spartak defender Serdar Tasci failed to clear and Firmino accepted the gift and confidently drove home. 

Liverpool's Dejan Lovren (left) challenges Spartak Moscow's Quincy Promes 

IMAGE: Liverpool's Dejan Lovren (left) challenges Spartak Moscow's Quincy Promes. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

But having given up a 3-0 half-time lead in their last Champions League outing in Sevilla, Liverpool were in no mood to drop down a gear and they put the game to bed within five minutes of the restart.

James Milner whipped in a cross from the left which Mane met first-time with an unstoppable volley and then a deflected shot from Coutinho completed his hat-trick to make it 5-0.

Mane got his second when he scooped in a low cross from Georginio Wijanaldum in the 76th minute, and then Salah, who had been outstanding all evening, made it 7-0, blasting home after some typically clever footwork in the box.

It is Liverpool's second 7-0 win in the group following their victory by the same scoreline against Maribor in Slovenia in October.

Spartak finish third in the group, behind second-placed Sevilla, and move into the Europa League.

Shakhtar beat table-toppers Man City,  reach last 16

Shakhtar Donetsk's Davit Khocholava celebrates with Andriy Pyatov after defeating Manchester City at Metalist Stadium in Kharkiv, Ukraine

IMAGE: Shakhtar Donetsk's Davit Khocholava celebrates with Andriy Pyatov after defeating Manchester City at Metalist Stadium in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Action Images via Reuters

Shakhtar Donetsk booked a Champions League knockout-stage berth after first-half goals by Brazilians Bernard and Ismaily gave the Ukrainian side a 2-1 win over ManchesterCity in Group F on Wednesday.

City, who suffered their first defeat of the season in any competition, finished top with 15 points, three more than Shakhtar and nine ahead of third-placed Napoli who dropped into the Europa League after a 2-1 defeat at bottom team Feyenoord.

With one eye on Sunday's Premier League Manchester derby against United, City coach Pep Guardiola rested his entire first-choice back four and Shakhtar took advantage as they romped into a 2-0 lead before halftime.

Needing only a draw to be sure of qualifying, the home side launched waves of attacks instead of sitting back as Bernard curled a superb shot from 15 metres past City keeper and compatriot Ederson in the 26th minute.

Ismaily added the second six minutes later, capitalising on Ederson's error and beating him to a long ball by Marlos before stroking it into an empty net to delight a full house in Kharkiv, where Shakhtar played their group home fixtures.

Taison twice fired narrowly over the bar either side of the break as Shakhtar kept up the pressure before late substitute Sergio Aguero netted a stoppage-time penalty for City.

Aguero blasted his spot-kick past keeper Andriy Pyatov but it was scant consolation for City coach Pep Guardiola, who had little to cheer on his 100th Champions League appearance as manager.

The draw for the last 16 is in Nyon, Switzerland, on Monday and Premier League leaders City will head a pack of five English teams in the knockout stages, with Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur also through.

Llorente opens account as Spurs stroll against APOEL

Tottenham’s Fernando Llorente celebrates scoring their first goal against Apoel Nicosia at Wembley Stadium in London on Wednesday

IMAGE: Tottenham’s Fernando Llorente celebrates scoring their first goal against Apoel Nicosia at Wembley Stadium in London on Wednesday. Photograph: Paul Childs/Action Images via Reuters

Fernando Llorente scored his first goal for Tottenham Hotspur as they rounded off their impressive Champions League group stage campaign by strolling to a 3-0 home win over APOEL Nicosia on Wednesday.

Tottenham, who were already guaranteed to finish top of Group H ahead of Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund, ended with 16 points and five wins from six games. APOEL finished bottom with two points.

Llorente, who joined Spurs from SwanseaCity in the summer, opened his account for the club in the 20th minute when he beautifully controlled a low cross from Serge Aurier and swivelled before firing into the net.

Tottenham, who made eight changes to the team that started against Watford on Saturday, doubled their lead after 37 minutes when Son Heung-min curled the ball into the far corner and Georges-Kevin N'Koudou made it 3-0 with 10 minutes remaining.

Aboubakar double inspires Porto to last-16 place

Vincent Aboubakar struck two first-half goals to spearhead Porto's emphatic 5-2 win over Monaco at the Dragao Stadium on Wednesday and seal their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League.

The prolific Cameroonian striker took his season's tally in all competitions to 17 in a one-sided game in which both teams were reduced to 10 men after Porto's Felipe and Monaco's Rachid Ghezzal were sent off for an undignified 38th-minute scuffle.

Knowing a win would guarantee them second place in Group G, Porto's nerves were quickly settled when Aboubakar latched on to Yacine Brahimi's through ball after nine minutes.

The powerful striker was in magnificent form, pouncing again in the 33rd minute when he cut in from the left edge of the box and shot beneath Diego Benaglio for his fifth goal of the Champions League campaign.

Monaco, who had lost the 2004 final to the same Portuguese opponents, were reminded of that 3-0 defeat when Aboubakar turned provider, playing in Brahimi for a third just before halftime.

Monaco captain Kamil Glik pulled one back with a 61st-minute penalty, given harshly for a handball from Ivan Marcano, but Porto's Brazilian fullback Alex Telles thundered home a 25-metre shot four minutes later.

Radamel Falcao nodded in a 78th-minute consolation against his old club before Tiquinho Soares struck again with another header for the home side with just two minutes remaining.

The victory took Porto to 10 points behind group winners Besiktas, who moved on to 14 after their 2-1 win at RB Leipzig ensured the German newcomers missed out in third place on seven points.

For Monaco, though, the conclusive defeat only demonstrated how far they have fallen since their exciting young side was broken up after reaching the semi-finals last season.

For the prolific Falcao, still Monaco's brightest spark in a dismal season, it was a bittersweet return to the Dragao, where he won six trophies with Porto.

"For me, it was a huge pleasure to come here and play again. It's like my home and I won a lot of trophies here," the Colombian told UEFA.com.

"Now we have to focus on the league and the two domestic cups. It's sad not to be continuing in the Champions League but that's football.

"Our team changed a lot in the summer and we need time to get stronger. We are capable of finishing second in the league in order to return to this competition."

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