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Rediff.com  » Sports » PHOTOS: Rostov stun Bayern, PSG denies Arsenal top spot

PHOTOS: Rostov stun Bayern, PSG denies Arsenal top spot

Last updated on: November 24, 2016 11:04 IST

Atletico Madrid sealed top spot in Champions League Group D after second half goals from Frenchmen Kevin Gameiro and Antoine Griezmann but Napoli were held to a 0-0 Champions League draw at home by Dynamo Kiev. Images from Wednesday's matches:

Rostov stun Bayern

IMAGE: FC Rostov's Christian Noboa, centre, celebrates with his team mates after scoring a goal. Photograph: Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

Bayern Munich's hopes of finishing top of their Champions League group were hanging by a thread on Wednesday after they were stunned 3-2 at Russian side Rostov who recorded their first ever win in the competition.

The German champions had already qualified for the last 16, but their chances of topping Group D are now slim with leaders Atletico Madrid needing a point from their final two games to tie up first place.

Rostov, who are merely battling to finish third and get into the Europa League, fell behind when Douglas Costa swept home after 35 minutes, but an excellent finish from livewire forward Sardar Azmoun levelled and Dmitri Poloz's penalty put the hosts ahead.

Bayern, whose defence was frequently exposed by Rostov's pace on the break, equalised when Juan Bernat drove the ball into the roof of the net, but Christian Noboa curled in a precise free kick to earn Rostov a famous victory.

The Russian side moved up to four points, provisionally three clear of bottom club PSV Eindhoven, who visit Atletico later on Wednesday.

IMAGE: Bayern Munich's Renato Sanches tries to get the ball past Timofei Kalachev of FC Rostov. Photograph: Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

Bayern, who were beaten by Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga on Saturday and are winless in their last three in all competitions, stay on nine points, ahead of their final group outing against Atletico.

Bayern, five times European champions and Bundesliga winners for the last four seasons, beat Rostov 5-0 in September in what was the Russian side's first ever match in the Champions League.

Yet this was always going to be a tougher test for the Germans, especially without injured goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and playmaker Arjen Robben.

The visitors enjoyed the better start, but should have fallen behind after nine minutes when Alexander Erokhin's header was cleared off the line.

A mistake from Rostov defender Cesar Navas 10 minutes before halftime, gifted Bayern the lead as his poor clearance fell to Costa who rifled the ball home from close range.

Rostov improved as the half progressed and drew level a minute before the break when Iranian Azmoun, a constant threat with his pace and trickery, left Jerome Boateng on the ground with a sharp turn and calmly finished into the bottom right corner.

Five minutes after halftime, Poloz put Rostov in front from the penalty spot after Noboa was fouled by Boateng, who had a match to forget and was substituted after 58 minutes.

The hosts' advantage did not last long, however, as Bernat latched onto Franck Ribery's excellent ball into the box and drove home with his first touch.

There was to be no salvation for Bayern though as Rostov re-took the lead on 67 minutes when Noboa curled a wonderfully taken free kick over the wall into the corner.

PSG denies Arsenal top spot

IMAGE: Lucas celebrates PSG's second goal. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Paris St Germain put themselves in the box seat to enter the Champions League knockout rounds as Group A winners after an Alex Iwobi own goal earned them a point in an entertaining 2-2 draw at Arsenal on Wednesday.

Arsenal, who like PSG had booked a last 16 spot, looked set to finish top of their group for the first time since 2011 after Marco Verratti's comical own goal on the hour.

But they were denied when Lucas's goalbound header in the 77th minute was deflected past David Ospina by Iwobi.

Edinson Cavani, who put PSG ahead as he had done in Paris in September when the sides drew 1-1, wasted several chances to earn the French champions victory late on.

It means PSG have 11 points from five games, the same as Arsenal, but have a superior head-to-head courtesy of away goals. They will guarantee finishing first if they beat Ludogorets in their final fixture, when Arsenal go to Basel.

IMAGE: Arsenal's players celebrate after Marco Verratti scored an own goal for PSG. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was philosophical afterwards, saying finishing second would not necessarily be a burden for his side who have lost in the last-16 stage six seasons in a row.

"At the moment we are 90 percent to finish second," he told reporters. "Will it be good or bad? You can't guess because you have to wait for the draw. What is more disappointing is that we didn't win the game."

A point was no less than PSG deserved as they started and finished the game stronger than Arsenal, who are unbeaten in all competitions since losing to Liverpool in August.

"It was a terrific performance," their coach Unai Emery, deprived of defender Serge Aurier after British authorities revoked his visa following an assault conviction, said. "I'm sure (Aurier) was pleased with how the team played tonight."

Uruguayan Cavani had already had two sniffs at goal when he punished Arsenal's lethargy in the 18th minute.

Thiago Motta had far too much time to pick a pass that sent Blaise Matuidi clear and his inviting low cross was swept home by the sliding Cavani for his 16th goal of the season.

PSG were composed in possession but were architects of their own downfall seconds before halftime.

IMAGE: Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey, left, fouls Marco Verratti of PSG. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Maxwell sloppily conceded possession and Mesut Ozil's clever blind pass sent Alexis Sanchez free. The Chilean forward's footwork proved too quick for the sliding Grzegorz Krychowiak who brought him down for a clear penalty.

Giroud, restored to the starting lineup after his late equaliser at Manchester United at the weekend, tucked the spot kick past Alphonse Areola.

Lucas hit the crossbar with a free kick early in the second half for PSG but Arsenal then enjoyed their best spell.

Having been gifted their equaliser Arsenal were thankful to the visitors again as they took the lead on the hour.

This time Aaron Ramsey's shot was blocked and an attempted clearance by Marquinhos cannoned back off the shins of team mate Verratti past the helpless Areola.

Arsenal then sat back and PSG equalised when Lucas's powerful header was turned in by Iwobi when Ospina had it covered. Iwobi was substituted immediately.

"It's frustrating because Ospina was behind him," Wenger said. "You have to take it on the chin and support him. Overall it was a fair result because they are very good side with top technical quality."

It could have been worse for Arsenal. Cavani was clean through but his attempted chip went straight into the arms of Ospina and minutes from fulltime he glanced a diving header agonisingly wide of the post.

Atletico beat PSV to maintain perfect record

IMAGE: Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann, left, celebrates with team-mate Tiago after scoring their second goal. Photograph: Juan Medina/Reuters

Atletico Madrid sealed top spot in Champions League Group D after second half goals from Frenchmen Kevin Gameiro and Antoine Griezmann gave them a comfortable 2-0 win at home to PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday.

Gameiro broke the deadlock in the 55th minute with an arrowed first-time finish and Griezmann clinched Atletico's fifth win in five Champions League games with a near post finish in the 66th.

Diego Simeone's side are the only team in the competition with a 100 percent record in the group stages.

Atletico top Group D with 15 points, six clear of Bayern Munich, who visit them in a fortnight's time in a game that will have no bearing on the final standings. Rostov are third on four points after beating Bayern 3-2, while PSV are bottom with one.

Hurting from their 3-0 defeat to local rivals Real Madrid on Saturday, Atletico made a strong start.

Yannick Carrasco tore down the right hand side in the seventh minute and his cross found Gameiro, who failed to connect properly with the ball and missed the target, while Diego Godin headed straight at PSV goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet.

PSV defender Jetro Willems, who had made an excellent last ditch challenge to thwart Gameiro, required medical attention following a collision of heads with Zoet and was withdrawn by PSV coach Phillip Cocu at halftime.

Atletico took charge early in the second half, Griezmann releasing Gameiro on the right hand side of the box and the former Sevilla man catching Zoet by surprise with a first time strike into the far corner.

The second goal owed a lot to some aggressive pressing from Tiago Mendes in the final third, the Portuguese playing in Griezmann after swiping the ball from an opponent and enabling the Frenchman to slide in and knock the ball home at Zoet's near post.

Griezmann nearly teed up Gameiro for the third but the 29-year-old's header deflected off Zoet and onto the post.\

Napoli frustrated at home by Dynamo

IMAGE: Napoli's Dries Mertens reacts. Photograph: Ciro De Luca/Reuters

Napoli's goalscoring problems surfaced again when they were held to a 0-0 Champions League draw at home by Dynamo Kiev on Wednesday, their third Group B game in a row without a win.

Last year's Serie A runners-up won 17 corners and had five shots on target compared to none for the Ukrainians but could not find a way past Dynamo goalkeeper Artur Rudko.

The result left Napoli level at the top of the group on eight points with leaders Benfica, their opponents in their final group game.

A draw would guarantee them a top two place as it would give them a better head-to-head record against the Portuguese champions.

Turkish champions Besiktas, who drew 3-3 with Benfica, have seven points and visit Kiev in their final game, where a win would send them through to the knockout phase.

Dynamo, who have two points and will finish bottom, played with a high back line, inviting Napoli to play through-balls which frustratingly failed to find the target.

Dries Mertens managed to spring the offside trap early on but Rudko made a last-ditch tackle to foil the Belgian, who was playing as a false number nine in place of striker Arkadiusz Milik, out with a long-term knee injury.

Napoli then won a succession of corners which failed to produced anything before Mertens was sent clear again and Rudko this time rushed out of his area to make a risky sliding challenge.

Lorenzo Insigne should have put Napoli ahead when he was sent clear by a Mertens through-ball but he tripped at the vital moment.

Napoli, who won their first two games in the group, continued to push forward in the second half and Rudko made a flying save to turn Marek Hamsik's drive around the post.

Substitute Manolo Gabbiadini curled another effort just wide and then had a shot saved by Rudko but Napoli's challenge petered out.

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