PHOTOS: Manchester clubs dominate, Real and Bayern cruise
Wayne Rooney set up three goals as Manchester United cruised to a 5-0 triumph at Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday, booking their Champions League knockout stage spot and snapping the Germans' eight-game home winning streak in the competition.
Rooney tormented Leverkusen with pinpoint passes, having a hand in four goals in all, in what was United's biggest away victory in the European Cup in over half a century since a 6-0 demolition of Shamrock Rovers in 1957.
Rooney found Antonio Valencia with a deep cross for an easy tap-in before floating a free kick into the box which defender Emir Spahic headed into his own net in the 30th minute.
Jonny Evans added another after taking advantage of some confusion in the box and Chris Smalling scored in the 77th before a cute Nani finish sealed United's biggest away win in the Champions League.
It also made sure of English clubs' fifth win in seven matches against German teams this season.
Image: Manchester United's Jonny Evans (left) celebrates after scoring a goal past against Bayer Leverkusen
Photographs: Ina Fassbender/Reuters
'This is probably the best performance of the season'
The win lifted United, who were playing without injured Nemanja Vidic and Robin van Persie, to 11 points in Group A, three ahead of Ukraine's Shakhtar Donetsk, with Leverkusen in third on seven.
A win or draw against the Ukrainians at home in the final group game on December 10 will guarantee the English team top spot.
"This is probably the best performance of the season, the best we played in my time here," said United coach David Moyes, whose domestic results have been mixed since succeeding Alex Ferguson in the close season.
"For us to come away from home and score five goals is special.
"Wayne was very good tonight. There were so many great performances. That is what I was hoping to get more often this season. There are signs that we have been getting better."
Image: Manchester United's Antonio Valencia scores a goal past Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno
Photographs: Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters
Record-breaking Bayern beat CSKA to keep up perfect record
Holders Bayern Munich eased past CSKA Moscow 3-1 to set a Champions League record with their 10th straight victory and underline their ambitions to become the first team to successfully defend the title.
The Bavarians, who had already qualified for the knockout stage, struck against the run of play in snowy Moscow with Arjen Robben's superb left-footed strike in the 17th minute.
Mario Goetze added another after a fine run before Keisuke Honda cut the deficit with a penalty just after the hour.
Thomas Mueller responded with a penalty of his own to restore their two-goal lead in the 65th and give Bayern their best ever start with five wins from five group games.
"Playing on this pitch today was adventurous," Bayern coach Pep Guardiola told reporters when asked about the snow.
"It was difficult because the players had no grip. But over 90 minutes we were better than our opponents. Getting 10 wins in a row is very hard and I am proud of my players, the club and everyone involved."
Barcelona set the previous record of nine wins in 2002-03.
Image: Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben clashes against Georgi Schennikov (right) of CSKA Moscow
Photographs: Epsilon/Getty Images
'We have said we don't play for records, we play to win titles'
The Germans, the only team in the competition with a perfect record this season, have not yet secured top spot in Group D and face fellow last 16 qualifiers Manchester City at home in the final game on December 10.
City, beaten 3-1 in Manchester by Bayern in the second group game, have 12 points.
"It is a fantastic achievement to win 10 consecutive games in Europe especially if you consider we also played Barcelona and then Borussia Dortmund on the way to the final (last season)," scorer Robben told reporters.
"We have said we don't play for records, we play to win titles. But we have a great team and I am proud to be part of it."
Image: Thomas Muller of Bayern Munich tries to get the ball past Kirill Nababkin (right) of CSKA Moscow
Photographs: Epsilon/Getty Images
Ten-man Real thrash Galatasaray to seal top spot
Real Madrid made light of the first-half dismissal of Sergio Ramos to secure a thumping 4-1 win at home to Galatasaray on Wednesday that put them through to the last 16 of the Champions League as Group B winners.
Real are top on 13 points, Juventus are second on six after their 3-1 win at home to FC Copenhagen on Wednesday, and Galatasaray and the Danish side each have four points.
Real dominated the early stages on a chilly and blustery night at the Bernabeu but were rocked back when defender Ramos was shown a straight red card in the 26th minute for impeding forward Umut Bulut when he was through on goal.
The Turkish champions were unable to make their numerical advantage count and Gareth Bale put Real, who were missing injured top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo, ahead with a superb free kick 11 minutes later.
Image: Gareth Bale celebrates scoring the opening goal for Real Madrid
Photographs: Denis Doyle/Getty Images
'We controlled the match efficiently and pressured high up the pitch'
Galatasaray levelled within a minute when Didier Drogba sent Bulut clear and he slid the ball past Iker Casillas before fullback Alvaro Arbeloa restored Real's lead when he netted his second Champions League goal six minutes after halftime.
Angel Di Maria struck in the 63rd minute and Isco scored from close range nine minutes from time to seal a comfortable victory for the nine-times European champions, who are chasing the 10th continental crown that has eluded them since their last triumph in 2002.
"I think we started a bit slowly in the first half but later with 10 men the team played very well," Real coach Carlo Ancelotti said in an interview with Spanish television broadcaster Canal Plus.
"We controlled the match efficiently and pressured high up the pitch," added the Italian, who was clearly upset with Ramos after he was sent off for the 17th time in his Real career.
Image: Isco scores the fourth goal for Real Madrid
Photographs: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images
City slickers keep up goal blitz with four versus Plzen
Manchester City continued their dynamic scoring blitz at the Etihad Stadium, brushing aside Viktoria Plzen 4-2 in the Champions League to keep up the pressure on Group D leaders Bayern Munich.
City's remarkable recent record has seen them plunder 25 goals in their last five home matches in the Champions League and Premier League.
The scoring sequence features three goals against Everton, four versus Plzen, five against CSKA Moscow, six versus Tottenham Hotspur and seven against Norwich City.
The four-goal show against Group D bottom club Plzen gave City 12 points from five matches, three behind leaders Bayern who beat CSKA 3-1 earlier on Wednesday.
"Plzen played a very good game," City manager Manuel Pellegrini told reporters. "I watched them against Bayern the other week and I was very impressed with their performance against such a strong team.
"I told my team before the game that they had players who could cause us problems if we gave them time and space."
Image: Samir Nasri scores the second goal for Manchester City
Photographs: Michael Regan/Getty Images
City dominated possession and wasted several good scoring chances
City dominated possession and wasted several good scoring chances but their Czech opponents put up a spirited fight and did not look like a team without a point in the competition.
Plzen went close on a number of occasions thanks to the lively pair of Frantisek Rajtoral and Michal Duris who almost broke the deadlock before City took the lead.
A worry for the home team was the non-appearance after halftime of Sergio Aguero with an undisclosed injury but encouraging for them was the form of Joe Hart in goal.
The England keeper, back in the side after being left out following some indifferent form, pulled off a couple of flying saves as Plzen pressed forward.
City went in front after 33 minutes when Aguero sent Matus Kozacik the wrong way from the penalty spot after Rajtoral was harshly adjudged to have handled.
Plzen levelled two minutes before halftime when Tomas Horava smashed the ball past Hart's right hand and into the top corner of the net from long range.
City restored their lead after 65 minutes when the busy Samir Nasri, who also hit the bar in the first period, volleyed in a cross from Jesus Navas.
Plzen equalised again four minutes later as the home defence backed off and Stanislav Tecl ended a fine passing move by side-footing the ball home.
The visitors then tired and substitute Alvaro Negredo, on for Aguero, tapped the ball in at the far post from a Navas pass in the 78th minute and Edin Dzeko's header completed the scoring a minute from time.
Image: Alvaro Negredo of Manchester City scores his team's third goal
Photographs: Michael Regan/Getty Images
'Great scorers like that always turn up in big games'
Edinson Cavani's last-gasp goal helped 10-man Paris St Germain beat Olympiakos Piraeus 2-1 to clinch top spot in Group C and qualify for the Champions League last-16.
Uruguay striker Cavani scored from Adrien Rabiot's pass in the 90th minute to put PSG on 13 points from five games after Kostas Manolas had cancelled out Zlatan Ibrahimovic's early opener nine minutes from time.
PSG, who had Marco Verratti sent off one minute into the second half, lead second-placed Olympiakos by six points with one round remaining in Group C.
Benfica are third, also on seven points, after beating Anderlecht 3-2 away with the Belgian side, who have one point, eliminated from all European competition.
"It was a little bit difficult but we managed to reach our objective, so the team's very happy," Blanc told a news conference.
"It's the second time (this season) we've won with 10 against 11. The way we keep pushing forward despite being a man down is a good sign. All the great teams have this. It can serve us well later on.
"I'm lucky enough to have a quality squad and I have two great players who can score goals. Great scorers like that always turn up in big games," he added referring to Ibrahimovic and Cavani.
Image: Paris St-Germain's Edinson Cavani celebrates after scoring the second goal
Photographs: Charles Platiau/Reuters
'We've put ourselves in a good position and we need to take advantage of it'
Chilean Arturo Vidal found the perfect time to score his first ever hat-trick to lead Juventus to a 3-1 victory over FC Copenhagen that eased the Old Lady's Champions League headache.
Juve went into the home game with just three points from four games - their worst ever start to a Champions League group campaign - and defeat would have ended their interest in this season's competition.
But midfielder Vidal kept his cool to convert two penalties and head a deft third as the Italian champions climbed to second in Group B and eliminated Copenhagen from the Champions League.
Antonio Conte's side are in control of their fate, but they still face a tricky trip to Istanbul to take on third-placed Galatasaray in the final group game on December 10, when a place in the last 16 will be the prize for both teams. Juve need to avoid defeat to progress.
"This year we've made life difficult for ourselves because in the previous matches against Copenhagen and Galatasaray we deserved to win and if we had done so we'd already be qualified," Conte told Sky Sports Italia.
"Instead we're going to Istanbul with it all to play for and in a really hostile environment. However, we've put ourselves in a good position and we need to take advantage of it."
Image: Arturo Vidal of Juventus shoots to score a penalty against FC Copenhagen
Photographs: Giorgio Perottino/Reuters
Shakhtar hammer Sociedad to move into second spot
Shakhtar Donetsk boosted their chances of qualifying for the Champions League knockout stage as their Brazilian flare helped them outclass an eliminated Real Sociedad 4-0 in Group A.
The hosts moved up to second spot with eight points from five games, one point clear of Bayer Leverkusen heading into the final group game at leaders Manchester United, who qualified by battering the Germans 5-0 away.
Brazilian striker Luiz Adriano latched onto an incisive pass from compatriot Douglas Costa and flicked the ball into the net from a very sharp angle via the near post after 37 minutes.
Inigo Martinez squandered a clear chance for an equaliser by firing narrowly over the bar two minutes from halftime and things got even worse for the Sociedad midfielder after the break.
Shakhtar doubled their lead three minutes after the restart following a blunder by Martinez, whose clumsy clearance set up Alex Teixeira to rifle straight into the top corner.
Douglas Costa rifled a spectacular shot into the top corner from the edge of the area to make it 3-0 and ended the rout with a header three minutes from time.
The Ukrainian champions will top the group if they win at United on December 10.
Spain's Sociedad, with one point, are now out of Europe altogether.
Image: Shakhtar Donetsk's Alex Teixeira and team mate Douglas Costa celebrate a goal
Photographs: Valeriy Bilokryl/Reuters
Rodrigo winner keeps Benfica's last-16 dream alive
A 90th-minute strike by Rodrigo gave Benfica a 3-2 victory over Anderlecht to keep alive their hopes of reaching the Champions League knockout round.
With Olympiakos Piraeus' 2-1 defeat at Paris St Germain, the Greek side and Benfica are equal on seven points apiece in Group C, six behind PSG, before the final matches on December 10 to settle second place in the group.
Benfica are at home to PSG while Olympiakos host Anderlecht with the Greeks holding the advantage of a better head-to-head record against the Portuguese if they remain equal on points.
For the Belgian side, who have taken just one point from five games, all hopes of continuing to play in European tournaments this season evaporated.
Image: Benfica's Rodrigo (left) scores against Anderlecht
Photographs: Francois Lenoir/Reuters