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Rediff.com  » Sports » Champions League Images: Real, Bayern advance

Champions League Images: Real, Bayern advance

Last updated on: December 9, 2009 10:45 IST

Owen scores first hat-trick in United colours

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England striker Michael Owen scored his first hat-trick for Manchester United to beat VfL Wolfsburg 3-1 and deny the Germans their first last 16 appearance in European competition on Tuesday.

Owen headed home Nani's cross on the stroke of halftime, and after Wolfsburg rallied through Edin Dzeko on 56 minutes the nimble forward slotted home seven minutes from full-time and sealed the win with a crafty finish in added time to send the English champions through as Group B winners.

Lacklustre in the first half, Wolfsburg were transformed in the second period and played with more purpose after the wake-up call from Owen, but it was the England man who had the final say.

Wolfsburg's consolation is a Europa League last 32 knockout stage place after finishing third in the group.

United manager Alex Ferguson was delighted after Owen's match-winning performance.

"Fantastic. Brilliant. You know what he is. His timing of runs is fantastic," he told Sky Sports.


Image: Manchester United's Michael Owen celebrates after scoring against VfL Wolfsburg
Photographs: Reuters
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Ronaldo brace puts Real in last 16

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A Cristiano Ronaldo double earned Real Madrid a clinical 3-1 win at Olympique Marseille on Tuesday and a place in the Champions League last 16 as Group C winners.

The Portugal forward fired a superb free-kick in the fifth minute and benefited from a defensive blunder to score his team's third with 10 minutes left on a cold, windy night at the Stade Velodrome.

Lucho Gonzalez, who missed a second-half penalty, had levelled in the 11th minute, only for Raul Albiol to give Real the edge on the hour.

Real, who have 13 points from six matches. Marseille will now play in the Europa League last 32.

"It was a tough game but we knew what to expect. We perfectly dealt with this game to qualify. We were solid, we controlled the game," Real coach Manuel Pellegrini said.

Marseille coach Didier Deschamps was left to ponder what might have been if Lucho had scored the penalty.

"There were still 20 minutes left, maybe it would have been different if we had scored that penalty. But let's be realistic, there is still a big difference between Marseille and Real Madrid," he said.


Image: Real Madrid's Ronaldo (centre) celebrates with team-mates after scoring against Olympique Marseille

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Unbeaten Chelsea held by APOEL Nicosia

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Chelsea were surprisingly held 2-2 by APOEL Nicosia after conceding a late equaliser on Tuesday but still went unbeaten into the last 16 of the Champions League.

Needing an unlikely win to have any chance of a Europa League berth, the Cypriots stunned Stamford Bridge with a sixth minute goal from Marcin Zewlakow.

The Group D leaders, who had previously conceded only two goals in five games, replied in the 19th when Michael Essien lashed in a swerving shot from 25 metres.

The Ghanaian hobbled off four minutes later with a leg injury that manager Carlo Ancelotti said would likely rule him out of Saturday's home Premier League match against Everton.

There was no stopping Chelsea however, who went 2-1 up through Didier Drogba in the 26th while temporarily down to 10 men before Frank Lampard came on as a substitute in a dominant first half.

Chelsea, already assured of top spot in the group, eased off in the second half and a glaring defensive error allowed APOEL to come back into the game with an 87th minute goal from substitute Nenad Mirosavljevic.

"The second half was not good, we have to do better," a scowling Ancellotti told Sky Sports television. "More concentration, more pressure, more intensity."

Drogba agreed: "We were not concentrating and we thought that 2-1 was going to be a good result but APOEL had to give everything if they wanted to believe," he said.


Image: Chelsea's Michael Essien (left) challenges APOEL Nicosia's Pinto

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Ronaldinho equaliser sees Milan through

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Ronaldinho converted a second-half penalty to salvage a 1-1 draw for AC Milan at FC Zurich and send his team into the last 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday.

The Italians went through to the first knockout round thanks to Real Madrid's 3-1 win at Olympique Marseille in the other Group C game.

Zurich, already eliminated but winners away to Milan earlier in the group stage, took a shock lead with Milan Gajic's free kick after 29 minutes.

Ronaldinho then sent Johnny Leoni the wrong way in the 65th minute after Marco Boriello had been fouled by Alain Rochat, who was shown the red card.

Milan finished with nine points from their six games and Zurich four.

Zurich coach Bernard Challandes said his team had salvaged some pride after 5-2 and 6-1 defeats to Real Madrid and Olympique Marseille respectively.

"We dreamed of the Champions League, we lived it and we wanted to finish well," he said.

"We can be satisfied with the result."

AC Milan coach Leonardo was relieved: "We weren't brilliant today but it was very important to qualify.

"There were a lot of factors at play, things were a bit complicated, we had a lot of players with physical problems and it wasn't easy to prepare."


Image: FC Zurich's Hannu Tihinen (right) challenges AC Milan's Pato

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Confident Bayern knock out Juve

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Bayern Munich surged into the Champions League last 16 after goal-keeper Hans-Joerg Butt scored a penalty in a 4-1 win at Juventus on Tuesday.

Although Juve needed only a draw from the final Group A game to join leaders Bordeaux in the knock-out stages, Bayern were the brighter side from the start and routed their opponents.

David Trezeguet converted Claudio Marchisio's cross on 19 minutes to give the hosts the lead against the run of play.

However, the Germans levelled on the half hour when defender Martin Caceres needlessly fouled Ivica Olic and keeper Butt surprisingly popped up to score the penalty.

Striker Olic then put Bayern ahead seven minutes into the second half after Gianluigi Buffon, carrying a knee injury which will now need surgery, could only parry Daniel van Buyten's effort.

Mario Gomez netted following a corner in the 83rd minute and substitute Anatoliy Tymoshchuk slammed home in injury-time to embarrass the Serie A side, who had drawn 0-0 in Munich.


Image: Bayern Munich's Ivica Olic celebrates after scoring past hapless Juventus 'keeper Gianluigi Buffon

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Atletico book Europa League berth despite loss

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Atletico Madrid scraped into the Europa League despite turning in a toothless and erratic performance during a 3-0 home loss to already qualified Porto in Champions League Group D on Tuesday.

Atletico were hoping for a return to form in Europe after two straight La Liga wins but fell behind in only the second minute at the Calderon.

Bruno Alves leaped above the home defence to head in from a corner and Radamel Falcao made it two 12 minutes later when he rifled home the rebound from a long-range Fucile strike.

Diego Forlan and Cleber Santana then missed chances for Atletico before an acrobatic effort from Sergio Aguero slammed into the side netting.

The referee earned the wrath of the home fans shortly before halftime when he turned down a Simao Sabrosa penalty appeal and then booked the Portugal winger for diving.

Atletico coach Quique Sanchez Flores, who said he had not been following the score of the match at Stamford Bridge, complained that his players had been second to every ball which had made it impossible to claw their way back into the match.

"It's very hard to pull back two goals conceded in 15 minutes against a very physical team that is playing in its comfort zone," he said.

"The fans are very demanding and that's the way it should be. They were expecting a better performance."


Image: Porto's Fucile (left) challenges Atletico Madrid's Jose Manuel Jurado

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Maccabi set dubious Champions League record

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Maccabi Haifa set an abject Champions League record on Tuesday when they became the first team to lose all six group games without scoring a goal.

The Israeli league leaders lost 1-0 to Girondins Bordeaux, who recorded a fifth successive Champions League victory despite fielding a second-string side.

Brazilian Jussie scored the only goal of the match from the edge of the area in the 13th minute.

Try as they might to score the solitary goal that might have earned them a draw, the Haifa side lacked clear direction in attack and failed to mount a single credible assault on the Bordeaux goal.

Haifa were making their second appearance in the group stages after making their debut in 2002 when they defeated Manchester United and Olympiakos.

The match also marked a farewell for veteran Haifa defender Alon Harazi, 38, who retired in his 720th appearance for the Israeli club. He will begin an administrative role for Haifa.

Bordeaux coach Laurent Blanc said he was pleased with his players' performance and thought they deserved to win but added that Haifa were not as weak as their record showed.

"My team dominated this evening against Haifa but when you look at their matches against Juventus and Bayern Munich they posed them problems and they posed problems for us in Bordeaux," he said.


Image: Maccabi Haifa's Vladimer Dvalishvili (right) and Girondins Bordeaux's Diego Placente vie for possession

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