Juventus move into last 16 with 2-1 win over Ferencvaros
Juventus progressed to the Champions League last 16 after a Cristiano Ronaldo goal and a late header from substitute Alvaro Morata gave them a comeback 2-1 home win over Hungarians Ferencvaros on Tuesday.
With two games remaining, the result left Juve second in Group G on nine points from four matches, three behind leaders Barcelona who also booked a knockout-stage berth with a 4-0 win at Dynamo Kyiv.
Ferencvaros and Dynamo are level on one point and will vie for the consolation prize of joining the Europa League round of 32 after the winter break.
Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo said a tactical switch to attacking down the flanks instead of through the middle paid off in the second half.
"I think we were better in the second half, tactically," said the former Italy midfielder.
"Sometimes we tried too often to break through the middle while we should have played more on the flanks. It was important to win and qualify, we tried until the end and this is what I liked the most."
The Italian champions made heavy weather of the clash against Ferencvaros after beating them 4-1 in the reverse fixture, and they often looked lethargic against a packed visiting defence.
Paolo Dybala missed their best chance in the first half when goalkeeper Denes Dibusz blocked his close-range shot in the 15th minute and the home side were punished four minutes later by a quality goal.
Myrto Uzuni fired Ferencvaros ahead with a delightful touch which beat home keeper Wojciech Szczesny after Tokmac Nguen had shaken off two markers and clipped a perfectly weighed cross into the heart of the penalty area.
Ronaldo, who barely featured in the opening half-hour, had a goal correctly ruled out for offside before he equalised in the 35th minute with a sweet, left-foot shot from 20 metres which fizzed into the back of the net inside the near post. Ronaldo scored to bring up his 70th home goal in the Champions League, a record haul he now shares with Barcelona's Lionel Messi, Goal.com reported.
Juventus pressed in the second half but it looked like they would have to settle for a draw and leave themselves with work to do in order to qualify after Federico Bernardeschi and Morata hit the woodwork.
However, a valiant performance by the visitors was undone in stoppage time as Morata's downward header from eight metres squeezed under Dibusz's body and over the line after a fine cross from the right by Juan Cuadrado.
Barca benefited from fresh legs in win over Dynamo, says Koeman
Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman was pleased to see his side play with a renewed sense of freshness in Tuesday's 4-0 win away to Dynamo Kyiv in the Champions League after heavily rotating his squad.
The Dutchman, who is under pressure due to Barca's poor start to the domestic season, made eight changes from the team that were beaten 1-0 by Atletico Madrid on Saturday and left all-time top scorer Lionel Messi back in Barcelona.
After a poor start, Barca got going in the second half to easily beat the Ukrainians with a goal from Sergino Dest, a double from Martin Braithwaite and a late strike from substitute Antoine Griezmann, clinching the Catalans' place in the last 16.
"Some games turn out better than others but the biggest difference today was how fresh we looked," Koeman told a news conference.
"We did the right thing in resting some players and giving an opportunity to others who were in a better physical shape. We were much better in midfield, we showed lots of hunger and pressed our opponents very well."
Koeman praised the performance of debutant defender Oscar Mingueza who was called upon as three of his four centrebacks were injured, adding that the 21-year-old was likely to start again in Sunday's La Liga game at home to Osasuna.
Konrad de la Fuente and Matheus Fernandes also made their first-team debuts after coming off the bench, while youngsters Dest, Pedri and Francisco Trincao also impressed.
"He's a young player who has spent many years with the club so he knows exactly how we want to play," Koeman said of Mingueza. "He needs to improve but he gave a good first impression which is important for us and for him."
He added: "The team played with a lot of hunger today, we scored four goals and we were able to rest some important players. The young players also got some minutes which they really deserved and they all stood their ground."
Giroud winner puts Chelsea in Champions League knockout stages
Striker Olivier Giroud scored a dramatic last-minute winner as Chelsea booked their place in the Champions League last 16 with a 2-1 victory over Stade Rennais at Roazhon Park on Tuesday.
Sehrou Guirassy looked as though he had secured a point for his side with an equaliser minutes earlier, but Giroud profited from some poor Rennes defending to claim the win after Callum Hudson-Odoi had put the visitors in front in the first half.
Chelsea top Group E with 10 points from four games, level with Sevilla but ahead on goal-difference, after the Spanish side also claimed a late 2-1 victory in Russia against Krasnodar to seal their passage into the knockout stages.
"I'm very happy to qualify with two games to spare," said Chelsea manager Frank Lampard. "It was a really tough match, they're a very good team. Their recent form doesn't reflect how good they are, it was a tough hard-fought win."
Rennes, who have one point, had their moments but were largely kept at bay by Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, who left the Brittany club for Stamford Bridge in September and made a number of outstanding saves.
The visitors should have gone in front inside four minutes as Timo Werner inexplicably blasted over from close-range with the goal gaping.
Hudson-Odoi’s low cross just needed to be steered into the net, but the German forward fired well over the bar from six yards out.
They did grab the lead midway through the first half though when Mason Mount’s pin-point 50-yard pass behind the Rennes defence allowed Hudson-Odoi to sprint clear, before he showed excellent control and provided a cool finish past Alfred Gomis.
Gomis saved brilliantly from Mount, but it was Mendy who was the busier of the two goalkeepers. He was finally beaten on 85 minutes as Guirassy was left unmarked at a corner and powered his header into the net.
It looked to have sealed a point for the home side, but when Rennes gave up possession just outside their box, Hakim Ziyech set up Werner, whose shot was saved by Gomis, only for substitute Giroud to head in the rebound.
"It wasn't just his goal when he came on but his hold-up play and physicality," said Lampard. "...you saw the reaction to his goal, and that wasn't just because it was a late winner, it shows what he does day-to-day and what he means to the team."
Fernandes double helps United avenge Istanbul defeat
A double from Bruno Fernandes helped Manchester United to a 4-1 win over Istanbul Basaksehir at Old Trafford on Tuesday, keeping them top of Champions League Group H.
After losing away to the Turkish side in the previous round of fixtures, the victory keeps United, with nine points from four games, on track to progress to the knockout stage, which they can reach with a win at home to Paris St Germain next week.
PSG, who beat RB Leipzig 1-0 on Tuesday, are second, level on six points with German side, while Basaksehir have three.
"I felt first half we saw the intent straight away, they wanted to play and they enjoyed it," said United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
"It's a Champions League night at Old Trafford, you'd expect them to enjoy themselves. We scored some very nice goals, I'm pleased."
United started with an attacking lineup with Edinson Cavani as the central striker and Anthony Martial, Fernandes and Marcus Rashford in a trident behind him while Dutch midfielder Donny van de Beek was also handed a rare start.
Fernandes blasted United into a seventh-minute lead in spectacular fashion when a corner from Alex Telles was half-cleared to him on the edge of the area and his first-time drive whistled past Mert Gunok in the Basaksehir goal.
If the Turkish keeper was helpless to stop that effort he was clearly at fault for the second United goal, in the 19th minute, when he fumbled a cross from Telles, gifting Fernandes a simple tap-in.
Rashford then raced clear on to a long ball forward from Victor Lindelof, but Boli Bolingoli needlessly barged him over as he burst into the box and the United striker converted the penalty to make it 3-0.
Some eyebrows may have been raised that Fernandes, United's regular penalty taker who was on a hat-trick, did not take the kick.
The Portuguese, however, said after the game that he had promised Rashford the next penalty following his own twice-taken effort in the Premier League win over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.
Former Chelsea striker Demba Ba then had two great chances to get Basaksehir back in the game but he failed to find the target with a free header and then scuffed a shot from close-range.
Solskjaer opted to rest some of his key starters early in the second half with Mason Greenwood returning to the team as a substitute.
The Turkish side pulled a goal back in the 75th minute with a well-struck, left-footed free kick from Deniz Turuc which David De Gea did well to reach - but from behind the goal-line.
Basaksehir suddenly had some belief and United had a scare when Edin Visca struck the bar from distance, prompting Solskjaer to bring on Nemanja Matic to shore things up.
The game was put beyond doubt in stoppage time from a counter-attack, when Greenwood slipped the ball across to Dan James to slot home.
Haaland double gives Dortmund 3-0 win over Brugge
Borussia Dortmund forward Erling Haaland scored twice as they cruised to a 3-0 win over Club Brugge on Tuesday to top Group F and take a big step towards securing their knockout-stage spot with two games remaining.
The Norwegian, who struck four times against Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga on Saturday, has now netted 16 times in his 12 Champions League games, more than anyone in the competition's history for that number of matches.
Dortmund, who next play Lazio, are on nine points from four games with the Italians on eight and Brugge in third on four. Zenit St Petersburg are in last place.
Dortmund coach Lucien Favre made five changes to the side that beat Hertha 5-2, bringing back Jadon Sancho, and their sense of urgency was evident from the start with Haaland firing wide of the target in the first minute.
He did not miss, however, in the 18th minute when England international Sancho sent the 20-year-old Norwegian through and he beat keeper Simon Mignolet from a tight angle.
Haaland has now scored in seven successive games in all competitions with 12 goals so far in this run.
It was always going to be an uphill struggle for the Belgians, who lost by the same score to Dortmund at home earlier this month, and they did not manage a single shot on target in the entire game.
Sancho then scored himself, curling in a superb free kick on the stroke of halftime to give the hosts a two-goal cushion before Haaland struck again on the hour, pouncing on a mistake by Ruud Vormer to pivot and drill in his second goal of the evening.
Immobile double helps Lazio move closer to knockout stage
Lazio forward Ciro Immobile struck twice and Marco Parolo scored his first Champions League goal aged 35 as they beat Zenit St Petersburg 3-1 to remain unbeaten in Group F on Tuesday.
Immobile, who missed the previous two Champions League games because of positive COVID-19 tests, fired Lazio in front after three minutes and converted a penalty early in the second half as he took his tally to three in three group games.
The win took Lazio, who are in the group stage for the first time since 2007-08, within touching distance of the last 16. They stayed in second place with eight points from four games, a point behind Borussia Dortmund and four clear of Club Brugge.
Zenit are bottom with one point and out of contention.
Lazio were quickly off the mark when Immobile, Serie A's top scorer last season, collected Lucas Leiva's pass with his back to goal and scored with a powerful shot on the turn.
Parolo, who had not played in the Champions League group stage before this season, scored with a low shot from outside the area in the 22nd minute after Joaquin Correa broke down the left and pulled the ball back.
Artem Dzyuba pulled one back for Zenit three minutes later with a shot on the turn and Aleksandr Erokhin missed a chance to equalise as the game briefly threatened to slip from Lazio's control.
But, after several missed chances, the hosts restored their two-goal lead 10 minutes after the restart when Wilmar Barrios' reckless lunge on Immobile led to a penalty which the Lazio forward fired past the helpless Mikhail Kerzhakov.