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Man United's Champions League last 16 hopes in danger

Last updated on: November 30, 2023 09:21 IST

Images from UEFA Champions League matches played on Wednesday.

Manchester United's Sofyan Amrabat vies for the ball with a Galatasaray player during their Champions League Group A match at RAMS Park in Istanbul, Turkey on Wednesday

IMAGE: Manchester United's Sofyan Amrabat vies for the ball with a Galatasaray player during their Champions League Group A match at RAMS Park in Istanbul, Turkey on Wednesday. Photograph: Manchester United/X

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag said he was responsible for his side throwing away yet another lead in the Champions League after they were pegged back to a 3-3 draw with Galatasaray on Wednesday.


The three-time European champions blew a two-goal lead twice in Istanbul, with goalkeeper Andre Onana making two costly errors, to leave their hopes of reaching the last 16 hanging by a thread.

United are bottom of Group A with four points from five matches but still just one point adrift of Copenhagen and Galatasaray. They must beat group winners Bayern Munich on December 12 to progress.

United let a two-goal lead slip in an earlier group game in Copenhagen before losing 4-3 and Ten Hag said their inability to see games out was down to him.

"It's always me (who is to blame for throwing away leads). I am responsible for this, but also know we are in a project," the Dutchman told TNT Sports.

"We are in the right direction, so I know where we have to go and which steps we have to take and I'm sure we will be successful in the long term.

"If we want to stay in the Champions League, we have to win the next game."

Manchester United's manager Erik ten Hag. United are bottom of Group G and have conceded 14 goals in the Champions League so far this season 

IMAGE: Manchester United's manager Erik ten Hag. United are bottom of Group G and have conceded 14 goals in the Champions League so far this season. Photograph: /Umit Bektas/Reuters

Ten Hag was confident they would find a way to stop conceding so many goals.

United have scored the most goals in their group with 12 but are tied with Celtic for the second-worst defensive record in this year's Champions League, with 14 scored against them.

Only Antwerp in Group H have conceded more (15).

"We will fix that but I'm very pleased, you see the style of the team," he said. "Proactive, dynamic, brave, so it's what I said, I'm really pleased with the performance."

Ten Hag's side next travel to Newcastle United in the Premier League on Saturday.

Arsenal crush Lens 6-0 to reach Champions League last 16

Arsenal's Bukayo Saka celebrates scoring their third goal with Gabriel Jesus

IMAGE: Arsenal's Bukayo Saka celebrates scoring their third goal with Gabriel Jesus. Photograph: Matthew Childs/Action Images via Reuters

Arsenal blasted their way into the last 16 of the Champions League on a freezing night at The Emirates on Wednesday, crushing RC Lens 6-0 with goals from six different players and ensuring that they qualify top of Group B.

The home side, back in European football's biggest club competition for the first time in seven years, needed one point to secure themselves a place in the knockout stages of the competition. Instead, they swept Lens off the park to secure all three.

"Today we were really attacking and we played to dominate the game - and we achieved that... Today we were really effective," Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta told reporters.

Arsenal have 12 points with four wins from their five games, while Lens, who sit third with five points, can no longer reach the last 16.

Arsenal took the lead in the 13th minute with a scrappy goal from Kai Havertz, their late-goal hero at Brentford on Saturday. As Lens failed to clear their lines the ball fell to Gabriel Jesus on the edge of the box and the Brazilian laid it off to Havertz who prodded it in off Lens keeper Brice Samba from close range.

Jesus doubled the lead eight minutes later, collecting a sideways pass on the edge of the box from Bukayo Saka with his left foot, deftly switching back to his right to send the defenders the wrong way, and burying his shot in the corner.

Saka drove the knife in with a third in the 23rd minute, bundling in a weakly parried ball with his body after a shot by Gabriel Martinelli, who twisted that knife four minutes later with a curled shot that left Lens goalkeeper Samba lunging at thin air.

Some of Lens' disgusted travelling supporters began letting off flares, briefly holding up play.

Gunners captain Martin Odegaard made it five with the last kick of the first half, volleying in a long cross from Takehiro Tomiyasu charging down the right wing.

Lens, last season's Ligue 1 runners-up, stunned Arsenal 2-1 in the reverse fixture, as striker Elye Wahi scored one goal and set up another. But the Frenchman cut a forlorn figure as the mercury dipped in north London.

Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice sat deep in the second half as the home side defended their huge lead, smothering the visitors' every attempt to find their way into the area.

After a quiet second half, Arsenal were awarded a penalty after a VAR review when Lens' Abdukodir Khusanov stuck out an arm in his own area in the 85th minute and late Arsenal substitute Jorginho slotted the ball home from the spot to complete a miserable night for the visitors.

Real Madrid secure top spot after recovering to beat Napoli 4-2

Real Madrid's Nico Paz celebrates scoring their third goal

IMAGE: Real Madrid's Nico Paz celebrates scoring their third goal. Photograph: Juan Medina/Reuters

Two late goals by 19-year-old Nico Paz and Joselu gave Real Madrid a 4-2 fightback win against Napoli on Wednesday, securing the top spot in Champions League Group C with one round of matches remaining.

The 14-times champions, who had already secured qualification to the last 16, maintained their 100% record and have 15 points from five games, eight points ahead of the Italian champions.

Napoli, second on seven points, need a draw in their final game against Braga, third on four points, to qualify for the knockout stage.

Union Berlin are bottom on two points after a 1-1 draw against Braga earlier on Wednesday.

Real started well but were surprised by a quick counter-attack by the visitors, with Giovanni Di Lorenzo assisting Giovanni Simeone to open the scoring with a close-range strike in the ninth minute that at first sight looked like it had been saved by goalkeeper Andryi Lunin.

The referee let it stand as the goal-line technology confirmed that the ball had fractionally crossed the line.

Real hit back quickly, with Rodrygo equalising with a fine shot into the top corner two minutes later, and they went ahead with a Jude Bellingham header in the 22nd.

It was Bellingham's 15th goal in 16 games in all competitions for Real Madrid this season, making him the first player in the club's history to score in each of his first four European Cup games.

The Englishman has outdone last season's tally of 14 in 42 games with Borussia Dortmund and has surpassed the achievements of Real heroes Cristiano Ronaldo, Alfredo Di Stefano and Pruden Sanchez, who scored 13 goals in their first 15 games, and Ferenc Puskas, who had 11.

"He's spectacular in getting into the box, he comes into the box like a motorbike," Real manager Carlo Ancelotti told Movistar Plus.

"It's surprising because nobody could have imagined such fast adaptation here, to this club and the football he is showing. He surprises the fans, team mates and even rivals."

Real kept pressing and Brahim Diaz could have extended their lead in the 31st minute but his shot went just wide.

However, Napoli made the most of the first chance they had after the break with Frank Anguissa levelling the game from a rebound in the 47th minute, while Real suffered with several wasted chances by substitute Joselu, including an absolute sitter from close range in the 79th.

It was another substitute, academy midfielder Paz, who gave Real the lead again with a stunner from outside the box in the 84th minute.

Joselu ended up scoring the fourth goal with a tap-in in added time.

Inter complete stunning comeback to snatch 3-3 draw with Benfica

Inter Milan scored three second-half goals as they fought back from 3-0 down to rescue a 3-3 draw with Benfica in a pulsating Champions League Group D clash on Wednesday after Joao Mario netted a hat-trick for the hosts.

It was the first time Inter had come back from three goals down in the Champions League and the fight back denied Benfica a first win over the Italians after seven meetings in major European competition.

Inter, who had already qualified for the last 16, are level on 11 points with Real Sociedad, while Benfica are bottom of the group with one point, three behind third-placed Salzburg.

Inter will host Real Sociedad in their final group match on Dec. 12, a game that Simone Inzaghi's side must win to finish top of the group, while Benfica face Salzburg in their final game with a Europa League spot still up for grabs.

"I'm really happy with the reaction of the team in the second half. We went close to winning it," Inzaghi said to

"In the first half we had a bad approach, we knew the potential of our opponents and we had to take the pitch in a different way.

"During the interval we talked, we changed something and we played with a completely different spirit in the second half."

Benfica broke the deadlock after five minutes when Joao Mario finished first time after Casper Tengstedt headed it down for the former Inter player.

He then capitalised on a failed clearance from the Inter defence eight minutes later to double the lead, before completing his hat-trick in the 34th minute when he bundled the ball home from close range from a cross.

Joao Mario became only the second player to score a hat-trick against Inter in the Champions League after Gareth Bale achieved the feat with Tottenham Hotspur in 2010.

Inter struggled to get into the game and their first chance arrived when Marko Arnautovic was denied by Benfica goalkeeper Anatoliy Trubin in a one-on-one.

Arnautovic, however, did pull one back for Inter six minutes into the second half, while Davide Frattesi scored another goal for the visitors seven minutes later with a well-placed volley.

Alexis Sanchez completed the comeback from the penalty spot after 72 minutes after Nicolas Otamendi had tripped Marcus Thuram.

Benfica were reduced to 10 men in the final minutes after Antonio Silva was given his marching orders for a late challenge on Nicolo Barella.

Inter then went close to securing a victory in stoppage time, but Barella's powerful long-range strike hit the woodwork.

Copenhagen dig deep to end Bayern's winning run

Copenhagen ground out a 0-0 draw at Bayern Munich in their Champions League Group A match on Wednesday to snap their opponents' 17-game winning run in group-stage matches and stay in contention to reach the last 16.

The Bavarians have secured top spot in the group on 13 points, with the Danish side second on five.

"It's only a few people who know what it takes to come here and get a point," said Copenhagen's man-of-the-match Rasmus Falk.

"I'm so proud because it's maybe one of the hardest places in the world to get a point."

Both teams needed time to settle with Bayern missing several key players through injury.

Copenhagen had an early chance when Roony Bardghji's 27th-minute shot sailed narrowly wide and Thomas Mueller's close-range header for Bayern was saved by keeper Kamil Grabara.

The visitors, whose solid backline has been key to their success this season, defended well and came close again two minutes after the restart through Diogo Goncalves' curled shot.

The Danes can qualify for the knockout stages by beating Galatasaray, who are also on five points after drawing 3-3 with bottom club Manchester United, and they almost snatched a last-gasp winner.

Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer came to the rescue, however, with a double save to deny Elyounoussi and extend the German champions' record unbeaten run to 39 straight group-stage matches in the competition.

"We just have to accept it the way it was," Neuer said. "They were very well positioned, defended well and were solid when they had possession."

PSV fight back from two goals down to beat Sevilla and reach knockouts

PSV Eindhoven reached the Champions League last 16 after they fought back from two goals down to earn a 3-2 win in a high-octane group stage encounter against Sevilla on Wednesday that ended the Spanish side's qualification hopes.

Defender Sergio Ramos gave Sevilla the lead in the 24th minute and Youssef En Nesyri chipped the ball over the goalkeeper to extend their advantage two minutes after the break.

Yet the match turned on its head after Sevilla's Lucas Ocampos was sent off in the 66th minute for two yellow cards in the space of three minutes.

Ismael Saibari got PSV back in the game with a fine volley in the 68th minute and the Dutch side equalised with an own goal by defender Nemanja Gudelj in the 81st.

Ricardo Pepi's header earned the visitors a comeback victory that lifted them to second place in the Group B on eight points.

That proved enough to earn a place in the knockouts after group leaders Arsenal thrashed third-placed Lens 6-0 later on Wednesday.

With five points and an inferior head-to-head record, Lens cannot catch PSV.

Sevilla, who are bottom on two points, will now set their sights on qualifying for the Europa League by finishing third in the group.

The record seven-times Europa League winners, who have won only one of their last 12 matches in all competitions, must beat the French side in their last group match to finish ahead of them in the standings.

"We had a favourable result after dominating the first half, but going a man down killed us and they took advantage of it," Sevilla's Ramos told Movistar Plus.

Ten-man Braga keep last-16 hopes alive with Union draw

Ten-man Sporting Braga came from a goal down to draw 1-1 at home with Union Berlin in Champions League Group C on Wednesday to keep alive their hopes of reaching the last 16.

Midfielder Robin Gosens gave Union the lead three minutes before halftime when he sent a low shot past Braga keeper Matheus before the hosts levelled through Alvaro Djalo after the break with an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net.

The Portuguese side were left with 10 men after the half-hour mark when Union forward Kevin Behrens was fouled by Sikou Niakate, who was initially shown a yellow card that was upgraded to a red following a VAR review.

Braga, third in the standings with four points, can still finish in the top two if they beat second-placed Napoli by more than one goal in the final game next month. The Italian champions won 2-1 in Portugal.

Leaders Real Madrid, who had already clinched a last-16 spot, top the group with 15 points following a 4-2 win over Napoli. Union are bottom on two points.

Real Sociedad held by Salzburg but stay top of Group D

Real Sociedad failed to find a clinical touch in front of goal in a disappointing 0-0 Champions League draw with visiting Salzburg on Wednesday, but remained top of their Group D having already qualified for the round of 16.

Clear-cut chances were few and far between in San Sebastian with the best falling to Sociedad's Benat Turrientes and Brais Mendez whose efforts were deflected wide and save.

Sociedad, in the Champions League for the first time in a decade, top the pool with 11 points from five games, ahead of last season's runners-up Inter Milan on goal difference. They meet in Milan in their final group game on Dec. 12.

Salzburg have four points and are in third in the pool. The Austrians ended a run of three straight Champions League defeats and host bottom side Benfica in their final fixture, where a draw will see them book a place in the Europa League.

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