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PICS: Ronaldo finds net in Juve win; City thump Dinamo

Last updated on: December 12, 2019 09:33 IST
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Neymar Jr and Kylian Mbappe starred in PSG's win as they topped group A after thrashing Galatasaray 5-0. Juventus, who have already qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League, pumped in two goals to oust Leverkusen from the tournament, while Gabriel Jesus netted a hat-trick in Manchester City's 4-1 thumping of Dinamo Zagreb. 

Here are Images from the Champions League matches played on Wednesday 

Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring against Bayer Leverkusen in their Champions League Group D match at BayArena in Leverkusen, Germany 

IMAGE: Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring against Bayer Leverkusen in their Champions League Group D match at BayArena in Leverkusen, Germany. Photograph: Thilo Schmuelgen/Reuters

Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain scored late goals as already-qualified Juventus beat hosts Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 in the Champions League Group D finale on Wednesday to eliminate the Germans from the competition.

 

Ronaldo tapped in from close range in the 75th minute after having missed an almost identical chance in the first half and Higuain scored in stoppage time to put Juve top of the group on 16 points.

Atletico Madrid, on 10, also advanced with a 2-0 win over Lokomotiv Moscow, leaving Leverkusen in third place on six points and with a spot in the Europa League the next year.

Leverkusen started strongly and looked for an early goal but it was the Italians who came agonisingly close when Higuain cut into the box and Ronaldo was a fraction too late.

Leverkusen's Moussa Diaby then let fly from 20 metres and seemed set to beat 41-year-old keeper Gianluigi Buffon, who was making his first Champions League appearance this season, but the ball bounced off the post.

After the break, Juve controlled the pace with the hosts growing more desperate.

Ronaldo, who ended his goal drought earlier this month and also scored in the league at the weekend, struck with 15 minutes left, tapping in substitute Paulo Dybala's cross to end any lingering hopes of qualifying for the Germans.

Dybala then set up Higuain for their second goal with the Argentine scoring with a low drive.

Jesus hat-trick gives Man City 4-1 win at Dinamo

Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus scores their third goal to complete his hat-trick against GNK Dinamo Zagreb in their Champions League Group C match at Stadion Maksimir in Zagreb, Croatia

IMAGE: Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus scores their third goal to complete his hat-trick against GNK Dinamo Zagreb in their Champions League Group C match at Stadion Maksimir in Zagreb, Croatia. Photograph: Matthew Childs/Action Images via Reuters

Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus netted a superb hat-trick as they came from behind to beat Croatian title holders Dinamo Zagreb 4-1 away in an entertaining Champions League Group C clash on Wednesday.

City, who had already secured the group's top spot, finished with 14 points from six games, seven ahead of Atalanta who joined them in the last 16 after a 3-0 win at Shakhtar Donetsk.

Third-placed Shakhtar, who collected six points, will carry on in the Europa League's last 32 while Dinamo (five points) were eliminated from European competition.

City manager Pep Guardiola, who fielded a strong side despite the match being a dead rubber for the English champions, was pleased after they amassed 501 goals in 199 games under his tenure in all competitions.

"In the first half we struggled a bit, but we played 75 minutes very, very well overall, so a good result," he told BT Sport.

"We'd qualified but we came here for the club, for the prestige, to learn to play in this competition."

Jesus added: "It’s special, when I’m young I think about playing and scoring in the Champions League so it’s very special to score goals and a hat-trick as well."

Aiming to reach the Champions League knockout stages for the first time, Dinamo made a bright start as Spanish forward Dani Olmo fired them into a 10th-minute lead with a sumptuous volley.

Jesus levelled in the 34th after Ilkay Gundogan had gone close amid some sustained pressure from City, rising above two markers to head home a Riyad Mahrez cross from the left.

The Brazilian then produced a jinking run after a one-two with Phil Foden in the 50th minute, weaving his way past several defenders on the left before beating home keeper Dominik Livakovic with a neat finish.

The irrepressible Jesus completed his one-man show four minutes later with a clinical side-footed shot from close range after left back Benjamin Mendy delivered an inch-perfect cross from the left.

City took their foot off the pedal after Jesus was substituted in the 65th minute but Foden added some gloss to the scoreline in the closing stages as he swept in a fine pass by Bernardo Silva.

Mbappe and Neymar dazzle as PSG thrash Galatasaray

Paris St Germain's Neymar beats Galatasaray's Ryan Donk to the ball during their Champions League Group A match at Parc des Princes in Paris, France

IMAGE: Paris St Germain's Neymar beats Galatasaray's Ryan Donk to the ball during their Champions League Group A match at Parc des Princes in Paris, France. Photograph: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

Kylian Mbappe and Neymar were at their brilliant best as Paris St Germain demolished Galatasaray 5-0 in their final Champions League Group A game at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday.

Both Mbappe and Neymar scored one and set up two other goals as the French champions, who had already made sure they would end the group phase on top, finished with 16 points, five ahead of Real Madrid after the 13-time champions beat Club Brugge 3-1 away.

Galatasaray, who also conceded goals by Pablo Sarabia, Mauro Icardi and Edinson Cavani and ended with two points, were eliminated from all European competitions.

PSG and Galatasaray fans clashed briefly before kickoff outside the stadium with one supporter being taken to hospital with a minor injury, a police source said.

Despite having midfielder Marco Verratti and keeper Keylor Navas on the bench and Angel Di Maria out with a last-minute injury, PSG dominated and were rewarded in the 32nd minute.

Neymar played Mbappe through and the French international flicked the ball into the path of Icardi who poked home the ball to put the hosts ahead with his fifth Champions League goal this season -- his 12th in his last 13 games in all competitions.

Sarabia made it 2-0 three minutes later with an angled shot after being set up by Neymar. The Brazilian found the back of the net himself two minutes into the second half with a left-footed strike into the far corner after being set up by a Mbappe backheel.

Mbappe, who has now scored 19 goals and set up 11 in 30 Champions League games, increased the advantage in the 63rd with a cool finish from another Neymar assist.

Fan favourite Cavani, who came on as a second-half substitute, rounded it off with a penalty in the 84th minute after Ryan Donk had brought down Mbappe.

Atletico stroll into Champions League knockouts

Atletico Madrid's Felipe celebrates scoring their second goal against Lokomotiv Moscow during their Champions League Group D  match at Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid, Spain 

IMAGE: Atletico Madrid's Felipe celebrates scoring their second goal against Lokomotiv Moscow during their Champions League Group D match at Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid, Spain. Photograph: Juan Medina/Reuters

Atletico Madrid comfortably beat Lokomotiv Moscow 2-0 at home on Wednesday to end a barren run of four games without a win and advance to the knockout stage of the Champions League for the sixth time in seven years.

Club record signing Joao Felix calmly converted a penalty to put Diego Simeone's side ahead in the 17th minute after Kieran Trippier had squandered an opportunity from the spot, while defender Felipe made sure of the win with a volley in the 54th.

The victory meant Atletico finished second in Group D with 10 points behind Juventus who ended on 16 by winning 2-0 at Bayer Leverkusen.

"We had gone too long without winning and we're glad to finally be able to celebrate with our supporters," Atletico captain Koke told reporters.

"From the start we tried to take the game to them and went looking for a goal and this time we were able to score a couple."

Atletico had a slender lead of one point over Leverkusen heading into their final match and only a victory would guarantee they remained in Europe's top competition, which they narrowly missed out on winning in 2014 and 2016.

It seemed a simple enough task except for the fact Atletico had won only one of their previous eight games in all competitions and had failed to score in their last three outings despite firing 50 shots at goal.

They got off to an ideal start as they were awarded a penalty with the game less than a minute old when Portugal forward Felix shuffled into the area and was felled by visiting goalkeeper Anton Kochenkov.

England defender Trippier chose power over placement and Kochenkov beat the shot away with his left hand, but Atletico were not discouraged by the early mishap and earned a second penalty for a handball after a VAR review.

Felix, their 126-million-euro (108.34 million pounds) signing, sent Kochenkov the wrong way from the spot and Atletico rarely looked back, eventually sealing the win through Felipe's goal after Morata had an effort chalked off for offside after a VAR review.

"We really needed a victory like this because we have been playing well recently but our results have not been good," added Koke.

"We're going to be a difficult opponent for anyone in the next round."

Six out of six for Bayern as they outclass Tottenham

Bayern Munich made it a perfect six victories from six games in Champions League Group B as goals by Kingsley Coman, Thomas Mueller and Philippe Coutinho earned them a 3-1 home win over Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday.

Five-time European champions Bayern had already qualified for the last 16 as group winners and with Tottenham also through as runners-up, there was little at stake, but the hosts turned on the style.

They became the first German team, and only the seventh in all, to win all six group games in the Champions League.

The first side to achieve the feat since Real Madrid in 2014, Bayern’s 24 goals was also only one shy of the group stage record set by Paris St Germain in 2017-18.

 “I’m happy with the way we played,” Bayern boss Hansi Flick said.

“We kept trying to break our opponents down, we created chances that we didn’t take, but still won 3-1, deservedly.”

The bright spot for Jose Mourinho’s much-changed Tottenham side was a goal for 19-year-old Ryan Sessegnon whose thumping 20th-minute equaliser on his first start in the competition made him the club’s youngest scorer in the Champions League.

While Tottenham rested Harry Kane, Bayern left Robert Lewandowski on the bench but the Bavarians looked potent in attack and it was no surprise when French forward Coman slotted them ahead in the 14th minute after good work by Serge Gnabry.

Sadly, for Coman, his evening came to a premature end when his knee appeared to buckle shortly afterwards and he was helped off the pitch in clear pain.

“His injury obviously overshadows the win,” Flick said. “We don’t know how serious it is yet.”

Mueller, who replaced the stricken Coman, restored Bayern’s lead shortly before halftime, stabbing in from close range after Alphonso Davies’s shot had rebounded across goal off the post.

Bayern, who put seven past Tottenham on matchday two, packed too much firepower for the Premier League side again.

Coutinho, who hit the bar in the first half with a thunderbolt, punished Spurs’ defence for backing off by bending a low shot inside the post after 64 minutes.

The Bundesliga side would have scored more but for Spurs keeper Paulo Gazzaniga although their defence occasionally looked vulnerable, especially when Tottenham substitute Son Heung-min twice burst through late on.

“We didn’t want a result that leaves a shadow on us,” Mourinho, who suffered his second defeat in his sixth game in charge of Spurs, said. “I think there were positive things about many of the boys. There was some important information.”

With Bayern finishing on a maximum 18 points and Spurs second with 10, Greek club Olympiakos secured third spot in the group and a place in the Europa League as they beat Red Star Belgrade 1-0 to move on to four points.

Atalanta stun Shakhtar to reach Champions League last 16

Atalanta's Timothy Castagne scores their first goal which was awarded after a VAR review during their Champions League Group C match against Shakhtar Donetsk at Metalist Stadium in Kharkiv, Ukraine

IMAGE: Atalanta's Timothy Castagne scores their first goal which was awarded after a VAR review during their Champions League Group C match against Shakhtar Donetsk at Metalist Stadium in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Photograph: Gleb Garanich/Reuters

Atalanta completed an astounding turnaround in their Champions League fortunes with a 3-0 victory at Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday that sent the Italians through to the knockout stages despite having lost their first three Group C games.

Timothy Castagne bundled home a finish midway through the second half before Dodo was sent off for the hosts, and goals inside the final 10 minutes from Mario Pasalic and Robin Gosens wrapped up the three points.

The victory lifted Atalanta from the bottom of Group C to second place on seven points, one ahead of Shakhtar, who finished third after Dinamo Zagreb (five points) lost 4-1 at home to group winners Manchester City (14) in the other fixture.

Bergamo-based Atalanta are the first team in the current competition format to qualify for the knockout stages after losing their first three group games. Newcastle United also achieved the feat in 2002-03 when there were two group stages.

"I couldn't believe it up until the third goal," Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini told Sky Italia.

"We've achieved a great result and we're happy, also for Italian football as a whole.

"This victory is for Bergamo, from the players, to the directors and the fans. This is a victory for the whole city."

Atalanta are making their first appearance in European football's premier club competition thanks to a surprising third-place Serie A finish, which was achieved despite them having the 14th-highest wage budget in the league.

Their maiden campaign got off to a disastrous start as they conceded nine goals in heavy defeats to Dinamo Zagreb and Manchester City, either side of a heartbreaking 2-1 home loss to Shakhtar, who scored a stoppage-time winner.

But a draw at home to City and the subsequent win over Dinamo left them with a chance of progression, as long as they won in Kharkiv and Dinamo failed to beat Pep Guardiola's side.

"It's just incredible, there are no words for this unique sensation I am feeling right now," said captain Alejandro Gomez.

"It will remain in the history of football and of this club. I think it will also stay long in the memory of everyone who was in the stadium tonight.

"All of us here at Atalanta came from humble roots. Nobody here can be called world-class or a superstar name, but we achieved this result through hard work and sacrifice."

Gasperini's side started at a frantic pace and had the better early chances, but Pasalic could only muster a weak finish from a tight angle when the visitors failed to take advantage of a loose pass from the home defence, before Luis Muriel pulled a volley wide.

Shakhtar were left frustrated after 15 minutes when Viktor Kovalenko smashed home a finish, only for the goal to be disallowed for offside in the build-up.

Then Junior Moraes' point-blank header was denied by a fingertip save from Atalanta's Pierluigi Gollini seven minutes before the break.

Atalanta were denied by the offside flag when Castagne bundled in Gomez's cross on 66 minutes, but a lengthy check from the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) saw the decision overturned and left the Italians with one foot in the knockout stages.

Things went from bad to worse for the home side when Dodo was sent off in the 77th minute after catching Remo Freuler in the face with a flailing arm.

Pasalic then nudged in a low free kick with 10 minutes remaining, before Gosens made it three deep in stoppage time when he pounced on a slack defensive header to volley in from close range.

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