Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Sporting and Inter Milan all secured qualification into the Round of 16. Whereas teams like FC Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, A.C Milan are still fighting for a qualification spot heading into the final gameweek.
Here’s how all the group’s fixtures panned out:
Manchester City grabbed the headlights on Wednesday night, coming out 2-1 winners over Pochettino’s, Paris Saint Germain. The 49 yr-old Argentinian’s future was hanging over his shoulder, as there was severe speculation linking him to the team from the Red Side of Manchester. Although he had put the rumors to bed in the pre-match press conference. The team from Paris just could not find a foot hold in the game and were being catchup in the whole 90. Heading to Brugge, Leipzig made light work of Club Brugge in a 5-0 thumping win. It was always going to be the decider for who takes the Europa League spot and the place is still very much up for grabs.
Liverpool had long secured their spot in the RO16 and a three-horse race for the final spot. Liverpool overcame Porto in a 2-0 win with a goal of the season contender at the hands of Thiago. AC Milan were chasing their first win back in the Champions League after 9 years and left it until very late, knicking a 1-0 win over at the Wanda with Junior Messias turning into Milan’s messiah.
In Tuesday’s early kick-off game, Besiktas surprised everyone by taking the lead against Ajax in pursuit of the Europa league spot but 4-time winner from Amsterdam ultimately made a comeback winning 2-1. But Dortmund ultimately made the headlines for the wrong reasons, failing to qualify for the Round of 16 and ultimately slumping down to the Europa League. As underdogs, Sporting Lisbon proving to be the surprise package of this season.
2 games in, Sheriff was all set to cause one of the greatest upsets by sitting at the peak. But have since lost 3 in a row and fallen out of the qualifying spots at the hands of Real Madrid and Inter Milan
Bayern Munich continued their dominance, in a 2-1 win over Dynamo Kyiv as they are set to be the team to avoid in the knockouts being a clear favorite for the title. But all eyes were on the Barcelona-Benfica game, which was a very frustrating affair but in stoppage time, Seferovic missed the ultimate smash and grab opportunity spurring an open goal chance. And ultimately, the fight for the RO16 spot will go down to the final gameweek,
With United finally calling it quits with Ole Gunnar Solskjær, Manchester United had their backs against their wall with both spots up for grabs with Villarreal and Atalanta loitering behind. Manchester United ultimately finished off a misfiring Villarreal side in a 2-0 win with Sancho grabbing his first goal for the club with an absolute beaut. Atalanta and Young boys had to settle for a 1-1 draw, with the 2nd spot up for grabs.
Heading into this week, RB Salzburg were in the driving seat and a win over Lille would secure the top spot in the group of death. Sevilla were favorites at the beginning of the group stage but have been far below their standards and had their work cut out against Wolfsburg. Wolfsburg, post Van Bommel have been pretty disappointing and have fell of places in the table and will need wins to secure a spot in the RO16. Ultimately, Lille caused a shock with their 1-0 narrow win over Salzburg to claim top spot and Sevilla made lightwork of Wolfsburg and keep them in the race for qualification. This group is definitely the one to watch out for heading into the final gameweek.
With the qualification fate already sealed with Chelsea and Juventus going through comfortably as predicted. But the Europe League round of 32 spot was up for grabs with Malmo and Zenit looking to stay in Europe for just a bit longer for now. Probably, one of the biggest games in the group stage, the stage was set for Chelsea and Juventus to have an end-to-end bout but the game turned out to be one-sided with Chelsea steamrolling through the Italian Giants, as the youngsters put on a show in a 4-0 thrashing at Stamford Bridge and overtaking them on goal difference. Malmo were left disappointed having had to settle for a 1-1 draw as Zenit left it late and securing a point thanks to a Rakitskyi penalty. Malmo need a win in Turin in the final matchday and will need help from Chelsea as well to overcome Zenit and go through to R032 of the Europa League