Man United advances in Champions League

AFP-JIJI

Manchester United and Juventus were among the sides to clinch a place in the last 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday, while Bayern Munich gained a measure of revenge over Paris Saint-Germain.

United, Juventus, Roma and Basel all went through with victories in their final group games, but Atletico Madrid, a beaten finalist in 2014 and 2016, was eliminated.

Jose Mourinho’s United side came from behind to beat CSKA Moscow 2-1 at Old Trafford, as it reached the knockout rounds for the first time since 2013-14.

Only a heavy defeat could have eliminated United in Group A, but Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford scored two minutes apart in the second half to seal victory at Old Trafford, where it is unbeaten in 40 games in all competitions now.

CSKA had taken the lead on the stroke of halftime, a shot from Brazilian Vitinho going in off the back of Alan Dzagoev.

“I’m really happy because we don’t want to qualify with a defeat, we don’t want to qualify with a bad performance,” said Mourinho.

CSKA drops into the Europa League, while Basel reached the last 16 for the third time this decade, the Swiss champion beating Benfica 2-0 in Lisbon with goals from Mohamed Elyounoussi and Dimitri Oberlin.

Last season’s beaten finalist Juventus progressed from Group D thanks to its 2-0 win away to Olympiakos, Juan Cuadrado opening the scoring early on before Federico Bernardeschi completed the victory late on.

The Italian champion goes through behind Barcelona, which rounded off its group phase by easing to a 2-0 win at home against Sporting Lisbon.

Lionel Messi was left on the bench at a sparsely populated Nou Camp as Paco Alcacer headed the hosts in front and Jeremy Mathieu then scored an own goal against his old side. Sporting drops into the Europa League.

Roma knew it would go through from Group C with a win, which it got, although it could only edge out Qarabag of Azerbaijan 1-0 at the Stadio Olimpico with a Diego Perotti effort in the second half.

That turned out to be enough for Roma to win the section ahead of Chelsea, which had to come from behind to draw 1-1 at home to Atletico.

Saul Niguez headed Atletico in front on 56 minutes at Stamford Bridge, but Eden Hazard’s ball across goal was turned into his own net by Stefan Savic to restore parity.

Diego Simeone’s Atletico, which has only been knocked out by Real Madrid in each of the last four years, reaching at least the quarterfinals every time, must now accept a spot in the Europa League. Atletico won that trophy in 2010 and 2012.

“I am not looking anywhere but forward. This will help us for sure. These situations, apart from the frustration of not being in the next round, will help the team move forward and onto the Europa League,” Simeone told beIN Sports Spain.

Bayern and PSG had already secured qualification from Group B but met at the Allianz Arena with first place still up for grabs.

Having lost 3-0 in Paris in September, Bayern needed to win by four goals to leapfrog Neymar and co.

It gave itself a chance, with Robert Lewandowski and Corentin Tolisso both heading home in the first half.

Kylian Mbappe got one back just after the break, leaving Bayern with too much to do, although Tolisso did score again to make it 3-1.

PSG will be the happier side at winning the group, although possible last-16 opponents for them are Chelsea, Juventus and Real Madrid.

“I am 50 percent happy and 50 percent disappointed,” said PSG coach Unai Emery.

Celtic, which lost 7-1 at PSG last time out, lost 1-0 at home to Anderlecht after a Jozo Simunovic own goal in the second half. Despite a fifth loss in six group games, the Scottish side limps into the Europa League in the new year.

Liverpool is among the sides hoping to secure a place in the last 16 on Wednesday, with four more berths still up for grabs for next Monday’s draw.