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Olympiakos, Leverkusen reach Champions League last 16

© Photo: AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-12-11

Olympiakos Piraeus and Bayer Leverkusen reached the last 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday, with either Juventus or Galatasaray set to join them after their match in Istanbul was abandoned because of a snowstorm.

Bayer Leverkusen and Olympiakos Piraeus reached the Champions League last 16 on Tuesday as snow forced Galatasaray’s match with Juventus to be abandoned.

Holders Bayern Munich’s record-breaking run of 10 consecutive Champions League wins came to an unceremonious end after Manchester City staged a memorable comeback after conceding two early goals to win 3-2 at the Allianz Arena.

However, Bayern still won Group D with City finishing in second place.

Galatasaray and Juventus match postponed

Match officials stopped play between Galatasarayr and Juventus after 31 minutes on Tuesday, ruling the field was too dangerous to play on. The last hour will now be played on Wednesday afternoon, kicking off at 2pm local time.

Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo set a group phase scoring record as he took his tally to nine for the campaign in Real’s 2-0 win at FC Copenhagen, with the nine-time champions also setting an all-time record in European competitions by netting in 31 successive matches.

Ronaldo, in his first game back since sustaining a muscle strain on November 23, scored with a close-range finish three minutes after the break, Real’s second after Luka Modric’s delightful opener.

Bayern manager Pep Guardiola suffered only his second loss in 25 matches since taking over from Jupp Heynckes.

“When you go 2-0 ahead, you have to play better than that,” Bayern captain Philipp Lahm told Sky Sports Deutschland. “But we can live with the defeat, we are still group winners.”

City’s revenge

A heavy loss looked on the cards for City when slack defending allowed Thomas Mueller and Mario Goetze to fire the German side 2-0 ahead after 12 minutes.

David Silva started the comeback with a simple finish to reduce the deficit by the break and James Milner won a penalty, converted by Aleksandar Kolarov, and side-footed the winner in a three-minute second-half spell.

“We wanted revenge for the first game [Bayern won 3-1] and to show it was not that different between Bayern and our team,” City manager Manuel Pellegrini told reporters.

“To win here and score three goals without Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure, Alvaro Negredo and Sergio Aguero shows we have a very good squad also, so it’s a very important victory,” he said.

Leverkusen’s 1-0 win at Real Sociedad put them through as runners-up, behind Manchester United in Group A.

The Bundesliga side’s victory, earned by Oemer Toprak’s second-half goal, lifted them above Shakhtar Donetsk into second after the Ukrainians lost 1-0 at United.

Javier Saviola scored twice as Olympiakos pipped Benfica to second spot in Group C by beating visitors Anderlecht 3-1.

In an extraordinary match, the Belgians finished with eight men after the Greeks scored one penalty and had two saved by keeper Silvia Proto, including one from Saviola.

The Anderlecht stopper spoiled his night by getting sent off in stoppage-time, joining Cheikhou Kouyate and Fabrice N’Sakala in seeing red.

Benfica won 2-1 against group winners Paris St Germain, who rested top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but drop into the Europa League despite finishing on 10 points along with Olympiakos who enjoyed head-to-head superiority over the Lisbon club.

Match abandoned

Galatasaray or Juventus will join Group B winners Real Madrid in the knockout stage when they return to finish their match in Istanbul on Wednesday.

The players were taken off the Ali Sami Yen stadium pitch by Portuguese referee Pedro Proenca after 32 minutes following heavy snowfall with the score at 0-0.

UEFA said in a statement the match “will continue on Wednesday from 14:00 CET (13:00 GMT)”.

After losing two successive Premier League games at Old Trafford, Manchester United stopped the rot thanks to a second-half Phil Jones goal at Old Trafford that sent Shakhtar into the Europa League.

“We wanted to top the group and we have. The win helps us, improves our form,” said manager David Moyes. “A club like Manchester United has to be trying to win the trophy.”

Viktoria Plzen scored two late goals to beat CSKA Moscow 2-1 to secure third place and a Europa League spot in Group D.

Substitute Tomas Wagner rifled home the winner in the 90th minute to send Plzen into the Europa League at the expense of CSKA who finished with nine men after Alan Dragoev and Pontus Wernbloom were dismissed late on.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

Date created : 2013-12-11

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