Manchster United and Manchester City recorded convincing wins in the group stage of Champions League football while a 10-man Real Madrid cruised past Turkish side Galatasaray.
In Berlin, Leverkusen suffered a heavy debacle as Manchester United cruised to a 5-0 win in group A top of the table match on Wednesday, reports Xinhua.
David Moyes’ men secured their berth in the knockout stage following a dominant and clinical display on the road at the packed BayArena. Wayne Rooney was clearly the man of the match as he had large shares on victory owing to four assists.
“United taught us a lesson. They capitalised on our errors. I hope we can learn from this defeat. Until the second goal the game was not too bad,” Leverkusen coach Sami Hyypia said.
United lead group A with eleven points, followed by Shakhtar Donetsk with eight points, Leverkusen with seven points and Real Sociedad with one point.
At home in Manchester, City’s prolific goals gave them a 4-2 victory over Viktoria Plzen on Wednesday, which keeps City’s hope of topping Group D in the UEFA Champions League.
Having already qualified for the last 16, the English Premiership side chose to make some changes to the list of first team. After being dropped for the last five matches, England goalkeeper Joe Hart return to first team.
Sergio Aguero goals from a 33-minute penalty put City ahead, but Plzen tied the score at halftime. Samir Nasri regained the lead for City with a 65-minute volley. Four minutes later, Stanislav Tecl slotted home and made another tie. Negredo contributed to the 3rd goal. Dzeko expanded the City’s lead and had the final say.
The result kept City three points behind Bayern Munich who have beated City 1-3 in England. The two teams will meet again next week at Munich’s home ground. City needs to win 3-0 or by a two-goal margin if they score four or more times in the match to move to first of the Group, securing an easier last-16 match.
In Brussels, Substitute Rodrigo’s 90-minute goal secured Benfica a 3-2 victory over Anderlecht.
Anderlecht’s 19-year-old center Chancel Mbemba scored the team’s first goal at home court in the Champions League campaign. Benfica failed to clear a corner and Mbemba controlled it and shot under goalkeeper Artur in the 18th minute.
Nemjana Matic equalised in the 34th. Mbemba deflected a shot by Nicolas Gaitan into his own goal in the 52nd to give Benfica the lead.
Massimo Bruno fired in a low shot and levelled again in the 77th. Rodrigo sealed the thrilling win for Benfica in the 90th.
The Belgian champion remains the bottom of Group C and ends its European campaign, while Benfica goes level on points with Olympiakos which lost 1-2 to Paris Saint-Germain, but stayed second on goal difference.
In Rome, Italian outfit’s Juventus, riding on Arturo Vidal’s hat-trick, boosted its hope of reaching the knockout stages of the continent with a 3-1 win over FC Copenhagen.
Vidal opened the scoring in the 28th minute from the penalty spot after Lars Jacobsen handled in the area.
Former Juventus player Olof Mellberg equalised in the 56th minutes, but four minutes later, he brought down Fernando Llorentea in the area and Vidal again converted the spot kick. In the 63 minutes, Vidal headed home to complete his hat-trick.
Juventus moved to the second place, two points ahead of Galatasaray which lost to Real Madrid 4-1 in another Group B match.
Real Madrid were able to forget the absence of top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo to defeat Turkish side Galatasaray 4-1 in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid. The win will assure they will finish top of their Champions League qualifying group and thus assure a theoretically easier draw when the knockout stage of the competition kicks off in the New Year.
Although Ronaldo was not on the pitch as a result of a muscle injury, he was present in the stands, not just from where he watched the game from a VIP box as the Real Madrid fans unveiled a banner in support of the club’s continued campaign to try and win him the FIFA Balon D’Or award.
Some 45,000 face masks were also given out before kick off in a slightly surreal gesture to add more weight to the pro-Ronaldo campaign.
Perhaps the best evidence of Ronaldo’s importance came in the first half when Madrid dominated the ball, but struggled to cause problems for Galatasaray goalkeeper Eray Iscan.
There was bad new for Spain’s other representative in the Champions League as Real Sociedad said goodbye to Europe as the result of a 0-4 defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Ukraine.
The defeat means that the side from San Sebastian are condemned to finish in last place in their qualifying group and have no option of even taking a place in the Europa League which is open for the side’s finishing third in their groups.