Champions League A-D: Arsenal, Atlético & Leverkusen Advance

Group A

Atlético Madrid 4-0 Olympiacos FC

Spanish champions Atletico secured their progress courtesy of a vital victory over visiting Greek outfit Olympiacos. Raúl García’s opener and Mario Mandžukić’s hat-trick sunk the Greek champions.

A bad clearance by ex-Atletico goalkeeper Roberto gifted Garcia the opener. Mandzukic tapped in his first of the night after Alberto Botia failed to cut out Cristian Ansaldi’s low cross.

Two powerful header goals in three minutes after the hour mark helped the Croatian become the first Atletico player to score a Champions League hat-trick.

Malmö FF 0-2 Juventus

Fernando Llorente’s and Carlos Tévez’s strikes helped Juventus revive their hopes of progressing to the round of 16.

The Italian champions’ victory means Atletico only need avoid defeat by two or more goals when they travel to Turin in a fortnight in order to top the group.

Group B

Ludogorets Razgrad 2-2 Liverpool FC

Rickie Lambert and Jordan Henderson put the Reds in front after going behind through an early Dani Abalo goal, but Georgi Terziev equalised towards full time.

The five-time European champions now need to win Basel at Anfield in the last round of group matches to reach the knockout stage.

Lambert leveled for the Reds when he capitalised on some shabby defending to bury the ball inside the bottom corner- the Englishman’s first Champions League goal.

Henderson pulled Brendan Rodgers’ men ahead from an incisive Raheem Sterling cross.

But Liverpool’s quest for a first win in five matches suffered a morale-crushing blow when Terziev headed in from the far post. The equaliser was however insufficient for Ludogorets to advance.

FC Basel 1893 0-1 Real Madrid CF

Cristiano Ronaldo equaled former Real striker Raul Gonzalez’s 71 career Champions League goals in the Los Merengues’ win in Switzerland. The pair are now the tournament’s second-top scorer of all-time- three behind Lionel Messi.

The victory rubber-stamped top spot for the holders and saw them clinch a 15th consecutive win in all competition, equaling their club record set by Miguel Munoz’s team in 1960-61 and then matched three seasons ago under Jose Mourinho.

Ronaldo converted Karim Benzema’s cut-back ten minutes before half-time at St Jakob-Park- his fourth goal of the group stage.

Group C

FC Zenit 1-0 SL Benfica

Danny’s late effort consigned Benfica to a third successive group stage exit and ensured Zenit’s hopes of progress go to the final day.

Former Porto striker Danny laid on an inch-perfect pass for Portuguese midfielder Danny to blast home the winner and eliminate Benfica after Monaco’s later victory.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen 0-1 AS Monaco FC

Lucas Ocampos’s latched onto Nabil Dirar’s cross to finish off a fine counter-attacking move 18 minutes from time. The goal stunned Leverkusen’s fans, who had watched their team dominate possession.

The Bundesliga side were already through at kick-off thanks to Zenit’s victory and their win blows the group wide open.

Monaco, who trail by a solitary point, can still top the pool with a final winner-takes-all encounter left between them and Zenit.

Group D

Yaya Sanogo Registered His First-Ever Arsenal Goal in Dortmund Defeat. Image: AFP/Getty.
Yaya Sanogo Registered His First-Ever Arsenal Goal in Dortmund Defeat. Image: AFP/Getty.

RSC Anderlecht 2-0 Galatasaray AŞ

Chancel Mbemba’s brace clinched a Uefa Europa League slot for Anderlecht, with Galatasaray now consigned to bottom spot.

Arsenal FC 2-0 Borussia Dortmund

Arsenal responded to criticism with an impressive victory over Borussia Dortmund to qualify for the knockout stages with a match to spare.

Yaya Sanogo opened scoring inside two minutes and Alexis Sánchez clipped home a sublime shot at the start of the second half to inflict a first European defeat on the already-qualified Dortmund.

Arsenal could still top the group should result go their way on the final Match Day.

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