Champions League E-H: Bayern, PSG, Barca & Porto Advance

Lionel Messi equaled Raul Gonzalez’s record of 71 goals in the Uefa Champions League with a brace to hand Barcelona a 2-0 win over Ajax.

Bayern Munich are Group E winners as Barca, Paris and Porto also progresses from their respective groups to the round of 16.

Shakhtar Dontesk’s Luiz Adriano just can’t stop scoring, as his hat-trick on Wednesday took his tally to eight in two matches against BATE Borisov.

Manchester City’s chances of advancing from the group stage can only smell a glimmer of hope after failing to win in four group games.

Yaya Toure and Team-Mates After Leveling for Manchester City. Image: AFP/Getty.
Yaya Toure and Team-Mates After Leveling for Manchester City. Image: AFP/Getty.

Group E

Manchester City FC 1-2 PFC CSKA Moskva

City will now have to work qualification tight-rope and earn two wins from their remaining two Champions League group stage matches to have any chance of progressing to the knockout stage after suffering their second defeat of the campaign.

Fernandinho and Yaya Touré, who also leveled for the hosts in the first half, were sent off as City succumbed to two Seydou Doumbia goals to stay on two points.

The pair were both dismissed after the hour as the Premier League champions struggled to get back into the contest.

Seydou Doumbia Celebrates Scoring at the Etihad. Image: AFP/Getty.
Seydou Doumbia Celebrates Scoring at the Etihad. Image: AFP/Getty.

CSKA moved up third, now leveled on four points with second-placed AS Roma.

FC Bayern München 2-0 AS Roma

Bayern Munich ensured they will top their group with two games to spare after a 2-0 victory over Roma.

Franck Ribery Celebrates Scoring Bayern's Opener at the Allianz Arena. Image: Getty.
Franck Ribery Celebrates Scoring Bayern’s Opener at the Allianz Arena. Image: Getty.

Following a dominant performance in Italy’s capital city a fortnight ago, Rudi Garcia’s men were steady in their approach to avoid another confidence shattering defeat but the German Bundesliga champions still ensured required three points was well safeguarded in their kitty.

Josep Guardiola’s side have taken an eight-point lead at the group summit, their fourth straight victory courtesy of strikes from Mario Götze and Franck Ribéry.

Group F

Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 APOEL FC

Edinson Cavani Celebrates Scoring for PSG. Image: AFP.
Edinson Cavani Celebrates Scoring for PSG. Image: AFP.

Edinson Cavani’s third goal in four games earned Paris maximum points against their Cypriot visitors.

The Uruguayan marksman scored the Parisien’s fastest ever Champions League goal after only 58 seconds as APOEL Nicosia were caught napping right from the blast of the whistle.

The match was bereft of many goal-scoring opportunities but Cavani and PSG were glad they took another three points at the first asking to remain in the fight to top the group as progress is all, for sure, certain.

AFC Ajax 0-2 FC Barcelona

Messi’s 70th and record-equalling 71st UEFA Champions League goals were enough to see off Ajax, who can no longer qualify.

Dutch goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen’s gaff gifted the opener to the Argentine, who then poked home his second on 76 minutes to tie Raul and surge ahead of Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo by a goal.

Group G

Sporting Clube de Portugal 4-2 FC Schalke 04

Sporting are back in the hunt after their first triumph of the group stage. Forward Islam Slimani struck at both ends for and against the Portuguese outfit, who were at full time 4-2 goals better than their opponents.

Slimani’s own goal gave the German visitors an early lead but Mouhamadou-Naby Sarr, Jefferson and Nani then got among the goals for the Portuguese hosts to turn the game on its head.

Denis Aogo pulled one back for Schalke before Slimani made amends for his first-half own-goal by slotting in a late strike to seal victory.

NK Maribor 1-1 Chelsea FC

Eden Hazard missed a late penalty that would have concluded Chelsea’s progress to the round of 16, but the Premier League leaders must now wait to seal their fate.

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho had earlier warned that the Slovenian champions were much better than the side trounced 6-0 at Stamford Bridge a couple of weeks ago, and so it turned out.

Agim Ibraimi’s stunning effort was cancelled out by Nemanja Matić.

Chelsea yet top the group on 8 points, 3 points better than Schalke and four far off Sporting. Maribor are bottom of the table with just three points.

Group H

FC Shakhtar Donetsk 5-0 FC BATE Borisov

Ukrainian champions Shakhtar are on the verge of qualification after a thumping 5-0 win over ten-man BATE at Lviv.

Luiz Adriano, who notched five against BATE to join Messi as only the second player to attain such feat a fortnight ago, got three more to help Shakhtar inflict successive heavy defeat on the Belarusian team.

The Brazil striker has now raced ahead in the Champions League scorers’ chart with nine goals.

Shakhtar have eight points from four matches and are well placed to join leaders Porto in the next round.

Athletic Club 0-2 FC Porto

Jackson Martínez and Yacine Brahimi scored to ensure Porto a place in the last 16. The two-time European champions will now needs just a win or draw their remaining two matches to claim the group dominance.

Colombia striker Martinez made good of a 56th-minute opportunity, bundling home the opener to atone for his penalty miss in the first half.

Brahimi then sealed three points 17 minutes from time, when he capitalised on an error from Athletic goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz to tap into an empty net.

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