Thursday, 23 November 2017

UCL: Man United Suffer Late Lose, Juve-Barca Draw, PSG Rout

Manchester United conceded a late goal to lose 1-0 to Basel in Group A of the UEFA Champions League.
Michael Lang popped up at the back post to tap home in the 89th minute to give the hosts a hard-earned three points after ceding possession to United for much of the match.

Jose Mourinho's team had the better of the chances in the opening 45 minutes, but through a mix of bad luck, some decent defending in the final third by Basel and strong play by Tomas VaclĂ­k in net, no goals ever came.

The hosts were far the stronger side coming out of the dressing room, though, with Renato Steffen forcing a save from Sergio Romero in the 56th minute before firing a lovely curled shot just wide of the far post minutes later.

Marcus Rashford, on for Jesse Lingard in the 64th minute, saw his shot from a Romelu Lukaku pass skip into the side netting, before Lang eventually decided the clash.

The result moves Basel into second place in the group -- level on points with CSKA Moscow but ahead on goal difference -- while United will need a result on their final matchday on Dec. 5 against CSKA to ensure qualification.

Barcelona earned qualification to the Champions League knockout stage with a 0-0 draw against Juventus at the Allianz Stadium.

Barca star Lionel Messi started the Group D clash from the bench, marking the first time since Oct. 16 of last year he had not begun a club match by his manager's choice.

Lucas Digne fluffed his lines after a defensive mistake from Juan Cuadrado left him free in the box in the 69th minute, but his unconvincing cross was easily cut out by the Juve defence in what was the best chance of the second half.

And that was the best either side could muster on a cagey night in Italy.

In Group C, Willian scored twice as Chelsea secured their qualification for the round of 16 with a 4-0 victory against 10-man Qarabag.

Chelsea were ahead after 21 minutes when Eden Hazard converted from the penalty spot after Rasad Sadiqov had brought down Willian in the area, with the Qarabag man receiving a red card for the challenge.

The visitors then doubled their lead nine minutes from half-time with Willian tucking the ball away in the bottom corner after playing a clever one-two with Hazard.

Chelsea made it three in the 73rd minute, with Cesc Fabregas picking out the bottom corner from the penalty spot -- having been ordered to retake his original effort -- after Willian had been tugged back by Maksim Medvedev, before Willian then added a fourth five minutes from time as he rifled home a low strike from the edge of the box.

Also in Group C, Antoine Griezmann scored his first goal for Atletico Madrid since September to keep their Champions League hopes alive with a 2-0 win over Roma.

Griezmann scored a stunning overhead kick from Angel Correa's cross in the second half before Kevin Gameiro added a second to ensure Atletico still have a chance of making the round of 16 going into their final group game. Any chance of a late equaliser from Roma was thwarted by a red card to Bruno Peres.

Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani were all on the scoresheet as Paris Saint-Germain came from behind to tear apart Celtic with a 7-1 victory.

Celtic opened the scoring inside the first minute through Moussa Dembele, who fired first time into the far corner, only for PSG to soon pull level as Neymar found back of the net with a low drive after being picked out by Adrien Rabiot.

And PSG turned the game on its head 13 minutes later, with Neymar once again finding the net with a low strike, this time after a one-two with Marco Verratti, before Edinson Cavani scored a third for the visitors a few minutes later.

It was soon 4-1 before the first half was out, with Kylian Mbappe getting in on the act, before Verratti added a fifth and Cavani the sixth for PSG late on. There was still time for Dani Alves to make it seven with a fine strike from distance.

Elsewhere in Group B, Bayern Munich saw off Anderlecht with a 2-1 win.

Bayern had to wait until early in the second half to find a way past Anderlect, with Robert Lewandowski tapping home Corentin Tolisso's ball from close range, but the hosts drew level 12 minutes later with Sofiane Hanni volleying home inside the box.

But Bayern had the final say, with Tolisso heading home Joshua Kimmich's cross in the 77th minute.

In Group A, Igor Akinfeev kept his first Champions League clean sheet since November 2006 -- ending a run of 43 games -- as CSKA Moscow beat Benfica 2-0 to boost their qualification hopes.

Georgi Schennikov opened the scoring for the Russian side after 13 minutes as he slotted past Bruno Varela, before an own goal from Jardel 11 minutes into the second half sealed the result.

In Group D, Sporting Lisbon kept their hopes of reaching the knockout stages alive with a 3-1 win over Olympiakos.

Bas Dost broke the deadlock for Sporting shortly before the break, connecting in the middle with a Gelson Martins cross, before Bruno Cesar doubled their lead just minutes later as he won back possession and picked out the bottom corner.

Dost then headed home from a corner midway through the second half to make sure of the result. Olympiakos bagged a consolation goal at the death from Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe.

ESPN reports

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