Bayern and Man City into last 16

The champions and the hopefuls lead the way into Champions League knockout stage.

Bayern's Mario Mandzukic, top, scores past Viktoria Plzen goalkeeper Matus Kozacik [AP]
Bayern's Mario Mandzukic, top, scores past Viktoria Plzen goalkeeper Matus Kozacik [AP]

European champions Bayern Munich led the charge into the last 16 of the Champions League when they beat Viktoria Plzen 1-0 to chalk up a record-equalling ninth straight victory in the competition on Tuesday.

Manchester City, who clinched second place in Group A behind Bayern, also made it to the knockout stage for the first time with a 5-2 home win over CSKA Moscow.

Paris St Germain and Real Madrid, who could have qualified with wins, must wait a little longer after PSG were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Anderlecht and Real drew 2-2 at Juventus.

It's amazing, it's history for the club. The front two are working well. They are sharp and played well together.

Yaya Toure, Manchester City

But there was no stopping Bayern who equalled Barcelona’s record of nine straight wins set in 2002/03 thanks to Mario Mandzukic’s header at Plzen midway through the second half.

Despite sealing qualification for the next phase, Bayern midfielder Thomas Mueller said: “We did not exactly cover ourselves in glory tonight, but the win is all that matters.

“We will probably not be celebrating with a bottle of champagne in the dressing room.”

The victory took their tally to a perfect 12 points from four matches, three clear of City who made it three wins out of four with Alvaro Negredo scoring a hat-trick and Sergio Aguero two goals in their romp over the Russians.

City captain Yaya Toure, the victim of racist monkey chants when the teams played in Moscow two weeks ago, was delighted with his side’s performance.

“It’s amazing, it’s history for the club. The front two are working well, they are sharp and played well together,” he said.

“We must say thank you to the fans today, they showed the fans of CSKA how to support a team. Today is a special day. The target is to go as far as possible.”

Real wait

Real Madrid, chasing a 10th European Cup, could have reached the last 16 phase with a win but will have to wait to secure the point they need to be sure of a place after allowing old rivals Juventus to grab a 2-2 draw in their Group B match in Turin.

Arturo Vidal put Juve ahead with a penalty late in the first half before Cristiano Ronaldo scored after 52 minutes and world record signing Gareth Bale got his first Champions League goal for the club on the hour when he hammered in a low drive.

Fernando Llorente, stooped to head in the equaliser five minutes later, but Juve slipped to the bottom of the group below FC Copenhagen who beat visiting Galatasary 1-0.

PSG would also have qualified for the knockout stage with a win which certainly looked on the cards after their 5-0 victory over Anderlecht in Brussels two weeks ago.

But things did not go to plan with Demy de Zeeuw scoring Anderlecht’s first goal in the competiton after 68 minutes before Zlatan Ibrahimovic equalised for PSG two minutes later.

The Belgian champions finished with 10 men after Sacha Kljestan was sent off.

Olympiakos Piraeus beat Benfica 1-0 in the other Group C match to consolidate second place three points behind PSG, who have 10, and three ahead of the Portuguese side.

Giggs landmark

Manchester United would have been in touching distance of the knockout phase with a win at Real Sociedad in Group A but could not find the net and had to settle for a 0-0 draw.

Substitute Robin van Persie hit the post twice, the second time when he missed a penalty, and United had Belgium forward Marouane Fellaini sent off late on for a second yellow card.

Ryan Giggs reached another landmark with his 950th appearance for United and 137th in the Champions League.

“Tonight we controlled the game. We had two or three great chances and probably should have won it. We are happy with the performance, but disappointed we didn’t get the win,” he said.

“If you get a point away from home and win your home games you go through and we are on track to do that. We will try and qualify but we have two tough games to come.”

“We should have won, we had enough chances,” United manager David Moyes told

United stay top of the group, a point ahead of Bayer Leverkusen who drew 0-0 at Shakhtar Donetsk.

Source : Reuters

More from Sports
Most Read