UEFA Champions League review

No more teams were able to add their names to the list of sides through to the first knockout round of the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday, meaning eight places will still be up for grabs when the group phase draws to a close on 8 and 9 December.

The eight clubs currently free to plot their route through the rest of the competition are Arsenal, Bordeaux, Chelsea, Fiorentina, Lyon, Manchester United, Porto and Sevilla.

The results

Group A

Bordeaux 2-0 Juventus
Bayern Munich 1-0 Maccabi Haifa

Group B
CSKA Moscow 2-1 Wolfsburg
Manchester United 0-1 Besiktas

Group C
Real Madrid 1-0 FC Zurich
AC Milan 1-1 Marseille

Group D
Porto 0-1 Chelsea
APOEL 1-1 Atletico Madrid

The big game
Bordeaux 2-0 Juventus
Goals: Fernando 54, Marouane Chamakh 93

Solid and impressive in their one-touch play, Bordeaux continued their eye-catching progress by following up home-and-away wins over Bayern Munich with success against Juventus. Fernando’s headed opener was just reward for the more penetrative of the two teams as the hosts pressed their opponents high up the pitch to stifle any attacks. Marouane Chamakh’s extra-time strike then demonstrated the hunger in the Bordeaux ranks, with Laurent Blanc’s men finishing on top rather than clinging on to their lead. As a result, they wrapped up first place in the section, while Juve must now avoid defeat at home against Bayern to join them in the last 16.

The surprise
Manchester United 0-1 Besiktas
Goal: Rodrigo Tello 17

The experimental line-up fielded by Sir Alex Ferguson dominated the majority of the encounter without ever being able to make their chances count. That proved their undoing too, as Besiktas were able to register the only goal of the match via Rodrigo Tello’s deflected shot, which wrong-footed goalkeeper Ben Foster. It was only the second time the Turkish outfit had scored during the group stage.

The other games
In Group A, Bayern Munich kept their hopes alive courtesy of a slender 1-0 triumph over Maccabi Haifa that lifted them to within a point of Juventus ahead of their trip to Turin in the final round of action. Louis van Gaal’s charges were far from inspiring and were made to wait for their breakthrough, before finally breathing a sigh of relief on the hour mark when Nir Davidovitch could only parry a Mario Gomez effort, allowing Ivica Olic to turn the ball into an empty net. The German giants must now focus all their energies on emerging victorious in Italy.

Trailing at half-time following an Edin Dzeko goal against the run of play, CSKA Moscow turned the game around in eight second-half minutes thanks to a splendid move finished off by Tomas Necid and a thumping drive from Milos Krasic. This entertaining and intense encounter was marked by the fair play on show from all quarters, despite the fact that both sides can still finish second in Group B.

Plenty remains unresolved in Group C, meanwhile, although Real Madrid took a major step towards qualification by downing FC Zurich 1-0, having earlier beaten the same team 5-2 in Switzerland. Los Merengues were less emphatic this time but secured all three points when Gonzalo Higuain profited from Kaka’s pass to register, and there was further good news for the hosts when Cristiano Ronaldo returned from injury towards the end following seven weeks out through injury. Real would now have to lose by four goals at Marseille to be denied passage to the knockout phase.

For their part, AC Milan failed to confirm their return to form as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home by a courageous Marseille side who twice connected with the woodwork. The Rossoneri opened the scoring through Marco Borriello but Lucho Gonzalez quickly equalised when Dida palmed a cross into his path, meaning Milan must avoid defeat in Zurich to go through.

Chelsea made sure of top spot in Group D away against Porto thanks to another goal from Nicolas Anelka, the French international handing the Dragons their first home reverse of the season. In the same pool, Atletico Madrid drew 1-1 in Cyprus against APOEL.

The stat
200 – They are not nicknamed the Old Lady for nothing. Juventus took their UEFA Champions League match tally to 200 when they took on Bordeaux, and their record in the competition is worthy of envy: they boast 100 wins, 49 draws and 51 defeats.

Goal of the night
CSKA Moscow 2-1 Wolfsburg (Milos Krasic 66)

CSKA’s Serbian midfielder Milos Krasic was the stand-out performer in the Russian capital and he gifted his team victory with a sumptuous strike. Picking up the ball in a central position, he unleashed a vicious, swerving effort with the outside of his foot from 25 metres that arced its way to the left of Diego Benaglio’s despairing dive.

Key Matchday 6 encounters

Group A: A draw will suffice for Juve away against Bayern, who are obliged to prevail if they wish to prolong their UEFA Champions League bid.

Group B: Wolfsburg and CSKA are level on points but the head-to-head figures favour the German champions, as they prepare to host Manchester United and their rivals travel to take on Besiktas.

Group C: AC Milan and Real Madrid continue to look favourites to advance, but Marseille can still dream of causing an upset when they welcome the Spanish giants.

Have your say
Do you think Marseille stand any chance of seizing a top-two berth in Group C?