A hat-trick from Neymar and a brace from Karim Benzema helped PSG and Real Madrid secure top spots in their respective groups on matchday six. Check out a wrap-up of Wednesday night’s Champions League results.
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There weren’t any major surprises on the cards as clubs jostled for positions to progress to the knockout stages of this year’s Champions League.
In Paris, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe were both on the scoresheet, with the Brazilian netting a hat-trick in PSG‘s 5-1 win over Istanbul Basaksehir – a game which was postponed after the players abandoned the pitch in protest against racist comments made by a match official.
However, perhaps the most nail-biting moments of the evening occurred in the Group B matches between Real Madrid and Borussia Monchengladbach, and the corresponding fixture between Inter Milan and Shakhtar Donetsk. With it all to play for on the night, and all four teams having a chance to progress, it was Real Madrid who took fate into their own hands, beating their German opponents 2-0, courtesy of a brace from Karim Benzema. However, Monchengladbach still had the points needed to progress if the game between Inter and Shakhtar ended in a draw and their good fortunes saw them scrape through to the knockout rounds, with the game in Milan finishing goalless.
In Group A, Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid progressed as winners and runners-up respectively, with the Bavarians beating Lokomotiv Moscow 2-0 and the Spaniards winning by the same margin against Red Bulls Salzburg. However, the group had already been decided and the results were inconsequential – except for Salzburg managing to secure their spot in the last 32 of the Europa League.
Sergio Aguero scored in Man City‘s 3-0 victory at home against Marseille, sending Pep Guarddiola‘s side through as group C winners, while runners-up FC Porto also won their game against Olympiacos, winning 2-0.
A 1-0 win for Atalanta over Ajax secured their position as runners-up in Group D. Liverpool, who already secured their spot as Group winners, stumbled to a 1-1 draw against Midtjylland with a heavily rotated starting line-up.
So, with the groups decided and the Group stages of this season’s Champions League, Wednesday’s results gave us few surprises. Fans can now look ahead to Monday’s Last 16 draw, and will be taking an extended break from European action, with the Champions League Round of 16 ties only to be played in February.