Manchester City Fails Again in Champions League as Real Advances
Manchester City failed to get out of the group stage of soccer’s Champions League for the second straight season, while Real Madrid and Arsenal were among six teams securing spots in the round of 16.
City’s 1-1 draw with Real Madrid last night means the Premier League champion can’t finish as one of the top two teams in Group D that advance to the knockout stage of Europe’s elite club competition. Real qualified along with Dortmund, which routed Ajax 4-1.
“We’re very disappointed,” City goalkeeper Joe Hart told Sky Sports. “We had a few opportunities in this group when we could have done a lot better. We’ve surprised ourselves in a very, very bad way in this competition.”
Arsenal beat Montepellier 2-0 to advance from Group B along with Schalke, a 1-0 winner against Olympiacos. Paris Saint- Germain and AC Milan also qualified, leaving three places in the round of 16 up for grabs in the final group matches on Dec. 4 and 5.
Manchester City needed to win at the Etihad Stadium to have any chance of advancing. However, it was record nine-time European champion Real that took the lead after 10 minutes on a goal from Karim Benzema.
City tied the game in the 73rd minute on Sergio Aguero’s penalty kick after Alvaro Arbeloa fouled the Argentine and was sent off for a second yellow card. City couldn’t make its man- advantage pay and made another early exit from the competition.
“When we started this group we knew it was difficult,” City manager Roberto Mancini said. “We are disappointed, we wanted to go to the next stage. Now it’s finished, we can do nothing.”
Dortmund tops Group D with 11 points, three more than Real, following its win in Amsterdam. Robert Lewandowski scored twice for the German champions, with Marco Reus and Mario Gotze adding a goal each.
The Gunners head into the final round a point behind Schalke, which beat Olympiacos on Christian Fuchs’s goal with 13 minutes remaining, in the race to finish atop Group B.
“When you’re in this competition, you just want to get into the next round,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told Sky Sports. “Now we go into a cup competition.”
Ezequiel Lavezzi scored both goals as PSG beat Dynamo Kiev 2-0 in Group A to book its place in the final 16. Porto, which had previously qualified, continues to lead the group by a point after its 3-0 win against Dinamo Zagreb. The top two meet in the French capital Dec. 4 to decide the group winner.
Stephan El Shaarawy, Philippe Mexes and Alexandre Pato scored as AC Milan won 3-1 at 10-man Anderlecht, which had Bram Nuytinck sent off, in Group C. Malaga, which already qualified, guaranteed first place by drawing 2-2 at Zenit St. Petersburg.
Teams qualifying for the Champions League knockout stage: AC Milan, Arsenal, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Malaga, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, Porto, Real Madrid, Schalke, Shakhtar Donetsk, Valencia.
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