Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, and Real Sociedad all advanced to the UEFA Champions League round of 16 with two games to spare on Wednesday, while Copenhagen stunned Manchester United in a seven-goal thriller.
IN Group A: Harry Kane scored twice late on to help Bayern advance from Group A. Bayern’s record run of 17 consecutive group stage wins was extended by the striker’s flicked header and close-range finish from substitute Mathys Tel’s cross. Galatasaray had a Lucas Torreira goal ruled out for offside after the break, making it a difficult night for Thomas Tuchel’s side. Cédric Bakambu finished well in added time, but the visitors were unable to find an equalize.
Copenhagen stunned 10-man Manchester United with a late winner from Roony Bardghji. Rasmus Hjlund’s double against his former team put the visitors in command, but Marcus Rashford’s red card changed the game’s complexion.
Before the break, Mohamed Elyounoussi and a Diogo Gonçalves penalty leveled things up, and while Bruno Fernandes restored United’s lead from the spot, the hosts finished strongly. Lukas Lerager pushed Rasmus Falk’s cross past André Onana (83) before Bardghji’s dramatic half-volley sealed the victory.
In Group B: The Gunners extended their lead in Group B with a commanding victory. Leandro Trossard scored just before the half-hour mark after Jorginho superbly threaded Bukayo Saka into the box. Arsenal dominated and didn’t allow a shot on David Raya’s goal until the 97th minute, but it wasn’t until just after the hour that Saka – who limped off late on – all but sealed the English side’s eighth straight home win in Europe.
Psv Vs Lens: After a hard-fought victory over previously unbeaten Lens, the Dutch side remains in contention for a top-two spot. On the 12th minute, captain Luuk de Jong guided Johan Bakayoko’s header past Brice Samba. Later, Joey Veerman shot straight at Samba from the edge of the area, while Lens’ Angelo Fulgini came close with a dipping free-kick and teammate Morgan Guilavogui hit the post late on before being sent off in added time.
Group C: Union Berlin ended a 12-game losing streak with a second-half goal from David Fofana and some tenacious defending. Napoli dominated the first half and were well worth Matteo Politano’s fortunate finish, but they were unable to extend their lead. Before the break, Josip Juranovi struck the base of the post, and Fofana equalized with a lightning counter. There were chances for a winner at both ends, but last-ditch defending kept it tied at 1-1.
Real Madrid Vs Braga: Carlo Ancelotti’s men advanced to the last 16 with plenty of drama. Andriy Lunin, who came on after Kepa Arrizabalaga was injured in the warm-up, saved a lvaro Djaló penalty in the sixth minute, but Braga paid the price when Brahim Daz dispatched Rodrygo’s cutback. Vincius Jnior and Rodrygo scored clinically in the second half to take the game away from the Portuguese side, who are now four points behind second-placed Napoli.
Group D: Real scored three goals in the first 21 minutes to secure their third consecutive Group D victory. Mikel Merino scored first, followed by Mikel Oyarzabal’s cool run and finish, and Ander Barrenetxea’s curling effort. It could have been four, but Brais Méndez’s low penalty in the 28th minute was deflected off a post. Four minutes after the restart, Rafa Silva completed a flowing move for Benfica, who can no longer finish higher than third.
Lautaro Martnez was the hero, as his late penalty secured Inter’s qualification for the last 16, effectively eliminating Salzburg from the competition. Throughout, the Nerazzurri had the better chances, with Alessandro Bastoni and Davide Frattesi going close, and Martnez’s header brilliantly tipped onto the bar by Alexander Schlager. Martnez, on the other hand, was not to be denied five minutes from time, slotting in after Mads Bidstrup was adjudged to have handled Nicol Barella’s shot.