Real Madrid and Bayern Munich were among the clubs to progress to the last 16 of the Champions League with two group matches remaining on Wednesday, while Manchester United’s poor form continued as they slipped to a surprise 4-3 defeat against FC. Copenhagen.
Last season’s runners-up Inter Milan and Real Sociedad also secured their tickets to the knockout stages, joining holders Manchester City and RB Leipzig in qualifying for the knockout stages.
14-time European champions Madrid ensured their progression through Group C with a 3-0 home win over Braga after surviving a defeat just before kick-off.
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Goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga suffered damage in the warm-up, but his replacement Andriy Lunin excelled in saving Alvaro Djalo’s penalty in the sixth minute.
With Jude Bellingham rested, Brahim Diaz gave Real a 27-minute lead before Brazilian duo Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo both scored in the second half.
Napoli are on course to exit the group alongside Real despite drawing 1-1 at home to Union Berlin.
Matteo Politano gave Napoli the lead late in the first half, but David Datro Fofana, on loan from Chelsea, equalized shortly after the restart.
The result allowed Union to end a run of 12 defeats, but they now cannot qualify for the last 16.
Their Bundesliga rivals Bayern won 2-1 at home against Galatasaray, their seventeenth consecutive victory in the Champions League group stage.
Thomas Tuchel’s side saw Galatasaray have a goal disallowed for offside before Harry Kane headed in the opener with just 10 minutes remaining.
Kane then added another, his nineteenth goal already for Bayern in just 15 appearances, before Cédric Bakambu scored another in stoppage time for Galatasaray.
“He is a phenomenon and we are proud that he is playing in the team,” Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer told DAZN of Kane.
Galatasaray still have every chance of exiting Group A after United’s defeat in an exceptional match in Denmark.
Copenhagen surprises United
Erik ten Hag’s crew gave the impression of being on a cruise thanks to 2 goals in the first half hour from their Danish striker Rasmus Hojlund.
But they suffered a major blow when Marcus Rashford was controversially sent off in the 42nd minute for a foul on Elias Jelert, and Copenhagen took full advantage to pull themselves level before the break.
Mohamed Elyounoussi pulled one back before Diogo Goncalves equalized from the penalty spot in the ninth minute of stoppage time.
Nevertheless, United regained the lead through a Bruno Fernandes penalty midway through the second half, but Lukas Lerager made it 3-3 with seven minutes remaining and Roony Bardghji, the 17-year-old Swede born in Kuwait and ranked among the under-21 internationals, scored Copenhagen’s winning goal in the 87th minute.
9 – Manchester United have lost as many as nine of their first 17 matches of a season in all competitions for the first time since 1973-74, which was the last season they were relegated. Hell. pic.twitter.com/s1L59feoRD
– OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 8, 2023
Ten Hag’s side have now lost three of their four Champions League matches this season and have been beaten in 9 of their 17 matches in all competitions.
“I think we initially had a great performance until the red card. The red card changed everything. Then it turns into a special game,” Ten Hag told TV channel TNT Sports.
“I’ve noticed a number of positives, but in the long run we lose a bit of focus. It’s exhausting to play for so long with 10 men.
Arsenal practically via
Meanwhile, Arsenal are on course to exit Group B after a 2-0 home win over Sevilla, in which Bukayo Saka set up Leandro Trossard for the opener in the first half and then added the second after the break.
“I am really satisfied with the efficiency of the crew. They showed aggression and commitment,” Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta told TNT Sports.
The Gunners are four points clear of Lens and PSV Eindhoven, with the Dutch boosting their own hopes by beating the French 1-0 thanks to Luuk de Jong’s early header.
Lens had substitute Morgan Guilavogui sent off at the end of the match.
In Group D, Inter secured their progression with a 1-0 victory against Crimson Bull Salzburg in Austria, a match settled by a late penalty from Lautaro Martinez.
The result also saw Real Sociedad qualify after their previous 3-1 defeat to Portuguese giants Benfica, who lost all four group matches.
Mikel Merino, Mikel Oyarzabal and Ander Barrenetxea all scored in the opening 21 minutes for the hosts, before Brais Mendez hit the post with a penalty. Rafa Silva scored one again for Benfica.