Champions League: Arsenal, Dortmund and FC Malaga qualify – ManCity not even Europa League

05/12/2012 no comments »
Champions League: Arsenal, Dortmund and FC Malaga qualify – ManCity not even Europa League

With both of the qualifying places in each of groups A, B, C and D of the UEFA Champions League secured already, it was just a case of which team would grab top spot in last night’s action.

Group A

Group A saw a top of the table clash against the already qualified Paris Saint-Germain and FC Porto whilst Ukrainian outfit Dynamo Kiev travelled to Dinamo Zagreb with both teams playing only for pride. On the night, PSG beat a strong Porto side 2-1 in a hotly contested game with plenty of action allowing PSG to gain a slender two point advantage leaving them top of the table. After a delay in play due to extreme snowy conditions in Croatia, Dinamo Zagreb held Dynamo Kiev to a 1 – 1 draw after Krstanovic scored a 94th minute penalty. Paris Saint-Germain qualified as the top of the table, followed by Porto.

Group B

Having already qualified, Arsenal, in their fifteenth consecutive Champions League season, faced an away trip to third-placed Olympiakos whilst bottom of the table Montpellier faced top of the table Schalke 04 at the Stade de la Mosson. Arsenal, who have been struggling for form as of late, were defeated 2-1 by Olympiakos in Greece after taking the lead through Tomas Rosicky, but two goals in under ten minutes from Olympiakos saw off the North London club, although they still remained second in the table. In the other group game, Schalke 04 took the lead through Benedikt Howedes, but three minutes later Emanuel Herrera equalised for Montpellier, resulting in a 1-1 draw. Schalke secured the top spot in Group B, followed by Arsenal.

Group C

In Group C, top of the table and perhaps surprise performers in this year’s competition, Malaga, hosted Anderlecht at La Rosaleda whilst seven-time winners AC Milan entertained Russian Champions Zenit St. Petersburg. At the San Siro, Zenit beat a slightly weak Milan side 1-0, with the goal coming from Danny in the 35th minute. Milan began to dominate possession in the second half and brought on a couple of big names in Robinho and El Shaawary, but it was not enough to come back. In Spain, Malaga stole the lead right on half time with a goal by Duda. However, five minutes into the second half, Anderlecht equalised through Milan Jovanovic. Duda struck for a second time in the game to give Malaga the lead but another equaliser from Anderlecht gave them a share of the points. FC Malaga qualified for the knockout stage with 12 points followed by AC Milan with 8 points.

Group D

Group D, or the “Group of Death” as some people had labelled it, saw Premier League champions Manchester City sat at the bottom of the table with just three points, meaning that they had to beat Borussia Dortmund to qualify for the Europa League. In a very competitive game, Manchester City were beaten by a well taken Julian Schieber goal to leave them bottom of Group B and with no Europa League place. In the other game, a dominant Real Madrid comfortably won 4-1 against Ajax, with Ronaldo, Callejon (2) and Kaka all putting their name on the score sheet. Borussia Dortmund, certainly one of the biggest surprises, secured the top spot with 14 points and qualified for the next round, followed by Real Madrid.

The draw for the 2012/13 Champions League last sixteen will take place in Nyon on the 20th December and the matches will be played out over the 12th-20th February and 5th-13th March 2013.

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