Wayne Rooney inspires United in 5-0 rout of Bayer Leverkusen
David Moyes’s side record biggest European away win since 1964
Antonio Valencia turns home Manchester United’s opening goal during the Champions League game against Bayer Leverkusen at the BayArena. Photograph: Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters
Champions League round-up: Wayne Rooney played a starring role as Manchester United recorded their biggest European away win since 1964 to book themselves a place in the Champions League knockout stages with a game to spare.
Rooney might not have got his name on the scoresheet in the 5-0 win against Bayer Leverkusen but the 28-year-old’s name was stamped all over a classy display that must rank amongst the best David Moyes has enjoyed during his short tenure so far.
Rooney collected the first four assists and was off the pitch when Nani scored United’s fifth.
It was his cross that provided Antonio Valencia with a first half tap-in and Rooney who then curled over the free-kick that was headed into his own net by Emir Spahic as United took command before the break.
But the striker was not finished. His close-range shot midway through the second period was too hot for Bernd Leno to hold, allowing Jonny Evans to finish off and then he lobbed a pass to Chris Smalling.
Nani completed the rout as United became the first English side to score four in Germany in this competition and record their biggest away triumph in Europe since a 6-1 demolition of Borussia Dortmund in the old Fairs Cup.
It was a result that made a mockery of Leverkusen’s status as second only to Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga, the European champions the single team to escape the Bay Arena with so much as a draw prior to this one-sided affair.
Moyes can certainly be pleased with himself, although there is still a little bit of work to do against Shakhtar Donetsk at Old Trafford in a fortnight.
United will go into that game needing a point to secure top spot in Group A and avoid a nasty encounter with one of the competition’s heavyweights in the spring, with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid and Paris St Germain all lying in wait for an unsuspecting runner-up.
Shakhtar boosted their chances of qualifying as their Brazilian flare helped them outclass an eliminated Real Sociedad 4-0.
Brazilian striker Luiz Adriano latched onto an incisive pass from compatriot Douglas Costa and flicked the ball into the net from a very sharp angle via the near post after 37 minutes.
Shakhtar doubled their lead three minutes after the restart following a blunder by Inigo Martinez, whose clumsy clearance set up Alex Teixeira to rifle straight into the top corner.
Douglas Costa rifled a spectacular shot into the top corner from the edge of the area to make it 3-0 and ended the rout with a header three minutes from time. Manchester City kept up the pressure on Bayern Munich at the top of Champions League Group D with a 4-2 victory over Viktoria Plzen at the Etihad Stadium.
Although City dominated they lacked finesse in front of goal. The hosts took the lead on 33 minutes when Sergio Aguero converted a penalty after Frantisek Rajtoral was harshly judged to have handled.
Tomas Horava levelled 10 minutes later for a confident Plzen side, flashing a great drive past goalkeeper Joe Hart and into the top corner.
City dominated the second half and led again on 65 minutes through the always-busy Samir Nasri who turned in a Jesus Navas cross but again they conceded an equaliser when the defence backed off a fine passing move and Stanislav Tecl side-footed home.
Substitute Alvaro Negredo tapped in at the far post from a Navas pass to make it 3-2 on 78 minutes and Edin Dzeko’s header completed the scoring a minute from time.
Holders Bayern Munich eased past CSKA Moscow 3-1 on Wednesday to set a Champions League record with their 10th straight victory in the competition and underline their ambition to become the first team to successfully defend the title.
The Bavarians, who had already qualified for the knockout stage, struck against the run of play in freezing conditions in Moscow with Arjen Robben’s superb left-footed strike in the 17th minute.
Mario Goetze added another after a fine run before Keisuke Honda cut the deficit with a penalty just after the hour. Thomas Mueller responded with a penalty of his own to restore their two-goal lead in the 65th.
Real Madrid made light of the first-half dismissal of Sergio Ramos to secure a thumping 4-1 win at home to Galatasaray that put them through to the last 16 as Group B winners.
Real dominated the early stages on a chilly and blustery night at the Bernabeu before centre back Ramos was shown a straight red card in the 26th minute for impeding forward Umut Bulut when he was through on goal.
Gareth Bale put the nine-times European champions, who were missing injured top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo, ahead with a superb free kick 11 minutes later, but Galatasaray levelled within a minute when Didier Drogba sent Bulut clear and he slid the ball past Iker Casillas.
The Turkish champions were unable to make their numerical advantage count and Alvaro Arbeloa netted only his second Champions League goal in 56 appearances six minutes after half-time.
Angel Di Maria struck in the 63rd minute and Isco struck from close range nine minutes from time to seal a comfortable victory.Arturo Vidal’s hat-trick boosted Juventus’ hopes of reaching the knockout stages in a 3-1 victory at home to Copenhagen.
The Chilean midfielder struck with two penalties in the 29th and 60th minutes and added a brilliant looping header to put Antonio Conte’s side into second place in Group B on six points, seven behind leaders Real Madrid but two ahead of Galatasaray and Copenhagen.
Olof Mellberg equalised for the Danish champions in the 56th minute with a smart volleyed finish after a long throw caused confusion in the hosts’ defence.
Juve now need only a draw in Istanbul in the final round of group games to qualify from the group despite coming into Wednesday’s game with only three points from their four previous matches.
Edinson Cavani’s last-gasp goal helped 10-man Paris St Germain beat Olympiakos Piraeus 2-1 at home and qualify top of their Group for the last 16.
Uruguay striker Cavani scored from Adrien Rabiot’s pass in the 90th minute to put PSG on 13 points from five games after Kostas Manolas had cancelled out Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s early opener nine minutes from time.
PSG, who had Marco Verratti sent off one minute into the second half, lead second-placed Olympiakos by six points.
Benfica are third on seven points after beating Anderlecht 3-2 away with the Belgian side, who have one point, being eliminated from all European competition.