City bow out, Gunners march on
Champions League review: Manchester City have been knocked out of the Champions League at the group stages for the second year running, but Arsenal secured qualification with a 2-0 home win over Montpellier. Roberto Mancini’s men might even find themselves out of the Europa League after their 1-1 draw with Real Madrid at the Etihad Stadium.
Real went ahead after 10 minutes when Karim Benzema was left unmarked at the back post. City, outplayed in the first half, improved in the second and equalised with a Sergio Aguero penalty after 74 minutes.
Real defender Alvaro Arbeloa was sent off for what looked like a soft foul that led to the spot-kick, which the Argentine swept home having missed a golden opportunity to score in the 65th minute when Iker Casillas made a point-blank save.
City pushed on with the extra man but could find no past Casillas again, as Real secured second behind Group D winners Borussia Dortmund, who hammered Ajax4-1 in Amsterdam.
Dortmund were ruthlessly efficient and looked capable of scoring every time they broke as they raced to a 3-0 halftime lead. Marco Reus put the Germans ahead after eight minutes, combining with Mario Goetze in a deadly counter-attack down the right before slipping the ball between goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer's legs.
With Dortmund needing only a point to go through, Goetze added the second in the 36th minute and Robert Lewandowski scored from a rebound five minutes later.
Although Ajax had plenty of possession, Lewandowski added his second in the 67th minute before Daniel Hoesen scored a late consolation.
Top spot in Group B is still up for grabs after Arsenaland Schalke 04both won, but the German side lead the way for now, by one point, after a nervous 1-0 victory over Olympiakos, courtesy of a brilliant 30-yard late strike from Christian Fuchs.
Jack Wilshere's first goal since returning from a long-term injury and a Lukas Podolski thunderbolt gave Arsenal victory over Montpellier.
Podolski wasted two great chances in a frustrating first half as Arsenal looked to bounce back from a 2-0 defeat to Schalke in their previous home game, but the Gunners turned on the style after the break.
Midfielder Wilshere broke the deadlock after 49 minutes with a close-range finish - his first goal for two years - and Podolski made sure of the points with a superb volley just past the hour to ease any tension at the Emirates.
Disappointing French champions Montpellier offered only a sporadic threat as their slim hopes of a consolation place in the Europa League vanished.
AC Milanfollowed Malagainto the knockout stages, thanks to a 3-1 win over Anderlecht.
The Italian giants needed to beat Anderlecht to edge out Zenit St Petersburgin Group C and did so through a Stephan El Shaarawy opener, a stunning bicycle kick from defender Philippe Mexes and a late strike from Alexandre Pato after Tom De Sutter gave the homeside some hope in the 79th minute.
Malaga drew 2-2 away to Zenit earlier this evening. Zenit came back from two goals down to salvage the draw against the Spanish side, keeping alive their slim hopes of reaching the last 16 for a couple of hours.
Diego Buonanotte opened the scoring from close range in the eighth minute before Seba took advantage of an errant pass by Zenit goalkeeper Vyacheslav Malafeyev to fire into an empty goal a minute later.
Portugal winger Danny pulled one back for the home side four minutes after the restart and substitute Viktor Faizulin fired an 86th minute equaliser.
Midfielder Joao Moutinho pulled FC Porto'sstrings by scoring one and setting up another two in a 3-0 drubbing of hapless Dinamo Zagrebthat kept the Portuguese in command of Group A.
Moutinho found Argentine playmaker Lucho Gonzalez for the opener through some textbook passing play, blasted the second himself from a free kick in the second half and finished with a wonderful backheel to set up Silvestre Varela's third.
Porto will win the group if they take a point from their final game next month away to second-placed Paris St Germain, who won 2-0 away to Dynamo Kiev.
Argentine striker Ezequiel Lavezzi both goals to guarantee qualification, while Kiev will settle for a Europa League spot.