Simeone’s Atletico put four past Olympiakos

Juventus win while Monaco and Zenit face qualification shoot-out

Atletico Madrid’s Raul Garcia celebrates putting last year’s finalists 1-0 against Olympiakos at the Vicente Calderon

Atletico Madrid’s Raul Garcia celebrates putting last year’s finalists 1-0 against Olympiakos at the Vicente Calderon

 

Atletico Madrid swept into the Champions League last 16 with a game to spare as Mario Mandzukic netted a hat-trick in a crushing 4-0 win at home to Olympiakos Piraeus in Group A.

Last season’s beaten finalists secured a fourth straight victory since losing 3-2 to the Greek side in their opening game in September and have 12 points from five matches, three ahead of second-placed Juventus, who won 2-0 at Malmo.

After a typically intense start from the home side, Raul Garcia struck in the ninth minute following a howler from Olympiakos goalkeeper Roberto and another defensive error, this time from Roberto’s Spanish compatriot Alberto Botia, let in Mandzukic to tap home seven minutes before the break.

The Croatia forward made it 3-0 in the 62nd minute when he nodded in an Arda Turan cross and he completed his treble with another header from Gabi’s free kick three minutes later.

In the group’s other fixture second-half strikes from Fernando Llorente and Carlos Tevez gave Juventus a gritty 2-0 win over Malmo, the Italian side’s first away victory in the group stage for two years.

Llorente broke the deadlock four minutes into the second half, latching on to Claudio Marchisio’s through ball and charging from the halfway line before rounding Robin Olsen and slotting the ball home.

Tevez netted a late second in the 88th minute to complete their first Champions League away win since they beat Shakhtar Donetsk 1-0 in December 2012.

Malmo had their fair share of chances but failed to find the net and cannot now qualify for the knockout stages.

The win moves Juventus into second place in Group A on nine points, three behind leaders Atletico.

Elsewhere Monaco stunned Bayer Leverkusen 1-0 with a goal against the run of play from substitute Lucas Ocampos to revive their qualification hopes and scupper the Germans’ plans to top Group C with a game to spare.

Ocampos had been on for only two minutes when he sneaked into the box in the 72nd to slide the ball home after the Germans, who had won their previous three group games, dominated the game but were again frustrated by defensive Monaco.

Leverkusen, who have now lost twice to Monaco in the group, had already qualified for the Round of 16 without kicking a ball after Zenit St Petersburg beat The result leaves Leverkusen on top with nine points with Monaco on eight and Zenit on seven going into the last matchday

Monaco will face Zenit St. Petersburg in a winner takes all clash after Danny’s goal gave the Russians a 1-0 win against Benfica.

Danny’s 79th minute goal also ended Benfica’s hopes of reaching the last 16.

The defeat was harsh on Benfica who created a number of good chances, but Danny’s smart finish proved the difference as Zenit recorded their first win at home in the Champions League group stage in more than two years.

Benfica ended the match with 10 men after Luisao was sent off for a second bookable offence After a lunging tackle.

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