Atletico, Bayern, Arsenal advance in Champions League (Roundup)

Madrid, Nov 2 (IANS) Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich, Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain all won their respective matches to assure themselves of berths in the knockout stages of the 2016-2017 Champions League with two matches left to play.

What remains to be determined is the order of the finish, reports Efe.

Atletico, who remain unbeaten and untied, lead Group D with 12 points, three ahead of Bayern. Arsenal and PSG are tied in Group A with 10 points each, though the Gunners have the edge on goal difference.

Barcelona, meanwhile, will have to wait to qualify after losing 3-1 to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday, where they came from behind to get a measure of revenge for the 4-0 drubbing they suffered at Barça’s hands two weeks ago in Camp Nou.

City, under the direction of former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola, went into Tuesday’s clash badly needing points as insurance against an early exit from the elite European competition.

Guardiola stuck to his high-press strategy and while that contributed to Lionel Messi’s strike for Barça 20 minutes in, the approach eventually paid dividends.

Recent acquisition Ilkay Gundogan equalized for the hosts just before half-time and Kevin de Bruyne put City up 2-1 early in the second.

Gundogan added an insurance goal with 15 minutes left in regulation to boost City to 7 points from four matches, 3 ahead of Borussia Mönchengladbach, who conceded late against Celtic and had to settle for a 1-1 draw.

Barcelona have nine points.

French international Antoine Griezmann scored both goals — the second in stoppage time — to give Atleti a 2-1 home win over a surprisingly resilient Rostov side.

The result leaves last year’s runner-up with 12 points, compared with 9 for Bayern Munich, who beat PSV Eindhoven 2-1 on Tuesday with a pair of goals from Robert Lewandowski.

Arsenal fell behind 2-0 to Ludogorets in the first 15 minutes of the game in Sofia, but pulled even by the end of the first half, though the winning goal came only in the 88th minute, when Mesut Özil eluded the goalkeeper and two defenders to make it 3-2 for the visitors.

PSG, like Atleti, needed a goal in stoppage time to prevail 2-1 over Basel.

In Group B, Besiktas held visiting Napoli 1-1 on Tuesday to tighten up the race for the top two spots. The Turkish squad climbed to 6 points, one behind the Italian side and Benfica, who each have 7.

The Portuguese club beat Dynamo Kiev 1-0 in Lisbon.

–IANS

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