Barcelona, Atletico win their groups in Champions League (Roundup)
Madrid, Nov 24 (IANS) FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid clinched top spots in their Champions League groups, consigning Bayern Munich and Manchester City to the second knockout stage berths from Groups D and C, respectively.
Atletico, playing in front of the home crowd at their Vicente Calderon stadium, beat PSV Eindhoven 2-0 here on Wednesday to preserve their perfect record in the 2016-17 Champions group stage, reports Efe.
Kevin Gameiro and Antoine Griezmann scored to bring Atletico to 15 points, six ahead of German champions Bayern Munich, who fell 3-2 to FC Rostov in Wednesday’s major upset.
Barcelona’s star striker Lionel Messi, who missed Barcelona’s last La Liga contest against Malaga, scored both the goals in a 2-0 victory over Celtic in Glasgow that assured the Catalan club of the top spot in Group C with 12 points.
The Argentine’s eighth and ninth goals of the 2016-17 Champions League season boosted his scoring total in international club competitions to 100.
England’s Manchester City have eight points after managing only a 1-1 draw away to Germany’s Borussia Monchengladbach.
In Group B, meanwhile, a pair of draws on Wednesday left everything to be decided in next month’s final matches.
While Napoli was held 0-0 at home by Dynamo Kiev, Benfica took a 3-0 lead over Besiktas only to concede three goals in the second half.
Napoli and Benfica each have eight points, one ahead of Besiktas.
Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain will advance from Group A, but the order of the finish will remain in suspense until match-day six is in the books.
The two leaders faced each other Wednesday at the Emirates Stadium in London, where the hosts took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Edinson Cavani.
Olivier Giroud converted a penalty to put Arsenal level just before half-time and the hosts looked to have secured the victory when PSG’s Marco Verrati gave up an own goal, but Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi returned the favour and the contest ended 2-2.
PSG and Arsenal have 11 points each, though the English club enjoy a slight advantage on goal differential.
Basel and Ludogorets played out a 0-0 draw in Wednesday’s other Group A match.