Real Madrid stumble, Dortmund advance in Champions League (Roundup)
Madrid, Nov 3 (IANS) Borussia Dortmund punched their ticket for the knockout stage of the 2016-2017 Champions League with a 1-0 win against Sporting, while title-holder Real Madrid needed a late goal to draw 3-3 with Legia Warsaw and Sevilla romped home 4-0 over Dinamo Zagreb.
Leicester City moved closer to clinching a berth in the round of 16, as did Sevilla and Juventus, but Tottenham Hotspur — still undefeated in the English Premier League — suffered their second defeat of the Champions group stage on Wednesday evening, reports Efe.
The clash in Warsaw between the 11-time Champions League winners and humble Legia produced the day’s most surprising result.
Playing before an empty stadium as a result of UEFA sanctions against the Polish club for violent incidents at a previous match, the Blancos took a 1-0 lead in the opening minute on a spectacular goal by Gareth Bale.
Karim Benzema made it 2-0 for the visitors in the 35th minute and Real Madrid seemed set to take all three points.
Legia, losers in their first three games and listless for the first half-hour of Wednesday’s contest, came to life after conceding the second goal. Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe clawed one back for the hosts in the 40th minute.
Radovic got the equalizer for Legia in the 58th minute and the Polish side pulled ahead in the 83rd on a shot from distance by Thibault Moulin.
Mateo Kovacic brought the Blancos level at 3-3 two minutes later and Lucas Vazquez’s potential winning goal for the visitors bounced off the cross-bar.
Real Madrid, with 8 points from four matches, trail Dortmund in Group F by 2 points after the German club’s 1-0 victory against Sporting Lisbon, who have 3 points.
The outcome of Wednesday’s matches gives Borussia Dortmund a legitimate chance of claiming the top spot in the group.
Sevilla, who also have 10 points after pummelling hapless Dinamo, will have to wait at least one more round to claim one of the two knockout-stage slots in Group H.
The Spanish side got off to a slow start against the Zagreb club, who were reduced to 10 men with the ejection of Peter Stojanovic at the end of the first half, setting the stage for a second-half Sevilla explosion featuring goals by Luciano Vietto, Sergio Escudero, Steven N’Zonzi and Ben Yadder.
Juventus, who had a chance to vault over Sevilla into first place, were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw at home with Olympique Lyon, bringing the Italian side to eight points.
Lyon, with four points, cling to slim hopes of advancing.
With two matches left in the opening phase, the outlook in Group E remains murky, with Monaco, Bayer Leverkusen and Tottenham separated by only four points.
Monaco leads with eight points after beating CSKA Moscow 3-0. Two of the goals came from Radamel Falcao, his first in the Champions League after more than six years.
Second place belongs to Bayer Leverkusen, who climbed to six points with a 1-0 away win against Spurs.
Wednesday’s 0-0 away draw with Copenhagen leaves Leicester in first place in Group G with 10 points, while the Danish side have five. Porto sits second in the group with Seven points after defeating Club Brugge 1-0, who have no points.