Real Madrid win Champions League thriller
Real Madrid survived a stunning fightback by Shakhtar Donetsk to edge a 4-3 victory and finish top of Group A in the Champions League today.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s two goals, Luka Modric’s powerful drive and Dani Carvajal’s neat finish put Real in control with 15 minutes to go.
However, Alex Teixeira pulled one back from the penalty spot for Shakhtar, before Dentinho headed in a second.
Teixeira’s low finish set up a tense finish, but Real held on.
The goals were the first Rafael Benitez’s side had conceded in this season’s Champions League and took the shine off what had looked like being a good response to the 4-0 defeat by Barcelona at the weekend.
Gareth Bale was one of only four players who remained from the team that lost El Clasico, along with Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Modric.
The Wales international rewarded Benitez’s faith in him with an impressive performance, setting up both of Ronaldo’s goals.
Both assists came as a result of good persistence. Bale first got to a ball on the left ahead of Shakhtar’s goalkeeper to cross for Ronaldo to head home, before later capitalising on an error to race away and square a pass for his Portuguese team-mate to finish at the second attempt.
Meanwhile Juventus joined Manchester City in the Champions League knockout stages by beating Manuel Pellegrini’s men to move top of Group D.
Fernandinho blasted over from close range for the visitors before Mario Mandzukic volleyed last season’s losing finalists ahead soon after.
Fernando had a header tipped onto the post for City after the break, before Stefano Sturaro hit the post for Juve.
Substitute Raheem Sterling squandered a golden chance to equalise late on.
The Italians will now finish top of the group if they win at Sevilla in their final match.
Manchester City’s miserable night was compounded when goalkeeper Joe Hart was replaced late on because of injury.
Manchester United’s involvement in this season’s Champions League remains in the balance after they were held to a goalless draw at home to PSV.
It was a frustrating night for United, who pressed and dominated possession but struggled to hurt their opponents.
Jesse Lingard fired their best chance over the bar, while Morgan Schneiderlin saw a close-range shot saved.
United will qualify for the last 16 if they beat group leaders Wolfsburg in their final game on December 8.
The top three sides in the group – Wolfsburg, United and PSV – are now separated by only two points.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored on his first return to hometown club Malmo as Paris St-Germain thrashed the Swedish side 5-0 to reach the Champions League last 16.
Ibrahimovic, who played for Malmo between 1999 and 2001, drove in from the left of the area in the second half to score his side’s third.
Adrien Rabiot headed in PSG’s first before Angel di Maria stroked home.
After Malmo’s Markus Rosenberg missed a penalty,
Di Maria’s header and Lucas Moura’s free-kick wrapped
up the win.
Ibrahimovic, who did not celebrate his strike, went off to a standing ovation from both sets of fans when he was substituted late on.
Other scores: CSKA 0, Wolfsburg 2; Astana 2, Benfica 2; Atletico Madrid 2, Galatasaray 0; Borussia mönchengladbach 4, Sevilla 2.