Arsenal, Chelsea go through
Giroud and Willian seal champions league berths
Olivier Giroud scored his first hat-trick for Arsenal to ensure the Gunners qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League by beating Olympiakos 3-0.
Needing to win by two clear goals, the Gunners produced a performance of nerve and nous to finish second in Group F.
Giroud headed the opener in the first half, then stroked home the second after good work by Joel Campbell.
The French striker put Arsenal’s qualification beyond doubt with his third from the penalty spot.
Chelsea forgot their domestic woes by easing into the Champions League knockout stage with a routine victory which eliminated opponents Porto.
The Blues enjoyed some luck for the opener as Diego Costa’s low shot was saved by Porto keeper Iker Casillas and rebounded in off Ivan Marcano.
Porto, needing to win to join Chelsea in the last 16, offered little threat.
Willian ensured Chelsea advanced as Group G winners by thumping in a rising shot from 20 yards after the break.
The Blues created plenty of opportunities in the final 15 minutes, exploiting the space left behind as Porto chased an improbable comeback at Stamford Bridge.
Eden Hazard struck the post from a tight angle, while recalled striker Costa wasted two clear opportunities as Chelsea threatened a third.
Gary Neville’s first game in charge at Valencia began promisingly but ended in frustration.
The former Manchester United defender saw his side fall behind after 37 minutes when Maxwell Cornet took advantage as Valencia defenders backtracked, curling the ball high into the corner.
And Lyon, with only one Champions League point to their name this season, doubled their advantage inside the last 15 minutes when Alexandre Lacazette rounded off a sharp counter-attack.
Bayer Leverkusen fell just short of sealing their qualification from the group stages as they drew 1-1 with Barcelona at the BayArena.
Bayern Munich cruised to victory at Dinamo Zagreb, with lethal striker Robert Lewandowski again the man who made the difference.
After a goalless first half, the Poland international struck twice in as many minutes, heading home a fine Thomas Muller cross and then lifting the ball over goalkeeper Eduardo from Sebastian Rode’s through pass.
The result means Bayern top Group F by six points; Dinamo finish third with only their matchday one success against Arsenal to show for their efforts.
Dynamo Kyiv reached the knockout phase for the first time since the 1999-2000 season after getting the win they needed at home to Maccabi Tel Aviv.
The Ukrainian side finished second behind Chelsea in Grooup D thanks to Denys Garmash, who pounced on the rebound when Serhiy Rybalka’s deflected free-kick was stopped by Predrag Rajkovic.
Group winners: Real Madrid, Wolfsburg, Atleico Madrid, Man City, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Zenit
Group runners-up: PSG, PSV, Benfica, Juventus, Roma, Arsenal, Dynamo Kiev, Gent.