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While You Were Asleep: Benfica eliminate Juventus, PSG thump Maccabi Haifa 7-2, Leipzig stun Madrid, Dortmund held Man City


Rafa Silva scored twice as Benfica defeated Juventus 4-3 in a thriller to seal a spot in the knockout stages of the Champions League and for the first time in eight years the Italian giants have failed to reach last 16.

In a wild first half, Benfica got goals from Antonio Silva, Joao Mário and Rafa Silva while all Juventus could produce was a momentary equalizer from Moise Kean. Silva added another goal early in the second half and also hit the post in the 86th.

Arkadiusz Milik pulled one back for Juventus in the 77th and Weston McKennie added another two minutes later, with both late goals set up by substitute Samuel Iling-Junior.

Messi, Mbappe magic

The ‘MNM’ trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe all scored Tuesday to fire PSG into the knockout stage of the Champions League.

The irrepressible trio were simply too much for Maccabi to handle although the Israeli side showed plenty of spirit in the Group H clash, with Abdoulaye Seck scoring twice.

Messi started things off in the 19th minute with a sumptuous opening goal scored with the outside of his left foot after being played in by Mbappe on the left side of the area.

Mbappe’s opener was just as silky, the French forward bending a right-footer in the 32nd minute past Maccabi goalkeeper Joshua Cohen who could not be faulted for any of PSG’s goals.

PSG switched off defensively to allow an unmarked Seck to head in from Omer Atzili’s free kick but Messi then swapped passes with Neymar before dropping his shoulder and belting a left-footed shot low into the corner to make it 4-1 at halftime.

Maccabi actually bossed the opening 10 minutes of the second half and when PSG made a hash of clearing a corner, Seck looped a header over Gianluigi Donnarumma and into the net.

In the 64th minute Mbappe was picked out by a diagonal pass from Achraf Hakimi and he took a deft touch before picking out the far corner. As Maccabi finally lost heart Neymar’s dribble and low cross ended with Sean Goldberg netting an own goal.

Messi, who was denied a record ninth Champions League hat-trick by the crossbar, then set up Carlos Soler to wrap up the scoring with a low shot.

Leipzig win five-goal thriller

RB Leipzig not only boosted its chances of qualifying for the knock out stage but they also handed Real Madrid their first loss of the season in a five-goal thriller.

Madrid had been unbeaten in 16 matches in all competitions this season, with 14 wins and two draws.

Leipzig took the lead 13 minutes into the game with Gvardiol scoring on the rebound from a Thibaut Courtois save after a bullet header by Andre Silva.

Leipzig extended their advantage five minutes later when David Raum tried to pass into the box but the ball deflected off a defender into the path of Nkunku who was quick to react and put the ball in off the crossbar.

Vinicius Jr got Real back into the game just before the break with a header that went just inside the left post. Werner struck from close range to finish a quick attack in the 81st minute and put Leipzig 3-1 up.

After being fouled, Rodrygo got up to convert a penalty for Real’s second goal.

Dortmund qualify for the Knockouts

Riyad Mahrez saw his penalty saved as Borussia Dortmund held Manchester City to a goalless draw to book their spot in the Champions League knockout stage.

The result made sure that City, who missed a second-half penalty and are on 11 points, will top Group G while Dortmund, on eight, punched the second qualifying ticket, locking down second spot ahead of third-placed Sevilla, who have five points.

Manchester could have snatched the lead when Riyad Mahrez was brought down in the box. The Algerian, who had also missed a spot kick on the previous matchday against FC Copenhagen, was beaten by Dortmund’s Gregor Kobel, who picked the right corner to palm away his shot.

Giroud scores brace

AC Milan revived their hopes of reaching the Champions League last 16 with a 4-0 win at Dinamo Zagreb in Group E on Tuesday.

Matteo Gabbia gave Milan the lead before Leao’s solo effort and a penalty by Olivier Giroud. Dinamo midfielder Robert Ljubičić had conceded the penalty and he also scored an own goal as his side fell to its first home defeat of the year.

It was also the first time the Italian champions had scored four in an away match in the competition since beating Fenerbahce 4-0 in November 2005.





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