The group stage of Champions League has ended this Wednesday and with the emotions till the final whistle, we have now the 16 teams that are going to compete in the next stage.
Tottenham, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Leipzig had qualified two weeks ago. These 5 teams joined Bayern Munich, PSG, and Juventus who secured their qualification in the 4th matchday.
So, there were another 8 teams looking forward to getting into the draw, which happens on Monday. Here how everything unveiled.
Real Madrid and PSG qualify from Group A
Like we already mentioned, both PSG and Real Madrid had secured their qualification to the next stage of the Champions League. The only thing left was to decide who would end up 3rd and go to the Europa League instead.
Both PSG and Real Madrid won their respective games and therefore, Club Brugge was the one qualifying to the Europa League. The Belgians finished the group with only 3 points, without having a single victory.
Their draw against Real Madrid in the Santiago Bernabeu turned enough to make them 1 point above Galatasaray.
In the games happening this Wednesday, Real Madrid won to Club Brugge 1×3, with Rodrygo, Vinicius Junior and Luka Modric scoring for the La Liga side. The Belgian’s had one goal, through Vanaken.
Meanwhile, Galatasaray ended the group stage with a goal difference of -13. They were demolished by PSG in Paris, as the French side saw Icardi, Mbappe, Sarabia, Neymar, and Cavani (through penalty kick) score 5 goals.
PSG ends the group campaign without any defeats and being the leader of the group. Real Madrid is through with 11 points.
Bayern and Tottenham qualify from Group B
Besides their league form, who sees them currently sitting 7th, after losing two consecutive matches, Bayern is killing it in the Champions League. They had already qualified almost a month ago and they completed it with the best group stage numbers ever, by any team.
In their last match, they faced Jose Mourinho’s Spurs and, although we did not see a similar thrashing to the 2×7 in London, the Premier League team was defeated again. Kingsley Coman opened the score, before leaving the pitch injured.
Deadline day signing Ryan Sessegnon leveled the match for Spurs, but goals from Thomas Muller and Phillipe Coutinho saw the Bavarians take all 3 points.
They end the group in 1st place with 6 wins in 6 games and a positive goal difference of 19. They also have the top scorer so far in Robert Lewandowski with 10 goals in just 5 games!
Meanwhile, Olympiakos qualified for the Europa League, in a game that could be different if Red Star Belgrade’s Tomane had converted a penalty. The Greeks had a penalty of their own in the late minutes and Youssef El Arabi confirmed their place in the second most important UEFA’s competition.
Atalanta scraps through and joins Manchester City
Manchester City gave a helping hand to Atalanta, by defeating Dinamo Zagreb away in Croatia. The Italians did their job and won to Shakthar Donetsk, turning into the first team ever to go through the knockout stage after losing the first 4 games.
In Ukraine, the match between both teams was crucial: the winner knew a victory would almost certainly give them the qualification.
The breakthrough happened through the middle of second half, by Timothy Castagne. Shakthar got reduced to 10 men, after Dodo was sent off with a double yellow sentence.
In advantage, the Italians tripled their lead through Pasalic and Gosens. They scrap to the next stage and there will be a match in San Siro in the knockout stage… but it will not involve either Inter or AC Milan.
Meanwhile, Dinamo Zagreb was on the verge of causing a surprise when Dani Olmo scored the opener against Pep’s City. However, 3 goals from Gabriel Jesus and 1 from Phil Foden secured a comfortable 1×4 victory and ensured Shakthar would get at least Europa League.
Atletico joins Juventus with João Felix’s masterclass
The ‘Golden Boy’ João Felix was under the spotlight as he made a proper exhibition in the Wanda Metropolitano, as the La Liga side booked their passport to the round of 16.
Kieran Trippier failed a penalty early on the game, but in the second attempt, the opportunity was given to João. The Portuguese international did not fail and opened the hostilities.
Atletico doubled the lead in the second half through Felipe. The center-back scored his first goal of the season, with a volley, after a well-timed cross from Koke.
Bayer Leverkusen, who needed a defeat from Atletico and a victory over Juventus to go through, did not get any of those. The Germans lost again against Juventus, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Higuain on the scoresheet.
They claim the 3rd place and head into Europa League.
Napoli and Liverpool through in Group E
Group E had Napoli and Liverpool still waiting to know whether they qualified, with Red Bull Salzburg sneaking around.
The Austrians were hoping that their young striker Erling Haaland did what he does best: score goals. With 8 goals in 5 games, the Norwegian was, however, unable to break the Liverpool defense this time.
Fully focused, Liverpool only needed 2 minutes in the second half to sink Salzburg. First through Naby Keita and then through a wonderful effort from Salah, rounding the keeper and finishing from a tight angle.
Napoli also guaranteed the qualification, in second place of the group, by demolishing Genk 4×0. Milik scored 3 times, before Mertens converting a penalty kick and sealing the deal.
The Italians will have a new coach in this next stage as Carlo Ancelotti was almost immediately sacked after the qualifying. Gennaro Gattuso is the man that follows.
Dortmund thanks to Barcelona’s help in Group F
All Inter need to go through to the Round of 16 was a victory over Barcelona. And the ‘Blaugrana’ kinda helped them, by bringing in a squad with many of the starters, even leaving Messi out of the equation.
However, the youngsters of the ‘La Masia’ academy proved like a difficult nut to crack. Carles Perez opened the score in the 23 minutes, but Inter got some hope when Romelu Lukaku fired from long range to level the game.
Despite the Belgian’s goal, Ansu Fati would kill the dreams of qualification for the ‘Nerazzurri’ when the young forward scored his first Champions League goal ever. He became the youngest goalscorer in the history of the competition, at the age of 16 years old and 40 days.
At the other game, Dortmund struggled to beat Slavia Praha, but they ended up concluding the job successfully. The Germans opened the score early through Jadon Sancho, but Slavia equaled by Tomas Soucek.
In the second period, Julian Brandt put Dortmund back in front, but the home team had to endure the pressure, playing 10 minutes with one less man, after Weigl’s sending off.
Lyon joins Leipzig, Benfica through to Europa League
Leipzig was already qualified for the next stage of Champions League and there was one place left. Lyon or Zenit were the 2 contestants, as Benfica as only hopeful of a miracle to secure Europa League.
However, the Portuguese were able to produce their best exhibition so far in Lisbon and defeated Zenit 3×0. Franco Cervi scored first and the Russians got reduced to 10 after Douglas Santos commited a foul and got a second yellow.
The consequent penalty doubled the lead to Benfica, with Pizzi converting. A ridiculous own goal by Sardar Azmoun made it 3×0 and the Russian ship sunk.
In the other game, Leipzig was leading 2×0 in the first half and things were looking sour for Lyon. Forsberg and Werner, both from the penalty spot, gave the advantage to the Germans.
But, a last-ditch effort from Aouar and Depay equaled the match and gave the French side the qualification. They may as well thank Benfica for defeating Zenit or they wouldn’t have made it.
Group H: Valencia joins Chelsea in next stage
Last season’s semifinalists, Ajax, are out of the Champions League after a surprising turn of events. Valencia was able to hold to a single goal lead in Amsterdam, following Rodrigo’s first-half goal.
The Spanish side held a wall and stopped any attempts from Ajax. Jaume Domenech, who replaced Cillessen in goal, had a masterclass show. Valencia is back to the knockout stage of Champions League and they do it in 1st place.
Chelsea gets the second ticket, as they cruised past Lille with goals from Tammy Abraham and Cezar Azpilicueta. Loic Remy scored for the French side, who was already eliminated from all European competitions.
To sum up, here are the last 16 qualified from the group stage: