Smoke is starting to clear at the 2021-22 UEFA Champions League, as clubs jockey for position for the round of 16.
Liverpool, Bayern, Ajax advance to round of 16
The Reds repeated on Atlético Madrid, this time coming up with a clean sheet, 2-0.
Diogo Jota and Sadio Mané scored eight minutes apart, the match settled with barely 20 minutes into the clock.
Another club that has guaranteed a slot to the next round is Bayern.
Robert Lewandowski’s hat trick led the charge in a 5-2 shelling of Benfica. Also reaching the back of the net for Munich were Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sané.
Morato and Darwin Núñez were the ones who had goals for the Lisbon-based team.
Meanwhile, Ajax bested German Bundesliga representative Borussia Dortmund, 3-1.
Dušan Tadić, Sébastien Haller, and Davy Klaassen scored in succession about ten minutes of each other. Marco Reus provided Dortmund’s goal, finishing a penalty at the 37th minute.
All of the victors have 12 points to show in their respective groups.
Man City, PSG virtually a lock to the KO rounds; Real Madrid a win away from playoffs
Barring any hiccups, Group A squads Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain have virtually locked into knockout round spots.
John Stones is credited with an own goal.
Meanwhile, PSG was forced to a 2-2 draw with RB Leipzig when Dominik Szoboszlai converted a penalty in stoppage time.
Paris’ Georginio Wijnaldum lit up the scoreboard with two goals. Christopher Nkunku was the other scorer for Leipzig.
The Citizens are at first with nine points. Paris SG is right behind with eight. A loss by Brugge to Die Roten Bullen on matchday five would formalize the entry of the former two regardless of the result of their own meeting on November 24.
Over on Group D, Real Madrid only need one more win to officially enter the KO rounds. This is after they downed Shakhtar Donetsk, 2-1, courtesy of Karim Benzema’s brace.
Los Blancos get their first crack on the next match, where they would face Sheriff.
Juventus qualify, Chelsea set to follow
Juventus kept their slate clean by sweeping their matchup versus Zenit Saint Petersburg. Paulo Dybala had two goals, while Federico Chiesa and Álvaro Morata had one each, leading to the Italian team notching a 4-2 result this week.
In the other game, Hakim Ziyech shot past the keeper at the 56th minute to help Chelsea put away Malmö FF.
With these, Juve are already into the UCL playoffs, while The Blues are required a draw or better to eliminate Zenit from contention.