Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, and Real Madrid are among the Champions League qualifiers.
Manchester City defeated Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 on Wednesday, but both clubs, along with Real Madrid, Inter Milan, and Sporting Lisbon, qualified for the Champions League last 16.
After Raheem Sterling had cancelled out Kylian Mbappe’s goal, Gabriel Jesus tapped in from Bernardo Silva’s exquisite knockdown on 76 minutes to end an enthralling duel at the Etihad.
Before Jesus enthralled the Manchester crowd, Neymar missed a good opportunity to put Paris ahead.
Lionel Messi played quietly, and Sergio Ramos, who was chosen among the substitutes, did not make his PSG debut.
City, who were beaten finalists last season, are certain to win Group A, while PSG qualified in second position despite the loss because RB Leipzig thrashed Club Brugge 5-0 in Belgium.
PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino said his expensively assembled squad was improving in the city where he is being linked with the vacant Manchester United position.
“We have to improve,” Pochettino continued. “In the meanwhile, I’m content. Things are significantly better than they were a month ago, and even better than they were two months ago. Slowly but steadily, the team will improve.” “We are living in a business where whispers are there, sometimes positive, sometimes negative,” the former Tottenham manager remarked of the United rumors. Real Madrid cruised over Sheriff Tiraspol 3-0 to reach the knockout stage just hours after Karim Benzema was found guilty by a French court in a blackmail case.
After David Alaba’s free-kick and Toni Kroos’ strike, the French striker scored his team’s third goal in a confident showing in Transnistria, as Real avenged their 2-1 loss to Sheriff in Madrid earlier this season.
Real coach Carlo Ancelotti claimed Benzema was unaffected by the court decision and the one-year suspended sentence he received for his role in blackmailing former France teammate Mathieu Valbuena with a sextape.
“We haven’t talked about it (the court decision), he’s calm, it’s a matter that has been bothering him for a long time,” Ancelotti added.
The win propelled the Spanish giants back to the top of Group D, two points ahead of Inter Milan, who qualified for the last 16 as well after defeating Shakhtar Donetsk 2-0 thanks to two Edin Dzeko goals.
Sporting Lisbon defeated Borussia Dortmund 3-1 in the Portuguese capital to go to the knockout stage for the first time since the 2008-2009 season.
Pedro Goncalves scored two goals. The Washington Newsday Brief News is a daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C.