City, Schalke seal last-16 places

City, Schalke seal last-16 places
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Manchester City successfully marched on Rome to secure their place in the UEFA Champions League last-16.

Second-half goals by Samir Nasri and Pablo Zabaleta ensured the reigning English Premier League champions progressed from Group E with Bayern Munich. The stakes were high for City in the Olympic Stadium against a Roma side that also held knockout phase ambitions, but despite a few scares along the way, an assured performance during the second 45 minutes underpinned an impressive away-day success. Roma, meanwhile, finished third and secured UEFA Europa League qualification.

For their part, Bayern concluded the pool stage with an emphatic 3-0 home win against CSKA Moscow. Thomas Muller’s first-half penalty sent them on their way before strikes during the last ten minutes from Sebastien Rode and Mario Gotze completed Moscow’s misery.

Premier League leaders Chelsea had already won Group G before their final fixture against Stamford Bridge visitors Sporting Lisbon, and an eighth-minute Cesc Fabregas penalty set the tone for a 3-1 victory after Filipe Luis had been tripped. Andre Schurrle doubled the advantage just eight minutes later, and although Jonathan Silva replied for Sporting early in the second period, John Obi Mikel’s 57th-minute effort eased any nerves. And there was further misery for Sporting as Schalke leap-frogged them to take second place courtesy of a 1-0 away win against Maribor that was secured by a Max Meyer goal after 62 minutes.

Barcelona emerged as top dogs in the Camp Nou with fierce Group F rivals Paris Saint-Germain, claiming a 3-1 win after falling behind to a PSG opener from Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Barcelona quickly drew level through Lionel Messi’s 75th Champions League goal, and a brilliant Neymar run and finish just before the break set up the home side, whose win was sealed through a Luis Suarez goal 13 minutes from time and took the Spanish giants above PSG to win the group.

Ajax took the Europa League spot available in Group F by crushing APOEL Nicosia 4-0. Lasse Schone scored the first two goals – the first from the penalty spot – before Davy Klaassen and Arkadiusz Milik completed the rout.

And in Group H, already-qualified pair FC Porto and Shakhtar Donetsk fought out a 1-1 draw in Portugal, where Vincent Aboubakar’s 88th minute equaliser denied Shakhtar, who had led through a Taras Stepanenko goal. Athletic Club secured a Europa League place by seeing off BATE Borisov 2-0 through second-half goals from Mikel San Jose and Markel Susaeta.

Source FIFA.COM

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