Friday, 15 December, 2017

Atletico de Madrid is out of UEFA Champions League race

Champions League draw AFP Champions League draw Round of 16 details
Rita Gibson | 07 December, 2017, 03:53

However, with a number of teams already qualified for the Champions League last 16 draw, many are asking when the draw for the knock-out stages will be.

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The Football Observatory at the International Centre for Sports Studies in Switzerland recently found that the group stage was the most unbalanced competition in Europe behind the top divisions of Cyprus and Austria.

Atletico Madrid, finalists in two of the past four years, crashed out of Group C despite Saul Niguez heading home the opening goal at Chelsea on 56 minutes.

Juventus and Basel also completed their passage to the next round, joining Barcelona, Besiktas, Manchester City, Tottenham, Manchester United, Paris Saint Germain and Roma who qualified as group winners, and Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Juventus and Basel as runners-up, reports Efe.

Robert Lewandowski opened the scoring and Corentin Tolisso struck twice as Bayern Munich fell just short of topping Group B with a 3-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain at the Allianz Arena.

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"For now it's time to focus on the Premier League, on the Carabao Cup and FA Cup that we will start in January, and when the Champions League is back in February we will see how we are".

Antonio Conte's side, who could be pitted against heavyweights including Barcelona and PSG in next week's last 16 draw.

A day later, Liverpool can secure top spot in Group E by beating Spartak.

With this victory, Manchester United secured safe passage through to the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League, while CSKA will play in the 1/16 of the UEFA Europa League.

Elsewhere Manchester City have already won Group F. However, Napoli and Shakhtar Donetsk are still fighting it out for the other place in the knockout stages of the competition.

In other Group matches, Real Madrid beat Borussia Dortmund 3-2, Tottenham thrashed Apoel Nicosia 3-nil, FC Porto beat Monaco 5-2 while NK Maribor and Sevilla drew 1-all. Diego Simeone's Atletico, who have only been knocked out by Real Madrid in each of the last four years, reaching at least the quarter-finals every time, must now accept a spot in the Europa League.

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