Arsenal through to last 16, Liverpool stumble again

2014-11-27 00:18

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Arsenal qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League for the 15th successive season when they ended Borussia Dortmund’s 100% record in Group D with a 2-0 win at the Emirates Stadium.

The hosts needed only 73 seconds to take the lead tonight with 21-year-old French striker Yaya Sanogo scoring his first goal for the club and the Gunners sealed victory when Alexis Sanchez curled in a wonderful strike from 20 metres.

It was his third goal in five Champions League appearances in the competition proper for Arsenal, the same total he managed in 24 games for Barcelona.

Dortmund, who had already secured their place in the last 16, top the table with 12 points from their five games, but Arsenal can now pip them to first place if they win their last match at Galatasaray and Dortmund fail to beat Anderlecht, who like Galatasaray, are eliminated.

Meanwhile, a late header from defender Georgi Terziev earned Ludogorets a 2-2 draw with an unimpressive Liverpool that left the English side facing a winner-takes-all final match with FC Basel.

Ludogorets went ahead in the third minute when Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet failed to deal with an awkward bounce following Marcelinho's long-range effort and Dani Abalo was on hand to tap in from close range.

Liverpool levelled five minutes later when Rickie Lambert netted a header from close range following farcical defending by Romania centre back Cosmin Moti.

Jordan Henderson made it 2-1 eight minutes before the break, making no mistake at the back post from Raheem Sterling's precise left-wing cross.

Yet the home side refused to surrender and Terziev headed home with four minutes remaining.

The Reds are third in the standings on four points, two behind Basel, and need to beat the Swiss side at Anfield in the final round of Group B matches to secure qualification for the last 16.

Ludogorets visit runaway leaders Real Madrid in their final match.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 71st Champions League goal, putting him three behind Lionel Messi’s record, to give Real Madrid a 1-0 win at Basel in the other group match tonight.

In other results, Atletico Madrid swept into the last 16 with a game to spare as Mario Mandzukic netted a hat-trick in a crushing 4-0 win at home to Olympiakos Piraeus in Group A.

Last season’s beaten finalists secured a fourth straight victory since falling 3-2 to the Greek side in their opening game in September and have 12 points from five matches.

They are three points ahead of second-placed Juventus, who won 2-0 at Malmo thanks to second-half strikes from Fernando Llorente and Carlos Tevez. The top two meet in Turin in their final group game on December 9, with Juventus needing a point to ensure qualification.

In Group C, Monaco stunned Bayer Leverkusen 1-0 with a goal against the run of play from substitute Lucas Ocampos to revive their qualifying hopes and scupper the Germans’ plans to top the group with a game to spare.

Leverkusen, who have now lost twice to Monaco in the group, had already qualified for the round of 16 without kicking a ball after Zenit St Petersburg beat Benfica 1-0 earlier.

The result left them on top on nine points with Monaco on eight and Zenit on seven going into the last matchday.

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