• Champions League

Bale inspires Madrid, Ibrahimovic and PSG progress

ESPN staff
November 27, 2013
Gareth Bale scored a wonderful free-kick for Real Madrid © Getty Images

Gareth Bale scored a stunning free-kick as 10-man Real Madrid eased their way to a 4-1 victory over Galatasaray and into the last 16 as group winners.

Sergio Ramos was dismissed after 26 minutes but Bale gave Madrid the lead 10 minutes later with a curled dead ball effort from 35 yards out. Umut Bulut responded with an equaliser immediately but Roberto Mancini's side crumbled after the break despite having the extra man.

Alvaro Arbeloa, Angel di Maria and Isco all got on the scoresheet to condemn the Italian coach to the heaviest defeat of his relatively short spell in charge of the Turkish champions.

Galatasaray must now beat Juventus at home in a fortnight's time if they are to reach the latter rounds and Mancini is to avoid his fourth exit at the group stage of Europe's elite competition.

Chile striker Arturo Vidal kept Juventus alive in the Champions League as his hat trick earned them a 3-1 win over FC Copenhagen.

Antonio Conte's men headed into this Group B clash knowing their margin for error was getting smaller and that a failure to win could leave progression out of their hands or even off the table.

That was looking as though it could be the case too when former Juve defender Olof Mellberg cancelled out Vidal's first-half penalty.

Mellberg would change the game again shortly after, though, giving away another penalty which Vidal tucked away before completing his hat-trick.

The outcome is that Juve head to Galatasaray in the final group game knowing they can guarantee qualification with a win and, considering Copenhagen next face Real Madrid, could well do so with a draw.

Defending champions Bayern Munich almost certainly wrapped up top spot in Champions League Group D with a 3-1 victory over CSKA Moscow at Khimki Arena.

An efficient performance in front of goal ensured Bayern did not slip up in the snowy conditions as Arjen Robben, Mario Goetze and a Thomas Mueller penalty did the damage.

The victory was Bayern's 10th in a row in the competition to beat Barcelona's previous record from 2002.

Douglas Costa's second-half double helped Shakhtar Donetsk end Real Sociedad's hopes of reaching the knockout stage with a 4-0 win at the Donbass Arena.

Luiz Adriano and Alex Teixeira also scored for the Ukrainian side to claim a victory, which combined with United's 5-0 defeat of Leverkusen in Germany, moved Shakhtar up into second place in Group A.

The defeat for Sociedad means they are destined to finish fourth in the group, thereby ending their European campaign this season. Shakhtar's fate remains in their own hands.

In Group C, a late goal from Edinson Cavani secured Paris Saint-Germain's place in the last 16 as they beat Olympiakos 2-1.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic broke the deadlock on seven minutes but the Ligue 1 club were unable to make sure of their success, as Olympiakos hit back with 10 minutes left through Kostas Manolas.

However, in the dying stages of the game Cavani proved the matchwinner as he slotted home following Marquinhos' assist.

Benfica kept their knockout phase aspirations alive and left Anderlecht resigned to an all-too-familiar fate after Rodrigo snatched a late winner in a 3-2 victory in Brussels.

The Portuguese side are attempting to navigate a route out of Group C and into the last 16 of the competition, and at worse their fate will be a place in the Europa League last 32, with Anderlecht now condemned to bottom place.

The Belgians have suffered the fate of propping up their group for seven successive campaigns, so the 90th-minute winner that condemned them to finish at the foot of the table may have come as little surprise.

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