Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata both scored last-minute winners for their teams to fire Chelsea and Juventus, respectively, into the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday night.
It was Callum Hudson-Odobi’s 22nd minute goal which gave Chelsea the lead but Sehrou Guirassy’s 85th-minute strike saw Stade Rennes come back into the match at Roazhon Park.
Giroud then profited from some poor Rennes defending to score the winning goal in the 1st minute of injury time to secure victory for the Blues, who top Group E with 10 points.
“I’m very happy to qualify with two games to spare. It was a really tough match, they’re a very good team. Their recent form doesn’t reflect how good they are, it was a tough hard-fought win,” said Chelsea manager Frank Lampard.
The second match of Group E saw Sevilla grab a late win against Krasnodar in Russia to go level on points with Chelsea. Sevilla’s win means they cannot defend their Europa League title, as only the third-place finishers in each group enjoy the cushion of playing in Europe’s secondary competition.
“Qualifying for the last 16 of the Champions League is fantastic,” Sevilla manager Julen Lopetegui said.
DEPLETED BARCELONA CRUSH DYNAMO
Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman was pleased to see his side play with a renewed sense of freshness in Tuesday’s 4-0 win away to Dynamo Kyiv in the Champions League after heavily rotating his squad.
After a poor start, Barca got going in the second half to easily beat the Ukrainians with a goal from Sergino Dest, a double from Martin Braithwaite and a late strike from substitute Antoine Griezmann, clinching the Catalans’ place in the last 16.
“Some games turn out better than others but the biggest difference today was how fresh we looked.
“We did the right thing in resting some players and giving an opportunity to others who were in a better physical shape. We were much better in midfield, we showed lots of hunger and pressed our opponents very well,” Koeman told a news conference.
BRUNO FERNANDES STARS IN MAN UNITED WIN
Bruno Fernandes scored two early goals in Manchester United’s 4-1 win over stanbul Baakehir, keeping the Premier League team on track to qualify from Group H.
Fernandes might even have scored a hat trick, but he handed over spot-kick duties to Marcus Rashford, who had been brought down for the penalty, and the England forward converted to make it 3-0 at an empty Old Trafford.
Daniel James scored the fourth as United made up for its surprise 2-1 loss in Istanbul.
United now has nine points, three more than both Paris Saint-Germain and Leipzig.
PSG SCRAPE PAST LEIPZIG TO ADVANCE
A penalty from Neymar was enough for a nervous-looking PSG to scrape a 1-0 win against Leipzig, which wasted a number of chances to equalize.
PSG’s win gives it a better head-to-head record against Leipzig, thanks to grabbing an away goal from their previous game and not conceding any.
PSG plays United at Old Trafford on Dec. 2 before hosting Baakehir six days later.
RONALD, MORATA FIRE IN JUVENTUS WIN
Alvaro Morata’s extra-time strike helped Juventus progress into the last 16 with a 2-1 home win over Hungarians Ferencvaros.
Ferencvaros surprised the home team by taking the lead in the 19th minute through Myrto Uzuni. Juventus then fought their way back into the match through Cristiano Ronaldo and Morata.
Ronaldo had a goal correctly ruled out for offside before he equalised in the 35th minute with a sweet, left-foot shot from 20 metres which fizzed into the back of the net inside the near post.
Morata then nodded down a cross from Juan Cuadrado in the 2nd minute of injury time for his seventh goal across all competitions this season and his fifth in the Champions League.