Abuja, Dec. 6, 2017 (TNE) Manchester United were one of four clubs to secure qualification for the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League (UCL) in the final round of group games on Tuesday.
Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford scored as United defeated CSKA Moscow 2-1 and finished top of Group A, while Swiss champions Basel won 2-0 away at Benfica to join them in going through.
A contentious goal awarded to Vitinho gave CSKA a shock lead on half-time, but Lukaku and Rashford struck twice in two second-half minutes to send Jose Mourinho’s side into the last 16 as Group A winners.
Italian champions Juventus qualified from Group D after a 2-0 victory against Olympiakos in Greece, and Roma are through from Group C thanks to a 1-0 win at home to Qarabag.
Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid were eliminated from the Champions League after a 1-1 draw at Chelsea that denied the English side top spot in Group C.
It was a depressing evening for both clubs at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday as neither got what they wanted from their final group fixture.
Atletico had to win to have a chance of advancing, but although Saul Niguez’s second-half header put the visitors ahead, Chelsea drew level through a Stefan Savic own goal.
In the end, Roma’s win against Qarabag in the other group match made the result irrelevant for Diego Simeone’s team, who failed to qualify for the last 16 for only the second time and the first since the 2009-10 season.
It was a painful moment for Atletico and, after finishing as Champions League runners-up in 2014 and 2016, they are now consigned to the Europa League.
“It’s part of football. It hurts but there are no excuses. The responsibility is ours,” Simeone said.
“This can be a new challenge. Everything bad we can make into a positive.”
Chelsea were already through to the knockout stages, but blew their chance to finish in first place and in theory earn an easier draw.
Having lost and drawn against Roma, Chelsea finished second behind the Italians due to their inferior head-to-head record.