Barcelona crash from the Champions League as Benfica, Lille and Salzburg reach the last 16


Barcelona crashed out of the Champions League in the group stage for the first time in 20 years with a 3-0 loss at the hands of Bayern Munich on Wednesday as Benfica, French champions Lille and Red Bull Salzburg all qualified for the last 16. Meanwhile, Chelsea missed out on first place in their group for Juventus after a late draw at Zenit St Petersburg, while snow in northern Italy forced the postponement of Atalanta’s decisive game against Villarreal.

Barcelona started the day in second place in Group E, but had to win over Bayern Munich to advance, otherwise they risk being overtaken by Benfica.

Xavi Hernández’s side was duly ejected by already-qualified Bayern, having won six of the six wins in the group, with a 34th-minute header from Thomas Müller just before Ronald Araujo was on the line. crossed.

The game was played behind closed doors at the Allianz Arena due to the coronavirus restrictions in Bavaria, but it didn’t hurt Bayern, Leroy Sane’s powerful strike doubled their lead before the break and then Jamal Musiala after hours Made it 3-0.

‘a new era’

Benfica beat Dynamo Kiev 2-0 in Lisbon, Roman Yaremchuk and Gilberto scored in the first half to make them second and a place in the last 16 in the following Monday’s draw.

“We didn’t compete. It’s the Champions League but it’s our reality and we have to face it,” Xavi told Spanish media.

“We are starting a new era from scratch. Our aim is the Champions League, not the Europa League.”

Barcelona, ​​who had scored just twice in the group stage, appeared in the Champions League knockout rounds in the last 17 seasons, last being eliminated in the 2003–04 UEFA Cup after finishing sixth in La Liga. had played in last year

They were last knocked out of the Champions League in the group stage in 2000/01 when a team of 20-year-old Xavi finished third in their class behind AC Milan and Leeds United.

The five-time European champions will now advance to the Europa League knockout round play-offs in February.

Juve Pip Chelsea

In contrast, Lille are in the Champions League knockout stage for the first time in 15 years after finishing top of Group G after beating Wolfsburg 3-1 in Germany.

Burak Yilmaz gave Lille an early lead and Canadian striker Jonathan David took a 2-0 lead before Angel Gomes scored a third goal in the 72nd minute. Renato Stefan was consoled of late.

Austrian champions Salzburg in each of the previous eight seasons also scored thanks to a 1–0 victory over Sevilla, with Noah Okafor scoring the only goal before the Spaniards sent off Joan Jordan.

It is the first time Salzburg have reached the knockout stage, while Sevilla join the likes of Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League – this could suit them as they have won that trophy or its predecessor UEFA Cup a record six times. , all from 2006.

atlanta games postponed

Last season’s winners Chelsea had already qualified for the last 16 and were on top of Group H as they led Zenit 3-2 in injury time.

But then a surprise strike from Magomed Ozdoev put Zenit at 3-3, leaving Juventus in first place as Moise Kean’s goal gave them a 1-0 win against Malmö.

Timo Werner tapped to put Chelsea ahead in the second minute, but Claudinho and Sardar Azmoun both scored before the break for Zenit.

Romelu Lukaku’s first goal in almost three months made it 2–2, and Werner’s second goal of the night won it for Chelsea before Ozdov hit.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said: “My analysis is very clear: when we have an edge our behavior changes and this is something we have never done and we should never do.” last weekend.

publicized

Atalanta’s game against Villarreal in Group F was postponed due to snow in Bergamo and rescheduled for Thursday at 1800 GMT, with the Italians winning their visitors to finish second in the group.

Group winners Manchester United drew 1–1 at home to the Young Boys, with Mason Greenwood’s acrobatic effort putting Ralph Rangnik’s side ahead before equalizing Fabian Ryder.

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