By Prince Dulzy
Real madrid cruised pass host shakhtar Donetsk in a seven-goal thriller on Wednesday night matchday 5 of the champions league.
The match ended 3-4 in favour of visitors Real Madrid who clinched top spot in Group A thanks to goals from Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric and Dani Carvajal.
Shakhtar needed a win and a favour from Malmo against Paris Saint-Germain in order to keep their chances of reaching the knockout rounds alive.
But after going down by four goals, they only managed to pulled back three goals when Alex Teixeira scored from the penalty spot, before Dentinho’s header and Teixeira’s clever finish gave Shakhtar hope.
In the other Group A match, Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored on his return to former club Malmo as Paris Saint-Germain ran out 5-0 winners at the Swedbank Stadion.
PSG star and Swedish national hero Ibrahimovic, who began his glittering career at Malmo, netted the third goal of a routine victory for the French champions, who are now guaranteed to finish second behind Real Madrid in Group A.
In Group B, Manchester United’s hopes of reaching the Champions League knockout stages were severely dented by a goalless draw with PSV at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils headed into their penultimate Group B fixture knowing three points would secure a last-16 spot, yet now likely need a win away to leaders Wolfsburg on December 8 to progress following Wednesday’s disappointing stalemate.
Meanwhile Wolfsburg remain on course to reach the Champions League round of 16 after substitute Andre Schurrle’s double earned a 2-0 win away to CSKA Moscow on Tuesday.
Defeat for the Russian side eliminates them from the competition and they were the architects of their own downfall as goalkeeper and captain Igor Akinfeev’s painful individual error saw him concede for the 36th European match in succession – with Schurrle the beneficiary.
Elsewhere in Group C, Benfica fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Astana and close in on a place in the Champions League knockout stages.
Headers from Patrick Twumasi and Marin Anicic had the hosts comfortably ahead in Kazakhstan, before Raul Jimenez pulled a goal back for Benfica just before half-time.
Jimenez then struck again with a low finish 18 minutes from time to eliminate Astana, who drew all three of their home matches in Group C.
In the other group C match at Estadio Vicente Calderón, a double from Antoine Griezmann confirmed Atletico Madrid’s place in the Champions League last-16, as the Spaniards ended Galatasaray’s dream with a 2-0 victory.
A point would have been enough for Diego Simeone’s side after Group C rivals Astana and Benfica drew 2-2 earlier in the day, but they made absolutely sure with a fine performance.
In Group D, Mario Mandzukic’s first-half goal secured a 1-0 victory for Juventus over Manchester City and sent the Italians through to the knockout stage and back into first place in Group D.
Mandzukic got Juve’s first goal when they came from behind to secure a 2-1 win in Manchester on matchday one and the Croatia striker’s 18th-minute strike was enough to seal the points this time around.
Elsewhere, Lars Stindl scored twice to inspire Borussia Monchengladbach to a 4-2 victory over Sevilla that puts the German side in pole position to secure a place in the Europa League.
The hosts looked a different proposition to the side beaten 3-0 in the reverse fixture earlier in the season, and took the lead midway through a high-tempo first half when Stindl latched on to Granit Xhaka’s teasing ball behind the defence to apply a cool finish.
Malmo 0-5 PSG
Shakhtar Donetsk 3-4 Real Madrid
CSKA Moscow 0-2 Wolfsburg
Manchester United 0-0- PSV
Astana 2-2 Benfica
Atletico 2-0 Galatasaray
Juventus 1-0 Manchester City
Borussia M’gladbach 4-2 Sevilla