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Sporting surprises by qualifying

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Sporting surprises by qualifying

Real Madrid and Manchester City, in the top 16

One guest stunned on the parade of European soccer powerhouses that advanced to the knockout phase of the Champions League: Sporting Lisbon, who completed a spectacular transformation to join the elite.

Manchester City and Real Madrid are back in the top 16 in Europe after beating teams they lost to in September. Paris Saint Germain also advanced to the round of 16 despite losing 2-1 to Manchester City after taking the lead with a goal from Kylian Mbappe.

Madrid’s 3-0 victory over the Sheriff – taking revenge for the 2-1 they suffered at home against the Moldovan champions two months ago – included a goal from Karim Benzema on a day of legal problems for the French attacker, and incidentally guaranteed Inter Milan their ticket in Group D, after beating Shakhtar Donetsk 2-0.

Inter, a three-time European champion, returns to the round of 16 after an absence of 10 years, although it was not the longest drought to come to an end. Sporting had 13 without advancing and did so after beating Borussia Dortmund 3-1 with a double from Pedro Goncalves.

Sporting looked destined to fail in September after being beaten by Ajax and defeated by Dortmund, but three wins in a row made it clear that the surprise Portuguese champion had what it takes to advance.

“The teams grow,” said Sporting coach Rúben Amorim. “It’s great, good for the project, but we still have a lot to do.”

Ajax and Liverpool extended their dominance in the group round by advancing with five wins in a row.

Ajax beat Besiktas 2-1 with goals from Sebastien Haller, who came on as a substitute. Haller now has goals in his first five Champions League games and is the fastest player to reach nine touchdowns in the competition.

Liverpool had no problems in a 2-0 win over Porto and broke 10 points behind the Portuguese team, second in Group B, a sector that promises a tense close on the final matchday on 7 December.

Milan still have a chance to advance after a 30-year-old Champions League debutant’s 87th-minute goal triumph to beat Atlético de Madrid 1-0. That result left both teams with four points with Milan hosting Liverpool and last place Atlético visiting Porto.

Leipzig beat Brugge 5-0 in Belgium in their contest for third place in Group A behind City and PSG.

Third places advance to the second phase of the Europa League in February.


in details

Real Madrid and Manchester City, in the top 16

One guest stunned on the parade of European soccer powerhouses that advanced to the knockout phase of the Champions League: Sporting Lisbon, who completed a spectacular transformation to join the elite.

Manchester City and Real Madrid are back in the top 16 in Europe after beating teams they lost to in September. Paris Saint Germain also advanced to the round of 16 despite losing 2-1 to Manchester City after taking the lead with a goal from Kylian Mbappe.

Madrid’s 3-0 victory over the Sheriff – taking revenge for the 2-1 they suffered at home against the Moldovan champions two months ago – included a goal from Karim Benzema on a day of legal problems for the French attacker, and incidentally guaranteed Inter Milan their ticket in Group D, after beating Shakhtar Donetsk 2-0.

Inter, a three-time European champion, returns to the round of 16 after an absence of 10 years, although it was not the longest drought to come to an end. Sporting had 13 without advancing and did so after beating Borussia Dortmund 3-1 with a double from Pedro Goncalves.

Sporting looked destined to fail in September after being beaten by Ajax and defeated by Dortmund, but three wins in a row made it clear that the surprise Portuguese champion had what it takes to advance.

“The teams grow,” said Sporting coach Rúben Amorim. “It’s great, good for the project, but we still have a lot to do.”

Ajax and Liverpool extended their dominance in the group round by advancing with five wins in a row.

Ajax beat Besiktas 2-1 with goals from Sebastien Haller, who came on as a substitute. Haller now has goals in his first five Champions League games and is the fastest player to reach nine touchdowns in the competition.

Liverpool had no problems in a 2-0 win over Porto and broke 10 points behind the Portuguese team, second in Group B, a sector that promises a tense close on the final matchday on 7 December.

Milan still have a chance to advance after a 30-year-old Champions League debutant’s 87th-minute goal triumph to beat Atlético de Madrid 1-0. That result left both teams with four points with Milan hosting Liverpool and last place Atlético visiting Porto.

Leipzig beat Brugge 5-0 in Belgium in their contest for third place in Group A behind City and PSG.

Third places advance to the second phase of the Europa League in February.

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