Tuesday, December 8, 2015

It Happened in Europe: Manchester United out of UCL thanks to Wolfsburg and PSV Eindhoven

Group A
Paris St. Germain 2-0 Shakhtar Donetsk
PSG was locked into second place before this even started, so the end result really didn't matter. Lucas Moura got them on the board in the 57th minute and Zlatan Ibrahimovic made it two in the 86th minute.

Real Madrid 8-0 Malmo
Malmo never did a chance in this meaningless game against the group winners. It was the Karim Benzema and Ronaldo show as the two had lot up the Swedes for six goals before the hour mark on their way to eight total. Benzema had the first two and Ronaldo the next four. Mateo Kovacic had number seven ave Benzema finished his hat trick for eight. My question is, why even bother playing Real's superstars in a mostly meaningless game in which victory is pretty much assured anyway? Why risk your superstars when it doesn't matter when you need all the help you can get in the domestic league, where Real Madrid is struggling by their standards?

As was the case before the day started, Real Madrid Weiss the group with PSG taking second. Shakhtar Donetsk gets the Europa league spot for finishing third while Malmo is done on the continent for the year.

Group B
PSV Eindhoven 2-1 CSKA Moscow
Eindhoven needed to beat Manchester United's point goal for the day in order to advance. With the Red Devils losing for much of the time, PSV holding on to a scoreless draw was working out well. Until Sergey Ignashevich scored from the penalty spot in the 76th minute. Thankfully, Luuk De Jung was around to get them even two minutes later. PSV earned their winner, and their knockout round place, thanks to Davy Propper in the 85th minute.

Wolfsburg 3-2 Manchester United
Manchester United needed a win here more than anything in order to win the group or just more points than Eindhoven just to advance. They got a fast start with Anthony Martial scoring ten minutes in. Wolfsburg came right back and had the lead before the half hour was up. Naldo leveled in the 13th and Vieirinha pot then in front in the 29th. United got back to level pegging in the 82nd minute thanks to an own goal off Joshua Guilavogui, but ultimately fell thanks to Naldo's second goal of the night in the 89th minute.

Wolfsburg wins the group on a thrilling final day in Group B. PSV Eindhoven, thanks in part to their shock upset of Manchester United earlier in the year, takes second and banishes the Red Devils to the Europa League. Moscow finishes fourth.

Group C
Benfica 1-2 Atletico Madrid
The winner of this one would take the top spot in the group, but both sides were shady through to the knockout rounds. Atletico Madrid went in front in the 33rd minute with a goal from Saul. Luciano Vietto doubled the lead in the 55th. Needing quick goals, Benfica went in the assault and pulled one back with Konstantinos Mitroglou in the 75th minute, but it wasn't enough to lift the Portuguese to the point they needed.

Galatasaray 1-1 Astana
A Europa league spot would go to the winner of this one and a couple quick goals after the hour mark had all the bearing on the end result. First it was Patrick Twumasi putting Astana in front in the 62nd minute. But the Turks answered two minutes later when Selcuk Inan scored.
The only change here was Atletico jumping Benfica for first place. Both clubs still move on while Galatasaray takes third and Astana fourth.

Group D
Manchester City 4-2 Borussia Monchengladbach
Manchester City stuck first as they quested to top group D. David Siva have them the first lead in the 16th minute. They wouldn't hold it for long, and would fall behind by halftime. Julian Korb tied the score in the 19th and Raffael made it 2-1 in the 43rd. The score would hold until City blew up in the final ten minutes. Raheem Sterling scored twice in as many minutes to flip the score in their favor. Wilfried Bony pot the cherry on top in the 85th to sink Gladbach.

Sevilla 1-0 Juventus
Sevilla could only play spoiler to Juventus's objective if winning the group and they did just that on home soil. Fernando Llorente's 65th minute goal gave them the win and dropped Juventus to second place in the group.

City's win and Juve's loss sees Manchester City atop the pile in group D. Sevilla's win gives them the Europa League place and eliminated Monchengladbach.

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