The Champions League returned to our screens and monitors on Tuesday evening, with Europe’s elite beginning to book their places in the round of 16.
There were headline wins for Chelsea, Manchester United and Barcelona, while Juventus and Paris-Saint Germain stumbled to awkward victories themselves.
Here’s your roundup of Tuesday’s action…
Chelsea became the first side to secure qualification to this season’s knockout stages with a 2-1 win at Rennes in Group E.
Mason Mount, who Frank Lampard pointed out pre-game was in fact not his son, found Callum Hudson-Odoi with a wonderfully weighted ball for the Blues’ opener, but Serhou Guirassy threatened to derail Chelsea’s path to the last 16 with a thumping header with under ten minutes remaining. However, Olivier Giroud secured the points late on with a header of his own late on to send Chelsea into the next round.
Chelsea’s player ratings from this game can be found here.
Elsewhere in Group E, Sevilla too left it late to ensure they would also advance to the knockout stages, beating Krasnodar 2-1 in a partially-filled stadium in Russia. Ivan Rakitic opened the scoring for the Spaniards after four minutes with a drilled effort from range. Wanderson cancelled out the Croat’s strike goal early in the second half, but Munir sealed the win in the 95th minute.
In Group H, Manchester United saw off the challenge of Istanbul Basaksehir with a 4-1win at Old Trafford. Bruno Fernandes was quick out of the blocks with a first half brace, including a rocket from the edge of the area, before Marcus Rashford added a third from the penalty spot. Deniz Turuc pulled one back for the visitors with a fierce free-kick with 15 minutes remaining, and despite late pressure, United clinched the win through Dan James in stoppage time.
You can read United’s player ratings in full here.
Neymar’s first half penalty was enough for Paris Saint-Germain to beat RB Leipzig 1-0 at Parc des Princes. The hosts played with their backs to the walls for much of the contest, and leapfrog Die Roten Bullen on their head-to-head record with two group games remaining.
In Group G, Alvaro Morata spared Juventus‘ blushes by popping up with a late winner in a 2-1 win at home to Ferencvaros. Myrto Uzuni gave the away side a shock lead early on with a tap in, imitating Cristiano Ronaldo with his celebration. Unfortunately, the Portuguese legend was in no mood and equalised for the hosts soon after, and Morata snatched the points in the dying minutes to send the Old Lady through to the last 16.
Juve’s player ratings can be found here.
A heavily weakened Barcelona side put aside their domestic issues to record an emphatic 4-0 win at Dynamo Kyiv, with all four goals coming in the second half. Sergino Dest’s first goal for the club was followed by a brace by sole striker Martin Braithwaite. Antoine Griezmann put the cherry on the cake in injury time as Barça maintained their 100% record in this season’s Champions League and advanced to the next round.
Borussia Dortmund remain top of Group F after a comfortable 3-0 victory at home to Club Brugge. Erling Haaland surpassed Ronaldo’s (the original) Champions League goal tally with his 15th and 16th strikes in just 12 European Cup games. Jadon Sancho also worked his way onto the scoresheet at Signal-Iduna Park with a wicked free-kick.
Meanwhile, Lazio edged their way toward the knockout stages after beating Zenit 3-1 at the Stadio Olimpico. Goal machine Ciro Immobile kicked off proceedings with a sweet strike from distance, and Marco Parolo added a second soon after. Artem Dzyuba replied for the Russian champions minutes later, but Immobile made sure of victory with a second half penalty.