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Wednesday UCL Rewind: Real Madrid, PSG win respective groups, and more


Real Madrid came into Wednesday’s match with its backs against the wall, but was able to punch its ticket into the UEFA Champions League Round of 16.

Zinedine Zidane’s squad used a brace from Karim Benzema to down Borussia Monchengladbach to win Group B with a 2-0 victory. It was a major bounce-back performance from Los Blancos after losing on Matchday 5 to Shakhtar Donetsk for the second time this group stage.

Benzema’s opening goal came in the ninth minute as the French striker headed home Lucas Vazquez’s assist past Yann Sommer. The forward rose highest and beat Sommer to the left side of the goal.

It was a similar finish by Benzema in the 32nd minute to double Los Blancos advantage at home. Rodrygo’s cross into the box was headed home once again by Benzema who raced off to celebrate with his teammates.

Sergio Ramos’ return to the Real Madrid backline payed huge dividends as Los Blancos held Gladbach to only one shot on goal in the triumph.

Despite losing by two goals, the Bundesliga side finished as runners-up after Shakhtar Donetsk and Inter Milan played out scoreless draw.

Paris Saint-Germain 5 – Istanbul Basaksehir 1

In the rescheduled match, Paris Saint-Germain claimed top spot in Group H after downing Istanbul Basaksehir 5-1 at home on Wednesday afternoon.

Neymar and Kylian Mbappe combined for all five of PSG’s goals while Angel Di Maria added two assists for Thomas Tuchel’s side. It was straight domination by the hosts in the opening 45 minutes, scoring three goals in a 21 minute span.

Neymar’s opener came in the 21st minute before the Brazilian doubled his tally in the 38th after Marco Verratti set him up. Mbappe extended the lead to 3-0 with a penalty kick goal in the 42nd minute after Mert Gunok was whistled for the foul on the French forward.

The hat trick was completed for Neymar in the 50th minute after he cut inside on his left and hit a missile past Gunok. Istanbul pulled a goal back after Irfan Kahveci’s effort eventually deflected in off Mehmet Topal’s knee, but PSG would his back as Mbappe scored his second of the match.

It was a simple finish for Mbappe after Di Maria bagged his second assist off the bench to end the onslaught from Paris.

Ajax 0 – Atalanta 1

Atalanta needed only a draw to advance with Liverpool out of Group D, but the Italian side stole the victory late in Amsterdam over Ajax.

Luis Muriel’s game-winning goal in the 85th minute was all the visitors needed to finish as runners-up in the group. After Remo Freuler won possession in midfield, he slid a through ball upfield which Muriel raced onto. The striker danced around Andre Onana before tapping into an empty goal.

Ajax played the final 12+ minutes with 10 men after midfielder Ryan Gravenberch was sent off for a second yellow card offense. The sending off hurt Ajax defensively and Muriel made them pay with the winning goal.

Offensively, Ajax only recorded two shots on goal despite holding a 63%-to-37% advantage in possession. The Eredivisie side will now head to the Europa League Round of 32.

Red Bull Salzburg 0 – Atletico Madrid 2

Atletico Madrid also punched its ticket back to the Round of 16 after earning a 2-0 road victory over Austrian hosts Red Bull Salzburg.

Mario Hermoso netted the opening goal for Diego Simeone’s side in the 39th minute, giving Atletico a deserved advantage on the road. Hermoso raced across goal on a free kick and headed home Yannick Carrasco’s cross past Cican Stankovic.

Jesse Marsch’s side pressured Atletico and forced Jan Oblak into a pair of saves, but were unable to tie things up after halftime. Enock Mwepu’s shot rattled the post in the 77th minute before Atletico put the game out of reach with Carrasco getting his name on the scoresheet.

The Belgian got on the end of a cross by Angel Correa and volleyed home into the bottom corner. It was a top performance by Carrasco, who was Man of the Match for his efforts.

Red Bull Salzburg drops into the Europa League after losing at home.

Here’s a closer look at who advanced from Wednesday’s action:

Group Winners: Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Liverpool.

Runners-Up: Atletico Madrid, Borussia Monchengladbach, FC Porto, Atalanta.

Europa League: Red Bull Salzburg, Shakhtar Donetsk, Olympiakos, Ajax.

Eliminated: Lokomotiv Moscow, Inter Milan, Marseille, Midtjylland.

Here’s all of Wednesday’s UCL results:

Paris Saint-Germain 5 – Istanbul Basaksehir 1 (Rescheduled from Tuesday)

Bayern Munich 2 – Lokomotiv Moscow 0

Red Bull Salzburg 0 – Atletico Madrid 2

Inter Milan 0 – Shakhtar Donetsk 0

Real Madrid 2 – Borussia Monchengladbach 0

Manchester City 3 – Marseille 0

Olympiakos 0 – FC Porto 2

Midtjylland 1 – Liverpool 1

Ajax 0 – Atalanta 1

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