Real, City lock up last-16 places

Real Madrid and Manchester City both found the going tough in the Champions’ League group stage on Tuesday night but battled through to draws that were enough to qualify for the knockout stages.

Paris Saint-Germain and Benfica also moved closer to the last-16 with a draw at Parc des Princes, after Maccabi Haifa had earlier upset Juventus in the same group.

On a bad night for Italian titans, AC Milan played almost the whole match with 10 men as they lost at home to Chelsea.

In Copenhagen, City’s Riyad Mahrez wasted a 25th-minute penalty and five minutes later defender Sergio Gomez was sent off.

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Pep Guardiola had rested several starters, including Erling Haaland, with an eye to the weekend’s meeting with Liverpool, and his team failed to score for the first time in 24 games, but the coach was content.

“To play one hour like that is tough. The players gave absolutely everything,” Guardiola said.

Neither Copenhagen nor Sevilla has won a game yet in Group G and when the Spaniards drew 1-1 in Dortmund in the later match, it ensured Manchester City would advance.

Carlo Ancelotti, the Real Madrid coach, also had an eye on a big upcoming league game, the Clasico against Barcelona on Sunday, and rested several starters against Shakhtar Donetsk in their 1-1 draw in Warsaw.

Chelsea beat 10-man AC Milan 2-0 to complete a double over the Italians, having won last week’s tie 3-0 at Stamford Bridge. – AFP

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