Málaga CF and FC Porto became the first teams to confirm their qualification from the UEFA Champions League group stage on a night when Paris Saint-Germain FC also took a big step towards the round of 16, but defeats mean GNK Dinamo Zagreb and Montpellier Hérault SC can aim no higher than a UEFA Europa League place in the spring.
For much of the evening it seemed debutants Málaga would clinch pole position in Group C with two games to go after Eliseu gave them the lead late in the first half at AC Milan, but Pato became the first player to score against Málaga in the competition this season with 17 minutes left, earning his side a 1-1 draw. Málaga's perfect record may have gone yet they will finish in the top two, while RSC Anderlecht are now within a point of second-placed Milan after beating FC Zenit St Petersburg 1-0 – their first home UEFA Champions League win in nine years.
Porto's perfect record also went as they drew 0-0 at FC Dynamo Kyiv but that was all they needed to confirm their progress from Group A. It looks good for PSG too, now five points ahead of Dynamo after defeating Dinamo Zagreb 4-0 in Paris to end the Croatian champions' last-16 hopes.
Borussia Dortmund also looked like they would advance tonight, yet with one minute left Mesut Özil's free-kick curled in off the post to make it 2-2 at Real Madrid CF. Madrid are one point short of the German champions in Group D, but three above AFC Ajax, who also drew 2-2 at Manchester City FC, with the English title holders coming from two down to keep their chances alive.
FC Schalke 04 are still a point clear of Arsenal FC at the Group B summit after another 2-2 draw, this time in Gelsenkirchen. Olympiacos FC moved to within a point of Arsenal and dashed Montpellier's hopes of a top-two finish following a 3-1 home win in Greece.
Matchday four continues on Wednesday with the holders of the two remaining 100% records, FC Barcelona and Manchester United FC, able to go through, as can FC Shakhtar Donetsk, who visit Chelsea FC.
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