Madrid in position as Inter, Benfica go top
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Real Madrid CF are on the verge of the last 16 after opening up a five-point lead in Group D on a night when FC Bayern München were denied and FC Internazionale Milano hit the front.
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Real Madrid CF are on the verge of the UEFA Champions League knockout phase after opening up a five-point lead in Group D on a night when FC Bayern München missed a chance to surge further clear of SSC Napoli. FC Internazionale Milano and SL Benfica moved to their own section summits.
Madrid, yet to drop a point, welcomed second-placed Olympique Lyonnais tonight and comfortably ended their visitors' unbeaten run 4-0; victory in the return on 2 November will take them through with two games to spare. Lyon are now joined on four points by AFC Ajax, 2-0 victors at a GNK Dinamo Zagreb side yet to get off the mark.
Group A pacesetters Bayern could have been in similar territory to Madrid but having taken an early lead at Napoli through Toni Kroos, were pegged back by a Holger Badstuber own goal. Morgan De Sanctis saved Mario Gomez's penalty to earn a 1-1 draw, meaning Bayern remain two points ahead of Napoli. Manchester City FC are only one further back after Sergio Agüero scored with the last kick of the game to earn his club's maiden UEFA Champions League victory, 2-1 at home to Villarreal CF.
With this morning's Group B leaders Trabzonspor AŞ beaten 3-0 at PFC CSKA Moskva in the early game, Inter took advantage to go two points ahead of both teams thanks to a 1-0 victory away to LOSC Lille Métropole. Seydou Doumbia's two goals for CSKA in their club record UEFA Champions League win took him to four for the season.
Benfica began the day behind FC Basel 1893 at the Group C summit on goals scored but are now out ahead following a 2-0 victory in Switzerland. Manchester United FC leapfrogged Basel to second following their own 2-0 win at FC Oţelul Galaţi, Wayne Rooney converting two second-half penalties in Bucharest, in a game both sides ended with ten more. Two points clear of United, Benfica will qualify in a fortnight with a home win against Basel.
Eight more games are played on Wednesday, with Olympique de Marseille at home to Arsenal FC as they defend the only remaining perfect record other than Madrid's.
SSC Napoli 1-1 FC Bayern München
Manchester City FC 2-1 Villarreal CF
PFC CSKA Moskva 3-0 Trabzonspor AŞ
LOSC Lille Métropole 0-1 FC Internazionale Milano
FC Oţelul Galaţi 0-2 Manchester United FC
FC Basel 1893 0-2 SL Benfica
Real Madrid CF 4-0 Olympique Lyonnais
GNK Dinamo Zagreb 0-2 AFC Ajax
During all matchday three games UEFA is backing FARE Action Weeks.