Pressure on Real, Milan to move on
Real Madrid, AC Milan and Marseille remain locked in a battle to advance from the same group after not a single team clinched qualification in the Champions League on Wednesday. Madrid tops Group C with 10 points after Gonzalo Higuain scored in a 1-0 win over FC Zurich.sports Updated: Nov 26, 2009 22:16 IST
Real Madrid, AC Milan and Marseille remain locked in a battle to advance from the same group after not a single team clinched qualification in the Champions League on Wednesday. Madrid tops Group C with 10 points after Gonzalo Higuain scored in a 1-0 win over FC Zurich that saw the return of Cristiano Ronaldo from nearly two months out with an ankle injury.
Milan drew 1-1 with Marseille to be next with eight points, one more than the French club. Marco Borriello's 10th-minute goal for the Italians was cancelled out six minutes later by Lucho Gonzalez. If Marseille beats Madrid by a two-goal margin on December 8, the Spaniards will still qualify even if Milan defeats last-place Zurich.
Madrid will hope to have Ronaldo back to full fitness to play Marseille. The Portugal winger replaced Raul Gonzalez in the 70th against Zurich in his first club appearance since scoring twice against Marseille on Sept. 30.
Juventus is in danger of elimination after losing 2-0 to Bordeaux, which secured top spot in Group A. Fernando Menegazzo's header put Bordeaux ahead shortly after halftime, and Marouane Chamakh sealed the win with another header in stoppage time. Bordeaux had already clinched qualification and tops the group with 13 points. Juventus remains second with eight points, one more than Bayern Munich, which beat Maccabi Haifa 1-0 courtesy of Ivica Olic's second-half strike. Juventus will face Bayern in two weeks for a spot in the knockout stage.
Chelsea clinched top spot in Group D by beating FC Porto 1-0 after Nicolas Anelka headed in from close range in the 69th minute in a largely uneventful match between two teams that had already qualified. Atletico Madrid and APOEL Nicosia, who are battling for third place and a spot in the Europa League, drew 1-1 in Cyprus. Atletico has three points, one more than APOEL Nicosia.
First Published: Nov 26, 2009 22:13 IST