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Champions League wrap: Barcelona crash out; Juventus on top; Chelsea held

Xavi Hernandez

Bengaluru, December 9: Xavi's Barcelona have been eliminated from the UEFA Champions League group stage following a heart-breaking 0-3 loss to Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.

The Catalan side drops into the Europa League and will not appear in the knockout stages of Europe's premier club competition for the first time since the 2003-04 season.

Already assured of top spot in Group E, first-half goals from Thomas Muller and Leroy Sane put Bayern well on the way to progressing with a 100 per cent record.

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Jamal Musiala ensured that Julian Nagelsmann's side did just that when he sealed the victory just after the hour mark in another routine victory for the hosts in this fixture.

RESULTS | POINTS TABLE | FIXTURES

To avoid elimination, Barca needed to win or hope that Benfica failed to beat Dynamo Kiev elsewhere in the final round of group fixtures.

Jordi Alba tested Manuel Neuer from distance, while Ousmane Dembele swept a shot over from Memphis Depay's square ball.

But Barca fell behind in the 34th minute; Robert Lewandowski cleverly twisting and turning before crossing for Muller, whose looping header crossed the line before Ronald Araujo could volley clear.

Bayern doubled their lead just before the break with Sane's powerful 30-yard strike completely perplexing Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Sane squandered a golden opportunity for his second goal shortly after the restart when somehow failing to turn the ball home from inside the six-yard box after Kingsley Coman cushioned Alphonso Davies' cross into his path.

Bayern's third goal did arrive in the 62nd minute as Musiala sealed the deal by slotting home following a strong run and cross by Davies.

Xavi angry

The defeat left Spanish great Xavi disapppointed.

"I'm angry. This is the reality and it p***** me off," he told reporters.

"We have to tackle it face on. There's nothing else for it. A new era starts today. We start from zero.

"Barca's objective is the Champions League, not the Europa League.

"But our reality now is the Europa League, and we have to win it," added Xavi, who joined Barcelona midway through their campaign replacing Dutchman Ronald Koeman after leaving Qatar Stars League outfit Al Sadd.

Greenwood stars for United

In Group F, Mason Greenwood scored a spectacular goal as Manchester United drew 1-1 with Young Boys at Old Trafford.

Despite Ralf Rangnick making 11 changes to the team that beat Crystal Palace last weekend, the Red Devils got off to a flying start as Greenwood volleyed stylishly inside the near post after Shaw had sent the ball into the middle.

However, the visitors equalised three minutes before half-time as Fabian Rieder pounced on a loose pass before bending a sweet strike into the top corner, leaving Dean Henderson with no chance.

Juventus on song

Meanwhile, Moise Kean's early header proved enough to earn Juventus a 1-0 win over Malmo and top spot in Group H

The Bianconeri controlled the game well but could only muster one goal despite playing a team with just one point to their name.

Federico Bernardeschi's classy cross from the right was one of the few moments of true quality in the final third, which Kean met with a darting run to the near post in the 18th minute.

Chelsea held

Chelsea were forced to settle for second place in Group H after an injury-time equaliser from Magomed Ozdoev clinched a 3-3 draw for Zenit.

Two goals from Timo Werner and another from Romelu Lukaku were not enough to secure the victory for the Blues, with Claudinho, Sardar Azmoun and Ozdoev all scoring for Zenit in Russia, and the Blues will now not be seeded in Monday's draw for the round-of-16.

(With inputs from OPTA)

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Story first published: Thursday, December 9, 2021, 8:33 [IST]
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