UCL: Chelsea draws as Lazio, Leipzig, PSG clinch berths
Lazio, RB Leipzig, and Paris Saint-Germain are onto the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds at the expense of leaky Manchester United and a scrappy Club Brugge as the final match day of Groups E, F, G, and H hit Europe on Tuesday.
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Elsewhere, Chelsea started a pair of kids in a draw with Krasnodar as it had already sewn up a seeded place. It is joined by Dortmund and Juventus as group winners, while an ugly racial incident in France means PSG has to wait until Wednesday to find out if it will take Group H off of Leipzig when it hosts Istanbul Basaksehir for the final 76 minutes of a suspended affair at the Parc des Princes.
Chelsea 1-1 Krasnodar
Ex-Newcastle man Remy Cabella beat Kepa Arrizabalaga to give the Russians a 1-0 lead in the 24th minute but Jorginho converted a penalty four minutes later for the already-clinched Blues.
Stamford Bridge saw a strong performance from young Billy Gilmour in his return from injury, while 19-year-old Tino Anjorin went 80 minutes in his fourth senior appearance for Chelsea.
Gilmour completed 74-of-83 passes including three key passes while completing two dribbles and taking two shots (one on target).
Anjorin was also tidy at left wing, winning most of his duels and making four tackles. He drew praise from Lampard, who rested Christian Pulisic, Mason Mount, Reece James, and Ben Chilwell.
Chelsea is set to come out of the UCL group stage and into a brutal run of fixtures: away to Everton and Wolves, then home to West Ham before a visit to Arsenal. Those aree all between Dec. 12 and 26, with Villa and Man City visiting Stamford Bridge before the Festive Fixtures are done.
Stade Rennes 1-3 Sevilla
Sevilla had already advanced and did not have hope of catching Chelsea but still picked up a quality away win despite being out-attempted 19-8 by its Ligue 1 hosts.
Julen Lopetegui’s men got two goals from Youssef En-Nesyri after Jules Kounde opened the scoring with a beautiful hit, but the clean sheet was sullied by Georginio Rutter’s finish of an Eduoardo Camavinga-won penalty in the final half-dozen minutes.
Zenit Saint Petersburg 1-2 Borussia Dortmund
Trailing 1-0 on a Sebastian Driussi first-half goal, BVB boss Lucien Favre brought on youth in the 58th minute and it changed the game.
USMNT teen Giovanni Reyna and his even younger teammate Youssoufa Moukoko came into the match and goals from Lukasz Piszczek and Axel Witsel gave Dortmund the group.
Reyna finished with a key pass, an interception, and 24-of-27 passing on 30 touches in his 32 minutes. Favre didn’t have Erling Haaland and won’t until after Winterpause.
Lazio 2-2 Club Brugge
A draw was enough for the Italian hosts to join BVB in the knockout rounds, though their Belgian visitors did not relent even after going down a goal and a man.
Joaquin Correa and Ciro Immobile gave Lazio one-goal leads sandwiched around Ruud Vormer’s 15th-minute equalizer, but Eduard Sobol’s second yellow card before halftime meant Club Brugge needed multiple goals down a man at a Serie A ground.
Incredibly, they nearly did it. Vormer set up Hans Vanaken’s 76th-minute equalizer and there were chances for a breakthrough despite the disadvantage in numbers.
Vanaken, 28, has become a Belgian national teamer without leaving the country for his club career, and both he and Vormer were wonderful in an effort that sends Club Brugge to the Europa League.
Dynamo Kiev 1-0 Ferencvaros
A cagey match with 33 fouls and 12 shots, Denys Popov’s goal at the hour mark was enough to push the Ukranian side past their Hungarian visitors for a place in the Europa League.
Barcelona 0-3 Juventus
Gianluigi Buffon turned back the hands of time with a seven-save performance, all of them coming on Lionel Messi shots, as Juventus took Group G on a beautiful Weston McKennie goal and two Cristiano Ronaldo penalties.
Messi also passed at 90 percent and had three key passes as Barca out-attempted Juve 20-8 but made too many mistakes to claim a seeded spot in the Round of 16.
RB Leipzig 3-2 Manchester United
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Disorganized at the back of a 3-4-3, United found itself down 2-0 after 13 minutes and saw a third come off the board thanks to VAR.
The Red Devils were much better after that and dominant in the second half but allowed a third goal before getting a pair back to finish with a 19-9 edge in shots... barely off from the 20-9 edge they carried when they couldn’t stop crosses and lost to Sevilla in the 2019-20 Europa League semifinal.
Paul Pogba was good off the bench as was Donny van de Beek, but poor organization from United’s wingbacks and a lack of key interventions from their center back corps helped doom them to a UEL return.
Paris Saint-German v Istanbul Basaksehir - SUSPENDED
PSG and Istanbul Basaksehir will not play until Wednesday after both teams left the pitch following the sending-off of Basaksehir assistant Pierre Webo.
Basaksehir reportedly took offense to the fourth official using the term “negro” to tell the head referee which member of the staff had received a red card.