A roundup of all of Wednesday’s action in the UEFA Champions League…
Chelsea 2-0 FC Porto — FULL RECAP
Pep up, Chelsea fans — your side is through to the knockout stage of the Champions League. Sure, your Premier League campaign is an utter disaster at the moment, but you can still win this year’s CL to get back into next year’s tournament. Hey, you’ve done it before, so why not do it again?
In fact, Wednesday’s ____ victory over Porto secured the top spot in Group G, likely assuring the Blues will face a lesser side after the draw for the round of 16. An own goal scored by Marcano is technically the one that put the Blues through to the knockout stage, and Willian provided the safety net (below video) just after halftime to secure advancement for Jose Mourinho’s side. The defeat, coupled with Dynamo Kyiv’s victory over Maccabi Tel Aviv means Porto, who sat top of the group coming into the final matchday, tumble all the way to third and into the Europa League.
Olympiacos 0-3 Arsenal — FULL RECAP
Speaking of redemption and potentially season-saving victories, Arsenal had plenty of work to do to secure their place in the knockout round, and they took care of business away to Olympiacos to leapfrog the Greek side for second place in Group F. On an individual level, no one will be more satisfied than Olivier Giroud, the much-maligned Arsenal striker and scorer of a hat trick on Wednesday.
Giroud put the Gunners ahead just before the half-hour mark, then bagged two more goals (one from the penalty spot) in the second half to push Arsene Wenger‘s side (9 points) into the round of 16 for the 13th straight season. Bayern Munich finished top of the group on 15 points.
Bayer Leverkusen 1-1 Barcelona
Elsewhere on the continent, Barcelona, who had already secured the top spot in Group E, elected to rest a number of regular first-team players while still drawing 1-1 away to Bayer Leverkusen. The goalscorers for either side? You probably could have guessed this one: Lionel Messi and Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez (below video).
Roma 0-0 BATE Borisov
In the other Group E matchup, a 0-0 draw with BATE Borisov was just enough — thanks to Leverkusen only drawing Barca — to put Rudi Garcia’s spiraling-out-of-control Roma side through to the knockout stage on six measly points. Leverkusen wound up level with Roma on points, but now drop to the Champions League by virtue of CL tiebreakers.
Elsewhere in Champions League
Dinamo Zagreb 0-2 Bayern Munich
Dynamo Kyiv 1-0 Maccabi Tel Aviv
Valencia 0-2 Lyon
Gent 2-1 Zenit St. Petersburg