Football Real, Atletico, Gladbach advance in Champions League

Real, Atletico, Gladbach advance in Champions League

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema scored twice to help his side qualify for the last 16. Photo: Getty
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Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Borussia Moenchengladbach are all through to the Champions League round of 16 after varying results to wrap up the group stage.

Karim Benzema’s two headed goals in the first half gave Real a 2-0 home victory over Moenchengladbach, while the 13-time European champions also hit the woodwork three times.

The win sealed top spot for Real in Group B while Gladbach progressed as runners-up after Inter Milan and Shakhtar Donetsk could only draw 0-0 in the other game.

Inter, who would have advanced with a home win at a soggy San Siro, finished bottom of the section.

Atletico finished as runners-up in Group A to holders Bayern Munich after a 2-0 victory at Red Bull Salzburg.

An opportunist goal by defender Mario Hermoso and a sweet Yannick Carrasco strike gave Los Rojiblancos the victory.

Having already sealed top spot, German champions Bayern fielded a weakened side against Lokomotiv Moscow with their 2-0 victory courtesy of second-half goals from Niklas Suele and Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting.

Third-placed Salzburg will carry on in the Europa League last 32 after the winter break.

Mohamed Salah became Liverpool’s all-time top scorer in the Champions League as their weakened side were held to a 1-1 draw at Denmark’s Midtjylland.

In Amsterdam, a late goal from Luis Muriel earned Atalanta a 1-0 win at 10-man Ajax to secure the Italian side’s spot in the knockout stage – along with Group D winners Liverpool – at the expense of their Dutch hosts.

In other results, Sergio Aguero came off the bench to score for Group C winners Manchester City as they cruised past Marseille 3-0.

Spaniard Ferran Torres and Raheem Sterling, a half-time late substitute, scored City’s other goals on 48 and 90 minutes.

The result left Marseille bottom of the group and failing to make the Europa League spot despite third-placed Olympiacos losing 2-0 to Porto.

Meanwhile, Paris Saint-Germain thumped Istanbul Basaksehir 5-1 as their controversial meeting was concluded a day after it started, with Neymar bagging a hat-trick and Kylian Mbappe a double.

The win secured top spot for PSG over Leipzig in Group H.