City bow out of UCL, Arsenal progress
Manchester City's Champions League adventure is over after they failed to beat Real Madrid on Wednesday, but Arsenal can look forward to the last-16 draw after they qualified with victory over Montpellier.
English champions Manchester City had to win at home to Real Madrid in order to extend their campaign at the Etihad Stadium, but an early strike from Karim Benzema earned Madrid a 1-1 draw and left Roberto Mancini's men with only the Europa League left to target.
City are stuck on three points from five games, knowing they must win their last fixture at Dortmund to avoid total elimination from Europe.
It took ten minutes for Benzema to expose Mancini's decision to play Maicon as a wing-back, drifting behind the Brazilian to meet a searching Angel Di Maria cross for 1-0. Maicon then twice failed to stop Cristiano Ronaldo deliveries from the left, but Sami Khedira shot wide on both occasions.
An equaliser finally arrived 15 minutes from time, with Alvaro Arbeloa sent off for bringing down Aguero inside the area, and the Argentine forward rolled home the penalty for 1-1. City pressed for a winner, but Carlos Tevez could not get his toe to their clearest opening.
Borussia Dortmund join Madrid in the knockout stages after they thumped Ajax 4-1 in Amsterdam. Goals from Marco Reus, Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski (2) ensured the Bundesliga outfit finish top of Group D ahead of the final game.
The Germans took the lead inside ten minutes, with Gotze drifting forward before slipping the ball to Reus, who scored his third Champions League goal on his travels this season. Gotze was enjoying a magical night, waltzing past defenders at will, and he netted the second ten minutes from the break.
There was still time for Lewandowski to bag a third before half-time, showing his opportunistic nature to capitalise on goalkeeping hesitancy, and the same man netted his second midway through the second half before Danny Hoesen's token response.
Arsenal were guaranteed qualification if they could beat Montpellier - in addition to an Olympiakos defeat at Schalke - and that exact scenario played out as the Gunners triumphed 2-0 thanks to Jack Wilshere and Lukas Podolski.
Arsene Wenger's side have reached the magical 10-point marker, viewed as the tally that usually secures qualification, and they can now focus on attempting to snatch top spot in Group B from Schalke, who are a point better off.
After a sloppy start Arsenal almost took the lead when Laurent Koscielny crashed a header against the bar. Instead they waited until early in the second period to score their 400th goal in European football, Wilshere arriving onto Olivier Giroud's nod-down to lift the ball over the advancing keeper.
Giroud then played the role of creator again as his one-two sent the ball the way of Podolski, but the German still had plenty to do as he sent a thunderous volley past Geoffrey Jourdren from the edge of the area.
Schalke stand to secure the 'easier' draw in the last-16 as they top the group with a game to play. The Bundesliga club beat Olympiakos 1-0 thanks to Christian Fuchs' 77th-minute winner, meaning the Greeks will drop into the Europa League.
Malaga qualified for the last-16 as Group C winners despite a second-half comeback from Zenit St Petersburg sealing a 2-2 draw in Russia.
The points looked like they were heading in only one direction when the Primera Division side took a two-goal lead inside nine minutes - Diego Buonanotte opening the scoring and Sebastian Fernandez profiting from a goalkeeping error.
But Zenit fought back well and goals from Danny (49) and Viktor Fayzulin (86), earned them a share of the spoils.
The Spaniards now cannot be overtaken and have a better head-to-head record against AC Milan, who joined them in the knockout stages after they won a potentially tricky away encounter 3-1 at Anderlecht. Anderlecht and Zenit will now fight for the Europa League spot.
Stephan El Shaarawy was the man to break the deadlock two minutes into the second period, showing deft control at the far post to score against the run of play. Anderlecht then lost Bram Nuytinck to a red card, and from the resulting free-kick Philippe Mexes scored a wonder goal with an overhead kick for the Italians, before Alexandre Pato made things safe after Tom De Sutter's brief reply.
In Group A, Porto remain set to qualify top after they beat Dinamo Zagreb 3-0 in Portugal. Lucho Gonzalez, Joao Moutinho and Silvestre Varela scored the Porto goals.
And PSG confirmed their place in the last-16 with a 2-0 win at Dynamo Kiev. Ezequiel Lavezzi opened the scoring with a delicate dink from Zlatan Ibrahimovic's pass, and then added another in the 52nd minute.