UEFA: Real, Dortmund Qualify For R16

Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund qualified for the round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday, with authoritative home wins.

Real beat Liverpool 1-0, while Dortmund hammered Galatasaray 4-1. Real, who are trying to become the first team since AC Milan in 1990 to successfully defend their title, were in the driving seat from start to finish against Liverpool, in a high-profile Group B clash.

The only goal came in the 27th minute, when Karim Benzema broke the deadlock by turning in a perfect far-post centre from left-back Marcelo.

Gareth Bale came off the bench, after two weeks out injured, and hit the crossbar after another excellent centre from the impressive Marcelo.

Liverpool rarely threatened to equalize. Real’s fourth win maintained their remarkable record of always reaching the knockout stage since 1998.

Basle are second in the group with six points, after their 4-0 thrashing of Ludogorets. The Bulgarians and Liverpool have three points apiece.

Meanwhile in Group D, Dortmund and Arsenal booked their round of 16 tickets in front of their own fans.

Dortmund emulated Real and made it four wins in four by caning brittle Galatasaray 4-1, on goals from Marco Reus, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Ciro Immobile – plus an own goal from Hakan Balta.

Dortmund are five points ahead of Arsenal, who threw away their passport to the knockout stage by allowing Anderlecht to come from 3-0 down to force a late, unlikely 3-3 draw.

Goals from Mikel Arteta, Alexis Sanchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain seemed to have won the game for the Gunners, but Anderlecht fought back with a brace from Anthony Vanden Borre followed by a late equalizer from young supersub Aleksandar Mitrovic.

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