London: EPL clubs Chelsea and Manchester United both qualified for the last 16 stage of the Champions League albeit in contrasting fashions in games played Tuesday. Chelsea drew 1-1 at Stamford Bridge against Atletico Madrid that saw them slip to second position in the group and handed the Spanish side, finalists in 2014 and 2016, an early exit. Manchester United, on the other hand came from a goal down to beat CSK Moscow 2-1 and top their pool.
“Football is about finishing at the end of the day and it’s clear we’ve not done that in the Champions League this year and we have paid the price,” Atletico coach Diego Simeone said after the game.
Atletico took the lead in the 56th minute when Saul Niguez headed in at the far post after flick on by former Chelsea striker Fernando Torres following a corner.
The goal was tough on Chelsea who had created a string of chances while Atletico barely troubled the hosts in the first 45 minutes. Chelsea’s pressure paid off in the 75th minute when Atletico defender Stefan Savic turned an Eden Hazard cross into his own net, setting up a climactic end to the game as both sides pushed for a winning goal.
Spain striker Alvaro Morata fired at Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak when he looked sure to score and Brazil winger Willian wasted an even better chance when he blazed an effort high and wide in the 82nd minute.
Meanwhile, Manchester United finished their engagements with 15 points, six ahead of Basel, who have only a game to play
Having missed a string of good chances in the opening period, Man U fell behind to a freakish Vitinho goal, heavily deflected off Alan Dzagoev, on the stroke of half time before Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford struck within a minute to turn the match on its head. The result could have been worse for the Russian side had not their side stood firm in front of the Man U onslaught.
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