UEFA Champions League

Winners and Losers from Champions League Week 5

Dan ColasimoneContributor INovember 27, 2013

Winners and Losers from Champions League Week 5

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    Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

    The Champions League group stage is drawing to a close, which means that while there is now the odd game that is basically meaningless, there are also plenty of do-or-die clashes to define which teams will continue in the competition. 

    With only three draws in 16 games this round, most groups were given a real shake up.

    It is only in Group D, where Bayern Munich and Manchester City have streaked away, that the two teams to advance have already been decided. 

    Every other group will go into the final matchday with multiple teams still competing for a top-two spot.

    Here are some of the big winners and losers whose fortunes turned around on Matchday 5.

Winners: Basel

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    Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    With Chelsea and Schalke in their group, a strong Basel side were outsiders to make it through to the round of 16, but it will come as little surprise to those who are familiar with the Swiss champions that they are now pushing for qualification.

    Basel have their fate in their own hands after completing the double over Chelsea with an impressive 1-0 win at St. Jakob-Park. They sit in second place on the table with eight points, one point ahead of the German side, whom they play away from home in two weeks. 

    It won't be an easy task to get a result at Schalke, but Basel have given themselves to an opportunity make it out of the group. A draw will do.

     

Losers: Napoli

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    Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

    The "Group of Death," meek Marseille aside, has certainly delivered on expectations.

    Going into the final round of matches, Group F is still on a knife edge. The contrasting styles of Napoli, Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund has resulted in entertaining matches and even results.

    With a win on Matchday 4 against Marseille, Napoli were sitting pretty in the qualifying spots, but a glance at their final two fixtures would have had them a little jittery.

    Sure enough, Dortmund did the business at home, downing the Italians 3-1 to knock them back to third place.

    That two-goal margin may make a critical difference in the final wash-up as well, as Napoli take on Arsenal in their last match, while Dortmund face whipping boys Marseille.

    The classy German side are now looking the most likely to go through.

     

Winners: Ajax

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    Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

    Trailing Milan by a point and facing a Barcelona team who had not lost a single game this season, Ajax must have felt they were on the verge of elimination from the Champions League going into Matchday 5.

    Milan stuck to the script by shooting down Celtic 3-0, but Ajax pulled off the shock of the round to defeat the Catalan giants 2-1 at the Amsterdam Arena.

    The Dutch side still sit in third place in the group, but they're alive and fighting going into the final game.

     

Losers: Bayer Leverkusen

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    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    For the second time this season, Bayer Leverkusen put in an inexplicably soulless performance against English champions Manchester United to damage their chances of qualification.

    The 5-0 thumping sees Leverkusen drop to third in the group, though consolation for the Germans will be that they will steal second spot if they can beat Real Sociedad and United downs Shakhtar Donetsk on Matchday 6.

Winners: Juventus

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    Claudio Villa/Getty Images

    They had to win, they were expected to win, and they did win. 

    Juventus were languishing in last place in Group B after four matchdays following three draws and a loss, but their Arturo Vidal-inspired performance against Copenhagen means they have finally registered a win in this year's competition, and jump straight into second place in the group.

    The Old Lady's encounter against Galatasaray in Turkey in the final group match should be epic.

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