Wednesday's Champions League action presented some huge matches that had serious implications in their respective groups moving forward.
While some teams were able to advance to the Round of 16 early, there were other middle-of-the-road clubs who failed to secure their spot and/or fell further out of contention with one match left to play.
Let's take a look at each of the most important matches from Groups A, B and C and break down what effect it had on the group standings as this phase of the tournament nears its finish.
|Group A Standings (5 Matches)|
Manchester United vs. Bayer Leverkusen (5-0)
Wayne Rooney left his mark all over this game as Manchester United secured its spot in the Round of 16 following a 5-0 blowout win over Bayer Leverkusen.
The English star had two helpers and his free kick led to another goal that was netted by an opposing defender for the third goal of the contest.
With the loss, Bayer Leverkusen falls to third place in Group A behind Shakhtar Donetsk and its Dec. 10 match with Real Sociedad is a must-win if the club hopes to advance to the knockout stage.
Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Real Sociedad (4-0)
Sticking with Group A, another important match took place with Shakhtar Donetsk topping Real Sociedad, 4-0.
Shakhtar Donetsk's win catapulted the club into second place after starting out the day two points back of Bayer Leverkusen, whose loss to Manchester United allowed the now second-place Shakhtar Donetsk to move up a spot.
With one match remaining, Shakhtar Donetsk holds its fate in its own hands, although they must get it done against Manchester United on Dec. 10 in order to seal the deal and advance.
|Group B Standings (5 Matches)|
Real Madrid vs. Galatasaray (4-1)
This Group B showdown had significant implications for Galatasaray's hopes of advancing to the knockout stage as the club entered the day in second place and in an ideal position.
Instead of helping themselves, Galatasaray lost outright to Real Madrid 4-1 and failed to hold onto its second-place spot that would guarantee a trip to the Round of 16.
Now, Galatasaray is two points back of its former spot, which is now owned by Juventus, and is tied with Kobenhavn for the last spot in the group with four points. The good news is Galatasaray still controls its own fate with a Dec. 10 matchup against Juventus for what could decide who advances to the next stage of the tourney.
Juventus vs. Kobenhavn (3-1)
Kobenhvn had a golden opportunity to position itself to advance on Wednesday but instead Juventus made the most of its chance by earning a 3-1 win.
The victory not only kept Kobenhavn in the cellar of Group B but it also allowed Juventus to move into second place thanks to the loss by Galatasaray.
Such an important victory puts Juventus in a great position to make it through to the Round of 16. However, they will have to earn their spot with a Dec. 10 meeting with Galatasaray that must result in a tie or a win for Juventus to advance.
|Group C Standings (5 Matches)|
Paris Saint-Germain vs. Olympiacos (2-1)
Paris Saint-Germain entered the day in first place in Group C with Olympiacos breathing down their neck just three points back. In fact, had Olympiacos won, they would have shared the lead in the group with PSG.
But that didn't happen and instead it was PSG who took home the win to guarantee its spot in the Round of 16. Meanwhile, Olympiacos' loss combined with Benfica's win means there are two squads vying for second place at the moment with just one match remaining.
Luckily for Olympiacos, they draw the last place team in the group, Anderlecht, for their final match that will determine if Olympiacos stays alive or goes home.
Anderlecht vs. Benfica (3-2)
Benfica's 3-2 victory over the last place squad in Group C, Anderlecht, helped earn them a step up into contention with Olympiacos losing to PSG.
Now Benfica has a shot to advance to the next round after picking up three points to move into a tie with Olympiacos.
Things won't get easier from here for Benfica as unlike their fellow second-place squad, this club has to take on the best of the group when they play PSG on Dec. 10 in desperate need of a win or at the very least, a draw.
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