The UEFA Champions League knockout stage is just about set as a number of clubs completed their final group-stage matchups on Tuesday.
Manchester United, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich all secured the top spots in their respective groups, despite that fact that two of these teams lost on Tuesday. Bayer Leverkusen, Olympiakos and Manchester City also earned spots in the Round of 16 with second-place finishes.
There are more spots up for grabs that will be completely decided on Wednesday, but here is an updated look at the table after the matches on Dec. 10.
|UEFA Champions League Table (as of Dec. 10)|
|2||Zenit St. Petersburg||5||1||3||1||-1||6|
|via ESPN FC|
|UEFA Champions League Results - Dec. 10|
|Manchester United||1-0||Shakhtar Donetsk|
|Real Sociedad||0-1||Bayer Leverkusen|
|FC Copenhagen||0-2||Real Madrid|
|Bayern Munich||2-3||Manchester City|
|Viktoria Plzen||2-1||CSKA Moscow|
|via ESPN FC|
The reason only seven matches were completed on Tuesday was due to terrible weather that caused a postponement of the battle between Galatasaray and Juventus, as captured by BBC Sport:
After 30 minutes of play, the score was 0-0, and the game was deemed unplayable. The teams will pick up the action on Wednesday, according to Jerrad Peters of The Independent:
The winner of this match will earn the second spot in Group B, so you can expect a lot of excitement when things start up again.
Meanwhile, there were plenty of games that actually finished as scheduled.
Manchester United earned a key victory over Shakhtar Donetsk thanks to a goal by Phil Jones in the 67th minute. This battle featured poor finishing throughout, but Jones led United to a group victory with a score from well inside the box.
The loss for Shakhtar left the door open for Bayer Leverkusen to clinch the second seed with a win. Omer Toprak scored the only goal in the match, but that was all it took for the German club to advance.
Group C also featured plenty of excitement as Olympiakos and Benfica entered the day tied for second place. While they both came through with home wins, Olympiakos advances thanks to an earlier victory over the Portuguese squad.
Finally, Manchester City had a chance to steal the top spot in Group D with a two-goal victory over Bayern Munich. However, they could only win 3-2, and, amazingly, they only manage the second seed despite winning five of six games.
There will be plenty more excitement on Wednesday as the remaining spots in the knockout stage are settled. Battles between FC Basel and Schalke 04 as well as Ajax Amsterdam and AC Milan are true decisive contests with the winners moving on to the next round.
Arsenal will also host Napoli in what should be one of the better matches of the season.
Be sure to catch all of the action as the group stage concludes on Dec. 11.
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