David Moyes’ first away win in the Champions League as Manchester United manager ensured qualification through the group stage as United dismantled Bayer Leverkusen 5-0.
A Luis Antonio Valencia header and an own goal from Emir Saphic gave Moyes’ side a 2-0 lead at half-time before Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling and Nani put the gloss on an excellent European performance by the Premier League champions, in which Wayne Rooney kept up his impressive recent form.
The other game in Group A finished 4-0 in favour of Shakhtar Donetsk, who dismantled Real Sociedad in Ukraine, with Luiz Adriano and Alex Teixera getting on the scoresheet as well as Douglas Costa, who scored a brace.
Joe Hart was recalled to the Manchester City starting XI but was unable to keep a clean sheet despite City beating Viktoria Plzen 4-2 at the Etihad.
Manuel Pellegrini’s team took the lead twice through a Sergio Aguero penalty and then via a Samir Nasri strike, but were pegged back on both occasions by the travelling Czech outfit.
Two goals late on though, coming from first Alvaro Negredo in the 78th minute, before Edin Dzeko completed the scoring for City, who had already secured qualification to the last 16, meaning Arsenal are the only English side yet to secure their place in the next round.
Champions League holders Bayern Munich were in action in the early kick-off against CSKA Moscow and made light work of the task in hand in Russia coming away with all three points winning 3-1.
Arjen Robben and Mario Gotze scored before Keisuke Honda pulled one back from the spot for the hosts. Thomas Muller added Bayern’s third as the German side set a competition record having now won 10 matches in a row.
Gareth Bale set Real Madrid on their way to an impressive 4-1 home victory over Galatasaray, which also confirmed Madrid’s progression through the group phase of the Champions League. Alvaro Arbeloa, Angel di Maria and Isco also grabbed goals for the hosts whilst Umut Bulut got on the scoresheet for Roberto Mancini’s team.
The other Group B match saw Juventus beat FC Copehagen 3-1 in Turin courtesy of an Arturo Vidal hat-trick, with two coming from the penalty spot, meaning Juventus take second place ahead of matchday six. Former Aston Villa and Juventus centre-back Olof Mellberg grabbed Copenhagen’s consolation.
Elsewhere, in Group C, Paris St. Germain had to rely on a last minute Edinson Cavani goal to see off Olympiakos and progress into the knockout phase after Kostas Manolas had ruled out an earlier Zlatan Ibrahimovic effort.
Benfica kept their hopes of reaching the knockout stages alive as they beat Anderlecht 3-2, leaving them third behind Olympiakos on goal difference ahead of the final group match, with Benfica hosting PSG as Olympiakos welcome Anderlecht to Greece.
Performance of the Night
Having been unable to win away in the Champions League thus far in his brief Manchester United managerial career a 5-0 victory in the BayArena, the club’s biggest in the Champions League, shows that perhaps David Moyes’ United side are starting to click, which could be key not only on the European front but also with the upcoming busy domestic schedule.
Player of the Night
Despite not scoring the 28-year-old was key for United, and Rooney’s attentions were more concentrated on creating with four assists in one match. He may have created headlines for the wrong reasons over the weekend for his petulant kick out at Jordon Mutch against Cardiff, but tonight the England international was back on top form.
This article first appeared on http://www.shoot.co.uk/round-up-champions-league-9/ on 28/11/2013