UEFA Champions League 2013: Bayer Leverkusen and Olympiakos edge into the knockout stages

Alex Grimm

Bayer Leverkusen and Olympiakos edged into the Champions League knockout stages with big wins on Tuesday.

It was an eventful evening in the Champions League, as the curtain fell on Groups A to D for another season.

Manchester United won Group A with a 1-0 victory over Shakhtar Donetsk, while Bayer Leverkusen's victory in Sociedad ensured they progressed alongside the Red Devils. Group B's decider between Galatasaray and Juventus was abandoned due to hail, as Real Madrid recorded yet another win over FC Copenhagen. Olympiakos agonisingly edged out Benfica to progress in Group C, while Manchester City's win over Bayern Munich in Group D wasn't quite enough for them to jump into first place.

Group A

Real Sociedad 0-1 Bayer Leverkusen

Bayer Leverkusen picked up a huge victory against Real Sociedad, seeing them leapfrog Shakhtar Donetsk into second place and the knockout stages. It was a far from comfortable game for the Germans, with Real Sociedad starting brightly and creating several decent opportunities in the first half. However, Gonzalo Castro had the best chance of the opening 45 minutes when he rattled the woodwork, with the visitors growing in confidence.

Sure enough, they took the lead within five minutes of the restart, courtesy of centre-back Ömer Toprak. Stefan Kießling had a good chance to put the game to bed moments later, though for the second time in the match, Sociedad were saved by the frame of the goal. A bright Antoine Griezmann ensured that the game was never comfortable, though he was never able to take his chances and Leverkusen are heading into the knockout stages.

Manchester United 1-0 Shakhtar Donetsk

Shakhtar Donetsk were more than a match for Manchester United at Old Trafford, though Phil Jones' second half goal saw the Red Devils take three points and the group, sending Shakhtar into the Europa League.

Full match report here

Group B

Galatasaray A-A Juventus

We were denied the anticipated nervy scrap over second by hail. This match was incredibly abandoned just after half-an-hour in, before either side had really carved out a clear-cut chance.

Full match report (or not) here

FC Copenhagen 0-2 Real Madrid

Group winners Real Madrid put the icing on the Group B cake as they breezed past bottom side FC Copenhagen. Luka Modrić gave Los Merengues the advantage after 25 minutes, with Cristiano Ronaldo adding a second just three minutes after the restart.

Group C

Benfica 2-1 Paris Saint-Germain

It was an agonising evening for Benfica, who knew that they simply needed to better Olympiakos' result against Anderlecht to progress. Playing French champions and group winners Paris Saint-Germain, it seemed nigh-on impossible. Surprisingly they did manage to upset the odds and take victory, though with Olympiakos also winning against Anderlecht, they have to settle for the Europa League.

Edinson Cavani gave PSG the lead with just over five minutes of the first half remaining, though Laurent Blanc's side were pegged back right on the stroke of halftime thanks to Lima's penalty. Nicolas Gaitán gave Benfica an unlikely advantage early in the second half, though their win was all in vain.

Olympiakos 3-1 Anderlecht

Veteran striker Javier Saviola gave Olympiakos the lead just past the half-hour mark, though despite dominating the opening 45 minutes, the hosts didn't manage to retain their lead to the break. Sacha Kljestan netted an equaliser five minutes before halftime, as the Greek crowd collectively shifted with unease.

However, less than five minutes after the restart, they were given a big boost by an Anderlecht red card and the award of a penalty kick. Saviola couldn't convert, though made amends by bagging a second under ten minutes later. Anderlecht's evening went from bad to worse with two further red cards in the last few minutes, with Alejandro Domínguez adding Olympiakos' third from the penalty spot. They progress into the knockout stages.

Group D

Bayern Munich 2-3 Manchester City

Thomas Müller and Mario Götze scored in the opening 15 minutes as City got off to a nightmare start. However, David Silva managed to pull one back just short of the half-hour, before Aleksandar Kolarov and James Milner both scored in the second half to give the visitors a surprise win. Unfortunately, the victory wasn't quite enough for them to displace their Bavarian hosts at the top of the group.

Full match report here

Viktoria Plzen 2-1 CSKA Moscow

Ahmed Musa gave CSKA Moscow the lead 20 minutes into the second half, though his teammate Alan Dzagoev was sent off just a couple of minutes later. Viktoria Plzen capitalised through Daniel Kolár with just 15 minutes left, before Tomas Wágner netted a late winner and CSKA saw a second player sent off in Pontus Wernbloom. It was Viktoria Plzen's first win of the group stages, and means they leapfrog their Russian opponents into the Europa League spot.

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