Malta Independent

Atletico quali Ify after beating nine-man Porto

Real Madrid beat Inter Milan to win Group D 10-man City are edged out by Leipzig


Atletico Madrid have spectacula­rly booked their spot in the next round of the Champions League after starting the day at the bottom of the group.

At the start of play, Atleti were bottom of Group B and needed a result at Porto and a favour from Liverpool.

Diego Simeone's side were dealt a rough start when Luis Suarez was forced off in the 13th minute after picking up a knock.

But after a goalless first-half, Antoine Griezmann put his team in the lead - scoring from close range in the 56th minute.

Angel Correa doubled Atleti's advantage in the 90th minute with a brilliant counter-attack.

Rodrigo De Paul made it 3-0 in injury time. Sergio Oliveira pulled one back from the spot.

Both teams also had a man sent off as Yannick Carrasco and Wendell were shown straight red cards as the game ended in fiery fashion.

AC Milan out of European action after defeat against Liverpool

Mbappe and Messi guide PSG to comfortabl­e victory over Brugge

Perfect Liverpool knock Milan out of Champions League

Liverpool made it a perfect six Champions League wins from six on Tuesday with a 2-1 victory at AC Milan which knocked one of Europe's most storied clubs out of the Champions League.

Fikayo Tomori had given Milan hope they could make the last 16 with his tap-in just before the half hour mark at the San Siro but a quick reply from Mohamed Salah and Divock Origi's nodded finish 10 minutes after the break ensured Jurgen Klopp's side finished Group B on 18 points.

Serie A leaders Milan, who were missing half their starting back four and three other first team players including forwards Rafael Leao and Ante Rebic, failed in ther attempt to make the last 16 for the first time since 2013.

Stefano Pioli's side have looked

an accomplish­ed side domestical­ly this season but were punished for picking up just one point from their first four group matches.

Klopp made a raft of changes from the Reds' side which squeezed past Wolves at the weekend but there was still a obvious gulf in class between the two teams.

Milan struggled to put a secondstri­ng Reds outfit under much pressure in the tame opening stages.

The closest either side came to scoring was a Tomori header in the eighth minute that Alisson Becker had no trouble saving, while Neco Williams' shot two minutes earlier dribbled into Mike Maignan's arms.

Out of nowhere the San Siro exploded into life thanks to Tomori's 29th-minute opener, which fell to him on a plate after Alisson could only pat the ball out to the England internatio­nal.

However their joy only lasted six minutes as Salah netted his 20th goal of the season, pouncing after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlai­n did brilliantl­y to wriggle free and fire a stinging shot at Maignan.

And Milan's hopes of making it through all but vanished 10 minutes after the break as Origi looped home Liverpool's second on another rebound, this time from Sadio Mane's shot after Tomori gifted the Senegal forward possession on the edge of his own box.

From there Liverpool easily held off the home side, with Alisson rushing out to block Franck

Kessie's finish when put clean through the only real danger Milan managed to pose with five minutes remaining.

Mbappe and Messi guide PSG to comfortabl­e victory over Brugge

It may have been a match of little significan­ce for Paris Saint-Germain, but Mauricio Pochettino's men put in a solid performanc­e against Club Brugge, winning 4-1 with a brace each from Kylian Mbappe and Leo Messi.

Defeat to Manchester City on Matchday 5 meant that PSG had no chance of topping the group, so Tuesday night was about putting in a profession­al display, which was exactly what they did.

It took just two minutes for Mbappe to give his side the lead and, five minutes later, he had his brace after latching onto Angel Di Maria's assist.

Not to be outdone, Messi got in on the act on 38 minutes, coolly tucking away a penalty to put the game beyond any reasonable doubt before the break.

PSG naturally slowed down in the second period, and it was the visitors who would score the next goal, on 68 minutes, through Mats Rits.

However, Messi would have the final say as, like Mbappe, he too got his brace from the penalty spot.

Ten-man City’s Champions League campaign ends on a frustratin­g note

Though we were already assured of top spot and a place in the last-16 draw, a City side showing seven changes from the team that won at Watford on Saturday, strove to try and end the group stage on a winning note.

However Dominik Szoboszlai and Andre Silva struck in both halves to power a fired-up Leipzig into a two-goal lead.

Though Riyad Mahrez set up a grandstand finish with a fine stooping header on 76 minutes, City couldn’t force a leveller.

And the match ended with Kyle Walker being sent off for foul play nine minutes from time to seal a disappoint­ing night in eastern Germany.

Afforded his first Champions League start of the season, City keeper Zack Steffen provided another reminder of his quality and sharp-eyed focus.

The American was a tower of strength at the RB Arena making a series of vital intercepti­ons – especially in the first half – to keep Leipzig at bay.

Having signed a new City contract earlier this season, the 26year-old again showed why he is regarded as such a key part of Pep Guardiola’s squad.

And though the game may have ended in defeat, this was another demonstrat­ion that he is a quality act in his own right and a huge asset to our goalkeepin­g armoury.

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