In a clash of European giants, Real Madrid secured a comfortable 1-0 win over English side Liverpool, while Manchester City was stunned at home in a 1-2 loss to Russian side CSKA Moscow.
Real Madrid 1-0 Liverpool
French striker Karim Benzema scored what proved to be a decisive goal in the first half to lead Real Madrid to a home victory at the Santiago Bernabeu against Liverpool. This victory qualifies Real Madrid for the the next Round of 16, while Liverpool is pushed down to third place and needs further wins in its last two matches to try and secure a Round of 16 spot.
In its last matchup, Real Madrid dominated Liverpool away from home at Anfield in a 3-0 victory. Since then, Real Madrid has continued to cruise to the next round with routine wins against Ludogorets and Basel in Group B. Liverpool, on the other hand, managed one win and one defeat against Ludogorets and Basel respectively.
To start this game, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers left key players such as captain Steven Gerrard and mercurial Italian forward Mario Balotelli on the bench away from home. From the start, Real Madrid dominated, and it was only a matter of time before it scored. Benzema managed to get that goal in the 26th minute. Despite boasting a superior team with star forwards Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez, the match would end with a 1-0 result that sent Real Madrid cruising into the next round.
Man City 1-2 CSKA Moscow
English giant Manchester City was stunned at home at Etihad Stadium by Russian side CSKA Moscow off two goals from forward Seydou Doumbia. This result puts City’s Champions League aspirations in serious danger, while giving hope to CSKA for at least qualifying for the Europa League.
Manchester City has struggled in Group E, which has been labeled as the ‘Group of Death’ since European leaders Bayern Munich and AS Roma occupying the same group. With two draws and two losses, it will be tough for City to recover, as it is now at the bottom of the group with two points. CSKA Moscow desperately needed a win, as it previously occupied last place with only one point from the group before this match.
CSKA Moscow shocked Manchester City early with a second minute goal by Seydou Doumbia. City managed to respond with an exquisite free-kick from midfielder Yaya Toure to make things level in the eighth minute.
Doumbia then scored the decisive goal of the match with a composed finish to end the match 2-1.