LONDON: Malaga and Porto became the first teams to clinch their places in the knockout phase of the Champions League but Manchester City – furious at a disallowed late ‘winner’ – slipped closer to the exit door.
Group C leaders Malaga drew 1-1 at AC Milan, while Porto also earned a point at Dynamo Kiev in Group A, as both progressed with two matches remaining. Real Madrid’s late equaliser against Borussia Dortmund in Manchester City’s Group D means the German champions must wait to seal qualification.
City hit back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at home with Ajax but manager Roberto Mancini and his players remonstrated with referee Peter Rasmussen after he ignored a penalty claim and then ruled out , for a contentious offside decision, what appeared a last-ditch winner by Sergio Aguero.
Mancini said: “The referee and the linesman were really poor. It was a penalty, and it was a goal. I told [Rasmussen] it was a goal and not offside.”
Elsewhere Arsenal conceded a 2-0 lead and were held away in Germany by Schalke, Olympiacos moved within a point of the struggling Gunners after beating Montpellier 3-1.