LONDON: Two goals from Alexis Sanchez’s kept alive Arsenal’s hopes of a 16th consecutive knock-out stage qualification alive in their 3-0 Champions League victory over Dinamo Zagreb.
Former Barcelona forward Sanchez struck either side of half-time in Group F, with Mesut Ozil also on target as the Gunners eased to victory at the Emirates Stadium.
That win, combined with Bayern Munich’s 4-0 thrashing of Olympiakos, leaves Arsenal still eyeing qualification for the last 16 and they now face a winner-takes-all trip to the Greek side on December 9, with second place in Group F on the line.
Douglas Costa, Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller fired home before half-time as Bayern took total control against Olympiacos
Kingsley Coman grabbed the fourth after the break, Bayern still able to dominate despite losing Holger Badstuber to a straight red card early in the second half.
Pep Guardiola’s men topped Group F with their victory, with the by-product sustaining Arsenal’s chances of joining them in the next phase.
In Group G Chelsea thrashed 10-man Maccabi Tel Aviv 4-0 in Israel to boost their bid to secure top spot.
Gary Cahill headed Chelsea into an early first-half lead before former Blues defender Tal Ben Haim’s was sent off for the hosts just before half-time.
Dynamo Kiev did Chelsea a big favour with a 2-0 win at Porto, Andriy Yarmolenko’s penalty putting the visitors in control at the break, before Derlis Gonzalez sealed victory just past the hour.
In Group E Barcelona battered Roma 6-1 at the Nou Camp, with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez both claiming a brace.
Gerard Pique and Adriano also scored, with Neymar missing a penalty but impressing in link play.
Edin Dzeko missed a sitter of a first-half header for Roma, then a late penalty, only to nod home with the game’s final act.
Barcelona’s victory secures top spot in Group E, and will leave the rest of Europe on high alert to their chances of going the distance in the tournament.
Earlier, Bayer Leverkusen drew 1-1 at BATE Borisov with Mikhail Gordeichuk handing the home side the lead only for Admir Mehmedi to level for the German side just past the hour.
In Group H Zenit St Petersburg saw off Valencia 2-0 for their fifth straight European win to secure top spot.
Andre Villas-Boas’ men eased home thanks to goals from Oleg Shatov and Artem Dzyuba.
Gent grabbed a last-16 lifeline with a 2-1 victory at Lyon that dumps the French side out of European competition.
Jordan Ferri put Lyon ahead after seven minutes, only for Danijel Milicevic to equalise with a curling free-kick.
Lyon pressed hard for the winner throughout the second half but the visitors stole the points at the death when Kalifa Coulibaly headed home a corner at the second attempt, some five minutes into stoppage time.