NYON: The shape of the second round of the Champions League is starting to emerge after Tuesday night’s fourth matchday.
Chelsea and Sevilla will go through from Group E plus Barcelona and Juventus from Group G.
In Group E Olivier Giroud scored in stoppage time to clinch a 2-1 win at Rennes and book Chelsea’s place in the last 16 of the Champions League with two games to spare.
Callum Hudson-Odoi put Chelsea ahead midway through the first-half, providing a fine finish after a lofted ball from Mason Mount.
Gp E: Krasnodar 1, Sevilla 2; Rennes 1, Chelsea 2. Gp F: B. Dortmund 3, Brugge 0; Lazio 3, Zenit 1. Gp G: D. Kyiv 0, Barcelona 4; Juventus 2, Ferencvaros 1. Gp H: Man. Utd 4, Basaksehir 1; PSG 1, RB Leipzig 0.
When Serhou Guirassy headed home unmarked six minutes from time to draw Rennes level, it lookes like the Blues would have to wait at least another week to confirm qualification for the knockout stage.
But substitute Giroud dug Chelsea out of trouble at the death, thundering home a header on the rebound after Timo Werner’s initial shot was saved.
Manager Frank Lampard’s men have now gone 13 matches unbeaten in all competitions and they travel to Sevilla on Wednesday, December 2 knowing a win would leave them favourites to top the group.
Barca and Juve through
In Group G an inexperienced Barcelona side missing Lionel Messi and many other first-team regulars eventually cruised to a 4-0 win away to Dynamo Kyiv to reach the Champions League knockout stages for the 17th consecutive season.
After a sluggish first half, the Catalans took the lead early in the second half as U.S international Sergino Dest completed a flowing move to score his first goal for the club since joining from Ajax Amsterdam in the close season.
Danish forward Martin Braithwaite soon doubled their lead with his first goal in Europe’s top competition at the age of 29, diving in from close range to turn in a flicked header from debutant defender Oscar Mingueza.
Braithwaite struck again in the 70th minute from the penalty spot while substitute Antoine Griezmann got the fourth goal in added time, rounding off a victory which took Group G leaders Barca on to 12 points from four games and clinched their place in the last 16.
Juventus progressed to the Champions League last 16 after a Cristiano Ronaldo goal and a stoppage-time header from substitute Alvaro Morata gave them a comeback 2-1 home win over Hungarians Ferencvaros on Tuesday.
The result left Juve second in Group G on nine points from four games, three behind leaders Barcelona who also booked a knockout-stage berth with a 4-0 win at Dynamo Kyiv.
Ferencvaros and Dynamo are level on one point and will vie for the consolation prize of joining the Europa League round of 32 after the winter break.
The Hungarian side took a shock 19th-minute lead through Myrto Uzuni before Ronaldo equalised in the 35th with a sweet, left-foot shot from 20 metres moments after he had a goal scrapped for offside.
Juventus twice hit the woodwork in the second half before Morata’s late header squeezed under visiting goalkeeper Denes Dibusz’s body and over the line after a fine cross from the right by Juan Cuadrado.