The penultimate matchday of this season’s Champions League concluded tonight.
This is what went down.
Manchester United 1-3 Paris Saint-Germain
Scorers: Rashford 32′; Neymar 6′, 90+1, Marquinhos 69′
Paris Saint-Germain’s took control of their Champions League destiny by overcoming 10-man Manchester United in a fiery affair thanks to some Brazilian magic.
After RB Leipzig’s late heroics earlier left them in a spot of trouble, they came out firing and took an early lead when a swift counter ended with Neymar thumping past David de Gea at his near post.
There was controversy midway through the half when Fred directed a foolish headbutt at Leandro Paredes, only for the referee to surprisingly decide against sending him off after briefly consulting VAR, although he was ultimately shown his marching orders after the break.
United made the most of that lifeline by equalising when Marcus Rashford swept a strike towards goal that was deflected in off Danilo to level things at the interval.
But PSG responded perfectly in the second half, regaining the lead through Marquinhos (after he hit the bar) and wrapping things up in injury time with Neymar’s close range finish from another devastating break.
Ferencváros 0-3 Barcelona
Scorers: Griezmann 14′, Braithwaite 20′, Dembélé pen 28′
In the absence of Lionel Messi, Barcelona showed no signs of missing him as they clicked effortlessly in swatting Ferencváros aside.
Barça took a 14th minute lead when a slick move down the left ended in Antoine Griezmann finishing with a cheeky flicked effort, finding the net in three straight games for the club for the first time.
With Ousmane Dembélé and Jordi Alba causing havoc on their wing, it was then the Frenchman’s turn to provide as he crossed for Martin Braithwaite to add a second before he got in on the act with a third from the penalty spot.
Sevilla 0-4 Chelsea
Scorers: Giroud 8′, 53, 74′, pen 83′
Olivier Giroud proved he still has plenty to offer Chelsea with his perfect hat-trick (and another for good measure!) handing Sevilla their first European loss of the season.
Despite Frank Lampard making nine changes, his strong Chelsea side took an early lead when the ever reliable Frenchman picked out the top corner from close range.
He added a second after the break, effortlessly sitting Sergi Gómez down before nonchalantly chipping the ball home and then wrapped up the most complete of hat-tricks with a late header.
As if that wasn’t enough, he grabbed a fourth from the penalty spot after Gómez hauled him down, becoming the oldest player ever to do so.
Juventus 3-0 Dynamo Kyiv
Scorers: Chiesa 21′, Ronaldo 57′, Morata 66′
Cristiano Ronaldo hit a major milestone as he marked his return to help Juventus to a comfortable win over Dynamo Kyiv.
The Bianconeri have had a few helping hands from opposing goalkeepers in this competition this season and got another with their opener when a weak hand couldn’t keep out a rather tame Federico Chiesa header.
Fresh from his weekend break, Ronaldo clipped the crossbar as Juve turned the screw and then got his goal after half-time, prodding in on the line for the easiest goal of the 750 he has now scored in his career.
Alvaro Morata added a third to keep the Old Lady in with a chance of snatching top spot on the final matchday.
Borussia Dortmund 1-1 Lazio
Scorers: Guerreiro 45′; Immobile pen 67′
A BVB-less Erling Haaland stumbled in their first test without him as Ciro Immobile again came back to haunt them at his old stomping ground.
In the absence of their top scorer, Dortmund called on an unorthodox source to fire them ahead when a quick move ended with the outstanding Raphaël Guerreiro racing through to poke past Pepe Reina.
Typically though, as he did in Rome, Immobile just had to get on the score sheet and did so thanks to a soft penalty to secure an important point for the Aquile with his 29th goal of 2020.
Club Brugge 3-0 Zenit
Scorers: De Ketelaere 33′, Vanaken pen 58′, Lang 73′
Club Brugge maintained their hopes of qualification with an easy win at home to Zenit.
Teenage starlet Charles de Ketelaere was the star of the show, scoring once and providing the penalty for another, before Noa Lang netted late to give his side everything to play for against Lazio.
Istanbul Basaksehir 3-4 RB Leipzig
Scorers: Kahveci 45+3′, 72, 85′; Poulsen 24′, Mukiele 43′, Olmo 66′, Sorloth 90+2
RB Leipzig’s narrow win in Turkey has put them on the verge of qualification for the Champions League last 16, thanks to Alexander Sørloth’s first goal for the club in injury time.
A phenomenal Irfan Kahveci hat-trick in which he netted all of his goals with left-footed strikes from outside the area looked to have blown the Group of Death back open again, only for the Norwegian to strike at the death.
Two first ever goals in this competition from Yussuf Poulsen and Nordi Mukiele put the visitors in a commanding position in this one, only for Irhan Kahveci to emphatically pull one back before half-time after a corner was cut back to him.
A neat Dani Olmo finish restored the two-goal advantage before the Kahveci masterclass took over as he curled in a beauty with his lethal left foot and then crashed a free-kick in via the underside of the crossbar, only for Sørloth’s late deflected effort to break Istanbul (and PSG) hearts.
The result means that last year’s finalists Paris Saint-Germain are now facing an uphill battle, as they trail the top two by three points, with those sides facing each other on the final match day.
Krasnodar 1-0 Rennes
Scorers: Berg 71′
Group E’s damp squib featuring two sides have picked up just two points apiece so far ended with Krasnodar picking up their first ever Champions League victory at this stage.
The only game in the closing stages when Marcus Berg outmuscled the defence to race in behind and finish calmly to secure Europa League football for his side.