Bayern, Man City sail into last 16

(L-R) Salzburg's Malian midfielder Mohamed Camara, Salzburg's Kosovo forward Mergim Berisha and Bayern Munich's Polish forward Robert Lewandowski vie for the ball during the UEFA Champions League group A football match Bayern Munich v Salzburg in Munich, southern Germany on November 25, 2020. (Photo by CHRISTOF STACHE / AFP)



After the Champions League paused to pay tribute to Diego Maradona, defending champion Bayern Munich and Manchester City won to advance to the knockout rounds. The Argentina great’s death was announced two hours before the first games kicked off. A minute’s silence was observed by players before each of the eight games, which were all played in empty stadiums because of the coronavirus pandemic on

Bayern’s 3-1 win over Salzburg included Robert Lewandowski’s 71st Champions League goal, tied for third all-time with Real Madrid great Raul. City’s 1-0 win at Olympiakos means six elite teams are already into the last 16 with two rounds of the group stage still to play. Barcelona, Juventus, Chelsea and Sevilla advanced on Tuesday.

Liverpool wasted the chance to join them, as the 2019 champion conceded its first goals in this season’s competition to lose 2-0 at home against Atalanta. Eden Hazard’s seventh-minute penalty in a 2-0 win at Inter Milan helped ensure Real Madrid is back on track after a shaky start to the campaign. Inter is last in group B and facing elimination.

Marseille, the 1993 European champion, and debutant Midtjylland cannot advance after losing their fourth straight games, against Porto and Ajax, respectively.

Bayern’s victory was its 15th straight in the Champions League dating to the start of last season. Lewandowski opened the scoring in the 43rd, picking up the rebound when Thomas Müller’s shot was saved. The Poland captain now trails only Cristiano Ronaldo’s 131 Champions League goals and Lionel Messi on 118.

After winning 6-2 at Salzburg three weeks ago, Bayern gave a Champions League debut to 20-year-old American defender Chris Richards and a first European start to Spanish midfielder Marc Roca. He was sent off with the score at 2-0 though Leroy Sané soon extended the lead with a soaring header.

Bayern’s maximum 12 points in Group A is seven clear of Atlético Madrid, which was held 0-0 at home to Lokomotiv Moscow.

Denied regular playing time in the Premier League, 20-year-old Phil Foden made use of a start from coach Pep Guardiola to score in the 36th and seal Manchester City’s 1-0 win at Olympiakos. City has a perfect four-win record to advance to the knockout rounds for an eighth straight season, and will likely be joined by Porto.

The two-time European champion won 2-0 at Marseille which slumped to a 13th straight loss in the competition dating back to the 2011-12 season. Porto is six points clear of third-place Olympiakos with two rounds left.