Nervous end for Rafael Benitez as Real Madrid edge victory

Published: Wednesday 25th November 2015 by The News Editor

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Rafael Benitez was subjected to a nerve-jangling climax at Lviv Arena as Real Madrid conceded three late goals in their 4-3 Champions League victory over Shakhtar Donetsk.

Cristiano Ronaldo struck twice while Luka Modric and Dani Carvajal also scored to relieve some of the pressure on Benitez, who was given a vote of confidence by president Florentino Perez following Saturday’s rout by Barcelona.

However, Benitez will have watched the last 12 minutes through his fingertips as Shakhtar fired late goals through Brazilians Alex Teixeira, who struck the first of his two from the spot, and Dentinho.

Real qualify for the knockout phase as Group A winners with PSG’s 5-0 victory over Malmo confirming them as runners-up.

PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic marked his return to his home town by striking the third goal against the club where he began his professional career before leaving for Ajax in 2001.

It was the first time the 34-year-old Sweden star had played a competitive match in Malmo since his departure and he paid for the game to be shown on a big screen in Stortorget, the city’s main square.

Angel Di Maria scored twice and Adrien Rabiot and Lucas Moura were also on target for the French champions.

Mario Mandzukic scored the only goal as Juventus leapfrogged Manchester City to the top of Group D with a 1-0 win in Turin.

The Croatian struck after 18 minutes as the home side not only secured their place in the last 16 but put themselves in pole position to claim top spot.

The Italians were good value for their victory, with reported City target Paul Pogba outstanding, but the injury-hit visitors had a host of chances in an entertaining contest.

Also in Group D, Sevilla’s hopes of reaching the next round ended in Germany with a 4-2 defeat to Borussia Monchengladbach.

Manchester United’s chances of making the last 16 hang in the balance following a frustrating and disappointing goalless draw against PSV Eindhoven.

Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial were restored to the starting line-up, but neither could conjure up a sparkling performance on the 10th anniversary of George Best’s death.

Louis van Gaal’s team created plenty of chances, but in the opposition box they looked toothless and Wolfsburg now top Group B.

Wolfsburg are on the cusp of qualifying for the knock-out stage after winning 2-0 at CSKA Moscow.

Substitute Andre Schurrle scored the second having inspired an own goal from Igor Akinfeev earlier in the second half, securing three points in one of this season’s most competitive groups.

Atletico Madrid made sure of their place in the knock-out stage with a comfortable 2-0 win against Galatasaray at the Vicente Calderon Stadium.

Antoine Griezmann scored a goal in each half as Diego Simeone’s side extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to nine matches.

Raul Jimenez scored twice as Benfica fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with FC Astana in their Group C fixture and move to the brink of reaching the last 16.

Published: Wednesday 25th November 2015 by The News Editor

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