Leicester City turns a blind eye to their poor Premier League form to book a passage into the knockout stages of the Champions League after beating Club Brugge at the King Power Stadium. Real Madrid is also through after victory in Portugal.
At the start of the season, Riyad Mahrez said it was impossible for Leicester City to win the Champions League. 12-months ago, there wasn’t a single person in the world who thought they could win the Premier League.
Anything is possible.
Despite playing like a Sunday league side weekend after weekend, Leicester City – the Premier League Champions – have made it into the knockout stages of the Champions League at the first time of asking.
Claudio Ranieri’s side beat Club Brugge by 2-1 to qualify top of the group and with a game to spare. Shinji Okazaki opened the scoring in the 5th minute putting the ball away after a smart cross by Christian Fuchs. They were 2-0 to the good on the half hour mark after Mahrez scored his fourth Champions League goal from the penalty spot after Dion Cools fouled Marc Albrighton in the box. Joe Izquierdo scored the goal for the visitors.
If you think lightning can strike twice then head over to SkyBet because they are offering 66/1 on the off chance that the Foxes can keep the fairytale alive.
Spurs Crash Out After Dismal Campaign
There is no doubt that Spurs have come a long way under the tutelage of Mauricio Pochettino but he will gauge progress on performances at the highest level. At this rate, they have a lot to learn.
Spurs arrived at the Stade Louis II knowing that a draw would keep their slim qualification hopes alive, but in truth, they needed all three points after one win in four ties. They got neither. They deserved neither.
The game spun on an axis that existed for five minutes. Djibril Sidibe headed the home side ahead in the 48th minute. Harry Kane equalised from the spot four minutes later – after a foul on Dele Alli – but Thomas Lemar restored Monaco’s lead less than a minute after the restart. It could have been a lot more had it not been for a stunning performance from Hugo Lloris.
Monaco goes through to the knockout stages as group leaders; Bayer Leverkusen also qualifies in second place. Spurs will head into the Europa League if they can earn a point in their last game against XSKA Moscow. But Pochettino needs those fixtures like a 12-Step meeting room needs a bar.
Dortmund and Real Madrid Qualify From Group F
Real Madrid joins Borussia Dortmund in the knockout stages after beating Sporting Lisbon by 2-1 at the Estadio Jose Alvalade. Cristiano Ronaldo – who left Sporting at 18 to join Manchester United – was given a heroes welcome, but for once the two-time FIFA Ballon d’Or winner couldn’t find the net.
Raphael Varane gave Madrid the lead in the 29th minute and seemed to be cruising to victory – especially when Joao Pereira was given his marching orders in the 64th minute. However, Adrien Silva gave the champions a fright with 10-minutes to go after converting from the penalty spot. Karim Benzema came off the subs bench to score the winner, and send Real into the knockout phase, with three minutes of normal time remaining. It wasn’t all good news for Real. Gareth Bale limped off with an ankle injury and could miss the El Clasico clash on 3 Dec.
Dortmund went into their home tie against Legia Warsaw safe in the knowledge that they had already qualified for the knockout stages. And it showed, with Dortmund scoring eight in a 12 goal thriller at the Westfalenstadion – a record for a Champions League tie. Marco Reus scored a hat-trick, and Shinji Kagawa grabbed a brace as Dortmund run riot in a game that produced seven goals in the first 22-minutes.
Both victories set up a top of the table clash in Week 6 with Real travelling to Dortmund needing a win to top the group. Dortmund needs only a draw to head into the knockout stages in the preferred position.
Real Madrid is the third favourites to retain their title with most bookmakers offering odds of 11/2. Dortmund is looking a decent outside bet having scored 19 times in five matches. Bet365 & bwin are offering 16/1 on a German Champions League triumph.
Here are the rest of the night’s results:
Week 5 Results
CSKA Moscow 1 v 1 Bayer Leverkusen
Borussia Dortmund 8 v 4 Legia Warsaw
Kobenhavn 0 v 0 Porto
Monaco 2 v 1 Spurs
Leicester 2 v 1 Club Brugge
Dinamo Zagreb 0 v 1 Lyon
Sevilla 1 v 3 Juventus
Sporting 1 v 2 Real Madrid
1. Monaco – 11 points
2. Bayer Leverkusen – 7 points
3. Spurs – 4 points
4. CSKA Moscow – 3 points
1. Dortmund – 13 points
2. Real Madrid – 11 points
3. Sporting – 3 points
4. Legia Warsaw – 1 point
1. Leicester – 13 points
2. Porto – 8 points
3. Kobenhavn – 6 points
4. Club Brugge – 0 points
1. Juventus – 11 points
2. Sevilla – 10 points
3. Lyon – 7 points
4. Dinamo Zagreb – 0 points
Still to Play (Wed, 23 Nov)
FC Rostov v Bayern Munich
Besiktas v Benfica
Celtic v Barcelona
Ludogorets v FC Basel
Atletico Madrid v PSV Eindhoven
Napoli v Dynamo Kyiv
Borussia Monchengladbach v Man City
Arsenal v PSG
Current Odds (Win Outright) (Courtesy of Oddsshark)
Barcelona – 10/3
Bayern Munich – 10/3
Real Madrid – 11/2
Atletico Madrid – 10/1
Man City – 11/1