The UEFA Champions League returns with the fifth round of group stage matches which saw eight exciting games go down on Tuesday.
There’s nothing quite lack securing qualification from the Champions League group stages with games to spare which is what Chelsea and Manchester United managed to do tonight.
Manchester United defeated Villareal by two goals to nil at the Estadio De La Ceramica thanks to two late goals by Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho.
The win is Manchester United’s first in their last four games and marks a solid start for interim manager, Michael Carrick on his managerial debut.
It also means Manchester United now have 10 points and will top Group F regardless of what happens in matchday six.
The only other team to secure qualification tonight was Chelsea who thrashed Juventus 4-0 at Stamford Bridge. Trevor Chalobah, Reece James, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Timo Werner got on the scoresheet as the current Champions League holders overtook their opponents at the top of Group H on goal difference as both teams have 12 points apiece.
Although Chelsea are through to the Round of 16, they still have to win the last game against Zenit St Petersburg to secure the top spot.
While the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United secured qualification already, others like Barcelona, Sevilla, Benfica etc are still unsure about their fate.
Barcelona played out a goalless draw at home to fellow qualification hopefuls Benfica as they both battle for the second spot in Group E.
Bayern Munich have already taken the top spot which means both Barcelona and Benfica will need to win and hope the other loses their last game in order to progress.
The other game in Group H saw Young Boys and Atalanta play out an enthralling 3-3 draw which means their qualification hopes remain up in the air till matchday six.
In Group G, the stakes are as high as ever as Lille beat Salzburg 1-0 to go top of the group while Sevilla beat Wolfsburg 2-0 to keep their hopes alive.
This means that any team in this group could still qualify as the top team, Lille and bottom team Wolfsburg are only separated by three points.
Dead rubber games
Moving away from high stakes to no stakes at all, already-qualified Bayern took on already-knocked out Dynamo Kyiv. Of course they won 2-1 to maintain a 100% record in Group E.
With Juventus and Chelsea, already qualified in Group H, the other two teams, Malmo and Zenit St Petersburg were both playing for pride and an Europa League spot respectively.
Malmo finally scored their first goal and picked up their first point of this season’s Champions thanks to a 1-1 draw against Zenit.
That rounds up the action from all eight Tuesday games in matchday five of the UEFA Champions League group stages.