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Bayern, Man City punch their tickets for Champions knockout stage

Sports Desk, Nov 25 (efe-epa).- Holders Bayern Munich beat Red Bull Salzburg 3-1 Wednesday to go 7 points clear atop Group A in the 2020-2021 Champions League and nail down their spot in the knockout stage with two games left in the first phase.

Manchester City are likewise through to the round of 16 after a 1-0 away victory over Olympiacos that lifted the Premier League side to 12 points from 12 and first place in Group C.

In Group B, Real Madrid, who have won the Champions League a record 13 times, blanked Inter Milan to climb to 7 points, 1 behind Borussia Mönchengladbach in first place.

The 2018-2019 Champions League winners, Liverpool, missed a chance to clinch a berth in the next round, falling 2-0 at home to Atalanta.

Bayern had 60 percent possession against the Red Bulls and outshot the visitors 11-5. Even so, the score was only 1-0 at half-time on Robert Lewandowski’s goal in the 42nd minute.

Kingsley Coman doubled the advantage early in the second half, but Salzburg saw a glimmer of hope when the hosts went down to 10 men with the expulsion of Marc Roca in the 66th minute for a second yellow card.

Two minutes later, Leroy Sane snuffed out that hope with a goal to put Bayern up 3-0. Mergim Berisha scored for the Red Bulls in the 72nd and though they have just 1 point from four matches, Salzburg are not eliminated.

Seven points back from Bayern are Atletico Madrid, who could manage only a 0-0 draw at home to Lokomotiv Moscow, now on 3 points.

Atleti played with the ball two-thirds of the match and put six shots on target compared with one for the Russian squad.

Phil Foden’s goal in the 36th minute turned out to be all Man City would need to prevail against an Olympiacos side that finished the match without a single shot on target.

Second place in Group C belongs to Porto, who moved up to 9 points with a 2-0 triumph at Olympique Marseille.

Zaidu Sanusi gave the visitors the lead in the 39th minute, but Porto saw Marko Grujic expelled in the 67th minute for a second yellow card.

Marseille’s man advantage lasted for all of three minutes, as Leonardo Balerdi earned a second yellow for a tackle that also led to Sergio Oliveira’s goal from the penalty spot in the 72nd minute.

With no points, the French club are done. Third-place Olympiacos have 3 points.

Real Madrid jumped out to a 1-0 lead over Inter at the San Siro in the 7th minute, as Eden Hazard converted a penalty after a foul against Nacho, and whatever chance the Nerazzurri had for a comeback evaporated in the 33rd minute with the expulsion of Arturo Vidal, who picked up a pair of yellow cards in quick succession for arguing with the referee.

Rodrygo made it 2-0 for the Blancos just before the hour mark, scoring on his first touch after coming in as a sub.

Inter, on 2 points, are fourth in Group B and practically eliminated, while Real Madrid are within striking distance of leaders Mönchengladbach, who romped 4-0 Wednesday over Shakhtar Donetsk.

Lars Stindl opened the scoring in the 17th minute, from the penalty spot, and the hosts led 3-0 by half-time after goals by Nico Elvedi and Breel Embolo. Oscar Wendt added a fourth with 13 minutes left in regulation to lift Gladbach to 8 points.

Shakhtar have 3 points.

Liverpool remain the leaders in Group D with 9 points, but they lead Ajax and Atalanta by just 2 after Wednesday’s loss at Anfield to the Italian club.

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