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Man. United and Man. City in trouble
by Paul Kennedy, November 22nd, 2011 10:44PM

TAGS:  england, uefa champions league


[UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Tuesday: What it means ...] As hard as it is to believe, Manchester United and Manchester City both are in danger of not qualifying for the knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League.

United's 2-2 tie at home against Benfica and Basel's 3-2 win over Otelul Galati in Romania means Basel will eliminate United if it wins in Switzerland on Dec. 7.

Even if United wins, it will only take second place in case of a Benfica win over Otelul Galati in Lisbon and will then be drawn against one of the first-place winners in the round of 15.

"It makes it a bit harder, of course," said Man. United coach Alex Ferguson, "but if you look at it in a different way, maybe the bigger game would suit us anyway."

City is in a worse position following its 2-1 loss at Napoli. It must beat Bayern Munich at home in its final game and hope Napoli doesn't beat pointless Villarreal.

City coach Roberto Mancini isn't optimistic. "'I think we have a 30 percent chance of going through," he said, "but if we don't, we will make do with the Europa League. Our life does not finish if we don't go through."

Meanwhile, Bayern Munich and Inter Milan, the 2010 finalists, clinched berths in the next round.

Bayern beat Villarreal, 3-1, with two goals from Franck Ribery and one from Mario Gomez, who leads the Champions League with six goals.

Sixteenth in Serie A with just three wins in 11 games, Inter is through to the second round. Its 1-1 tie at Trabzonspor opened up a four-point lead in Group B.

Elsewhere, Lyon's 0-0 at home with Ajax all but knocks it out of the competition. It will need to beat Dinamo Zagreb while Ajax loses to Real Madrid by a combined margin of seven goals.

French champion Lille suddenly controls its own destiny following its 2-0 win at CSKA Moscow. Winless in its first four games, Lille will advance if it beats Trabzonspor at home.

Group A
Napoli 2 Man. City 1.
Scorers: Edinson Cavani 17, 49; Mario Balotelli 33.
Bayern Munich 3 Villarreal 1.
Scorers: Franck Ribery 3, 69, Mario Gomez 24; Jonathan De Guzman 50.

13 Bayern Munich 4-1-0 11/4
8 Napoli 2-2-1 8/6
7 Man. City 2-1-2 7/6
0 Villarreal 0-0-5 2/12

Group B
CSKA Moscow 0 Lille 2.
Scorers: own goal 49, Moussa Sow 64
Trabzonspor 1 Inter Milan 1.
Scorers: Halil Altintop 23

10 Inter Milan 3-1-1 7/5
6 Trabzonspor 1-3-1 3/5
5 Lille 1-2-2 6/6
5 CSKA Moscow 1-2-2 7/7

Group C
Man. United 2 Benfica 2.
Scorers: Dimitar Berbatov 30, Darren Fletcher 59; own goal 3, Pablo Aimar 61.
Otelul Galati 2 Basel 3
Scorers: Gabriel Giurgiu 75, Liviu Antal 81; Fabian Frei 10, Alexander Frei 14, Marco Streller 37.

9 Benfica 2-3-0 7/4
9 Man. United 2-3-0 10/6
8 Basel 2-2-1 9/9
0 Otelul Galati 0-0-5 3/10

Group D

Real Madrid 6 Dinamo Zagreb 2.
Scorers:Karim Benzema 2, 66, Jose Callejon 6, 49, Gonzalo Higuain 9, Mesut Ozil 20; Fatos Beqiraj 81, Ivan Tomecak 90
Lyon 0 Ajax 0.

15 Real Madrid 5-0-0 16/2
8 Ajax 2-2-1 6/3
5 Lyon 1-2-2 2/6
0 Dinamo Zagreb 0-0-5 2/15

  1. Kerry Ogden
    commented on: November 23, 2011 at 9:42 a.m.
    I would have to say that Benfica definitely looked out classed by Man-U and should consider themselves luck not to have been beaten 5-1. Go Man-U

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