Man Utd qualify after Fellaini winner
Manchester, November 28
Manchester United’s Marouane Fellaini struck a controversial stoppage-time winner to bring blessed relief to Old Trafford after a laboured 1-0 win over Young Boys edged them into the last 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday.
United’s struggles at home and their fans’ disenchantment had looked set to continue as it seemed that, for the first time in their history, they were going to fail to score at their own ground in a European tie for three matches in a row.
Yet, after largely dominating the match while being betrayed by a blunt edge up front, Belgian Fellaini turned to shoot home in the 91st minute, despite the ball appearing to come off his hand as he swivelled to strike it.
“For me it was not a handball,” Fellaini said afterwards. “If it touched my hand, it was not on purpose.”
United, though, were also grateful for the right hand of goalkeeper David de Gea, who made a truly remarkable second-half save at full stretch from a deflected Ulisses Garcia strike, clawing the ball off the line at full stretch.
The relief around Old Trafford when Fellaini turned to fire his effort through the legs of defender Loris Benito was so pronounced that United’s emotional manager Jose Mourinho picked up and hurled the pitchside drinks holder to the ground.
The late win ensured United qualified from Group H as they moved on to 10 points, two behind leaders Juventus who beat Valencia 1-0.
Real seal top spot
ROME: Real Madrid secured first place in Champions League Group G and ended AS Roma’s eight-match unbeaten home run in Europe with a 2-0 victory at the Stadio Olimpico although the Italians are also through to the last 16.
Real’s win thanks to second-half goals from Gareth Bale and Lucas Vazquez means the European champions are guaranteed to top the group due to a better head-to-head over the hosts.
Man City fight back
Lyon: Manchester City progressed to the knockout stages of the Champions League after twice coming from behind to draw 2-2 with Olympique Lyonnais in Group F.
Goals from Maxwel Cornet were cancelled out by Aymeric Laporte and Sergio Aguero to leave City top of the group on 10 points. Lyon are second on seven points, two ahead of Shakhtar Donetsk who snatched a late 3-2 win at Hoffenheim to keep alive their hopes of reaching the last 16.