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Fiji Time: 6:19 AM on Sunday 20 April

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Wake-up call for champs

AFP
Thursday, December 12, 2013

PARIS - Holders Bayern Munich saw their record run of 10 successive Champions League wins ended in dramatic fashion as Manchester City came from two goals down to beat them 3-2 in their final group match yesterday.

Both sides had already qualified for the last 16 from Group D and they were joined in the knockout phase by two more sides.

Bayern's Bundesliga rivals Bayer Leverkusen beat Real Sociedad 1-0 to progress from Group A, and Greek outfit Olympiakos advanced from Group C with a 3-1 win against an Anderlecht side reduced by the end to eight men, although the Greeks had made life harder for themselves by missing two penalties.

But the final qualification place behind Real Madrid in Group B will not be decided until Wednesday after a snow storm in Istanbul forced the game between Galatasaray and Juventus to be abandoned after 31 minutes with the score 0-0 - the Italian side need only a draw to progress as runners-up while the hosts must win.

Madrid beat Copenhagen 2-0 in Denmark, Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo scoring to set a new record of nine goals in one group-stage campaign.

He later missed a penalty, but the defeat ensured that Copenhagen would finish bottom of the section.

While City produced the performance of the night, their rivals Manchester United ended a two-match home losing streak with a 1-0 win over Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk to guarantee top spot in Group A.

Extraordinary as it may seem, City manager Manuel Pellegrini intimated he was blissfully unaware that a fourth goal for his side - after goals from the returning David Silva, Aleksandar Kolarov and James Milner had turned the game on its head - would have seen them top the group ahead of Bayern.

"I was tempted if we scored the fourth goal, of course," replied the Chilean as why he hadn't sent on Sergio Aguero.