Manchester City eliminated on Matchday Five

Posted by Jonathan Costa, ESPN Stats & Information

In UEFA Champions League action Wednesday, six more clubs secured places in the knockout stage, and reigning English champion Manchester City was eliminated from the group stage for the second straight season.

Borussia Dortmund clinched Group D with a 4-1 win over Ajax and Real Madrid’s 1-1 draw with Manchester City was enough for the all-time leader in European championships to clinch a spot in the knockout stage.

Manchester City became the sixth reigning English champion to be eliminated from the Champions League in the group stage, and City will need a win over Dortmund on the last matchday and an Ajax loss to secure a spot in the UEFA Europa League. The club’s struggles in the Champions League in the past two seasons have seen it earn only 39 percent of possible points (13/33). City has earned 78 percent of possible points in the Barclays Premier League in that same time.

Borussia Dortmund was able to defeat Ajax despite Ajax holding an advantage in possession (65 percent to 35 percent), passes (688 to 268) and shots (13-6). Dortmund success came from its ability to convert all four of its shots in the penalty area into goals. Ajax converted only one of its nine attempts inside the box.

AC Milan’s 3-1 clinched a place in the knockout stage out of Group C and Málaga, who had already clinched the group after Matchday 4, drew 2-2 with Zenit St. Petersburg after taking a 2-0 lead inside of 10 minutes.

Milan’s win over Anderlecht was similar to Dortmund’s win over Ajax in that Anderlecht had the advantage in possession (60 percent to 40 percent), passing (430 to 260) and shots (8 to 4). Stephen El-Shaarawy scored his 12th goal of the season for AC Milan in all competitions and his eighth away from the San Siro. El-Shaarawy has scored 12 of Milan’s 27 goals in Serie A and the Champions League this season.

In Group B, Schalke and Arsenal clinch spots in the knockout stage by virtue of victories over Olympiacos and Montpellier respectively. Schalke’s 1-0 win kept it atop the group with 11 points and Arsenal’s 2-0 win leaves it one point behind heading into the last matchday. Arsenal’s win clinched its spot in the knockout stage for the 13th straight season. Schalke is in the knockout stage for the second time in the past three seasons.

PSG clinched a spot in the knockout stage from Group A, joining Porto, which had clinched after Matchday Four, but the top spot for the group is still in the balance after Wednesday. Porto earned a 3-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb to stay at the top of the group with 13 points. PSG remained a point behind after a 2-0 win over Dynamo Kiev. PSG is tied with Shakhtar Donetsk for most goals in the competition (12) and it has allowed only two goals, tied with Porto for fewest in the competition.

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