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Tuesday, December 4, 2012
PSG, Schalke seal top spots

ESPN.com news services

Paris Saint-Germain and Schalke sealed top spots in their Champions League groups Tuesday, while Cristiano Ronaldo scored his tournament-leading sixth goal to help Real Madrid beat Ajax 4-1.

Real Madrid had to settle for second place in Group D despite the win over Ajax. Goals from Ronaldo and Jose Maria Callejon had the home side 2-0 up within half an hour as it completely dominated the first period, and Kaka made it three just after the interval with a sumptuous strike from 20 yards.

Real appeared to slacken off and could have punished more thoroughly than Derk Boerrigter's single consolation goal as he capitalized on a poor punch by Antonio Adan to slot home on the hour mark before Callejon rounded off the scoring two minutes from time.

Defeat for the Dutch champion, though, was compensated by news of Borussia Dortmund's victory over Manchester City, which means Ajax qualifies for the Europa League by finishing third in the group.

Ezequiel Lavezzi struck a 61st minute winner as Paris St. Germain edged past Porto to emerge as winners of Group A with a 2-1 victory in the French capital.

Knowing only a win would be good enough to claim top spot at the expense of their rivals, Carlo Ancelotti's men started well with Thiago Silva firing them in front just before the half-hour mark.

Jackson Martinez equalized three minutes later for the visitors but Lavezzi's effort guaranteed Paris would top the group on 15 points, with the Portuguese side joining them in the knockout stages two points behind.

In Group B, Schalke was held to a 1-1 draw in France by Montpellier, but that was enough to win the group with Arsenal's loss to Olympiakos. Benedikt Howedes put the visitors in front after 56 minutes but Emanuel Herrera equalized for Montpellier just three minutes later.

In Group C, a 35th-minute goal by Danny gave Zenit St. Petersburg a surprise 1-0 win over runner-up AC Milan in the San Siro and guaranteed the Russians the consolation prize of a Europa League berth.

Group C winner Malaga eased to a 2-2 home draw with Anderlecht with two goals from Duda, with the Belgians -- whose hopes of third place were extinguished by Zenit's win -- twice equalizing through Milan Jovanovic and Dieumerci Mbokani.

In a Group A match temporarily suspended because of snow, Dinamo Zagreb claimed its first and only point in the group when Ivan Krstanovic hit an injury time penalty to draw 1-1 at home to Dynamo Kiev, which had taken the lead through Andriy Yarmolenko.

Information from The Associated Press and Press Association was used in this report.




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