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December 9, 2022

Chelsea and Madrid advance, Marseille set mark

Chelsea FC and Real Madrid CF moved through from the UEFA Champions League group stage with two matches to spare on Wednesday but must share the limelight with a record-breaking performance from Olympique de Marseille.

Chelsea are also in the round of 16 and yet to drop a point in Group F, seeing off visitors FC Spartak Moskva 4-1. Spartak are joined on six points by Olympique de Marseille, whose 7-0 victory at now eliminated MSK Zilina was the biggest away win in UEFA Champions League history. Spartak hold the head-to-head advantage over OM ahead of their Moscow meeting on 23 November, when all these groups resume.

Madrid’s hopes of early progress seemed to have been dashed when two Filippo Inzaghi goals turned an AC Milan deficit into a lead only for Pedro León to make it 2-2 in added time. Milan are four points behind Madrid but did move one in front of third-placed AFC Ajax, who lost 2-1 at AJ Auxere. The French side thus got off the mark and, within two points of Milan, are back in contention. Arsenal, like Madrid, looked set to progress when they took the lead at FC Shakhtar Donetsk but ended up losing 2-1, former Gunner Eduardo claiming the winner just before half-time. Shakhtar join Arsenal on nine points, three ahead of SC Braga, who ended FK Partizan’s hopes of European football in spring with a 1-0 victory in Serbia. Mircea Lucescu, Shakhtar coach declared himself very satisfied with the revenge against Arsenal, after the embarassing 1-5 loss in London.

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