Champions League group stage reaches climax

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Heading for top spot? Chelsea are already through

The Champions League group stage saw more goals in 2017-18 than in any previous season in the history of the competition, with 306 scored in total. It's a bit of a difference but, honestly, when you go into the last 16 of the Champions League, you have to face big, big teams and we have to show our level.

FC Basel defeated Benfica 2-0 at the Estadio da Luz and secured its place in the round of 16 in the Champions League with a second-place finish in Group A with 12 points.

Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester City have already progressed with a game to spare and Liverpool and Manchester United can make it five by securing their places over the next couple of days.

Chelsea 's 1-1 home draw with Atletico Madrid proved costly as Roma took advantage to top Group C.

This season marked the first Champions League campaign in which there were five Premier League clubs competing in the group stage after United qualified following their Europa League victory over Ajax, despite finishing sixth in the Premier League. For the Premier League side, it will be the first time it has played in the knockout phase since 2013-14.

PARIS: Manchester United and Juventus were among the sides to clinch a place in the last 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday, while Bayern Munich gained a measure of revenge over Paris Saint-Germain.

For the rest, the real thing begins when the draw for the last 16 is made next week.

Over the past five years, though, Premier League clubs have found it much more hard to make much headway in the competition. Of the four Spanish sides to have entered the tournament at the start of the year just Atlético have been eliminated as Barcelona, Real Madrid and Sevilla march on. The Bundesliga is a one- or two-horse race every year, La Liga has two, maybe clubs three vying for titles and PSG and Juventus have dominated Ligue 1 and Serie A recently.

3 - Qarabag has had a player sent off in each of its last three Champions League games, a feat only previously managed by Bordeaux (2000) and Juventus (2001).

Spurs finished as group winners with holders Real Madrid qualifying as runners-up.

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