MADRID – Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United won on Tuesday to remain perfect in the 2017-2018 Champions League and guarantee their spots in the next round, while two-time finalist Atletico Madrid was forced to settle for yet another draw that moved it closer to elimination.
Atleti, which reached the final twice in three years, only to lose on both occasions to mighty Real Madrid, has yet to win a match in the current campaign and has only 3 points with two games left.
Hosting Champions League newcomer Qarabag, the Colchoneros fell behind 1-0 on a goal in the first half by Michel Madera.
Thomas brought Atleti level, but the home side was unable to squeeze out a second goal, despite enjoying a man advantage for most of the second half after Qarabag’s Pablo Henrique was sent off.
In Tuesday’s other Group C contest, AS Roma thumped visiting Chelsea 3-0, getting a brace from Stephan El Shaarawy and the third goal from Diego Perotti.
Roma now leads the group with 8 points, one ahead of Chelsea, which has 7.
Held 0-0 by Olympiacos, Barcelona missed a chance to qualify, though it remains the heavy favorite to win Group D, where it sits in first place with 10 points.
Trailing Barça by 3 points is Juventus, which secured a 1-1 away draw with third-place Sporting thanks to a goal in the 80th minute by Gonzalo Higuain.
An unlikely hero, Layvin Kurzawa, posted a hat trick for PSG in a 5-0 rout of hapless Anderlecht that leaves the French side with 12 points and a lock on one of the Group B berths in the round of 16.
The other slot will go to Bayern Munich, which has 9 points after beating Celtic 2-1 in Glasgow.
At Old Trafford, Manchester United cruised to a 2-0 victory against Benfica, which trailed 1-0 at the half after Mile Svilar’s own goal. Danny Blind converted from the spot in the second half.
With 12 points, United has a 6-point lead over Basel and CSKA Moscow, which bested the Swiss club 2-1 on Tuesday but trails it on goal difference.