Groups E-H were all finalized with the match day five affairs this afternoon. While the exact finish of each group has not yet been determined, the top two finishers in each are set. Entering the knock out stages will be the following:
Manchester United and Villareal
Bayern Munich and Olympique Lyonnais
Arsenal and Porto
Juventus and Real Madrid
Now the matches, Villareal survived a Capdevila red card in the 82nd minute and held Man United nil-nil at El Madrigal. The shared points keep each club ahead of the maximum for Aalborg in Group E and thus into the knock out round.
Speaking of Aalborg, the Danish side eked out a 2-1 home victory when Gary Caldwell knocked in an own-goal to deprive Celtic of a well-earned away draw. A win or a draw in their final match guarantees Aalborg a spot in the UEFA Cup and would sent yet another Scottish side home early in European competition.
A Miroslav Klose brace sandwiched a Luca Toni goal in a frenetic fourteen minute stretch in the second half as Bayern ran away from Steaua at the Allianz Arena. Bayern will travel to Lyon in a fortnight to determine the victor of Group F.
Lyon used Jean Makoun and Karim Benzema goals to create a 2-0 lead against Fiorentina and then weathered the Alberto Gilardino goal just before half to escape Italy with a 2-1 victory and a chance at top billing in Group F. A win or draw against Steaua in Romania will send Fiorentina to the UEFA Cup.
In Group G, Nicklas Bendtner’s 87th minute goal sent Arsenal through to the next round and ended Dynamo Kiev’s speculative chances at advancing. The late goal at the Emirates Stadium keeps the Gunners alone atop the group but facing an away match to Porto to determine the group winner.
Porto used a Lisandro brace to ward off Fenerbahçe in Istanbul, 2-1. The loss completely eliminates the Turkish side will giving the Portuguese club a fair shot at taking Group G for themselves in hosting Arsenal in two weeks’ time.
Finally, Group H saw Raúl’s sixth minute goal give Real Madrid all it needed in Belarus to both win the match and to guarantee advancement. BATE can still earn a spot in the UEFA Cup but will have to defeat Juventus in Turin, an unlikely scenario.
Juventus traveled up to St. Petersburg and shared points in a nil-nil draw with Zenit, ending the Russian side’s chances at advancing. A win or a draw for the Russian side guarantees a return trip to UEFA Cup for the defending champions. Juve, meanwhile, host BATE and can wrap up top billing in Group H with a victory.