Europa League: Champions dumped put, City secure top spot

Reigning champions Atletico Madrid were dumped out of the UEFA Europa League last night in the group stages. While, Champions League hopefulls, Manchester City secured top spot in Group A after drawing 1-1 with Juventus.

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Atletico’s loss to Aris Salonika last week proved crucial, as last night they went into their game with German side Bayer Leverkusen needing to better the result that Aris would get against Rosenberg to qualify for the round of 32.

Atletico did not get the desired result at either ground though, as they could only record a 1-1 draw at a snow-covered BayArena. Patrick Helmes putting the hosts ahead in the second half before Fran Merida equalised almost immediately. While, Aris recorded a 2-0 victory over already-eliminated Rosenborg. Aris sealed their place in the knockout stages thanks to goals from Danijel Cesarec and Ricardo Faty at the end of each half.

Man City on the other hand had a better night in this competition, securing top-spot thanks to a late equaliser by Jo in Turin. Juventus had gone ahead in the 43rd minute when Niccolo Giannetti steered home a cross from Alessandro Del Piero. The Brazilian Jo kept a cool head in the 77th minute to sweep the ball home at the back post following a cross from Adam Johnson, to make it 1-1. The game had been billed as a dead rubber with City having already booked their place in the knock-out stage while Juve were already out.

But top spot was still up for grabs and Lech Poznan were set to be group winners, with their 1-0 win over Salzburg, until Jo struck to ensure City avoid the sides that come into the competition from the Champions League.

Highlights: Bayer Leverkusen 1-1 Atletico Madrid, Juventus 1-1 Manchester City


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