Juve downs Chelsea to leave champions on brink
Turin, Italy (Sports Network) - Fabio Quagliarella, Arturo Vidal and Sebastian Giovinco scored and Juventus defeated Chelsea, 3-0, in the Champions League on Tuesday to leave the defending European champions on the brink of elimination.
Quagliarella scored seven minutes before halftime, Vidal added a second on the hour mark and Giovinco capped the impressive win for Juve in stoppage time at Juventus Stadium.
Juventus climbed from third in Group E to second to improve its knockout hopes and Shakhtar Donetsk secured its place in the knockout stage with a 5-2 win at Nordsjaelland that left it atop the group.
Shakhtar has 10 points, one clear of Juve and three clear of Chelsea. Shakhtar and Juve hold tiebreakers on Chelsea, so the Blues will need Juve to lose its final group match at Shakhtar and defeat Nordsjaelland to survive.
Juve was the better side from the start, and Stephan Lichtsteiner was unlucky to find the post early before Quagliarella began the scoring late in the first half.
Quagliarella got a piece of a long shot from a teammate at the edge of the box and directed it past Blues goalkeeper Petr Cech to the right post in the 37th minute.
Chelsea defender Ashley Cole cleared a shot off the line two minutes later to deny Juve a second goal, but more followed after halftime.
Vidal ran onto a pass in the middle of the area and struck a shot that took a deflection off a Chelsea defender to slip past Cech in the 60th minute.
Giovinco added the third goal late when he beat Cech to a ball outside the box and slipped a shot into an empty net in stoppage time.
Luiz Adriano scored a hat trick and Willian added two goals as Shakhtar rolled over Nordsjaelland. Adriano's goals included a controversial strike, as he ran onto a ball intended to give Nordsjaelland possession after a stoppage in play to score against his stunned opponents.
In Group G, Lionel Messi scored twice to run his total to 80 goals scored this calendar year for Barcelona and Argentina, as the Spanish side clinched a spot in the knockout stage with a 3-0 win at Spartak Moscow.
Dani Alves opened the scoring for Barca, and Messi scored to the bottom right in the 27th and rounded the goalkeeper to slot into an empty net in the 39th.
Benfica moved into second place after Ezequiel Garay scored the game-winner in the 70th minute in a 2-1 win over Celtic. Both clubs are even on seven points, but Benfica holds the edge on a tiebreaker with one match to play.
In Group F, Thomas Muller scored eight minutes from time as Bayern Munich tied 10-man Valencia, 1-1, to send both clubs into the knockout stage.
Valencia had Antonio Barragan sent off in the first half, but took the lead on a goal from Sofiane Feghouli in the 77th minute before Muller responded.
BATE wasted a chance to remain in the hunt, as it lost 2-0 to Lille at home in Belarus. Djibril Sidibe and Gianni Bruno scored for Lille.
In Group H, Burak Yilmaz scored his fifth goal of the stage as Galatasaray won 1-0 over Manchester United, which used a weak lineup with first place already secure.
Galatasaray is second in the group, but is level on points with CFR Cluj after it defeated Braga, 3-1, behind a hat trick from Rui Pedro.