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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

GOALful day as Benfica finish top of Champions League Group H ahead of PSG 

GOALful day as Benfica finish top of Champions League Group H ahead of PSG 

Benfica topped their Champions League Group H on away goals, thereby reducing Paris Saint-Germain to second place after a 6-1 thrashing of Maccabi Haifa.

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Benfica, however, had a goal-full day away at Haifa on the final matchday. Six different players scored six goals, with Goncalo Ramos, Petar Musa, Alex Grimaldo, Rafa Silva, Henrique Araujo and Joao Mario all on target.

It was 1-1 at half-time before the Portuguese giants bagged a further five goals without reply in the second half.

Araujo and Joao Mario’s late strikes in the 88th and 92nd minute in a dramatic finale means they finished with an identical record as PSG on 14 points, 16 goals scored, seven goals conceded and a goal difference of nine.

It went down to away goals, where Benfica pipped the Ligue One champions to the all-important top spot – meaning they are seeded for the round of 16 draw.

Benfica, who won the European Cup in 1961, will now play one of the second-placed sides from the other groups when the draw is made on Monday.

PSG will be paired with a group winner and so could come up against the likes of Manchester City, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Spurs, Napoli, Porto or Bayern Munich in the last 16 when February comes around.

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Juventus, meanwhile, won just one game out of six and their third-place finish sees them drop into the Europa League, along with fellow sleeping giants Barcelona.

 

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