Juve, Bayern, Ajax advance

Paris, November 23:

Previous winners Juventus, Bayern Munich and Ajax all ensured their places in the knockout stages of the Champions League but another, Manchester United, must wait till the last group match to see if their topsy turvy season gets any worse.

United — who drew 0-0 at home to Villarreal — will need to summon up the spirit of the 1968 European Cup winners as they play away at the side who were trounced 4-1 by that United outfit — Benfica. United are third in their group and must cast an envious look at their other fellow former winners.

Juventus edged Bruges 1-0 thanks to Alessandro del Piero while Bayern Munich thrashed Rapid Vienna 4-0 and lead the Italians on goal difference.

Ajax beat Czech outfit Sparta Prague 2-1 at home to make the last 16 but one of their former managers Ronald Koeman must also wait to see if he will join them as Benfica were held 0-0 by French side Lille.

There was another sparkling performance by Barcelona, who beat Werder Bremen 3-1 with Ronaldinho once again pulling the strings as he created two and scored one himself. Not only do Werder risk losing out on the second knockout spot from the group, as Udinese came from behind to stun Panathinaikos 2-1 to take a three point advantage on the Germans.