CHAMPIONS LEAGUE ROUND-UP: Atletico Madrid held to a goalless stalemate by Lokomotiv Moscow, while Borussia Monchengladbach smash FOUR past Shakhtar Donetsk
Atletico Madrid huffed and puffed against Lokomotiv Moscow but had to a settle for a disappointing 0-0 home draw in the Champions League on Wednesday which left them with plenty to do if they are to reach the knockout stages.
Atletico thought they had found a breakthrough midway through the second half when Koke netted on the rebound after a shot from Yannick Carrasco but the goal was ruled out for a narrow offside following a VAR review.
Defender Jose Gimenez missed a glorious chance to grab the winner in the closing stages, rising to meet a corner but narrowly heading wide of the near post.
Koke show’s his frustration after Atletico are held to a goalless draw by Lokomotiv Moscow
Joao Felix missed a good chance to put Atletico Madrid in front on what was a frustrating night
The draw left Atletico second in Group A on five points after four games, with Lokomotiv third on three. Bayern Munich have qualified with 12 while RB Salzburg are last with one.
Atletico host Bayern next week before visiting Salzburg in their final game and may have to win both matches to guarantee their passage to the last 16.
Borussia Monchengladbach continued their fine form against Shakhtar Donestk in the competition as the German side smashed four more past them at Borussia-Park.
Gladbach thrashed them 6-0 in the reverse fixture, leaving the Bundesliga side wishing they could play Shakhtar every week.
Breel Embolo scored a superb bicycle kick in Monchengladbach’s 4-0 win over Shakhtar
Captain Lars Stindl, who also scored in their 6-0 mauling of Shakhtar in Ukraine, put the hosts in the driving seat with a 17th-minute penalty before he floated in a corner for Nico Elvedi to head in Gladbach’s second goal in the 34th minute.
Breel Embolo’s superb bicycle kick in first-half stoppage time made it 3-0 for Oscar Wendt to then add a fourth in the second half. The win keeps them top of Champions League Group B with two matches remaining.
In Amsterdam, Ajax made light work of Midtjylland to see them go level on points with Atalanta.
Ajax spurned a series of chances in the first half but scored quickly at the start of the second to beat Midtjylland 3-1 and stay in second place in Group D.
Ajax beat Midtjylland 3-1 to stay in second place in Champions League Group D
Ryan Gravenberch struck a stunning long-range shot on target straight after the resumption to break the deadlock and Noussair Mazraoui added a second within 120 seconds to ensure the Dutch club moved up to seven points from their four matches in the group.
David Neres added a third goal in the 66th minute with a left-footed screamer, almost struck from outside the penalty area, while Midtjylland got a late consolation penalty through Awer Mabil.
Elsewhere, Porto beat Marseille 2-0 to close in on the knockout stages and condemn the French side to a record 13th straight defeat in the competition.
Andre Villas-Boas’ Marseille team is also the only club in the current competition yet to score
Left back Zaidu Sanusi scored the opening goal in the 39th minute and midfielder Sergio Oliveira added a penalty with 20 minutes left as both sides finished with 10 players at Stade Velodrome.
Another shoddy performance moves Marseille one beyond Belgian side Anderlecht, the previous co-holder of the record for straight defeats with 12.
Marseille is also the only club in the current competition yet to score and has conceded nine goal in four games – a poor return for the only French side to win the competition, back in 1993.