LONDON — Big-spending Paris St Germain, struggling to deliver domestically on a huge investment by Qatari owners, showed they mean business in the Champions League by winning Group A at Porto’s expense on Tuesday.
Report by Reuters
PSG won 2-1 in the French capital thanks to a goalkeeping howler by Porto’s Helton who allowed Argentine Ezequiel Lavezzi’s low shot through his grasp. PSG and Porto were already assured of a place in the 16 of Europe’s elite club competition.
Schalke 04 went through as Group B winners with a 1-1 draw at Montpellier, leaving Arsenal as runners-up after they lost 2-1 at Olympiakos Piraeus.
While money has talked for PSG, at least on the European stage after they splurged about 150 million euros on players in the close season, Manchester City’s mega-rich Abu Dhabi’s owners are counting the cost of a second successive season of continental failure.
A 1-0 defeat in their final game at Group D winners Borussia Dortmund means the Premier League champions have finished bottom without a win. Their total of three points was the lowest haul from an English team in the Champions League group stage.
Ajax Amsterdam claimed the Europa League place instead of City for finishing third, despite being crushed 4-1 by Real Madrid, as did Zenit St Petersburg in Group C thanks to a 1-0 away win against a weakened AC Milan sdie at the San Siro.
Last season Manchester City were unfortunate to miss out on qualifying for the Champions League knockout stage having taken 10 points in their group but this time there were no excuses.
“Of course we have let ourselves down, because we haven’t even got in the Europa League,” City goalkeeper Joe Hart, beaten by Julian Schieber’s 57th-minute goal, told Sky Sports.
City are the first Premier League team to finish the group stage without a win and replace Blackburn Rovers, who got four points in 1995-96, as having the lowest points tally recorded by an English team from their six Champions League group games.