Lyon, Nov 28 (AP/UNB) — Manchester City twice came from behind to draw 2-2 at Lyon and secure a place in the knockout stage of the Champions League with a game to spare on Tuesday.
Sergio Aguero earned the point the English champions needed to guarantee a top-two finish in Group F, heading in a corner from Riyad Mahrez in the 83rd minute — just after Maxwel Cornet regained the lead for Lyon with his second goal of an end-to-end game.
Having joined Memphis Depay in virtually missing an open goal in the first half, Cornet gave Lyon the lead in the 55th with a dipping shot into the corner from just outside the area. Aymeric Laporte equalized in the 62nd minute, also with a header from a set piece like Aguero.
City leads the group on 10 points, three clear of second-place Lyon. The French side travels to Shakhtar Donetsk, which is two points further back in third, in two weeks with both teams still in with a chance of qualifying.
A draw for City against Hoffenheim, meanwhile, would see Pep Guardiola's team finish in first place and set up a last-16 match against a second-place team. That looks to be beneficial, with heavyweight sides like Real Madrid, Juventus and Bayern Munich currently topping their groups.
"We showed great personality to react," said Guardiola, who described Lyon as "one of toughest teams I've ever faced."
"We were so strong in that situation," he said.
Lyon inflicted City's only loss so far this season by beating the Premier League leaders 2-1 in the opening round of group matches, and caused them as many problems in the return match.
City looked especially open in central midfield, where Guardiola deployed Raheem Sterling — usually a winger — because of injuries to Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva. It was a tactical switch that didn't really work.
Lyon flooded forward adventurously, with Depay miskicking from inside the six-yard box with the goal at his mercy. It was the Netherlands forward who then sent over a low cross that left Cornet with what appeared a simple finish into a gaping net.
Instead, the striker decided to take a touch and by the time he got his shot off, the sprawling Laporte made the block.
Cornet struck the bar with a flying volley off Depay's cross near the end of the first half, which City did well to finish on level terms.
Lyon switched off at set pieces soon after both of Cornet's goals, meaning that the home side only led in the game for a total of nine minutes.
Laporte reacted sharply to divert the ball into the net after David Silva flicked on Mahrez's inswinging free kick.
It was another delivery from Mahrez that led to the second equalizer, Aguero getting in front of his marker at the near post to glance a header into the bottom corner.
"Lyon are technically good and quick and strong," City defender Kyle Walker said. "That's why they hurt us at the Etihad and that's why we had point to prove.
"There are still things we have to work on. It is completely different to Premier League. Still things we need to switch on to, but we're through and hopefully we can get a good draw."
Turin, Nov 28 (AP/UNB) — Cristiano Ronaldo set up Mario Mandzukic for the winning goal as Juventus secured a spot in Champions League knockout stage with a 1-0 win over Valencia on Tuesday.
Ronaldo got away from his marker with some quick footwork before rolling the ball across for Mario Mandzukic to tap into the net in the 59th minute.
The 33-year-old Ronaldo has been involved in 44 percent of Juve's goals this season, having scored 10 and assisted six others. And Mandzukic is clearly reaping the benefits. The Croatia international scored five goals in 32 league matches last season and already has six in 10 this campaign after developing an impressive understanding with Ronaldo.
"Mandzukic is scoring because maybe with Dybala he played in one way, where Dybala was benefiting from his movements, and now he's benefiting from the way Ronaldo plays," Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said.
Valencia put in a spirited performance in Turin but it came to nothing as Marouane Fellaini scored in stoppage time to give Manchester United a 1-0 win over Young Boys and secure its position in the round of 16.
Fellaini touched the ball with his hand just before scoring and Valencia coach Marcelino said the implementation of the video review system in the Champions League can't come fast enough.
"They told me there was handball, but there's nothing we can do about it," Marcelino said. "But that's football. It's made up of details. What is strange is that we don't yet have VAR in such a big competition as this."
VAR is already in place in Italy and Spain and will be used in the Champions League from next season but its introduction could be brought forward to this campaign's knockout stages. UEFA's executive committee could make a fresh decision at a Dec. 2-3 meeting in Dublin.
Juventus has a two-point advantage over United and will secure top spot in Group H with a win over Young Boys on Dec. 12. If it draws, a United win would see the English team top the group thanks to having scored more away goals in the matches between the two teams.
Juventus only needed a point against Valencia to book its spot in the last 16 but the Bianconeri were keen to get back on track following a surprise home loss against Manchester United in the last round of group matches.
Ronaldo had scored his first Champions League goal for Juventus in that game and looked eager for more against Valencia, having been sent off against the Spanish team when the two sides met in September — in a match Juventus went on to win 2-0 despite its numerical disadvantage.
The Portugal star had two chances in the opening three minutes but sent one effort wide of the left post and the other straight at former Juventus goalkeeper Neto.
Ronaldo had another good chance midway through the first half following good interlinking play between Paulo Dybala and Alex Sandro but again fired wide.
Valencia was mainly camped out in its own half, defending in numbers, but had the best chance of the first half when Mouctar Diakhaby headed a corner toward goal only for Wojciech Szczesny to pull off a stunning save at point-blank range.
Juventus finally broke the deadlock in the 59th minute. Valencia defender Gabriel knew precisely what Ronaldo was about to do but was powerless to prevent him and let out a roar of frustration after the goal.
Valencia thought it had equalized immediately but Diakhaby used his hand to punch the ball into the back of the net and was instead shown a yellow card.
It was another record for Ronaldo in the Champions League as he became the first player ever to reach 100 wins in the competition.
Kathryn Mayorga filed a civil lawsuit in September in Nevada claiming Ronaldo raped her in his Las Vegas hotel room in 2009. Police reopened an investigation into the allegation at her request. Ronaldo has denied any wrongdoing.
Cagliari, Nov 27 (AP/UNB) — Relegation-threatened Cagliari gained a precious point by holding Torino to 0-0 on Monday in Serie A.
Goalkeeper Alessio Cragno had a solid performance to deny Torino forwards Andrea Belotti and Simone Zaza on numerous chances.
Torino was without coach Walter Mazzarri, who has left the squad temporarily due to health issues.
Torino won the previous four meetings, outscoring Cagliari 14-4.
Cagliari moved up to 13th, four points above the drop zone.
Torino is 11th.
Barcelona, Nov 27 (AP/UNB) — Barcelona says Luis Suarez will be sidelined for two weeks because of a right knee injury.
The club said on Monday Suarez will undergo stem cell treatment on the injury.
Reserve goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen and midfielder Arthur also are nursing injuries.
Cillessen has a small muscle tear in his right leg and will be out from two to three weeks. Arthur has an abductor strain that will keep him from playing at PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Barcelona earlier said midfielder Rafinha will need surgery because of a torn ligament in his right knee and is expected to be out for the rest of the season.
Burnley, Nov 27 (AP/UNB) — Newcastle wasn't made to pay for an embarrassing miss from Matt Ritchie as Rafa Benitez's side held on to beat Burnley 2-1 for a third straight win in the English Premier League on Monday.
With the goal completely open in the 50th minute, Ritchie sliced a sidefooted shot with his favored left foot into the side netting from inside the six-yard box.
The score was already 2-1 at the time, with Ritchie having set up Ciaran Clark for Newcastle's second goal in the 23rd after an own-goal by Ben Mee put the visitors in front in the fourth minute.
Sam Vokes reduced Burnley's deficit in the 40th with a looping header from just inside the penalty area from Mee's raking pass forward.
Having failed to win any of its first 10 games in the Premier League, Newcastle has beaten Watford, Bournemouth and Burnley in succession to move out of the relegation zone and four points clear of the bottom three.
Burnley was in fourth-to-last place, one point from safety. It had one of the stronger defenses in the league last season, but only last-place Fulham has conceded more than Burnley (27 from 13 games) in this campaign.
The start of the game was delayed by 30 minutes after the referees' assessor, Eddie Wolstenholme, collapsed in the tunnel. He was taken to hospital and the Premier League said in a tweet that he was in a "conscious state."
Wolstenholme was formerly a Premier League referee who retired from officiating in 2003.