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Manchester United cruises into Champions League knockout phase

updated 5:18 PM EST, Wed November 27, 2013
Wayne Rooney celebrates with Antonio Valencia following the winger's opening goal for Manchester United.
Wayne Rooney celebrates with Antonio Valencia following the winger's opening goal for Manchester United.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Manchester United qualifies for second phase
  • Bayern Munich sets new Champions League record
  • Real Madrid and PSG also ease through
  • Juventus faces nervous last day wait for qualification

(CNN) -- Manchester United produced a five star showing to book its place in the knockout phase of the Champions League Wednesday.

The English champion cruised to a 5-0 away win at Bayer Leverkusen -- despite missing a whole host of players including striker Robin van Persie.

United, which has endured a difficult start to the season under new manager David Moyes, was held to a disappointing draw at Cardiff in the Premier League at the weekend.

But it gave a gentle reminder of its European pedigree with a fine victory as it racked up the club's biggest away win in the Champions League.

More goals

"We could have scored more," Ryan Giggs told Sky Sports. "But we can't be too greedy. To score five anywhere in Europe is a great result.

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"Going into a game knowing a win puts us through is a carrot and the five goals and a clean sheet is a bonus. It was a pleasure."

Antonio Valencia gave United the lead midway through the first half before an own goal from Emir Spahic doubled the visiting team's advantage.

Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling and Portugal winger Nani added further strikes after the interval.

"There were so many good performances," United manager Moyes told Sky Sports.

"To come to Germany and get a such a good result, Leverkusen are second in the Bundesliga behind Bayern Munich, it gives an idea of where our performance and result stood.

"[The performance] was what I was hoping to get more often, there have been signs we are getting better but also signs we have been wasteful as well."

Top spot

United still requires a point from its final fixture against Shakhtar Donestk to secure top spot in Group A.

Shakhtar still boasts aspirations of claiming top spot after it defeated Real Sociedad 4-0 in Ukraine.

But it will have to beat United at Old Trafford to win the group, while Leverkusen must beat Real and hope Shakhtar fail to win.

The defeat was Leverkusen's first at home in 14 games since losing 2-1 to Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga back in March.

"When you conceded five goals, there isn't much more to say," Leverkusen striker Stefan Kiessling told reporters.

"We should never have allowed them so many chances to shoot."

It's official, selfie is the global word of 2013 according to the Oxford Dictionaries. The global craze for taking photos of yourself at every available opportunity continues unabated, and sports stars are no exception. So is this the ultimate sporting selfie? Champion skier Lindsey Vonn uploaded this snap of herself with boyfriend Tiger Woods -- the world's No. 1 golfer -- at October's Presidents Cup. It's official, selfie is the global word of 2013 according to the Oxford Dictionaries. The global craze for taking photos of yourself at every available opportunity continues unabated, and sports stars are no exception. So is this the ultimate sporting selfie? Champion skier Lindsey Vonn uploaded this snap of herself with boyfriend Tiger Woods -- the world's No. 1 golfer -- at October's Presidents Cup.
Sporting selfies
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Fabrice Muamba wept as he addressed the crowd at White Hart Lane -- the English soccer ground where he collapsed due to cardiac arrest during a match in March 2012. Fabrice Muamba wept as he addressed the crowd at White Hart Lane -- the English soccer ground where he collapsed due to cardiac arrest during a match in March 2012.
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Setting the World Cup stage
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Real deal

Meanwhile, Real Madrid also qualified for the next stage following a 4-1 home win over Galatasaray.

Deprived of its injured talisman Cristiano Ronaldo, Real's night threatened to unravel following the sending off of defender Sergio Ramos.

But goals from Gareth Bale, Alvaro Arbeloa, Angel di Maria and Isco secured all three points.

"The team was very, very good in the second half," Arbeloa told Canal Plus.

"The coach was exactly right in the tactical changes he made and we were able to press them higher up the pitch."

Galatasaray can still make it through to the last-16 but it must defeat Juventus in its final group game.

Juventus needs just a point to take second place after it saw off FC Copenhagen 3-1 thanks to a hat-trick from Arturo Vidal.

Cavani class

Also through to the next stage is Paris Saint-Germain, which left it late to see off Olympiakos 2-1 in the French capital.

Despite being reduced to 10 men when Marco Verratti was sent off, PSG prevailed thanks to goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani.

Olympiakos must now beat Anderlecht on December 10 and hope that Benfica fails to claim maximum points against PSG if it is to progress.

Benfica edged out Anderlecht 3-2 in Belgium with Rodrigo netting a 90th minute winner.

Record run

Elsewhere, defending champion Bayern Munich set a new Champions League record after winning a 10th consecutive game.

The German side defeated CSKA Moscow 3-1 in Russia to eclipse the previous record of nine straight wins by Barcelona, which recorded the feat in 2002-3.

"Getting 10 wins in a row is very hard and I am proud of my players, the club and everyone involved," Bayern manager Pep Guardiola told reporters.

Arjen Robben fired Bayern ahead on 17 minutes before Mario Gotze netted a stylish second.

Keisuke Honda pulled a goal back from the penalty spot just after the hour mark only for Thomas Muller to net Bayern's third.

"It is a fantastic achievement to win 10 consecutive games in Europe especially if you consider we also played Barcelona and then Borussia Dortmund on the way to the final (last season)," Robben told reporters.

"We have said we don't play for records, we play to win titles. But we have a great team and I am proud to be part of it."

City slickers

In the group's other game, Manchester City eased to a 4-2 win over Czech side Viktoria Plzen.

City, already through to the next stage, continued its goalscoring streak following the 6-0 Premier League win over Tottenham at the weekend.

Sergio Aguero, Samir Nasri, Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko were all on target.

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