PARIS, Nov 26 – Manchester United's proud 23 match Champions League unbeaten run came to an end on Wednesday as they lost 1-0 to Turkish side Besiktas.United had already qualified for the knockout stages but they still need a point from their visit to Wolfsburg in a fortnight to wrap up top spot.
Germany’s ailing four-time champions Bayern Munich kept their hopes alive and handed a much needed lifeline to coach Louis van Gaal with a 1-0 win at home to bottom-placed Apoel Nicosia.
Bordeaux did them a favour by beating Juventus 2-0 to ensure they finish top of their group while Chelsea also ensured they finished top with an efficient 1-0 win away at Porto.
Nine-time champions Real Madrid took a huge step towards securing their place in the last 16 with a 1-0 victory over FC Zurich.
AC Milan failed to keep pace with Real in the same group as they were held 1-1 by Marseille in what has been a bad week in general for Italian clubs in the competition.
Real looked to be on their way to the last 16 when Argentinian striker Gonzalo Higuain stroked the ball home after being set up by Brazilian playmaker Kaka but the Spaniards still need a point at Marseille in the final game to be sure following Milan’s draw.
Milan took an early lead through Marco Borriello but Marseille drew level shortly afterwards as some hopeless Italian defending saw Argentine record signing Lucho Gonzalez shoot home.
It could have been worse for the Italians as Brandao missed a simple opportunity to put Marseille ahead in the second-half.
Bayern Munich took a long time to take the lead over the Israeli side but Ivica Olic finally calmed the restive supporters when he scored in the second-half to keep their hopes alive.
Bordeaux meanwhile had fulfilled their part of the deal as they dominated a disappointing Juventus side and were duly rewarded when Fernando scored in the second-half and Marouane Chamakh added a late second.
Earlier, CSKA Moscow had denied VfL Wolfsburg their place in the last 16 with a come from behind 2-1 victory which will see the battle for second – probably behind Manchester United – go down to the wire.
Wolfsburg had looked to be on their way to the knockout stages when they led going into the second-half through Bosnian Edin Dzeko’s goal – but goals by Czech striker Necid and a stunner from man of the match Milos Krasic gave the Russians a vital victory.
Wolfsburg – who host United in a fortnight – could still progress were they and CSKA – who are away at Besiktas – to finish on the same points based on head to heads as they beat the Russian side 3-1 in their first meeting.
"We won today and still have the chance to go through," said CSKA coach Leonid Slutsky.
"In December we will depend on the result of the other match in our group but it is better than nothing.
"Today we were the better team and, I think, deservedly won."
Wolfsburg manager Armin Veh said he was upset both with a defeat and a missed chance to qualify for the last 16.
"We were in complete control of play in the first half," he said. "But after the break we played too loosely in defence. Necid scored from seven metres with an unopposed header. We should never allow him to do that.
"Krasic scored a fantastic goal but still everything is in our hands. We just need to beat Manchester United."
Chelsea laboured for the majority of their match and against the run of play Nicolas Anelka headed home with under 20 minutes remaining.
While one half of Madrid was celebrating Atletico Madrid fans weren’t as they had to come from behind against unheralded Cypriot side Apoel Nicosia to force a 1-1 draw.
Apoel had struck first through Nenad Mirosavljevic’s goal early in the first-half but veteran Portuguese midfielder Simao levelled in the second-half.