Liverpool FC were among six more teams to advance to the UEFA Europa League knockout phase, although the five-time European champions were upstaged by goalscoring feats elsewhere.
No team has been more prolific than PFC CSKA Moskva in the group stage to date, the Army Men taking their tally to 17 with a 5-1 home victory against FC Lausanne-Sport. The win secured top billing in Group F for CSKA, while AC Sparta Praha guaranteed second place by drawing 2-2 at nine-man US Città di Palermo.
FC Porto also assured themselves of first place in Group L by winning 3-1 at SK Rapid Wien, Falcao scoring a hat-trick to take his tally to a competition-leading seven and eliminate the Austrian club. The Dragons were followed into the last 32 by Beşiktaş JK after the Black Eagles triumphed 2-1 at PFC CSKA Sofia.
Like Falcao, Edinson Cavani helped himself to a treble as SSC Napoli fought back from 3-1 down to both hold and eliminate FC Utrecht. Liverpool cannot be surpassed at the summit after drawing 1-1 away to an FC Steaua Bucureşti side who remain in second but need to avoid defeat in Italy to prevent being overtaken at the last by Napoli.
Group J also promises a tense finish after Paris Saint-Germain FC beat Sevilla FC 4-2 and Borussia Dortmund defeated FC Karpaty Lviv 3-0. PSG are through but Sevilla need a point at home to Dortmund next time out to stave off the challenge of the Bundesliga leaders.
It is a similar situation in Group D, where NK Dinamo Zagreb – beaten 3-0 at Villarreal CF – and PAOK FC – held 1-1 by Club Brugge KV – will meet in Croatia on 15 December with a qualifying berth alongside the Yellow Submarine at stake. A point will be enough for PAOK.
Finally to Group E, where FC Dynamo Kyiv flexed their muscles to record a 4-1 win at FC BATE Borisov that lifts them above their rivals at the top of Group E. Both teams are through, while FC Sheriff and AZ Alkmaar are out following a 1-1 draw in Moldova.