Liverpool knocked out of Champions League
Liverpool's decline and fall from the European elite was confirmed yesterday, as Basel held the hosts to a 1-1 draw at Anfield to reach the last 16 of the Champions League.
The five-time European champions trailed Fabian Frei's 25th-minute strike and had substitute Lazar Markovic sent off in the 60th, before captain Steven Gerrard's 81st-minute free-kick sparked a frantic finish.
Liverpool twice failed to beat Basel and were outclassed by Group B winners Real Madrid on returning from a five-year absence in a competition they once dominated, and twice reached the final when their inspirational captain was at his peak.
"You always qualify over the six games, and unfortunately, we haven't been good enough," Gerrard said.
Madrid completed the only perfect group-stage record of six wins after Cristiano Ronaldo's penalty started a 4-0 rout of Ludogorets Razgrad. It also set a Spanish record of 19 straight wins in all competitions.
"I know I've got an extraordinary team, I don't tire from saying this," Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said.
Juventus advanced with typical Italian caution, drawing 0-0 at home to Atletico Madrid which topped Group A. Olympiakos beat Malmo 4-2 and are rewarded for a third-place finish by joining the last 32 of the Europa League.
Monaco beat Zenit St Petersburg 2-0 to win Group C, rising above Bayer Leverkusen which drew 0-0 at last-place Benfica.
Borussia Dortmund won Group D by drawing 1-1 at home to Anderlecht. Runners-up Arsenal won 4-1 at Galatasaray.
Arsenal threatened to humiliate Galatasaray after an opening goal from Lukas Podolski and two more from Aaron Ramsey earned a 3-0 lead within 29 minutes. Ramsey's second was a stunning left-footed, half-volley from
Netherlands veteran Wesley Sneijder scored late for the Istanbul club, before Podolski got his second in stoppage time.