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Arsenal book Champions League spot


Arsenal book Champions League spot

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LONDON – Arsenal reached the knockout stage of the Champions League for the 15th straight season with a 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund last night, and Liverpool put themselves in position to advance if they win at home over Basel next month.

Yaya Sanogo ended his 15-month wait to score for Arsenal with a second-minute goal in London, and Alexis Sanchez scored in the 57th. Borussia Dortmund (4-1) already had clinched in Group D, and the Gunners (3-1-1) are assured of no worse than second place.

Atletico Madrid and Bayer Leverkusen also clinched berths in the final 16. Atletico (4-1), which lost to Real in last season’s final, beat Olympiakos 4-0 in Group A

Real Madrid (5-0) clinched first place in Group B as Cristiano Ronaldo scored in a 1-0 win at Basel (2-3), which are second with six points. Liverpool and Ludogorets are 1-3-1 with four points, and Liverpool hold the tiebreaker based on head-to-head record going into the December 9 match.

At Sofia, Bulgaria, Liverpool tied Ludogorets 2-2 as they try to reach the knockout stage for the first time since 2008-09. Dani Abalo scored in the third minute after goalkeeper Simon Mignolet allowed a rebound on Marcelinho’s shot, but the Reds went ahead on Rickie Lambert’s first Champions League goal in the eighth minute and Jordan Henderson’s goal in the 37th. Georgi Terziev tied the score with a header off a corner kick in the 88th.

At Basel, Ronaldo tapped in a cross from Karim Benzema in the 35th minute, and Real Madrid matched their club record of 15 consecutive victories in all competitions.

Ronaldo’s 71st Champions League goal tied Raul Gonzalez for second behind Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, whose hat trick Tuesday gave him a record 74. Ronaldo has 26 goals in 19 games this season, including four in five Champions League matches.