MOSCOW: Substitute Douglas Costa scored an exquisite stoppage-time goal to give Juventus a 2-1 win away to Lokomotiv Moscow yesterday, which clinched their place in the Champions League round of 16 with two games to spare.
Bayern Munich also clinched their place in the last 16 by beating Olympiakos 2-0 at home, thanks to second-half strikes from Robert Lewandowski and Ivan Perisic.
Bayern top Group B with 12 points from four games and will be confirmed as group winners if Red Star Belgrade’s match with Tottenham Hotspur later yesterday ended in a draw.
The Brazilian Costa collected the ball outside the area and raced past three defenders, exchanged passes with Gonzalo Higuain who backheeled the return to him and then left two more players in his wake before beating goalkeeper Guilherme to silence the Lokomotiv stadium.
Juventus top Group D with 10 points, three ahead of Atletico Madrid who are away to Bayer Leverkusen later yesterday while Lokomotiv have three points and Leverkusen none.
The Serie A champions remain unbeaten in all competitions under Maurizio Sarri who took over during the close season.
Guilherme had gifted Juventus the lead after four minutes when he allowed Cristiano Ronaldo’s powerful free kick from an unlikely position near the touchline to squirm through his legs before Aaron Ramsey touched the ball over the line.
Aleksei Miranchuk levelled eight minutes later for the Railwayman, scoring from the rebound after his own header hit the post.
On a rainy Moscow evening, Guilherme then atoned for his mistake by making two saves in quick succession from Higuain.
The Brazil-born goalkeeper was almost caught out after another Ronaldo free kick bounced awkwardly in front of him early in the second half but then made another brilliant save to turn away the Portuguese forward’s powerful drive.
Far from outclassed, Lokomotiv nearly went ahead in the 78th minute but Joao Mario saw his shot cleared off the line by Leonardo Bonucci with goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny caught out of his ground.
Sarri surprisingly replaced Ronaldo with Paulo Dybala in the 78th minute but the move paid off as Juventus took all the points thanks to an inspired moment from Costa.
Playing their first game since coach Niko Kovac was sacked after the humiliating 5-1 drubbing at Eintracht Frankfurt, Bayern out-played the Greek champions and Lewandowski finally broke the deadlock in the 69th minute.
The Polish striker prodded home a cross from Kingsley Coman from close range to score his 21st goal of the season in all competitions and set interim boss Hansi Flick on the way to victory in his first game since being put in temporary charge.
Croatian winger Perisic slammed the ball home with his first touch less than 60 seconds after coming off the bench to seal the win.