European powers joined by Sporting in Champs League last 16

·2 min read

The parade of European powers advancing to the Champions League knockout stage Wednesday was disrupted by Sporting Lisbon completing a stunning turnaround to join them.

Manchester City and Real Madrid are back in the round of 16 after beating teams they lost to in September. Paris Saint-Germain also goes through despite its 2-1 loss at City after leading through Kylian Mbappé's goal early in the second half.

Madrid’s 3-0 win at Sheriff — avenging a 2-1 home defeat to the champion of Moldova two months ago — ensured Inter Milan also advanced from Group D by beating Shakhtar Donetsk 2-0.

Three-time European champion Inter returns to the round of 16 after a 10-year absence, though Sporting ended a 13-year wait by beating Borussia Dortmund 3-1.

Sporting seemed overmatched in September when routed at home by Ajax then beaten in Dortmund, but three straight wins have proved enough for the surprise Portuguese title-winner to advance with a game to spare.

Ajax and Liverpool extended their dominating group-stage campaigns with fifth straight wins.

Ajax’s 2-1 win at Beşiktaş came thanks to two goals from record-setting forward Sébastien Haller, who came on as a substitute. Haller has now scored in his first five career Champions League games and is the fastest player to get to nine goals in the competition.

Liverpool cruised to a 2-0 win over Porto and moved an astonishing 10 points clear of the Portuguese team in second place in Group B that promises a tense final round on Dec. 7.

AC Milan is still in contention after finding an 88th-minute goal to win 1-0 at Atlético Madrid. That left both teams on four points with Milan next hosting Liverpool and last-place Atlético going to Porto.

Leipzig overwhelmed Club Brugge 5-0 in Belgium in their battle to finish third in Group A behind Man City and PSG.

Third-place teams in Champions League groups earn a ticket to the second-tier Europa League knockout playoffs in February. Dortmund and Sheriff will be among them.

UEFA makes knockout draws in all three European club competitions on Dec. 13.

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More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Graham Dunbar, The Associated Press

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