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This Week In Football: Dortmund conquer the group of death, Tigres lift sixth title in six years & more

Continental club football made headlines around the world this week. Here are some of the biggest results and stories from five different competitions:

🏆 UEFA Champions League: Milan 1-3 Borussia Dortmund

The least expected outcome in the UEFA Champions League’s Group F was Borussia Dortmund being the first team to seal a knockout spot. However, that is exactly what has transpired.

Despite their generally disappointing start to the Bundesliga season, Dortmund have done a pretty good job in Europe.

The critical part of their group campaign has to be their home-and-away wins over Newcastle United in back-to-back fixtures, which fired them up to the top of the group after just a point from the first two games against Paris Saint-Germain and Milan.

They knew that a win in Milan would seal a knockout spot with a game to spare. In typical fashion, Edin Terzić’s side got the job done without looking overly convincing.

They were quite clinical in the final third, but Milan were equally wasteful and could easily have scored a couple more goals.

If not for PSG’s late equaliser against Newcastle, Dortmund would have even won the group with this result. They can ensure that with at least a draw against the French champions in the final group fixture.

🏆 AFC Champions League: Urawa Red Diamonds 2-1 Wuhan Three Towns

The Champions League also reached the penultimate round of group fixtures in Asia, where the defending champions kept their campaign alive by the slenderest of margins.

Starting the game level on four points in second and third, Urawa Red Diamonds and Wuhan Three Towns knew that anything but a win would spell the end of their knockout hopes.

Neither side entered the match in the best shape either, as Urawa Reds were winless in six and had lost four on the bounce to fall out of the Asian spots in the J League.

Last year’s Chinese champions had not played competitively for 20 days following the end of the Chinese Super League season.

Unsurprisingly, the match that followed was not the most entertaining for the neutrals. Goals came at periodic intervals as Alexander Scholz opened the scoring from the spot for the hosts before half-time.

Davidson equalised just after the hour-mark before the retiring José Kanté scored a 90th-minute winner in his last home game.

Urawa Reds cannot win the group, but a win over Vietnamese side Hà Nội FC in their final group game should be enough to place them as one of the best runners-up who get a knockout berth.

🏆 UEFA Europa League: Molde 2-2 Qarabağ

There was much more late drama in a crucial Europa League fixture, where Molde hosted Qarabağ with the two sides level on points in second and third place in their group.

The visitors had won the reverse fixture, so they would stay ahead on the basis of their head-to-head record in case of a draw.

They looked on course to seal a knockout spot thanks to Juninho’s early strike which was unanswered for about 70 minutes, but Molde then staged a late turnaround.

Kristian Eriksen scored twice in quick succession in the 82nd and 87th minutes to completely change the complexion of the group, but Qarabağ then had the last laugh with a stoppage-time equaliser.

The Azerbaijani champions also have the easier fixture remaining as they take on Swedish side BK Häcken while Molde face Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen, so they look primed to become the first club to represent their nation in a Europa League knockout tie.

🏆 UEFA Europa Conference League: FC Nordsjælland 6-1 Fenerbahçe

The biggest scoreline of the week in Europe came in one of the big Europa Conference League clashes, where the two Group H favourites squared off.

Fenerbahçe have been scintillating in the Süper Lig so far this season, but they were probably thrown off by the freezing temperatures in Farum as they got thrashed by Nordsjælland.

The hosts raced to a two-goal lead fairly early on, but they almost squandered it on the stroke of half-time as Michy Batshuayi pulled one back and Sebastian Szymański’s equaliser was ruled out by VAR.

The second half was where the hosts turned on the style. Swedish striker Benjamin Nygren came off the bench to bag a hat-trick, while starting striker Christian Rasmussen also got one for himself in the midst of that.

This result blows the group wide open going into the final day. Nordsjælland and Ludogorets will go head-to-head for a knockout spot while Fenerbahçe should still be favourites to advance as all they need to do is beat Spartak Trnava.

🇲🇽 Liga MX Femenil: Tigres 0-0 Club América (3-0 on aggregate)

In Mexico, the 2023/24 Liga MX Femenil Apertura ended this week.

Tigres and Club América had been the two best teams in the campaign as they exchanged the top two positions in the table throughout the regular season. Fittingly, they were the two contestants in the final.

(Image credit: Liga MX Femenil)

The second leg in front of a packed Estadio Universitario saw the home side come in with a huge advantage thanks to a three-goal win in the away leg.

All Tigres had to do was keep a clean sheet to lift their sixth title in as many years and they did just that, albeit with quite a few presentable chances falling both ways.

Stats courtesy FotMob.

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