Week five of the UEFA Champions League 2015/16 began to bring the next phase of the competition into clear focus, as 10 of the round of 16 slots are now confirmed. Week six of the group stage, which the UEFA has scheduled for December 8th and 9th, will see several on-the-fringe clubs battling for last-minute advancement. For the most part, though, the big title contenders have already secured their round of 16 spots.
The First Qualifiers
When we last checked in with the Champions League, following week four of competition in early November, three teams-Real Madrid, Manchester City, and Zenit St. Petersburg-had already guaranteed themselves advancement into the next round. Zenit St. Petersburg continues to carry the torch as the only team in this year's Champions League to have won all of their group stage matches. They beat Valencia 2-0 this week to fortify their status as one of the best football teams in the tournament.
Real Madrid, meanwhile, also kept an undefeated streak alive, topping Shakhtar Donetsk 4-3. Remarkably, the Vikings were up 4-0 with just 20 minutes left in the match but allowed Shakhtar to score three goals in the space of 11 minutes to end the match. The game was the second consecutive poor showing by Real Madrid, who lost big to FC Barcelona last weekend in the La Liga. The Shakhtar Donetsk game did see Cristiano Ronaldo netting two goals, though, making