Saracens 27-24 Racing 92, Allianz Park
Saracens successfully overcame a red card to Will Skelton as they edged out Racing 92 in their European Champions Cup face-off at Allianz Park on Sunday.
The win has taken Saracens to 18 points as they sealed a quarter-final place where they will lock horns with Leinster at Aviva Stadium in April while Racing 92 will face Clermont in the knock-out at Stade Marcel-Michelin.
It took Saracens just two minutes to get their first points on the board when Maro Itoje dived over the line at the back of a driving maul and Owen Farrell kicked the conversion to make it 7-0. Soon they suffered a setback with Billy Vunipola leaving the field with a broken forearm.
By the 11th minute, Racing 92 were reduced to 14-men temporarily when Teddy Iribaren was yellow-carded in the 11th minute and Mako Vunipola bundled over the line that was improved by Farrell.
The response from the French side came in the 15th minute when Virimi Vakatawa capitalised on a kick from Finn Russell to dot down reducing the deficit to seven points before Farrell's penalty kick in the 19th minute provide Sarries with a 10-point lead.
Racing 92 were the happiest side heading into the break with back to back tries from Louis Dupichot and Vakatawa provided them a four-point lead before Sarries were reduced to 14-men when Will Skelton was red-carded in the 40th minute for a late challenge on Brice Dulin.
Teddy Iribaren penalty at the start of the second half further increased Racing 92's lead to seven points but Itoje's second in the 49th minute helped Saracens level the scores. The home side did not relent under pressure and their hope increased when the French side lost Bernard le Roux to yellow-card in the 69th minute and Farrell's penalty kick in the 76th minute ensured a vital three-point win for Mark McCall's men.