Champion League

Champion League:

Barcelona, Inter Milan, Stuttgart and Olympiakos advanced in the Champions League on Wednesday to complete the lineup for the next round.

Defending champion Barcelona needed an 86th-minute free kick by Lionel Messi to win, 2-1, at Dynamo Kiev and edge Inter Milan for first place in Group F.

Inter Milan beat Russia's Rubin Kazan, 2-0, to advance, while Stuttgart took second place in Group G with a 3-1 win over Unirea Urziceni. Olympiakos beat already qualified Arsenal, 1-0, to finish second to the Gunners in Group H.

Barcelona needed only to avoid a large defeat to advance and that appeared possible when Artem Milevskiy scored an early goal for Dynamo, but Xavi Hernández equalized in the 33rd after sustained pressure and European player of the year Messi made sure Barcelona qualified in first place ahead of Inter with his curling free kick.

Samuel Eto'o and Mario Balotelli scored to give Inter Milan a 2-0 win over Rubin Kazan. Eto'o opened the scoring in the 30th minute after being set up by an exchange between Javier Zanetti and Balotelli, before the latter scored a long-range free kick in the 63rd.

Inter Milan finished second in Group F with nine points, two behind Barcelona, leaving Rubin Kazan to drop into the Europa League as the third-place finisher.

Stuttgart secured second place behind Sevilla in Group G with a victory in its first game under Coach Christian Gross.

Ciprian Marica, Christian Traesch and Pavel Pogrebnyak scored inside the first 11 minutes to stun the Romanian team, which went into the match with a two-point lead over Stuttgart in Group G.

Sevilla had already qualified before beating the Rangers, 1-0.

Olympiakos advanced to the knockout stage thanks to Leonardo's second-half goal against Arsenal, which lost its unbeaten record but still topped Group H.

Standard Liege qualified for the Europa League in dramatic fashion when goalkeeper Sinan Bolat scored an injury-time header to earn a 1-1 draw with AZ Alkmaar.

In the other group, Alberto Gilardino scored in injury time to give Fiorentina a 2-1 win at Liverpool, a five-time European champion that had already eliminated ahead of its final group match, to secure first place in its Champions League group.

Fiorentina topped Group E ahead of Lyon, while Liverpool finished third and faces the ignominy of being in the draw for the next round of the second-tier Europa League on Dec. 18 rather than the Champions League.

Lyon scored two goals in each half to rout Debrecen, 4-0.

Real Madrid, AC Milan, Bayern Munich and CSKA Moscow advanced Tuesday.

Manchester United, Bordeaux, Chelsea and FC Porto are the other teams in the draw for the next round, which will take place in Nyon, Switzerland, on Dec. 18.

Comments (0)