La Liga sides Atletico Madrid and Barcelona became the third and fourth clubs to book their slots into the UEFA Champions League last 16.
Madrid thrashed Austria Vienna 4-0, their fourth win on the trot to ensure qualification while Barca triumphed 3-1 against AC Milan. Atletico were 3-0 ahead by half time finding the back of the net through Miranda, Raul Garcia and Filipe Luis while Diego Costa added the 4th in the 82nd minute.
The win ensured Diego Simeone’s men kept their 100% win record in Group G and joined Group D duo Bayern Munich and Manchester City into the last 16. Zenit St Petersburg and Porto drew 1-1 to leave all to fight for in the runners-up slot.
Lionel Messi scored twice for Barcelona in their 3-1 demolition of AC Milan at Camp Nou. The Argentine opened the scoring for the Blaugrana through a penalty in the half hour mark before adding his 2nd, and 8th in 8 games against Milan, in the 83rd minute. Sergio Busquets scored the other goal while the Rossoneri’s only goal in the match was courtesy of a Gerard Pique own goal. Dutch outfit Ajax beat Celtic 1-0 to move above the Scottish champions but only by a point with both teams still able to qualify into the next round.
Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea also edged closer to qualification after Samuel Eto’o’s brace and Demba Ba single helped them to a 3-0 win over Schalke 04 at Stamford Bridge. Basel and Steaua Bucharest played to a 1-1 draw in Switzerland, a result that gives both sides a fighting chance in a Group E that is still fairly open.
Arsenal and Napoli are locked on 9 points in Group F after the English side collected a vital 1-0 win at Borussia Dortmund, Aaron Ramsey scoring the game’s solitary goal. Napoli’s 3-2 home win over Marseille knocked the Ligue 1 outfit out of European football this season leaving the three teams to fight for the two last 16 slots available.
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