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4. EUROPE: Chelsea wins by losing
November 22nd, 2006 9:20PM

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English club Chelsea lost to Werder Bremen, 1-0, in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday and fell into a first-place tie with the German club in Group A, but the Blues clinched a berth in the round of 16 by virtue of UEFA's tiebreaking rules.

Per Mertesacker scored the only goal in the 17th minute with a powerful downward header off a corner to give Werder the victory. Chelsea and Werder are tied for first place in Group A with 10 points, two ahead of defending champion Barcelona. The Blues' one-goal defeat gave them a better head-to-head record against Werder, and even if they should unexpectedly lose at home to Levski Sofia in their last group match on Dec. 5, and Barcelona beat Bremen to take top spot, Chelsea cannot finish lower than Bremen and would qualify in second place at worst.

Barcelona was facing elimination if it had lost at Levski Sofia, but goals from Ludovic Giuly and Andres Iniesta gave Barca a 2-0 win. It must beat Werder Bremen, though, on Dec. 5 to avoid becoming the first reigning European champion to be eliminated in the group phase.

Inter Milan also secured a place in next phase with a 1-0 win over Sporting Lisbon in Milan on Hernan Crespo's goal and joined Bayern Munich as the Group B qualifiers for the round of 16.

Liverpool and PSV have clinched the top two spots in Group C, while Valencia has clinched first in Group D. Roma lost to Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk, 1-0, but can still clinch second place if it beats or ties Olympiakos in its final Group D in Rome.
    SCOREBOARD

    Group A
    Levski Sofia 0 Barcelona 2 (Giuly 4, Iniesta 65).
    Werder Bremen 1 (Mertesacker 27) Chelsea 0.
    Group B
    Inter Milan 1 (Crespo 36) Sporting 0.
    Spartak Moscow 2 (Kalinichenko 16, Kovac 72) Bayern Munich 2 (Pizarro 22, 39)
    Group C
    Bordeaux 3 (Alonso 22, Laslandes 47, Faubert 50) Galatasaray 1 (Inamoto 73).
    Liverpool 2 (Gerrard 65, Crouch 89) PSV 0.
    Group D
    Shakhtar Donetsk 1 (Marica 61) Roma 0.
    Valencia 2 (Angulo 45, Morientes 46) Olympiakos 0.


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