[UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE]
Chelsea, Roma and Greek champion Panathinaikos all advanced to the Champions League round of 16 Tuesday with home wins. Although groups E
to H must still play their final round of games Wednesday, all 16 teams are now set for the knockout phase early next year.
Chelsea overcame Romanian champion Cluj 2-1 at
Stamford Bridge, although things were marginally uncomfortable for a while when Cluj's Yssouf Kone
's first-half goal with a nicely taken header, while Roma was still level with Bordeaux at 0-0. But Didier Drogba
came off the bench to pinch a
cheeky winner after running on to a Joe Cole
lob and sneaking the ball in on the half-volley. Meanwhile in Rome, Matteo Brighi
and Francesco Totti
scored to end Bordeaux's chances and at the same time win the group. The French team had the consolation of third place and a UEFA
Cup round-of-32 spot.
In Group B, with Inter Milan already through, Panathinaikos and Anorthosis Famagusta faced off in Athens for the group's second qualification spot, the
Greeks needing only a tie to advance. Thanks to a scrappy goal from Giorgios Karagounis
it took all three points and even won the group outright thanks to
Inter's 2-1 defeat at Werder Bremen. That pushed Bremen up to third to take the UEFA Cup place, with Famagusta dropping to last.
Group C's issues were wrapped up two weeks ago.
Group winner Barcelona fielded a second-string team and mailed in its performance with a 3-2 home loss to third-place Shakhtar Donetsk, while second-place Sporting Lisbon strolled to a 1-0 win at
the group's whipping boy, FC Basel.
In Group D, Liverpool secured first place with a 3-1 win at PSV Eindhoven, coming back from 1-0 down on goals from dour-faced Ryan Babel
, a prime-time long distance strike from Albert Riera
, and a smart finish from 19-year-old French striker David Ngog
, his first for the club. Atletico Madrid finished second after a 0-0 tie at Marseille, which advanced to the UEFA Cup at PSV's expense. SCOREBOARD Group A
Chelsea 2 (Kalou, Drogba) CFR Cluj 1 (Kone)
Roma 2 (Brighi, Totti) Bordeaux 0 Final Standings:
Roma (12 points), Chelsea (11), Bordeaux (7), Cluj (4). Group B
Panathinaikos 1 (Karagounis) Anorthosis Famagusta 0
Werder Bremen 2 (Pizarro, Rosenberg) Inter Milan 1 (Ibrahimovic) Final Standings:
(10 points), Inter Milan (8), Werder Bremen (7), Anorthosis (6) Group C
Barcelona 2 (Sylvinho, Busquets) Shakhtar Donetsk 3 (Gladkyy
Basel 0 Sporting Lisbon 1 (Djalo) Final Standings:
Barcelona (13 points), Sporting Lisbon (12), Shakhtar (9), Basel (1),
Marseille 0 Atletico Madrid 0
PSV 1 (Lazovic) Liverpool 3 (Babel, Riera, Ngog) Final
Liverpool (14 points), Atletico Madrid (12), Marseille (4), PSV (3) Qualified for CL Round of 16 (all berths set):
Manchester United, Villarreal, Real Madrid, Juventus, Arsenal, Porto, Lyon, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Roma, Liverpool, Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan, Panathinaikos, Barcelona, Sporting Lisbon.