[UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Matchday 6]
Winner of four of its first five group matches,
English Premier League leader Arsenal was almost eliminated from the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.
Playing with 10 men after the dismissal of Spaniard Mikel Arteta
, the Gunners lost at Napoli, 2-0, and would have been eliminated if they had conceded another goal.
Instead, Arsenal will return to the knockout stage for a
record 14th straight season along with 2013 runner-up Borussia Dortmund, which beat Marseille, 2-1, on a late goal from Kevin Grosskreutz
While Arsenal kept its streak alive, its defeat was costly. It lost the top spot in Group F to Dortmund and will have to face one of the three Spanish
group winners, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona or Real Madrid, or defending champion Bayern Munich in the next round.
Round of 16 Draw, Monday in Nyon, Switzerland.
Wednesday's results meant that Napoli was out on goal difference with 12 points -- double those of Russia's Zenit
St. Petersburg, which survived a 4-1 loss at Austria Vienna when Porto lost to Atletico Madrid, 2-0, to take second place in its group.
Italian champion Juventus was also eliminated when
it lost at Galatasaray, 1-0, leaving AC Milan as the only Serie A team in the final 16. The Rossoneri squeaked through thanks to a 0-0 tie at home to Ajax.
Clubs from England, Germany and Spain dominated the field for the knockout stage with 11 of the 16 representatives and seven of the eight seeds as group winners.
Final 16 Representatives:
*Chelsea, Man. City, *Man. United) 4 Germany
(Bayer Leverkusen, *Bayern Munich, *Bor. Dortmund, Schalke 04) 3 Spain
(*Atletico Madrid, *Barcelona, *Real Madrid) 1 France
(*Paris SG) 1 Greece
(Olympiakos) 1 Italy
(AC Milan) 1 Russi
a (Zenit St. Petersburg) 1 Turkey
*Group winners who will be seeded for round of 16.
AMERICAN CONNECTION. Jermaine Jones
was suspended for Schalke 04's 2-0 win over FC Basel that secured a place for the Gelsenkirchen club in the final 16 along with the Bundesliga's three
other representatives. Wednesday, December 11 GROUP E
Chelsea 1 Steaua Bucharest 0
Schalke 04 2 FC Basel 0 Standings:
10 *Schalke 04
8 FC Basel
3 Steaua Bucharest
*Clinched berth in round of 16. GROUP F
Marseille 1 Borussia Dortmund 2
Arsenal 0 Standings:
12 *Bor. Dortmund
*Clinched berth in round of 16. GROUP G
Atletico Madrid 2 Porto 0
Austria Vienna 4 Zenit St. Petersburg 1 Standings:
16 *Atletico Madrid
6 *Zenit St Petersburg
5 Austria Vienna
*Clinched berth in round of 16. GROUP H
AC Milan 0 Ajax 0
Barcelona 6 Celtic 1
9 *AC Milan
*Clinched berth in round of 16.
Tuesday, December 10 GROUP A
Man. Utd. 1 Shakhtar Donetsk 0
Real Sociedad 0 Bayer Leverkusen 1 Standings:
14 *Man. United
10 *Bayer Leverkusen
8 Shakhtar Donetsk
1 Real Sociedad
*Clinched berth in round of 16. GROUP B
Galatasaray 1 Juventus 0
FC Copenhagen 0 Real Madrid 2 Standings:
16 *Real Madrid
4 FC Copenhagen
*Clinched berth in round of 16. GROUP C
Benfica 2 Paris SG 1
Olympiakos 3 Anderlecht 1 Standings:
13 *Paris SG
*Clinched berth in round of 16. GROUP D
Munich 2 Man. City 3
Viktoria Plzen 2 CSKA Moscow 1 Standings:
15 *Bayern Munich
15 *Man. City
3 Viktoria Plzen
*Clinched berth in round of 16.