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Rediff.com  » Sports » Champions League: Barca, Inter, Stuttgart in last 16

Champions League: Barca, Inter, Stuttgart in last 16

December 10, 2009 06:39 IST

Holders Barcelona booked a Champions League last 16 berth with a 2-1 win at Dynamo Kiev on Wednesday and were joined by Group F rivals Inter Milan, who sealed their passage with a 2-0 home defeat of Rubin Kazan.

VfB Stuttgart also went through after an early three-goal blitz gave them a 3-1 win over Romanians Unirea Urziceni, as did Greek champions Olympiakos Piraeus who beat already qualified Arsenal 1-0 at home.

Olympique Lyon thumped Hungarian rivals Debrecen 4-0 but finished second in Group E behind Fiorentina, who came from behind in a 2-1 win at Liverpool, who had already been eliminated.

Barcelona were in danger of making an early exit after Artem Milevskiy's glancing header gave Dynamo a second-minute lead but Spain midfielder Xavi dispelled their fears when he rounded off a flowing team move shortly after the half-hour.

FIFA World Player of the Year Lionel Messi completed the comeback in the 86th minute, when he gave goalkeeper Olexandr Shovkovskiy no chance with a curling free-kick.

Mario Balotelli set up strike partner Samuel Eto'o with a clever back-heel for Inter's opening goal at the San Siro and then sealed their win with a thunderous free-kick on the hour.

Rubin, who sealed their second successive Russian league title last month, will carry on in the Europa League after the winter break along with the other seven third-placed teams from the continent's premier club competition.

A Leonardo solo effort shortly after the break gave Olympiakos their Group H win against a second-string Arsenal side, with Standard Liege securing third place thanks to a last-gasp 1-1 home draw against AZ Alkmaar.

Goalkeeper Sinan Bolat scored Standard's equaliser in the fifth minute of injury time after the visitors had taken a first-half lead through Jeremain Lens.

Sevilla made sure of the top spot in Group G ahead of Stuttgart after a Frederic Kanoute penalty handed them a 1-0 home win over Rangers.

Source:
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