Despite a surprise 1-1 draw at home to Basel, Barcelona and their Group C rivals Sporting, who edged past Shakhtar Donetsk 1-0, became the first two teams to book a spot in the Round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League on this, the fourth matchday of the group stage.
Liverpool, on the other hand, who salvaged a late 1-1 draw at home to Atletico Madrid, and Chelsea, handed a 3-1 beating in Rome, will have to wait at least another match to secure their places. Cypriot surprise packages Anorthosis Famagusta, meanwhile, are well on the way to qualifying for the knockout stages.
Match of the day
Anorthosis Famagusta 3-3 Inter Milan
Goals: Cedric Bardon 31, George Panagi 45+1, Nikos Frousos 49 (Famagusta); Mario Balotelli 14, Marco Materazzi 44, Julio Cruz 81 (Inter Milan).
With a partisan crowd behind them, the Cypriots twice came from behind and even managed to take the lead when Nikos Frousos capitalised on a second error by Nicolas Burdisso. It only took substitute Julio Cruz a quarter-hour, however, to equalise with a glancing header from a Mario Balotelli free-kick nine minutes from time.
Surprises of the day
Roma 3-1 Chelsea
Goals: Christian Panucci 34, Mirko Vucinic 48, 58 (Roma); John Terry 75 (Chelsea).
With Francesco Totti back to lead the attack, Roma returned to winning ways, and how. While Chelsea dominated the opening half-hour, the home team then pounced upon a moment of hesitation in the Blues' defence with Christian Panucci opening the score. After the break, Didier Drogba was brought on up front for Chelsea but it was Mirko Vucinic who decided the fate of the match by bagging a brace, the first from a through ball by Totti and the second a fine solo effort.
Liverpool 1-1 Atletico Madrid
Goals: Steven Gerrard 90+5 pen (Liverpool); Maxi Rodriguez 37 (Atletico Madrid) With the injured Liverpool striker Fernando Torres forced to watch from the stands, it looked for almost an hour as if Atletico Madrid were going to snatch victory. They gave as good as they got for 94 minutes, while Liverpool simply could not put the ball in the back of the net. The Colchonero captain Maxi Rodriguez had finished off a text-book counter-attack set up by Antonio Lopez, and it seemed that the three points were in the bag until Steven Gerrard lashed home a highly controversial penalty deep into injury time.
Werder Bremen 0-3 Panathinaikos
Goals: Evagelos Mantzios 58, Giorgios Karagounis 70, Alexandros Tziolis 83 (Panathinaikos).
The Greek outfit gave a curiously out-of-sorts Werder Bremen team a lesson in finishing. All of the visitors' counter-attacks seemed to end up in the back of the net, leaving the Germans still in search of their first victory in the competition this year.
The other matches
In Group A, Bordeaux brought back three precious points from their match away to Cluj, the winner in a 2-1 success coming from an excellent free-kick by Geraldo Wendel. Laurent Blanc's men are still in the hunt for a qualifying spot, though they face a tough run-in to the group stage.
Sporting are through to the Round of 16 after they squeezed home against Shakhtar. A fine strike by Derlei to finish off some neat work by Russian international Marat Izmailov was the only goal in a very tight encounter. Also in Group C, Barcelona were no doubt resting on the laurels of their 5-0 win in the away match and could only manage a draw 1-1 at home to a determined Basel side. The Catalans have Lionel Messi to thank after he opened the scoring a mere two minutes after coming off the bench.
Finally in Group D, Marseille won the battle of the cellar-dwellers against PSV Eindhoven, with Mamadou Niang scoring twice and giving his team a definite advantage in terms of qualifying for the UEFA Cup.
100 - as in the number of matches which Christian Panucci, Roma defender and scorer of his team's opening goal against Chelsea tonight, has played in Europe. The Italian international, who made his European debut on 20 October 1993 against Copenhagen, has played for six different clubs during that period - including Chelsea - and scored 13 UEFA Champions League goals.
Goal of the night
Werder Bremen 0-3 Panathinaikos
Evagelos Mantzios 58 (0-1)
With Werder Bremen on the back foot, Panathinaikos launched a flowing attack which Evagelos Mantzios rounded off in some style. After picking up the ball in front of goal, he dropped his shoulder and threw the defence off balance before sending a low side-footed shot with his right which left Tim Wiese with no chance.
What they said
"If you can open the scoring against Roma, you stand a chance of winning. But if they get the first goal, then they're in the ascendancy and their second ended up being a killer blow." Chelsea coach Luiz Felipe Scolari after his side's defeat to Roma.
Have your say
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