Tuesday evening's eight games saw Chelsea and AS Roma emerge from Group A and Panathinaikos secure the final qualification slot from Group B, thus completing the line-up for the first knockout round of the UEFA Champions League.
The trio join Inter Milan, Barcelona, Sporting Lisbon, Liverpool, Atletico Madrid, Villarreal, Manchester United, Lyon, Bayern Munich, Arsenal, Porto, Juventus and Real Madrid in the hat for the draw, which will be made at UEFA headquarters in Nyon on 19 December. The first legs will be played on 24-25 February 2009.
Match of the day
Chelsea 2-1 Cluj
Goals: Salomon Kalou 40, Didier Drogba 71 (Chelsea); Yssouf Kone 55 (Cluj)
Chelsea had to endure a 15-minute wobble against a fearless Cluj side. The Blues thought they had done the hard work when Salomon Kalou seized on some poor defending to open the scoring at the end of the first half. But the Romanians pulled level thanks to Kone's powerful header at the end of a superb team move. The introduction of Didier Drogba, who scored his first goal of the campaign, then changed the course of the game, much to the relief of the Stamford Bridge faithful.
Surprise of the day
Barcelona 2-3 Shakhtar Donetsk
Goals: Sylvinho 59, Sergio Busquets 83 (Barcelona); Olexandr Gladkiy 31, 57, Fernandinho 76 (Shakhtar)
A second-string Barça side showed an understandable lack of cohesion as they went down to the highly enterprising Ukrainians, who showed superior organisation and no little skill in storming the Camp Nou citadel. With the group placings already decided two weeks ago and the hosts clearly concentrating on next weekend's clásico, the two teams still managed to serve up a spectacular encounter.
The other matches
Roma took their time before finally overcoming Bordeaux. Simone Perrotta set up Matteo Brighi for the opener 61 minutes in, with the irrepressible Francesco Totti killing the game off minutes later. Victory allowed Luciano Spalletti's side to top Group A ahead of Chelsea, while Bordeaux had to settle for the UEFA Cup slot.
Despite another Zlatan Ibrahimovic strike, an overly relaxed Inter Milan slipped to their second consecutive defeat in the competition against Werder Bremen in Group B. Claudio Pizarro and Markus Rosenberg were the men on target for the Germans, who pipped tournament revelations Anorthosis Famagusta to third. Missing several first-team regulars, the Cypriots went down to a Giorgios Karagounis goal at Panathinaikos, with the Greeks stealing into first place ahead of Jose Mourinho's men.
In the other game in Group C second-placed Sporting beat Basel 1-0, leaving the Swiss bottom of the section with only one point to their name.
Liverpool made sure of top spot in Group D after winning 3-1 at PSV Eindhoven, their goals coming from Ryan Babel, Albert Riera and David Ngog after Danko Lazovic had put the hosts ahead. In the other match in the section Marseille played out a goalless draw at home to Atletico Madrid to secure their place in the UEFA Cup.
1 - The number of times Sporting have qualified for the Champions League knockout stage. All other last 16 qualifiers have reached this stage at least once before, and seven of them have gone on to win the trophy.
Goal of the night
Barcelona 2-3 Shakhtar Donetsk
Olexandr Gladkiy 31 (0-1)
Romanian left-back Razvan Rat's first-time lay-off from a long ball from the right fell nicely into the path of the unmarked Willian. The Brazilian advanced towards the byline before cutting the ball back to Gladkiy, who placed the ball into the far corner of the net with his right foot.
What they said
"We are happy to have qualified for the UEFA Cup because we could have been knocked out of Europe altogether. Unlike some other clubs, we see the UEFA Cup as a prestigious and sought-after trophy," Marseille president Pape Diouf.
Have your say
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