PSV Eindhoven, AC Milan and FC Barcelona joined Juventus FC, FC Bayern München, FC Internazionale Milano, Manchester United FC, Olympique Lyonnais and Chelsea FC in the UEFA Champions League first knockout round on Wednesday night - while Celtic FC, FC Shakhtar Donetsk and Rosenborg BK are out.
PSV knew before their game against Arsenal FC that they needed only to match Panathinaikos FC's result at Rosenborg to progress. And although PSV lost their lead in a 1-1 draw with an Arsenal side reduced to nine men in the latter stages, Panathinaikos were held 2-2 in Norway, despite twice going ahead. Therefore PSV have advanced from the group stage for the first time in nine attempts, and require a draw in Greece on 8 December to finish top. Arsenal remain second, a point above Panathinaikos, and a home win against Rosenborg will see them through - and into first place if PSV lose. Panathinaikos must defeat PSV and hope Arsenal fail to win, with the lower-placed of the English and Greek title-holders entering the UEFA Cup. Rosenborg, who could have ended second before today's games, will now finish fourth.
Milan and Barcelona only needed home draws to go through tonight but the Italian champions progressed in style. They beat FC Shakhtar Donetsk 4-0 and are now two points clear of Barcelona, held 1-1 by Celtic. Shakhtar and Celtic now compete for a UEFA Cup place, with the Scottish representatives a point ahead of their Ukrainian counterparts. Shakhtar must gain more points at home to Barcelona than Celtic do against Milan in Glasgow for Martin O'Neill's side to be denied a run in a tournament whose final they reached in 2002/03. A Milan draw at Celtic would give the Italian team first place, but a home win in that game would allow Barcelona to finish top by defeating Shakhtar.
Inter were already through, and by drawing 1-1 at Werder Bremen ensured they maintained their one-point lead and stopped the German champions qualifying. Bremen had to win or hope that Valencia CF failed to prevail at RSC Anderlecht, but the Spanish title-holders triumphed 2-1 and are now within three points of second place. To go through, Valencia must beat Bremen 1-0 or by a two-goal margin, otherwise the German team will progress. If Bremen gain an away win they will overhaul Inter should they not pick up three points at Anderlecht - who cannot now reach the UEFA Cup and are the only side in the eight groups with five defeats.
Chelsea were guaranteed top spot already, and dropped points for the first time as they were held 0-0 by visitors Paris Saint-Germain FC. Reigning champions FC Porto defeated PFC CSKA Moskva 1-0 in Russia, and joined PSG on five points, one ahead of CSKA. PSG will advance with a home win against CSKA on Matchday 6, though a draw will be good enough if Porto do not defeat Chelsea - and only victory will keep the holders in the competition. As for CSKA, if they prevail in Paris, they will finish second provided Porto do not beat Chelsea. Should CSKA draw or lose, though, they will end up in fourth place and the lower-placed of PSG and Porto will enter the UEFA Cup.
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