Seven former European champions earned their place in the last 16 of the UEFA Cup on Wednesday night - but two beaten Serie A sides will not be joining FC Barcelona, Liverpool FC, SL Benfica, FC Internazionale, Olympique de Marseille, Celtic FC, and PSV Eindhoven in Thursday's fourth-round draw.
Barcelona were already 1-0 up before the visit of Brøndby IF and Luis Garcia and Phillip Cocu soon put the tie beyond the reach of the Danish visitors. Per Nielsen did pull one back to ensure a 3-1 aggregate score, which also proved the winning margin for PSV and Celtic.
PSV ended the campaign of UEFA Intertoto Cup winners AC Perugia following a goalless first leg. Kevin Hofland's early goal was added to by two from Mateja Kezman, with Jose Ferreira's free-kick a late consolation. Celtic FC had made their trip to Czech side FK Teplice less daunting by winning 3-0 last week, and that was just as well for them as the home side's Jirí Mašek scored the only goal on Wednesday night.
Liverpool were the most comfortable aggregate winners after an exciting match at PFC Levksi Sofia. Already 2-0 up at kick-off, Liverpool doubled that advantage within eleven minutes through Steven Gerrard and Michael Owen. Vladimir Ivanov and Sasa Simonovic swiftly drew Levski level on the night only for Dietmar Hamann to restore Liverpool's lead and Sami Hyypiä to complete an overall 6-2 scoreline.
Benfica edge through
It was not so straightforward for Benfica at Rosenborg BK. Benfica, 100 years old last weekend, led 1-0 from their home leg but were behind overall within 15 minutes in Trondheim as Ørjan Berg and Azar Karadas gave the Norwegian champions hope. But Nuno Gomes scored four minutes later and Benfica held on for an away-goals victory.
That was also how Inter won through, a goalless home draw with FC Sochaux-Montbéliard following a 2-2 scoreline in France. Inter even overcame the dismissal of Christian Vieri to progress. Marseille also had a scoreless night at Ukrainian club FC Dnipro Dnepropetrovsk to win 1-0 on aggregate.
Following compatriots Perugia out of the competition are Parma AC, who were overwhelmed in Turkey by Gençlerbirligi SK. The Ankara-based team scored the only goal last week, and the sending-off of Parma goalkeeper Sébastien Frey followed by Filip Daems' penalty increased their advantage, cemented late on by Matteo Ferrari's own goal and Ali Tandogan's clincher. AS Roma avoided that fate against Gaziantepspor, though, turning a 1-0 first-leg deficit into a 2-1 aggregate triumph.
Barcelona were joined in the fourth round by compatriots Valencia CF, RCD Mallorca and Intertoto Cup winners Villarreal CF. Valencia saw off Turkish title holders Besiktas JK, prevailing 2-0 in Istanbul to move through 5-2 overall. Mallorca lost 1-0 at home to FC Spartak Moskva, but victory last week took them through 3-1. Villarreal had lost a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 at Galatasaray SK in their first leg, but were the victors by a 3-0 scoreline on Wednesday night.
Flying the flag for France alongside Marseille will be FC Girondins de Bordeaux, who ended Groclin Grodzisk Wielkopolski's European debut 4-1 on the night and 5-1 on aggregate, and AJ Auxerre, for whom Bonaventure Kalou scored the only goal of their tie against Panathinaikos FC.
Club Brugge KV joined fellow UEFA Champions League group stage exiles Inter, Celtic, Marseille and PSV in the last 16, a goalless draw in Hungary against Debreceni VSC enough for a 1-0 triumph overall. Finally, Newcastle United FC overcame Norway's Vålerenga IF 4-2 on aggregate with a 3-1 win.
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