FC Schalke 04 and Olympique Lyonnais reached the last 16 after the hosts' 3-0 Group B win in Gelsenkirchen and it was clear which side had enjoyed the decisive evening more.
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FC Schalke 04's Jefferson Farfán declared himself "very happy" with the 3-0 win that took the German club top of Group B, while Olympique Lyonnais' Jérémy Toulalan said it was the defeat – rather than their progress in the competition – that the visiting players would mull over on the journey back to France.
Farfán got the ball rolling for Schalke with a 13th-minute opener and the former PSV Eindhoven winger troubled the Lyon back line with his pace and direct style as the hosts carried on where they had left off in beating SV Werder Bremen 4-0 at the Arena AufSchalke in the Bundesliga on Saturday.
"I'm very happy," the Peruvian international told UEFA.com. "It was a victory for the whole team. The first half set us up for an important result which means we have qualified. It feels good. We've had some difficult times this season but we've worked hard to turn things around."
Farfán was joined on the scoresheet by Netherlands striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who registered in the 20th and 89th minutes to extend his formidable scoring run to 19 goals in 22 appearances for club and country this season. Raúl González and José Manuel Jurado added some Spanish fantasy and artful touches to a terrific first-half display which helped take Felix Magath's men a point clear of Lyon at the head of the section going into Matchday 6.
Huntelaar said: "I think we dominated the whole game and played really well. It's important to finish top of the group as normally that means you play against a lower-ranked team but in the Champions League all the teams are good. We have to see what will happen."
Schalke and Lyon also were grateful to Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC for their 3-0 triumph over SL Benfica in Israel which knocked the Portuguese champions out of contention. Lyon, semi-finalists last term, could still claim the group honours if they win at home to Hapoel on 7 December and Schalke fail to record their first away victory of the campaign at Benfica.
Midfielder Toulalan admitted there is much to rectify if Lyon are to emulate their UEFA Champions League heroics of 2009/10. He said: "The defeat is uppermost in our minds. We completely messed up the match, especially in the first half. We've qualified and that's a good thing but it is a pity to qualify in such circumstances. We've started slowly in too many games this season and it is something we need to put right. We will try to beat Tel-Aviv which would give us a chance of topping the group. Last season nobody expected us to do so well and we managed to do something pretty good, so we'll reassess as the matches go by. Above all else, we have a lot of work to do."