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Champions League Rewind: Barcelona, Inter advance

BalotelliM (Reuters)

Barcelona and Inter Milan stood on the brink of both being eliminated from the UEFA Champions League, but they both showed why they are champions, delivering vital victories on the final matchday of the group stage to reach the Round of 16.

Barcelona overcame an early 1-0 deficit to beat Dinamo Kiev, 2-1, with Xavi and Lionel Messi delivering the goals. Messi's winner was especially stunning, a curling free kick that sealed the three points.

Inter Milan did its part, downing Rubin Kazan, 2-0, to punch its ticket to the knockout round. Samuel Eto'o opened the scoring before Mario Balotelli hit the goal of the day with a long-range free kick blast.

Here is a rundown of Thursday's UEFA Champions League action (Round of 16 qualifiers in bold), as well as all 16 teams that reached the second round:

Liverpool 1, Fiorentina 2

Lyon 4, Debrecen 0

Dynamo Kiev 1, Barcelona 2

Inter Milan 2, Rubin Kazan 0

Sevilla 1, Rangers 0

VfB Stuttgart 3, Unirea Urziceni 1

Olympiakos 1, Arsenal 0

Standard Liege 1, AZ Alkmaar 1

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Here are the Round of 16 qualifiers:

GROUP WINNERS: Bordeaux, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Fiorentina, Barcelona, Sevilla, Arsenal

GROUP RUNNERS-UP: Bayern Munich, CSKA Moscow, AC Milan, FC Porto, Lyon, Inter Milan, VfB Stuttgart, Olympiakos

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What did you think of Wednesday's matches? Still think Barcelona is the favorite to repeat as champion? Which match-up are you hoping to see drawn in the Round of 16?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. maybe not “the brink” but losing by 3 starts with losing by 1. That said, it took some fortunate results to see Inter thru this group- I’m with Justin, looking forward to seing Rubin back next year. It’s good for soccer when a Rubin beats Barca or the USA defeats Spain (!).

    Reply
  2. Happy that there is more balance, although I still see Chelsea vs. Barca in the final.

    Big matchups would be Lyon / Barcelona. Inter / Chelsea would knock my socks off, Milan / Man U…

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  3. Too bad for Rubin, who looked likely to go through at one point. They needed to collect more points vs Dinamo.

    However, with a trip to the Europa League, another Russian Championship, and an automatic slot in the group stage of the 10/11 Champions League (where they’ll surely have an easier group) they’ve got a lot to be happy about.

    Reply
  4. It seems like every country has a phenom type teen striker these days. Vela for Mexico, Altidore for the U.S., Balotelli for Italy, Pato for Brazil, and the list goes on.

    Reply

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