Champions League: Chelsea on brink as Barca, Bayern qualify


Barcelona and Bayern Munich qualified for the Champions League last 16 but Chelsea were in danger of picking up the dubious honour of becoming the first titleholders to crash out in the first round.

Joining Barca and Bayern into the knockout stages were Valencia and Shakhtar Donetsk while Celtic still have work to do to book their ticket after defeat at Benfica.

Frustratingly for Chelsea their fallow spell in the Premier League spilled over to Turin where Roberto di Matteo's men were swept aside 3-0 by Juventus.

With Shakhtar seeing off Danish minnows Nordsjaelland in Copenhagen the Londoners slipped to third in Group E, with their fate now out of their hands going into the final roll of the group stage dice next month.

"Last season the Champions League was like a dream, now this is like, not a nightmare, just very disappointing," said Chelsea keeper Petr Cech.

He added: "We said before the game that we have our destiny in our hands, not any more. Now we need to do our bit, we need to win our last game and hope our fate is kind.

"Being realistic Juventus played very well and they need a point and Shakhtar are already through. It is a very sad moment."

Barcelona kept the wheels firmly on their pursuit of a fourth European crown, bouncing back from defeat at Celtic in their last run out to see off Spartak Moscow 3-0 in the Russian capital.

Lionel Messi was the hero of the night, scoring twice and setting up Dani Alves for the opener to maintain Barca's control of Group G with 12 points.

Messi, who moved level with Ruud van Nistelrooy on 56 Champions League goals but behind Raul, the competition's all time scorer with 71, was as unassuming as ever after the game.

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