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Barcelona and Inter Milan make the cut, Fiorentina sink sorry Liverpool

Wins for Barcelona and Inter Milan sent both teams into the knock-out stage of the Champions League. Elsewhere, Lyon failed to top Group E as a late Gilardino goal handed Fiorentina a historic win over Liverpool at Anfield.

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AFP - Holders Barcelona and Inter Milan secured their places in the Champions League knock out stages at the last throw of the dice on Wednesday.

This pair were joined by Stuttgart and Olympiakos to complete the 16-team cast-list for the second round.

Barca had the luxury of travelling to Dynamo Kiev knowing that even a defeat would not necessarily spell a premature end to their pursuit of a fourth European crown.

In the end they won 2-1 to top Group F on their better head-to-head record with the Italians.

Inter faced a must-win game at home to Russia's Rubin Kazan, and duly completed the mission with former Barcelona star Samuel Eto'o producing the opener in their 2-0 win.

Arsenal, already confirmed as Group H winners which theoretically means a more favourable second round draw, lost 1-0 at Olympiakos with the Greeks grabbing the runners-up spot.

All that was left to decide in Group E was which of Fiorentina and Lyon would go through as table toppers.

The French ended their first round campaign on a high, routing Debrecen 4-0 but lost out on the number one place after Fiorentina grabbed a late goal to beat Liverpool 2-1 at Anfield.

Liverpool went into the game already consigned to the Europa League.

In Group G already qualified Sevilla took top spot and were joined in the next round by Stuttgart.

The Germans responded to a change of manager - with former Tottenham boss Christian Gross replacing Marcus Babbel this week - in positive fashion, the racing to the quickest 3-0 lead in Champions League history.

Six minutes was all it took for Stuttgart to kill off their tie against Romanians Unirea Urziceni, who got one back for a 3-1 loss.

Tuesday's programme saw Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, AC Milan and CSKA Moscow seal their second round passage.

With the completion of the first round the Champions League takes a break until the start of battle for the knock out stages in mid-February.

The second round draw is scheduled for December 18.

 

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