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March 5, 2021

Champions League: Barcelona make progress as Panathinaikos fall

FC Barcelona cruised into the UEFA Champions League round of 16 as Group D winners on Wednesday courtesy of a comfortable victory at Panathinaikos FC (0-3), uefa.com informs.

After Djibril Cisse missed an early chance for Panathinaikos, Pedro Rodriguez broke the deadlock in the 27th minute of a game the visitors dominated. Further goals in the second half from Lionel Messi (photo), who scored for the tenth game in succession for club and country, and Pedro, coupled with FC Kobenhavn’s 1-0 loss at FC Rubin Kazan, means Barcelona cannot be caught and Panathinaikos are now out of Europe regardless of what happens on Matchday 6.

After presiding over a 3-0 defeat by FC Barcelona, his first match in charge of Panathinaikos FC, Jesualdo Ferreira says he now has a “clearer picture” of what he has to work with at the Athens club: “Now I have a clearer picture of our abilities, of the players who got to play tonight. We encountered problems on the counterattack, but we should give credit to a great team like Barcelona”.

Opposite number Josep Guardiola, meanwhile, was pleased to have settled matters in UEFA Champions League Group D with one match still to play: “We’ve had to put in a big effort in order to win here. We’re certainly not an unbeatable team. We’re satisfied that we’ve qualified as group winners so let’s see how we do in this tournament when February rolls around”. In another game Valencia CF sealed their place in the UEFA Champions League knockout stages with a merciless 6-1 defeat of Bursaspor. Two from Roberto Soldado, strikes from Juan Mata, Alejandro Dominguez and Aritz Aduriz plus one magnificent drive by Joaquin enabled Valencia to equal their record win in UEFA competition. Their progress is now guaranteed after Rangers FC’s home defeat by Manchester United FC. As for Bursaspor, Argen­tinian midfielder Pablo Batalla hit a consolation and also made a little history in the process, his effort being their first ever goal in the competition.

Other results on Wednesday night in Champions League groups: Rubin-Kobenhavn 1 – 0; Internazionale-Twente 1 – 0; Schalke-Lyon 3 – 0; H. Tel-Aviv-Benfica 3 – 0; Tottenham-Bremen 3 – 0; Rangers-Man. United 0 – 1.

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