Dec 10, 2008

Sports - Football;Champions League: Chelsea completes English sweep

Chelsea completed a clean sweep for English teams in the Champions League group stage after beating Cluj 2-1 on Tuesday to join holders Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool in the last 16 of the competition.

They were joined in the knockout phase by AS Roma after their 2-0 home defeat of Girondins Bordeaux and Panathinaikos, who won Group B with a 1-0 home victory against Cypriot rivals Anorthosis Famagusta.

Didier Drogba scored his 19th Champions League goal for Chelsea to seal their passage and become the club's leading scorer in the competition, ahead of Frank Lampard who has 18.

Salomon Kalou had given Chelsea a 40th-minute lead from close range at Stamford Bridge but it was substitute Drogba's incisive finish on 71 minutes that dispelled any fears of an early exit after Yssouf Kone had equalised.

Chelsea finished as runners-up in Group A as Roma secured top spot after Matteo Brighi and Francesco Totti scored in the second half against Bordeaux.

An opportunist second-half goal by Giorgos Karagounis handed Panathinaikos their berth while Inter Milan finished second in Group B after a 2-1 defeat at Werder Bremen, who secured a spot in the UEFA Cup last 32.

Five-times winners Liverpool won Group D after coming from behind to beat PSV Eindhoven 3-1 and finish ahead of Atletico Madrid, who were held to a 0-0 draw at Olympique Marseille.

Ryan Babbel, Albert Riera and David N'Gog struck for Liverpool after Danko Lazovic had given the home side brief hope of reaching the UEFA Cup knockout stage available to the eight third-placed teams.

Barcelona, who had already won Group C, were beaten 3-2 at home by Shakhtar Donetsk after fielding an under strength side while also qualified Sporting Lisbon enjoyed a 1-0 success at Swiss side Basel.

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