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Barca raid San Siro to take spoils in Group H

EUROPEAN champions Barcelona, who had already sealed their progression, secured top spot in Group H with a 3-2 win at AC Milan, where Lionel Messi scored from the spot but only after being cautioned for stopping in his run-up on his first attempt.

Viktoria Plzen won 1-0 at Bate Borisov in the fog to boost their chances of finishing third and taking Group H's Europa League berth, with Milan having already at least guaranteed second spot before the heavyweight clash with Barca.

A Mark van Bommel own goal against his former side gave Barca a 14th-minute lead in the San Siro but Zlatan Ibrahimovic, also formerly of Barca, levelled before Messi's penalty.

A neat finish from Kevin-Prince Boateng after the break handed seven-time winners Milan parity, only for Xavi to have the last laugh and make sure of first place.

Valencia warmed up for the crucial final Group E clash at Stamford Bridge with a 7-0 thumping of bottom side Racing Genk in which Roberto Soldado bagged a first-half hat-trick.

APOEL's 0-0 draw at Zenit St Petersburg followed an onslaught from the Russians, but they clung on to become the first Cypriot team to reach the knockout stages of the Champions League.

"We have good players who try hard every single game and they also have a great desire to achieve something important," said APOEL's Serbian coach, Ivan Jovanovic.

"I think these factors have been the key to our success on the pitch."

APOEL remain the only unbeaten team in Group G where twice champions Porto won 2-0 at bottom side Shakhtar Donetsk to keep alive their hopes of overhauling second-placed Zenit when they meet in Portugal on December 6.

Olympique Marseille were going through from Group F, along with Arsenal, until Giannis Fetfatzidis struck eight minutes from time to give Olympiakos a 1-0 victory at the Stade Velodrome to rekindle their last-16 hopes.

A win at the surprisingly weak German champions in two weeks would put Didier Deschamps' side through.


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