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Rediff.com  » Sports » PHOTOS: Chelsea and Barcelona lose, Arsenal keep hopes alive with win

PHOTOS: Chelsea and Barcelona lose, Arsenal keep hopes alive with win

Last updated on: November 27, 2013 10:13 IST

PHOTOS: Basel achieve Chelsea double but Londoners advance

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Chelsea qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League despite losing 1-0 on Tuesday as a late goal from Mohamed Salah helped Basel complete an unlikely double over the 2012 winners.

Goalkeeper Petr Cech produced a string of outstanding saves in the first half to keep the dominant Swiss team at bay.

Basel, who beat Chelsea 2-1 away earlier in the campaign, then struck the winner when Egyptian Salah broke down the left before sliding the ball past Cech into the corner of the net in the 87th minute.

Leaders Chelsea have nine points from five games in Group E and are through to the last 16.

Basel are second on eight points while Schalke 04 are third on seven points after drawing 0-0 at bottom club Steaua Bucharest.

"It was a bad performance that deserved a defeat," Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho told Sky Sports television. "I didn't like anything we did from the very first minute.

"We made a defensive mistake immediately and the team I think only had a bit of control in the second half. I felt the players were tired and paid the price for the recent international break."

The Londoners were below par throughout and it came as no surprise when Salah struck late on.


Image: FC Basel's Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring against Chelsea's during their Champions League Group E soccer match at St. Jakob-Park in Basel
Photographs: Ruben Sprich/Reuters

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Arsenal win but last 16 spot still not certain

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Jack Wilshere scored twice, the first after 30 seconds, as Group F leaders Arsenal beat Olympique Marseille 2-0 on Tuesday but have yet to secure a Champions League last 16 place.

Arsenal, with four wins in five matches, head the group with 12 points followed by Borussia Dortmund, whose 3-1 win over Napoli leaves both sides on nine. Marseille have none after five straight defeats.

Arsenal's last match on Dec 11 is away to Napoli while Dortmund visit Marseille meaning Arsenal, Dortmund and Napoli could all finish with 12 points in which case results between the three would decide who advances to the last 16.

As long as Arsenal do not lose by three goals or more they will qualify for the knockout rounds for the 14th successive season, but it means Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will have to take a strong team to Napoli next month.

"It is unbelievable, but it's reality and we have to finish the job. It's a tricky situation. You could think, 'we must not lose big' but I think that would be a mistake," Wenger told reporters afterwards.

"We have to go there and try and win the game because otherwise it is a huge gamble.

"I have never known anything like it in my 150 Champions League matches."


Image: Arsenal's Jack Wilshere (R) scores a goal against Olympique Marseille
Photographs: Eddie Keogh/Reuters

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Ajax end Barcelona unbeaten run to stay in contention

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Ajax Amsterdam stayed in contention for the last 16 of the Champions League after becoming the first side to beat Barcelona this season with a 2-1 triumph on Tuesday.

Thulani Serero and Danny Hoesen scored to give Ajax a surprise halftime lead, but straight after the break defender Joel Veltman was red-carded for a tackle on Neymar and Xavi pulled a goal back from the penalty spot.

Injury-plagued Barcelona, who had already qualified for the knockout stages from Group H, applied pressure in search of an equaliser but Ajax held out to wild applause in Amsterdam Arena.

"I said Ajax would be the first team to beat Barcelona with the football we always want to play, which is attacking football," said Ajax manager Frank de Boer.

"After the sending-off it became difficult and dangerous but we showed our lion's heart."

Ajax stay third in the group, one point behind AC Milan, who they must now beat away on December 11 to qualify.

"We had a good feeling before the game and that's why we started well. We were playing probably the best team in the world, so what did we have to lose?" Hoesen told reporters.


Image: Ajax Amsterdam's Thulani Serero (L) scores past Barcelona's goalkeeper Jose Manuel Pinto (C) during their Champions League group H soccer match
Photographs: Toussaint Kluiters/Reuters

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'At an individual level we were not as good as Ajax'

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Barcelona, without the injured Lionel Messi, are two points clear and not yet sure of top place.

Barca coach Gerardo Martino said: "In the first half we didn’t have a good attitude. At an individual level we were not as good as Ajax."

Serero ghosted in late for the first goal in the 19th minute, applying the decisive touch to a strong cross from the right from fullback Ricardo van Rhijn, who just five minutes earlier had made a goal-saving tackle on Neymar.

The South Africa international's first Champions League goal precipitated a period of sustained pressure from the young Dutch side, culminating in a second goal three minutes from halftime.

A poor clearance by Javier Mascherano allowed Ajax to set up a chance for Viktor Fischer, whose shot was parried by goalkeeper Jose Manuel Pinto, only for Hoesen to pick up the rebound, go round Carles Puyol and score with the help of a deflection off Gerard Pique.


Image: Danny Hoesen of Ajax battles for the ball with Javier Mascherano and Gerard Pique of Barcelona
Photographs: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

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Kaka back in scoring form for Milan

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Kaka put Milan ahead in Glasgow with the simplest of close-range headers from a corner and Milan grabbed their second via Cristian Zapata Helped by another static display from the Celtic defence shortly after halftime.

Mario Balotelli added a third on the hour to end Celtic's hopes of reaching the knockout stages.


Image: AC Milan's Kaka celebrates his goal against Celtic during their Champions League soccer match
Photographs: Russell Cheyne/Reuters

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Dortmund back in the mix with 3-1 Napoli win

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Last season's Champions League runners-up Borussia Dortmund beat Napoli 3-1 with a stellar offensive performance on Tuesday to earn a lifeline and stay in the hunt for a knockout stage spot.

Germany international Marco Reus converted a 10th minute penalty and Jakub Blaszczykowski added another goal on the hour as the Germans bounced back from a string of bad results.

Lorenzo Insigne's 71st minute strike seemed to have set up a nervous finale to the Group F match but Dortmund substitute Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made sure of the three points with his first Champions League goal seven minutes later.

The win lifted Dortmund into second place ahead of Napoli with both teams on nine points behind group leaders Arsenal who have 12 points after a 2-0 win over Olympique Marseille.

All three teams are in contention for a place in the last 16 going into the final round of matches on December 11.

"We knew it would be a spectacular game but I did not expect so many chances," Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp told reporters. "We wasted a lot of opportunities but (Napoli goalkeeper) Pepe Reina made some great saves."


Image: Borussia Dortmund's Marco Reus (2R) scores a penalty goal against Napoli's goalkeeper Pepe Reina
Photographs: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

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First win after three straight defeats

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Dortmund, who got a first win after three straight defeats in all competitions including a 3-0 Bundesliga loss to rivals Bayern Munich, visit Olympique Marseille in their last group match when a win would secure a spot in the knockout stage.

"We wanted to give our fans and ourselves something to celebrate," Dortmund defender Kevin Grosskreutz told reporters.

"We deserved to win. After Napoli scored I asked (captain)Sebastian Kehl if the result was still in our favour," he said, referring to the permutations in a tightly-contested group.

"Our coach explained it to us yesterday but I did not fully understand it at the time," he said.


Image: Borussia Dortmund's players celebrate after the match
Photographs: Ina Fassbender/Reuters

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Atletico Madrid, Zenit split points

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Atletico Madrid dropped their first points of this season's competition in the 1-1 draw in St Petersburg. Adrian Lopez put the group winners ahead shortly after halftime before a Toby Alderweireld own goal secured a point for the Russian side.

Atletico lead Group G with 13 points while Zenit have six, one more than Porto.

Austria Vienna, with only one point from four games, went ahead against the run of play at Porto through Roman Kienast in the 11th minute - their first goal in this season's group stage.

The Portuguese side equalised three minutes after the break through Jackson Martinez. Porto travel to Madrid for their final game, leaving Zenit in pole position for the runners-up spot.


Image: Zenit St Petersburg's Oleg Shatov (2nd R) shoots as Atletico Madrid's Juanfran (R) and Toby Alderweireld (2nd L) attempt to block him during the Champions League soccer match
Photographs: Alexander Demianchuk/Reuters

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