Ngog's winner in vain
Five-times winners Liverpool were knocked out of the Champions League in the group stages despite a 1-0 win at Debrecen on Tuesday while Fiorentina and Arsenal qualified for the last 16.
Benitez's team arrived in Hungary knowing their fate was largely out of their hands and David Ngog's fourth minute winner, which condemned debutants Debrecen to their fifth straight defeat, proved in vain.
"We have been so good (in recent years) in the Champions League, now people think it has to be like that every year," Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez said.
Image: Liverpool's David Ngog (left) scores past Debrecen's 'keeper Vukasin Poleksic at the Puskas stadium in Budapest on Tuesday
Barca cruise past Inter
Holders Barcelona revived their campaign with a surprisingly comfortable 2-0 triumph over Inter Milan in the night's top match, scoring twice in the first 26 minutes through Gerard Pique and Pedro.
Former Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o was given a warm welcome on his return to the Nou Camp with new club Inter but had little else to enjoy.
The win sent Barcelona top of Group F with eight points, two ahead of Jose Mourinho's Inter side and third-placed Russian champions Rubin Kazan who were held to a goalless draw at home in the snow by Dynamo Kiev.
Image: Barcelona's Carles Puyol (left) argues with former team-mate and Inter Milan striker Samuel Eto'o (right) while Thiago Motta tries to seperate them, at Nou Camp in Barcelona on Tuesday
Arsenal stretch unbeaten home record against foreign opposition
Arsenal reached the last 16 for the 10th season in a row thanks to a 2-0 home win over Standard Liege. Arsenal had little trouble extending their unbeaten Champions League home record against foreign opposition to 29 games.
The Londoners broke through with a Samir Nasri half-volley in the 35th minute before Brazilian Denilson scored with a dipping 30-metre effort in first-half stoppage time.
The win guaranteed Arsenal a first-place finish in Group H.
Image: Standard Liege 'keeper Sinan Bolat saves a shot from Arsenal's William Gallas (10) in London on Tuesday
Fiorentina top Group E
Fiorentina went through by beating already-qualified Olympique Lyon 1-0 with a penalty by Peru's Juan Vargas to join Girondins Bordeaux, Manchester United, Chelsea, Porto and Sevilla in the next round.
The win by the Italians also ended Liverpool's chances in Group E.
Fiorentina's win took them top with 12 points, two ahead of Lyon with Liverpool a further three points behind. Even if the five-times winners pull level with Lyon, the French side will qualify on the head-to-head record.
Image: Fiorentina's Gobbi and Olympique Lyon's Govou (left) get entagled as they vie for possession during their Champions League match on Tuesday
Alkmaar hold Olympiakos to goalless draw
Olympiakos Piraeus missed the chance to tie up qualification for the Champions League knockout phase when they were held to a 0-0 draw by AZ Alkmaar on Tuesday.
The result left Olympiakos in second place in Group H with seven points, six behind already qualified Arsenal who will be their opponents in their final group match. Standard Liege are third on four points after losing to Arsenal.
The Belgian side could pip Olympiakos to qualification if they win their final game at home to Alkmaar next month and Arsenal beat the Greeks at the Emirates Stadium.
Image: Olympiakos's Jaouad Zairi (centre) is challenged by AZ Alkmaar's Stijn Schaars and Sebastien Pocognoli (right) during their Champions League match on Tuesday
Debutants Unirea Urziceni stun Sevilla
Debutants Unirea Urziceni boosted their chances in Group G by beating already-qualified Sevilla 1-0 after Ivica Dragutinovic headed into his own net just before halftime.
The win, Unirea's first at home in European competition, put the Romanians onto eight points in Group G, two more than third-placed VfB Stuttgart who beat Rangers 2-0 to hand the Scottish side their third straight home defeat in the group.
The two sides meet in Germany in the final group game on December 9 with Unirea needing a point to progress.
Image: VfB Stuttgart's Delpierre falls over Rangers' Boyd during their Champions League match in Glasgow on Tuesday