Fabregas double lifts Arsenal
Cesc Fabregas struck twice as Arsenal thrashed AZ Alkmaar 4-1 at the Emirates stadium in London, on Wednesday to leave them on the brink of a place in the Champions League knockout round.
Fabregas scored a goal in each half as the Arsenal crowd enjoyed another dazzling display by their Spanish captain who has now scored three goals in this season's competition.
Image: Cesc Fabregas scores his second goal past AZ Alkmaar goalkeeper Sergio Romero
Arsenal close in on last 16
Fabregas had put the home side ahead after 26 minutes -- turning sharply to beat keeper Sergio Romero at his near post.
Samir Nasri, who played his first match of the season last week in the League Cup after returning from a broken leg, killed the game a minute before halftime when he controlled an Andrei Arshavin pass before slotting a precise shot inside the post.
Russian Arshavin was the provider again seven minutes after the break when his pass found Fabregas who lifted a shot high into the net.
Abou Diaby got in on the act after 72 minutes with a cool finish, again from Arshavin's clever pass.
Image: Abou Diaby scores Arsenal's fourth goal
Rubin Kazan hold Barcelona goalless
Champions League debutants Rubin Kazan froze out Barcelona for a 0-0 draw in their Champions League Group F match on Wednesday.
The European champions, who were stunned by the Russians 2-1 at the Nou Camp two weeks ago, dominated for most of a match played in sub-zero temperatures but could muster only a few clear chances.
The draw leaves both teams on five points from four games in a tight group, with Dynamo Kiev (four points) hosting Inter Milan (three) later on Wednesday.
Image: Barcelona captain Carles Puyol (left) challenges Rubin Kazan's Gokdeniz Karadeniz
Late goals foil Liverpool
A last-gasp goal by Lisandro Lopez earned Olympique Lyon a 1-1 draw with Liverpool in the Champions League on Wednesday that sealed the French team's place in the last 16.
Liverpool went ahead after a thunderbolt 25-metre shot from Ryan Babel in the 83rd minute but Argentine striker Lopez fired home from close range in the 90th minute as Lyon progressed from the group stage for the seventh time in a row.
Image: Liverpool's Ryan Babel (left) celebrates with team-mate Fernando Torres after scoring against Olympique Lyon
Lyon will give Liverpool fighting chance
Olympique Lyon coach Claude Puel promised to give Liverpool a fighting chance of joining his team in the last 16 of the Champions League.
Liverpool now have to win their last two games -- and hope Fiorentina drop points against now qualified Lyon -- if they are to avoid a first-round exit.
Lyon top Group E with 10 points from four matches followed by Fiorentina (9), Liverpool (4) and Debrecen (0).
"Do not worry, we will play properly because it is our goal to finish top of the group," Puel told reporters.
"It is important for us to get a good result in Florence, and it will give Liverpool a chance."
Image: Lyon players celebrates after Lisandro Lopez scored the equaliser
Late goals give Inter victory
Italian champions Inter Milan scored twice in the last five minutes to beat Dynamo Kiev 2-1 away and claim their first win in nine European matches.
Serie A leaders Inter, who drew their first three games in Group F, finally brought their winning domestic touch to Europe, although victory looked unlikely for a long time.
Former AC Milan forward Andriy Shevchenko, whose career nosedived under Inter coach Jose Mourinho at Chelsea, opened the scoring for the hosts in the 21st minute with a deflected goal.
Argentina striker Diego Milito scuffed in the equaliser and Wesley Sneijder poked in the winner in the 89th minute after waves of pressure from the twice European champions.
The win catapulted Inter from bottom to top in the group with six points, one ahead of Barcelona and Rubin Kazan. Kiev are bottom with four but still in the hunt.
Image: Inter Milan players celebrate winning against Dynamo Kiev