In Group A, a late goal from Zimbabwean Benjani gave Auxerre a 1-0 win over Borussia Dortmund, a result which which handed Group A to Arsenal. The English side, who had already qualified, drew 0-0 with PSV Eindhoven.
The win for Guy Roux’s side ensured Auxerre a place in the UEFA Cup at the expense of PSV.
Arsenal,fielding a weakened team against the Dutch side, maintained their poor recent run, which has seen them collect just one point from 9 in three Champions League matches. It was also the first match since last March that the club had failed to score. MMore bad news came withe diismissal of Kolo Toure for two bookable offences.
In Group B, Basle and Liverpool produced a thrilling 3-3 draw, a result which sends the Swiss team through to the next round of the Champions League.
Liverpool went into the game needing a win to overtake Baslein the group standings, but found themselves threegoals down within the first half-hour. An magnificent second-half comeback by the visitors left the game poised on a knife-edge but despite late pressure from Gerard Houllier’s men, Basle hung for a famous result. Baslle go through to the next phase with Vallencia while Liverpool must settle for a place in the UEFA Cup.
Basle went ahead within 90 seconds of the kick-off; a Hakan Yakin cross enabled Julio Hernan Rossi to tap past Jerzy Dudek. On 22 minutes they doubled their lead on the break. Rossi squared to Hakan Yakin in midfield and his first-time through-ball sent Gimenez clear, and the Argentinian made no mistake from 15 yards out. Within seven minutes it was 3-0 when Atouba slid in from close range after Dudek could only parry a Hakan Yakin free-kick.
The game was good as over but after the break, Liverpool launched a remarfkable comeback, scoring through Murphy, Smicer and Owen, the latter a sharp finish after the European Footballer of the Year’s penalty had been saved by Zuberbuhler.
Despite intense pressure from the Liverpool, Basle’s rearguard held firm to earn a place in the last 16.
In the group’s other game, runaway leaders Valencia, who had already secured a place in the next phase, strolled to a 3-0 win over Spartak Moscow, courtesy of two goals from Juan Sanchez and one from Fabio Aurelio.
In Group D, Real Madrid and Roma booked their places in the second phase, after both secured 1-1 draws against Genk and AEK Athens respectively.
Although the teams finished level on points, Madrid top the group by virtue of their 3-0 win over Roma on matchday one.
The European champions looked on-course victory after Tote put them ahead after 21 minutes. However, with just three minutes remaining Wesley Sonck headed home a corner.
Meanwhile, in the Italian capital, Roma fought put a 1-1 draw with AEK. Marco Delvecchio had given his side a deserved lead ON 40 miniutes, but despite dominating the match, Fabiio Cappello’s men could not increase their lead. AEK, who need to win the game to go through, did not have a shot on target until the last minute of normal time when Costa Rican Walter Centeno found the net.
In Group D, the tightest of the eight, Internazionale produced a 2-1 win against Ajax to top the group, though the Dutch side also wentthrough as Lyon were unable to overcome Rosenborg.
At one point it looked as if Hernan Crespo’s brace would end Ajax’s Champions League hopes for another season, but even before Rafael van der Vaart pulled one back for the Dutch club, news of Lyon’s match in Rosenborg had allready filtered through to the home fans. .
Rosenborg held Lyon to a 1-1 draw, a result that saw Lyon knocked out of the competition. Harald Brattbak put the Norwegian side ahead mmidway through the second-half and despite Sidney Govou’s equaliser seven minnutes from time, the point wass enough for Paul Le Guel’s side to go through. Consolation for the French champions comes in the form of a place in the next round of the UEFA Cup.