Valencia, Arsenal in last 16

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Domestic league champions Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund and Valencia were the latest clubs to make it to the last 16 of the Champions Cup on Wednesday while nine t

updated: February 25, 2007 09:28 IST
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Domestic league champions Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund and Valencia were the latest clubs to make it to the last 16 of the Champions Cup on Wednesday while nine time defending champion Real Madrid got there despite losing 1-0 at home to AS Roma. The Gunners qualified despite losing their fourth game in a row, 2-1 at Dortmund, while Valencia completed its second shutout over Liverpool by winning 1-0 at Anfield. Madrid, despite fielding its Fab Five of Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo, Roberto Carlos and Raul Gonzalez, was beaten by a first half goal by another world-class player, Francesco Totti. The result means Madrid and Roma are tied on eight points at the top of Group C. But the Spanish giant reaches the second phase because of its head to head results against third place AEK Athens. Madrid tied 3-3 and 2-2 with the Greeks to have a better away goals record. Madrid, Valencia, Arsenal and Dortmund join AC Milan, Manchester United, Barcelona, Juventus and Bayer Leverkusen in the last 16 and the other seven places will be decided in two weeks' time. The other group in action on Wednesday remains wide open. Inter Milan scored a 3-0 victory over last place Rosenborg while Ajax scored a 2-0 victory at French champion Lyon, which was pushed down from first to third. Just one point covers the top three, with Ajax hosting Inter and Lyon visiting eliminated Rosenborg in the final round of games. In a meeting of the German and English champions, Arsenal went ahead through a Thierry Henry free kick after Dortmund had twice hit the post. A free kick by Tomas Rosicky was flicked past goalkeeper David Seaman by his own teammate, Brazilian World Cup star Gilberto Silva, and, after the veteran 'keeper had brought down Jan Koller, Rosicky netted the winner from the penalty spot. The result, the Gunners' fourth loss in a row in domestic and European action, put Dortmund top of the standings, with Arsenal second but still out of reach of Auxerre. Goals by Arnold Bruggink, Dennis Rommedahl and Arjen Robben gave PSV an easy win in Eindhoven. Valencia, a 2-0 winner over Liverpool six weeks ago, dominated the return at Anfield and scored the only goal through Francisco Rufete in the 34th minute. The result means that the Spanish champion is Group B winner and Liverpool has to see what happens next week between Spartak Moscow and FC Basel. That game was postponed by a week as a mark of respect to the victims of the Moscow theatre siege. Liverpool leads Basel by two points and the two teams meet in Switzerland for the second place on November 12. Real Madrid's slump continued with a home loss to Roma. After two ties in a row with AEK Athens and another domestic draw at home to Villareal on Saturday, coach Vicente del Bosque hoped that a star-studded lineup would bring some zest back into the team. But Totti returned after injury to net the winner after 26 minutes. Fortunately for Del Bosque, AEK's inability to beat Racing Genk meant his team squeezed into the last 16 at last. In the other Group C game, Wesley Sonck gave Genk a 22nd minute lead only for Vassilis Lakis to reply eight minutes later. AEK, held 0-0 at home by Roma a month ago, can capture second place by beating the Italians in Rome in two weeks' time. Italian league leader Inter cruised to a 3-0 victory over Norway's Rosenborg at San Siro with strikes by Uruguayan international Alvaro Recoba, a Janne Saarinen own goal and a third by Argentine forward Hernan Crespo. Ajax pulled level on points with goals by Steven Pienaar and Rafael van der Vaart but the Dutch stars had Christian Chivu sent off for a studs-first challenge on Tony Vairelles and the Romanian misses the game against Inter through suspension. (AP)