Draws for Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United allowed two English Premier League teams to clinch first place in their UEFA Champions League groups, while a win at Benfica allowed Bundesliga side Schalke to do the same in Group B. Barcelona had already won Group D, but a convincing victory for FC Copenhagen saw the Danish champions to secure the group's other knock-out stage spot.
Those five clubs will be joined by Valencia, Lyon and holders Inter Milan in the tournament's knock out round, with the group stage ended for four groups today:
Tottenham Hotspur had the lead three times at Dutch champions Twente, with an own goal and two Jermain Defoe tallies taking them to one goal leads. Each time their hosts responded, first through Denny Landzaat, then Roberto Rosales, and finally Nacer Chadli. Twente, who had proven difficult throughout group stage, earned a point from Tottenham with a 3-3 draw.
That point was enough to earn Spurs first place after a depleted Inter Milan side lost 3-0 at Werder Bremen. Goals by Sebastian Prodl, Marko Arnautovic and substitute Claudio Pizarro gave the Germans their first victory of group stage while leaving the holder one point behind Spurs.
Schalke has stumbled throughout the Bundesliga season, but today's 2-1 win in Lisbon keeps them top of Group B with 13 points, safely holding of Lyon, who were drawn 2-2 at Stade Gerland by Hapoel Tel Aviv. Schalke got goals from Jurado and Benedikt Höwedes, with Luisão's late goal for Benfica proving consolation. Lyon needed a late goal of their own from Alexandre Lacazette for preserve a draw with Hapoel, who missed out on Europa League thanks to their late capitulation.
Manchester Untied gave up their first goal of the tournament, a first half tally for Pablo Hernández. In the second period, Anderson put hom a rebound of a Park Ji-Sung shot, giving United a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, sealing first place in Group C. Valencia stays second.
Rangers and Bursaspor were already locked into third and fourth before they met today, but with Sercan Yildrim's late equalizer of Kenny Miller's opener, the Turkish champions got the first point in their Champions League history. Rangers head to Europa League with six points.
Barcelona got goals from Andreu Fontàs and Victor Vázquez, exercising a demon from last year by defeating Rubin Kazan, 2-0. Rubin had knock-off Barça at the Nou Camp in last year's group stage. Like last year, the Russian club heads for Europa League with a third pace finish.
That means FC Copenhagen has moved into the knockout stage, defeating Panathinaikos 3-1 in Denmark. Pana finishes group stage winless, accumulating only two points after being one of the pre-tournament favorites to go through to the knock-out stage with Barcelona.