Photo: Champions League 2012: Messi and Barcelona Advance to Knockout Stage
Barcelona secured a spot in the Champions League knockout stage with a 3-0 away win Tuesday over Spartak Moscow and defending champ Chelsea found itself on the verge of elimination after losing 3-0 to Juventus.
Now third in Group E, with 7 points, the London club has to win its final group-stage match with Nordsjaelland and hope that Shakhtar Donetsk - which has already qualified for the next phase - triumphs on the road against Juventus.
Tito Vilanova’s Barcelona squad showed no lingering effects from its surprising 2-1 loss to Celtic in Glasgow two weeks ago, dominating Spartak.
Leo Messi contributed two of the three goals, bringing his 2012 total to 80, only five away from breaking Gerd Müller’s record.
The defeat sealed Spartak’s fate, leaving Benfica and Celtic to battle for second place in Group G.
The Portuguese side beat Celtic 2-1 on Tuesday to pull even with the Scottish club at 7 points, but Benfica’s final group-stage match is against Barça at Camp Nou.
Playing a man down for almost two-thirds of the contest, Valencia managed a 1-1 tie at home against mighty Bayern Munich, while Lille topped BATE Borisov 2-0 in the other Group F match.
Whatever happens in the final group match, Valencia and Bayern will both advance to the knockout stage.
Manchester United, already assured of advancing, traveled to Turkey with a squad made up largely of subs and lost 1-0 to Galatasaray, which is vying with CFR Cluj for second in Group H.
The Romanian side beat Braga 3-1 on Tuesday, eliminating the Portugal club.