Copenhagen clinch last 16 spot, Inter slump

Milan: FC Copenhagen celebrated clinching a place in the last 16 of the Champions League but holders Inter Milan will wait for this month’s draw in trepidation as a meeting with Barcelona became a possibility.

While Copenhagen were delighted they will continue to mix with the continent’s big guns after their 3-1 win over Panathinaikos secured runners-up spot in Group D, Inter slumped 3-0 at Werder Bremen — a result that means the Italian club finished runners-up behind Tottenham Hotspur in Group A.

Martin Vingaard’s strike, a Jesper Gronkjaer penalty and an own goal by Djibril Cisse did the trick for Copenhagen as they snatched one of four remaining places in the knockout stages still available as the group phase concludes this week.

The other three will be decided on Wednesday.

Copenhagen, the first Danish club to reach the last 16 in the competition’s present format, finished behind Barcelona who ended Russian side Rubin Kazan’s hopes of squeezing through with a 2-0 win at the Nou Camp despite fielding a second-string side.

Andreu Fontas and Victor Vazquez were on target for the Catalans, who would probably relish being handed an early chance to gain revenge over Inter for their defeat in last year’s final when the draw is made at UEFA headquarters in two weeks.

Manchester United’s defence was finally breached after some eight hours of group-stage football when they conceded their first goal in this season’s competition at home to Valencia in what was effectively a shootout for first place in Group C.

United’s hopes of becoming the first club to go through the group stage without conceding ended in the 32nd minute when Pablo Hernandez fired Valencia in front. Anderson earned United a 1-1 draw and the point they required to top the group.

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