Barcelona, Lyon and Inter fail to secure early progress
Olympique Lyon and Inter Milan on Tuesday failed to secure their early progress in the Champions League as they slumped to defeats, while Barcelona drew in Copenhagen to be denied an early place in the knock-out stage, dpa reported.
Although there are two round of group matches outstanding, Lyon and Inter would have secured their place in the next round with a draw, but lost 4-3 and 3-1 at Benfica Lisbon and Tottenham Hotspur respectively, while Barcelona, who needed a win, drew 1-1 in Copenhagen.
Manchester United meanwhile, took a giant step towards the next round with a 3-0 victory at Turkish champions Bursasport.
Darren Fletcher opened the score three minutes after the break and Gabriel Obertan and Bebe scored their first goals in the Champions League for United.
The other game in Group C saw Valencia beat Glasgow Rangers 3-0 to move into second space with seven points - three less than United. Rangers, who are on five points, also have a chance of going through.
In Group A the title holders Inter Milan slumped to a 3-1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur, for whom Rafael van der Vaart, Peter Crouch and Roman Pavlyuchenko scored the goals.
Samuel Eto'o pulled one back for the Serie A side. It was the seventh goal for the Cameroon international in this season's Champions League.
Gareth Bale, who scored a hat-trick for Spurs during their 4-3 defeat at Inter two weeks ago, was again in outstanding form and made two of the three goals for his side.
A ten-man Werder Bremen side were beaten 2-0 at home by Twente, with Chadli Nacer and Luuk de Jong scoring late goals for the visitors after Torsten Frings had been sent off.
Bremen, who needed to win to maintain their challenge for a place in the knock-out stage, dominated the first half, but failed to score against Bulgarian international goalkeeper Nikolaj Mihajlov who managed to pull off a number of fantastic saves against Hugo Almeida and Claudio Pizarro.
Pizarro said that the players were very disappointed. "We did not use our chances and after the red card it was going to be difficult. When we conceded the goal it was always going to be very hard to come back.
"It will be hard to go through from this group now."
The Peruvian international said he drew no solace from the fact that the side played well. "In football if you do not get points, you have not done well and then you are sad."
The home side also hit the post, while Twente looked very dangerous on the break.
Inter and Tottenham lead the group with seven points, while Twente have five. Werder are on two points.
Olympique Lyon, who needed just one point from their game at Benfica Lisbon, where completely outplayed in the opening hour by their Portuguese opponents in their Group B match.
Alan Kardec, Fabio Coentrao and Javi Garcia gave the home side a well-deserved three-goal half-time lead. Fabio Coentrao scored his second midway through the second half.
Yoann Gourcuff, Bafetimbi Gomis and Dejan Lovren scored late goals for Lyon.
Bundesliga club Schalke 04 stayed in second place in the group after holding Happoel Tel Aviv to a goalless draw in Israel. Lyon are first with nine points, while Schalke have seven. Benfica are on six points, while Happoel have just one point.
In Copenhagen Lionel Messi gave Barcelona the lead in the 31st minute, but Claudemir equalized just two minutes later. Barcelona lead Group D with eight points from their four matches, while Copenhagen have seven.
Rubin Kazan, who played to a goalless draw in an early match against Panathinaikos, have three points - one more than the Greek club.