Valencia, Barcelona, Manchester United and Spurs through
Spanish clubs Valencia and Barcelona as well as Premier League clubs Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspurs on Wednesday made sure of their place in the knock-out stage of the Champions League with a match to go, DPA reported.
They were joined on the night by title holders Inter Milan, Bundesliga club Schalke 04 and Olympique Lyon, who advanced even though they lost at Schalke.
The biggest win of the day belonged to Valencia, who trounced Turkish champions Bursaspor 6-1 in Group C to take their total to 10 points from five games, three points behind Manchester United, who beat Glasgow Rangers 1-0 through Wayne Rooney's injury-time penalty.
United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said that he was very pleased for Rooney. "He missed a couple of chances, so I am pleased that he scored from the spot.
"I think we deserved the win. We want to win the group and need a point at home against Valencia."
Rangers, who seemed to sit back in Glasgow against United even though they needed to win to stay in contention for a place in the next round, are guaranteed a place in the Europa League.
In Group A Tottenham continued their excellent home form in the Champions League with a 3-0 victory against a second-string Werder Bremen side who fielded two players who had yet to play for the first side.
Younis Kaboul and Luka Modric scored for the home side in the first-half and then saw a second-half Gareth Bale penalty saved by Bremen's goalkeeper Tim Wiese. Peter Crouch added a third in the 78th minute.
Crouch said the players were over-joyed with the win. "We have now gone through to the next round and obviously we want to go as far as we can for the club and our fans."
His manager Harry Redknapp described his side's performance throughout the campaign as terrific. "When the draw was made it was difficult.
"Overall I think we did great to qualify. I am delighted for the lads and they deserved to go through."
Inter Milan completely dominated their game against Twente, but scored only once through Esteban Cambiasso in the 55th minute.
The Argentine said that the victory was very important for the club. "It was an important win that ends a run of bad results, some of which we did not deserve."
Tottenham top the group on 10 points from Inter, who are also on 10 points, but lost the head-to-head encounter.
Schalke 04 were the big winners in Group B as they not only managed to beat Olympique Lyon 3-0 to move into first place above the French side on 10 points, Happoel Tel Aviv's 3-0 surprise win against Benfica also guaranteed the Bundesliga side a place in the next round.
Dutch international Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored twice for Schalke, for whom Jefferson Farfan opened the scoring after just 13 minutes.
Schalke captain Manuel Neuer said that the club now wanted to go as far as possible. "Whenever you win a match in the Champions League, you want to go further and advance as far as possible."
Lyon, who are on nine points, are also through to the knock-out stage as they can no longer be overtaken by Benfica.
In Athens Barcelona cruised to a comfortable 3-0 victory against Panathinaikos with goals by Pedro, who scored in both halves, while Lionel Messi got the third.
The win sees Barcelona, who are currently on 11 points, secure first place in the group.
In the other game Russian champions Rubin Kazan kept alive their hopes of advancing to the knock-out stages with a 1-0 victory over FC Copenhagen.
Captain Cristian Noboa scored the only goal of the game in first- half injury time from the penalty spot after Jesper Gronkjaer handled the ball in the area.
The victory, which was their first in this season's Champions League campaign, takes the Russian club to third with six points, from five matches, while Copenhagen remain on seven.