Juve through, Chelsea out, Messi hurt

Published: Thursday | December 6, 2012 Comments 0

LONDON (AP):

Juventus knocked defending champions Chelsea out of the Champions League with a 1-0 win at Shakhtar Donetsk yesterday, while Galatasaray and Celtic also qualified for the last 16 after the final round of group matches.

Chelsea, who needed to better Juventus' result in Ukraine to finish second in Group E, kept their part of the bargain by thrashing FC Nordsjaelland 6-1 for Rafa Benitez's first win as interim manager. But his side became the first reigning champions to exit at the group stage.

Fernando Torres returned to form by scoring two goals to go along with strikes by David Luiz, Gary Cahill, Juan Mata and Oscar.

Galatasaray beat Braga 2-1 to finish ahead of CFR Cluj, who won 1-0 at below-strength Manchester United, in Group H. Celtic defeated Spartak Moscow 2-1 in Group G, thanks to a controversial late penalty to oust Benfica, whose 0-0 draw at Barcelona was marred by a left knee injury to Lionel Messi.

Lying on a stretcher, Messi was driven off the field on a cart, jeopardising the Argentina star's hopes of breaking Gerd Mueller's 40-year-old scoring record for a calendar year. Messi has 84 goals, one fewer than the German great, with four more games left in 2012.

"He's receiving medical tests, let's hope it's nothing serious and that he can soon be with us back to 100 per cent," captain Carles Puyol said.

Bayern Munich topped Group F by thrashing BATE Borisov 4-1, finishing ahead of Valencia despite the Spanish side's 1-0 win at Lille.

Both Bayern and Valencia were already sure of going through.

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