UEFA Champions League: Chelsea lose but progress, Ajax stun Barcelona

The 2012 champions lost 1-0 to Basel but with Schalke only drawing 0-0 away at bottom side Steaua Bucharest the permutations work out in Chelsea's favour.

Updated: November 27, 2013 08:39 IST
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Paris: Chelsea became the latest team to qualify for the Champions League knockout stages though it was not in the fashion manager Jose Mourinho would have wanted as the 2012 champions lost 1-0 to Basel on Tuesday.

However, with Schalke only drawing 0-0 away at bottom side Steaua Bucharest the permutations work out in Chelsea's favour as they lead Basel by a point with Schalke another point back and the latter two play each other in the final group game.

Mourinho was furious but also gracious in defeat.

"The only positive thing is that we go through, but we go through because Schalke did not get a result," said the Portuguese.

"But I do not want to take any credit from the opponent as they were better than us."

They were the only side to progress from Tuesday's action with the result of the night coming in Amsterdam where a young Ajax side rolled back the years for the former European greats to hand Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino his first defeat in 21 games with a stunning 2-1 win.

This despite playing most of the second-half with just 10 men after Joel Veltman was sent off for a foul on Neymar and Xavi converted the penalty to get the Spanish champions back into the match.

However, the Dutch side held on with their two goals in the first-half from Thulani Serero and Danny Hoesen proving sufficient to record a famous victory.

Milan's 3-0 win in Glasgow over Celtic eliminated the Scottish champions from the knockout stage picture -- they won't even get a chance at the Europa League either -- and sets up what is sure to be a nervy encounter with Ajax in a fortnight for the second spot in the Last 16.

Barcelona need to beat Celtic to ensure they finish top of the group.

Chelsea's English rivals Arsenal did what they needed to do to give themselves a chance of qualifying by beating pointless French outfit Marseille 2-0 with Jack Wilshere grabbing a double.

The England star's first came after only 27 seconds, the fastest in this season's competition and also the fastest ever by an Englishman -- Wayne Rooney the previous holder with one in 65 seconds.

However, they will have to wait till the final round of matches after last season's finalists Borussia Dortmund produced an excellent 3-1 home win over Napoli to keep alive their hopes of reaching the Last 16 -- defeat would have seen them go out.

Although Napoli got it back to 2-1 midway through the second-half Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a deserved third and with them due to travel to Marseille for the final match they will be fancying their chances of making it through.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, though, is confident his side can reach the knockout stages for the 11th successive season.

"We have 12 points in five games overall. It's a good number of points, and I'm confident we can take another point or three in Naples if we play well."

Dortmund's engaging coach Jurgen Klopp was a relieved man.

"Now we're back in the race," he said.

"We couldn't have done more to set things up for the last game."

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