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Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say
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By ESPN Staff

Schalke ban party boys from European decider

BERLIN, Dec 11 (Reuters) - Schalke 04 have thrown Mladen Krstajic and Ivan Rakitic out of their squad for Tuesday's decisive Champions League clash with Rosenborg after they were spotted in a Duisburg nightclub in the early hours on Sunday.

Team mate Jermaine Jones, who was with them in the club but is suspended for Tuesday's match, has been fined, Schalke said in a statement on their website.

Schalke must beat Rosenborg on Tuesday in Group B to qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League.

Coach Mirko Slomka was furious after seeing photographs of the players at the nightclub after Saturday's 2-2 draw against Eintracht Frankfurt and less than three days before the club's most important match of the season so far.

'The behaviour of the players is absolutely unacceptable,' Slomka said. 'They know how they should prepare for a game ... and the rules have been broken in a massive way.'

Serb Krstajic, 33, is one of Schalke's most experienced defenders. Rakitic, a 19-year-old midfielder from Croatia, has played in all five of Schalke's group games so far.

Schalke trail Rosenborg by two points in Group B going into Tuesday's game. A win will be enough to take the German side through in second place behind Chelsea.