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Arsenal and Roma progress

Arsenal and Roma ensured their qualification for the knockout phase of the Champions League as runners up in their respective groups.

• Brewin: Gunners grind out win
• Carter: Arsenal out of pot luck
• Ancelotti eyes improvement
• Champions League Gallery Photo Gallery

Arsenal went into the round with most at stake, level on nine points with Braga in Group H and needing a win over Partizan Belgrade to be sure of progressing.

Robin van Persie's penalty set them on their way but Cleo's deflected equaliser set nerves jangling before superb goals from Theo Walcott and the in-form Samir Nasri secured a 3-1 win. The result was only marred by a first-half injury to Kieron Gibbs and the late dismissal of fellow full-back Bacary Sagna.

No sooner had Nasri found the net than Shakhtar Donetsk found two goals in five minutes to sink Braga 2-0 at the Donbass Arena and render the Gunners' result immaterial. Razvan Rat and Luiz Adriano were the scorers.

Roma knew a point against CFR Cluj would be enough to ensure progress as they began the evening three points clear of third-placed Basle in Group E. And that was precisely what they achieved despite leading for over an hour in Transylvania thanks to Marco Boriello's strike, Lacina Traore heading a late equaliser to earn a 1-1 draw for the Romanians.

Franck Ribery scored twice as group winners Bayern Munich beat Basle 3-0 in the meantime, with Anatoliy Tymoschuk also on the scoresheet.

Spartak Moscow fans shamed 2018 World Cup hosts Russia as flares thrown from their section of the stand forced a 20-minute delay early in their Group F clash at MSK Zilina. Spartak came from behind to win the game 2-1, Alex and Ibson cancelling out Tomas Oravec's opener before Ibson was sent off.

Group champions Chelsea suffered their first defeat of the competition as Brandao gave second-placed Marseille a 1-0 win at the Stade Velodrome.

Ajax made light of the departure of Martin Jol, scoring twice in nine second-half minutes to bow out of the competition on a high with a 2-0 Group G win over AC Milan. The Eredivisie side will now head into the last 32 of the Europa League having claimed a considerable scalp courtesy of goals from Demy de Zeeuw and Toby Alderweireld.

Milan qualify in second behind Real Madrid, who hammered Auxerre 4-0 thanks to France striker Karim Benzema's hat-trick. Cristiano Ronaldo scored the other goal.

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