Liverpool, Real Madrid reach last 16

2007-12-11 19:20:13 Xinhua English

BEIJING, Dec. 12 -- Liverpool and Real Madrid secured berths in the Champions League last 16 with emphatic wins in their final group matches yesterday.

Nine-times champions Real Madrid topped Group C with a 3-1 win over Lazio while Liverpool, the winners of five titles, advanced from Group A with a 4-0 rout of Olympique Marseille.

Liverpool's third successive victory in Europe, after they picked up only one point from their opening three matches, sent the 2005 winners through with 2004 holders Porto, who secured top spot in the group with a 2-0 defeat of Besiktas.

Olympiakos Piraeus also reached the knockout phase by finishing second behind Real while Schalke 04 qualified as runners-up in Group B to Chelsea, who had already booked their place as group winners with a game to spare.

Liverpool coach Rafael Benitez attributed his team's victory on the French coast to a performance of the highest class.

"I'm proud to be the manager of this club," he said. "The supporters were fantastic and the performance of the team was almost perfect.

(Source: Shanghai Daily/Agencies)