Barcelona routs Roma while Arsenal and Chelsea post big wins

Manuel Blondeau/AOP Press/DPPI/Icon Sportswire

Barcelona destroyed Roma 6-1 and Arsenal kept its hopes alive with a 3-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb on an important day of European Champions League group play.

Barcelona clinched its spot in the Round of 16 by blowing the Romans off the pitch. With their forward combination of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Sanchez in the starting lineup together for the first time in two months, they looked every bit as good as they had in the 4-0 win at Real Madrid on Saturday.

Messi and Suarez scored twice each, while Roma only managed a consolation goal in injury time.

Barcelona has now clinched first place in Group E, with Roma, Bayer Leverkusen and BATE Borisov all alive for second place with one game to go.

With three losses in their first four group games, Arsenal needed a win over Dinamo Zagreb and some help from Bayern Munich to stay alive. They took care of themselves, with Alexis Sanchez scoring two goals and adding an assist for Mesut Ozil’s diving header, and Bayern Munich beat Olympiakos 4-0 to clinch first place in Group F.

Arsenal now need to go to Athens and beat Olympiakos by two goals to advance to the knockout stages for the 16th straight season.

In Group G, Chelsea shrugged off their terrible form in England to move into a tie for the group lead with a 4-0 win at Maccabi Tel Aviv. The Blues were already up 1-0 when former Chelsea player Tel Ben Haim was sent off shortly before halftime, and Chelsea took advantage of the 11-on-10 situation to score three times in five second-half minutes.

FC Porto could have clinched a spot in the round of 16 with a home win over Dynamo Kiev, but lost 2-0 in a result that leaves the group wide open going into the last round. Chelsea and Porto both have 10 points, and play each other, while Kiev (8 points) hosts Tel Aviv (0 points).

Zenit St. Petersburg clinched Group H with a 2-0 win over Valencia, while Gent moved into second place with a 2-1 win over Lyon with Kalifa Coulibaly scoring the winner in the 95th minute. Valencia must now win at home against Gent in the final round of games, while the Belgians will only need a draw.

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