Palacio brace sees Inter through

By
Updated: November 9, 2012

Rodrigo Palacio scored twice as Inter Milan cruised through to the Europa League knockout stages on Thursday while holders Atletico Madrid’s 16-match unbeaten run came to an end in Portugal.

Inter, who beat Partizan Belgrade 3-1 in Serbia with all the goals coming in the second half, were joined in the next phase by Bayer Leverkusen, Rubin Kazan, Metalist Kharkiv, Hanover 96 and Olympique Lyon.

Russian side Kazan moved to the top of Group H, level on 10 points with Inter, after a 1-0 win at Azerbaijan’s. Leverkusen and Metalist were also level on 10 points in Group K, the Germans too good for Rapid Vienna with a 3-0 home win while their Ukrainian rivals beat Norway’s Rosenborg 3-1.

Lyon maintained their perfect record with a 3-2 win at last year’s finalists Athletic Bilbao to streak ahead of Group I rivals Sparta Prague, still in second after a 1-1 draw away to Israel’s Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona.

Wilson Eduardo netted twice for Academica against Atletico Madrid to keep alive their slim hopes of reaching the last 32 with a 2-0 win. Czech side Viktoria Plzen took advantage of Atletico’s slip-up and joined them at the top of Group B after easing to a 4-0 home win against Hapoel Tel Aviv. Plzen and Atletico have nine points each while Academica are on four with two rounds of matches remaining in the 48-team group stage of the competition.

Treble Uefa Cup winners Liverpool suffered a setback in Moscow after they were beaten 1-0 by Anzhi Makhachkala, who went top of Group A when Ivorian Lacina Traore scored a superb winner on the stroke of halftime.

The result left Liverpool second in Group A, a point behind Anzhi on seven but level with Young Boys who were surprise 3-2 winners at Udinese. Italian striker Antonio Di Natale missed a penalty for the home side before scoring an equaliser. Udinese are three points adrift of Anzhi.

Newcastle United held Club Bruges to a 2-2 draw in Group D after coming back from two goals down.

Napoli’s Edinson Cavani scored four goals as the Italians twice came from behind to beat Ukraine’s Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 4-2 at home and stay in the hunt to progress from Group F.

In Group E Steaua Bucharest moved closer to qualification with a 2-1 win away to Norway’s Molde for a lead of five points over VfB Stuttgart, who beat Copenhagen 2-0 in Denmark.

Olympique Marseille and Borussia Moenchengladbach continued their dogfight with a 2-2 draw on the French coast in Group C.

They both have five points and are as many behind Fenerbahce after the Turkish champions beat Cypriots AEL Limassol 2-0 in Istanbul.

Italy’s Lazio beat Greece’s Panathinaikos 3-0 to take a two-point lead over Tottenham Hotspur in Group J.

Spurs beat Maribor 3-1 in emotional scenes as Fabrice Muamba returned as a spectator to the White Hart Lane ground where he almost died in March.