x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Barcelona turn tables against Inter

Pep Guardiola's side beats Inter and the Catalans are now within touching distance of a place in the last 16.

Pedro Rodriguez scores against Inter as Barcelona go top of Group F.
Pedro Rodriguez scores against Inter as Barcelona go top of Group F.

Barcelona moved two points clear at the top of Group F after producing a classy display to defeat Inter 2-0 at the Nou Camp. Pep Guardiola's side could have found themselves out of the competition if results had gone against them, but they are now within touching distance of a place in the last 16 after brushing aside Inter thanks to early goals from Gerard Pique and Pedro Rodriguez. The result leaves Barca two points clear of Inter and Rubin Kazan and three above Dynamo Kiev - who played out a goalless draw with Rubin in the other Group F contest. Arsenal secured a place in the last 16 and top spot in Group H with a 2-0 win over Standard Liege courtesy of first-half goals from Samir Nasri and Denilson, smashing in a 30-yard strike. In the other group game, AZ Alkmaar slipped out of the competition with a goalless draw at home to Olympiakos. Rangers also crashed out of Europe with a dispiriting home defeat to Stuttgart in their penultimate Group G match. There will not even be the consolation of a Europa League spot for Walter Smith's side after a routine dismantling by the German club, who scored either side of the break through midfielders Sebastian Rudy and Zdravko Kuzmanovic. "We haven't been good enough and we have to take that on board," admitted Smith. "There are no excuses from us. The home matches have all ended up in a similar fashion regardless of the systems we have played." An Ivica Dragutinovic own goal inflicted Sevilla's first defeat in the tournament this season as Unirea Urziceni remained on course for a place in the next round with a 1-0 win.

* PA Sport