Spanish sides appear to have stagnated in the last two rounds of Champions League ties, with all four drawing on week four. Real Madrid's point at AC Milan on Tuesday night took them a step closer to the last sixteen, whereas Atlético's against Chelsea was not enough to avoid them being knocked out of the competition. Barcelona need good results in their last two matches after they were held 0-0 by Rubin Kazan, but Sevilla at least are through to the knockout stage after drawing 1-1 with Stuttgart.
Barcelona were the third to share the points this week after a 0-0 draw at Rubin Kazan. The Russian side had surprised Pep Guardiola's team in the Nou Camp a couple of weeks ago, and once again a well organised defence prevented the defending champions from scoring. Things could have been different had Ibrahimovic's shot gone in rather than bouncing away off the post in the third minute. But after that local keeper Rhyzikov was scarcely troubled, and Valdés had to make a couple of first class saves from bustling substitute Bukharov in the second half. Barcelona now need to win their last two games to be sure of going through.
Sevilla were also held to a 1-1 draw at home to Stuttgart, but after three wins in their previous games the point ensured them a place in the first knock out round. Jesús Navas opened the scoring with just under a quarter of an hour gone after running on to a pass from Luis Fabiano, and Negredo came close to a second before the break. The German side came back after the restart though, with Pogrebnyak in particular hitting the bar. Sevilla were left with ten men for the last quarter of an hour when substitute Duscher limped off with all three changes made, and the visitors took advantage to equalise through Kuzmanovic. (04.11.09)
After losing their last Champions League game at home to AC Milan, Real Madrid needed a result to get their campaign back on track. And Benzema got them off to a good start, turning the ball past Dida from a wide angle on the half hour mark after the keeper could only push Kaká's deflected shot in to his path. Five minutes later however the Italians were awarded a rigorous penalty after the ball hit Pepe on the arm inside the area, and old enemy Ronaldinho stepped up to fire the spot kick in to the top corner of the net. Pato had a goal disallowed after that, and Kaká and Raúl went close after the break, but in the end both teams considered that a draw was good enough.
It was last chance saloon for Atlético Madrid against Chelsea after the Spanish side had only picked up one point from their previous three games, but although the 2-2 draw was a marked improvement, it was too little to keep them in the running for a place in the next round. Second half substitute Agüero broke the ice with a spectacular first time volley midway through the second half, but Drogba scored twice in the last ten minutes to turn the scoreline around. Agüero equalised in injury time with a well-struck free kick, but with Porto winning in Cyprus, Atlético can now only aspire to third spot and a place in the Europa League. (03.11.09)