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Football | Champions League

Lionel Messi © Action Images

Benfica forced to settle for Europa

Benfica missed out on a place in the last 16 of the Champions League when they were held to a 0-0 draw by a weakened Barcelona to finish third behind Celtic in Group G on Wednesday.

Celtic won 2-1 at home to Spartak Moscow to finish with 10 points, three behind already qualified Barca. Benfica had eight.

The visitors carved a number of openings in the first half but were profligate with their shooting. They ran out of ideas and steam, although they almost grabbed a dramatic goal in time added on.

Lionel Messi came on as a second-half substitute but failed to add to his calendar year tally of 84 and ended up leaving the pitch on a stretcher after a collision with visiting keeper Artur at the end of the match.


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