Benitez gets a lifeline | sports | Hindustan Times
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Benitez gets a lifeline

sports Updated: Nov 25, 2010 23:04 IST

Rafael Benitez should live to fight another day as holders Inter Milan secured their place in the last 16 of the Champions League on Wednesday with a nervy 1-0 home win over Dutch side FC Twente.

Inter were joined in the next round by a host of clubs, among them 2008 winners Manchester United, for whom England striker Wayne Rooney marked his return to the starting line-up for the first time since October with a late penalty in a 1-0 win at Scottish champions Rangers.

Valencia's 6-1 humbling of Turkish whipping boys Bursaspor ensures they join United from that group and consigns Rangers to the Europa League.

Champions League debutants Tottenham Hotspur's dream campaign continued as they defeated hapless German side Werder Bremen 3-0 to leave them above Inter on head-to-head results.

Barcelona's bid to regain the trophy they won in 2009 remains on track as they reached the next stage with a convincing 3-0 win away at Panathinaikos thanks to a double from Pedro Rodriguez and one from Lionel Messi.

Danish side FC Copenhagen could have joined them and become the first side from their country to reach the knockout stages but they lost 1-0 at Rubin Kazan, leaving the runners-up spot still up for grabs -- the only qualifying place not to be resolved on Wednesday.

Esteban Cambiasso lifted the tension surrounding holders Inter and coach Benitez in the 55th minute at San Siro, though his goal was a fortunate one.

A Wesley Sneijder free-kick took a double deflection and fell kindly to the unmarked Cambiasso to swivel and fire home inside the post.

Schalke’s disciplinarian coach Felix Magath has ridden a storm of criticism for a disastrous opening part of the season but he took delight in reaching the last 16 after a 3-0 win at home to Lyon who slipped to second in Group B, but their superior head-to-record with Benfica means that they are assured of a place in the next round at the Portuguese champions’ expense.

Mourinho charged by UEFA over red cards
Nyon, Switzerland: UEFA charged Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho with "unsporting conduct" on Thursday over allegations he ordered two players to get themselves sent off in a Champions League match. Their cases will be heard Nov. 30.

Mourinho appeared to send instructions from the bench before Alonso and Ramos received second yellow cards for time-wasting late in Tuesday's 4-0 win against Ajax in Amsterdam.

“I spoke with many players throughout the game, not only with Ramos and Alonso,” Mourinho said after the match. "Stories sell, but the important thing is the 4-0 win and the fantastic game we had.”