Messi nets two in Barca win

ARGENTINE superstar Lionel Messi (pictured) scored twice as Barcelona beat AC Milan 3-1 to secure its place in the Champions League final 16 with two games to spare yesterday.

The defeat leaves Milan in second place in Group H, a point ahead of Ajax and two clear of Celtic after the Dutch side beat the Scottish champions 1-0 in the group's other match.

Barcelona's La Liga rival Atletico Madrid also qualified for the knockout stages after thrashing Austria Vienna 4-0 to make it four wins from four games.

Elsewhere, Aaron Ramsey's 62nd-minute header saw Arsenal beat last season's runners-up, Borussia Dortmund, 1-0 in Germany.

The result means the Gunners are level on top of Group F with Napoli who overcame Olympique Marseille 3-2.

Chelsea is on the verge of qualification - the Group E leaders beat second-placed Schalke 3-0 at home.

Cameroonian Samuel Eto'o scored twice before Demba Ba added a third.

Defending champion Bayern Munich qualified for the last 16 earlier this week. Manchester City also booked its place for the first time.