Liverpool capped a strong comeback with a 4-0 victory over Olympique Marseille on Tuesday night and advanced to the second round of the European Champions League along with Real Madrid, Porto, Schalke and Olympiakos.
Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres, Dirk Kuyt and Ryan Babel scored in Liverpool's victory at Marseille.
Liverpool, the 2005 champion, opened with two losses and a tie but then rebounded with three straight victories by a combined 16-1 score. Porto (3-1-2), which won 2-0 at Besiktas, won Group A with 11 points, one ahead of Liverpool (3-2-1). Because it lost to Marseille 1-0 at home in October, Liverpool needed a victory to advance.
Marseille (2-3-1) finished third and will move on to the UEFA Cup, Europe's No. 2 club tournament.
Real Madrid (3-1-2) won 3-1 over visiting Lazio (1-3-2) on first-half goals by Julio Baptista, Raul Gonzalez and Robinho to finish first in Group C. Olympiakos (3-1-2) claimed the other spot from Group C, beating visiting Werder Bremen (2-4) behind Ieroklis Stoltidis, who scored two goals and set up another.
Schalke (2-2-2) earned the second berth from Group B with a 3-1 victory over Rosenborg (2-3-1) on first-half goals by Gerald Asamoah, Marcio Rafinha and Kevin Kuranyi. Chelsea (3-0-3), which had already clinched a second-round berth, played a 0-0 tie against visiting Valencia (1-3-2).
Arsenal, Barcelona, Glagow Celtic, Internazionale of Milan, Manchester United, AC Milan, AS Roma, Sevilla have also clinched advancement, leaving the last two spots to be filled Wednesday. Fenerbahce, Glasgow Rangers, Lyon and PSV Eindhoven are contending for those places.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press