Italy’s trio sweep into last 16

London, February 24:

Italian clubs AS Roma, Udinese and Palermo all made it to the last 16 of the UEFA Cup.

Roma completed a 4-2 aggregate win over FC Brugge; Udinese advanced despite losing 1-0 at French club Lens; and Palermo edged Slavia Prague 1-0 to qualify on away goals.

Roma led 2-1 from the first leg and went further ahead through Alessandro Amantino in the 55th. Veteran Belgian striker Gert Verheyen equalised five minutes later, but Cesare Bovo ensured Luciano Spalletti’s team advanced to meet Middlesbrough for a place in the last eight.

Boro made it into the fourth round on away goals after losing 1-0 at home to VfB Stuttgart. Christian Tiffert scored for Stuttgart. FC Thun and Artmedia Bratislava were both knocked out of the UEFA Cup.

Swiss club Thun lost a 1-0 first-leg advantage after Belgian captain Daniel van Buyten scored two first-half goals for Hamburg in the second leg.

Artmedia lost 2-0 at Levski Sofia. Emil Angelov scored both first-half goals for the Bulgarians to advance 3-0 overall.

FC Basel made it to the last 16 by ousting AS Monaco. The Swiss club led 1-0 from the first leg, and although Monaco striker Christian Vieri levelled the tie from the penalty spot, Daniel Majstorovic’s second-leg equaliser took Basel through 2-1 overall.

It was a mixed night for the five French clubs. Marseille rallied after Fabien Barthez’s blunder to beat Bolton 2-1. The veteran ‘keeper dropped a routine cross and Stelios Giannakopoulos scored a simple goal at the Stade Velodrome. But Franck Ribery levelled in the final minute of the first half, and Bolton’s Tal Ben Haim turned a cross from Habib Beye into his own net for Marseille’s winner.

Strasbourg and Lille had 0-0 draws to join Marseille in the last 16. Strasbourg drew with Bulgaria’s Litex Lovech to advance 2-0 overall, and Lille was all square with Ukraine’s Shakhtar Donetsk to qualify 3-2. But Lens went out despite beating Italy’s Udinese 1-0. The Serie A club had won the first leg 3-0. Denis Godeas scored the second-half winner as Italian club Palermo edged Slavia Prague 1-0 to advance on away goals after the two teams were locked at 2-2 on aggregate.

Daniel Niculae and Mugurel Buga netted second-half strikes as Rapid Bucharest beat Hertha Berlin 2-0 to complete a 3-0 overall triumph. Two of the three Spanish clubs advanced. Seville beat Lokomotiv Moscow 2-0 to triumph 3-0 overall but Real Betis needed an extra time goal by Juan Andreu Melli to oust AS Alkmaar.