Champions League: Napoli sacks coach Carlo Ancelotti hours after reaching knockout stage

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6:09 p.m. ET, December 10, 2019

That's all folks!

James Masters

What a night of drama that was.

Ajax, the team that dazzled football fans across the world on the way to the semifinal stage of last season's Champions League, was dumped out at the group stage by Valencia after a 1-0 defeat in Amsterdam.

Also out is Inter Milan, beaten at home by a second-string Barcelona which claimed a 2-1 win and lent a helping hand to Borussia Dortmund, which clinched second spot in Group F after seeing off Slavia Prague.

Oh, and Napoli sacked coach Carlo Ancelotti just hours after making it through to the last 16.

Hands up if you're through to the last 16 of the Champions League
Hands up if you're through to the last 16 of the Champions League Barbara Gindl/AFP/Getty Images

And then there was Liverpool, the defending champion, which was made to sweat by Salzburg before 100 seconds of magic transformed the tie and sent Jurgen Klopp's men through to the last 16.

Our resident Liverpool expert John Sinnott has drafted this wonderfully crafted account of what happened in Salzburg, though we're slightly disappointed he didn't include more Sound of Music puns.

We're back on Wednesday for more, you don't want to miss it.

Until then, so long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye.

5:59 p.m. ET, December 10, 2019

Breaking: Napoli sacks Ancelotti

Napoli has just announced it has fired coach Carlo Ancelotti.

In a statement, the club said: "SSC Napoli has taken the decision to part ways with first-team coach Carlo Ancelotti.

"The friendship and mutual respect between the club, President Aurelio De Laurentiis and Carlo Ancelotti remain intact."

The decision comes just hours after Ancelotti guided the club into the last 16 of Champions League following a 4-0 win over Belgian side Genk.

Napoli has impressed in Europe so far this season, finishing second in Group E after defeating European champion Liverpool and claiming a draw at Anfield in the return fixture.

But its domestic form has been a source of some consternation with 17 points separating Napoli in seventh from league leader Inter Milan.

Carlo Ancelotti's final game in charge of Napoli was Tuesday's 4-0 win over Genk.
Carlo Ancelotti's final game in charge of Napoli was Tuesday's 4-0 win over Genk. Tiziana Fabi/AFP/Getty Images

5:40 p.m. ET, December 10, 2019

How the back pages look

Here's how the UK media has reacted to Liverpool and Chelsea's success in Wednesday's newspapers.

5:37 p.m. ET, December 10, 2019

Rodrigo thrilled with Valencia "miracle"

Rodrigo's first half strike was enough to secure Valencia's place in the last 16 of the Champions League courtesy of a 1-0 win at Ajax.

It was a remarkable performance from the Spanish side which topped Group H by taking all three points in Amsterdam.

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Speaking to UEFA.com after the game, Rodrigo gave his thoughts on the night's success.

We put in such an effort against Chelsea and didn't get the job done, but this side doesn't get tired of working miracles and we've done another tonight.
"I'm delighted because this side is a big family. I don't have the words to describe my team-mates. These last three years we've created something special and we're so together. We've taken a great club back to where it has not been for a long time."
5:28 p.m. ET, December 10, 2019

No Messi, no problem

Matias Grez

One of the biggest criticisms Barcelona has faced in recent years is its over-reliance on Lionel Messi.

Of course, when your team is without one of the greatest players of all time then things will inevitably become more difficult.

But so often the team solely looks to him for a moment of magic or crumbles without his presence.

Tonight, many of the younger players stepped up to the mark -- most notably Carles Perez and match winner Ansu Fati.

Perhaps there will be life after Messi after all.

Barcelona players celebrate Carles Perez's goal against Inter.
Barcelona players celebrate Carles Perez's goal against Inter. ISABELLA BONOTTO/AFP via Getty Images

5:20 p.m. ET, December 10, 2019

Teenagers make history

Matias Grez

He was on the pitch for just 98 seconds ... but that's all the time Ansu Fati needed to make history.

At just 17 years and 40 days old, the Barcelona wonderkid became the youngest player ever to score in the Champions League, netting the late winning goal against Inter Milan.

Ansu Fati celebrates the winning goal for Barcelona.
Ansu Fati celebrates the winning goal for Barcelona. ISABELLA BONOTTO/AFP via Getty Images

Just a couple of hours earlier, Genk goalkeeper Maarten Vandevoordt made some history of his own.

Also just 17, he became the youngest goalkeeper to appear in the Champions League -- though his night didn't end as well as Fati's.

The teenage keeper conceded four goals in a heavy defeat to Napoli and conceded a penalty to compound his misery.

Maarten Vandevoordt receives a yellow card after conceding a penalty.
Maarten Vandevoordt receives a yellow card after conceding a penalty. YORICK JANSENS/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

5:14 p.m. ET, December 10, 2019

Dortmund squeezes through

It was a nervy night in Dortmund but the German side held its nerve to see off Slavia Prague and qualify for the last 16.

Goals from Jadon Sancho and Julian Brandt ensured a 2-1 win for Dortmund, which finished the contest with 10 men after Julian Weigl was sent off.

Dortmund's win combined with Inter Milan's defeat by Barcelona was enough to secure second spot in Group F.

Dortmund's players celebrate after clinching qualification for the last 16
Dortmund's players celebrate after clinching qualification for the last 16 Ina Fassbender/AFP/Getty Images

5:09 p.m. ET, December 10, 2019

Fancy a stat?

5:06 p.m. ET, December 10, 2019

Here's how we're looking for the last 16

There are just two spots left in the round of 16 after tonight's games.

In Group C, one of Shakhtar Donetsk, Dinamo Zagreb or Atalanta will join Manchester City in the knockout stage.

In Group D, either Atletico Madrid or Bayer Leverkusen will progress alongside group winner Juventus.

Here's a list of the teams already guaranteed a place in the last 16.

  • Paris Saint-Germain
  • Real Madrid
  • Bayern Munich
  • Tottenham
  • Manchester City
  • Juventus
  • Liverpool
  • Napoli
  • Barcelona
  • Borussia Dortmund
  • RB Leipzig
  • Lyon
  • Valencia
  • Chelsea