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Champions League glance: Napoli, Atletico on song; Porto stumble

MARSEILLE 1-2 NAPOLI

Napoli beat Marseille 2-1 in the Champions League on Tuesday to leave the French club on the verge of elimination.

Spanish winger Jose Callejon opened the scoring in the 42nd minute with a low strike into the bottom corner. Substitute Duvan Zapata curled a shot into the top corner to double the lead in the 67th before Marseille winger Andre Ayew netted a consolation goal in the 86th.

Napoli went level on six points with Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal in Group F while Marseille slumped to a third straight loss to stay in last place. Dortmund won 2-1 at Arsenal in the other group match.

"The coach (Rafael Benitez) told us they had lost a few games lately," Napoli winger Dries Mertens said. "Therefore we had to put pressure on them, and that's what we did."

The Italian club dominated possession in the opening minutes with Mertens wreaking havoc on his left wing. The Belgium international had a curling free kick palmed away by goalkeeper Steve Mandanda by the third minute. Mertens then fired over the bar from the edge of the box in the eighth before releasing Pablo Armero, who missed the target from a tight angle in the 13th.

VIENNA 0-3 ATLETICO MADRID

Diego Costa scored twice as Atletico Madrid beat Austria Vienna 3-0 on Tuesday to maintain its winning run.

Raul Garcia gave Atletico the lead in the eighth minute after being set up by Filipe Luis. Diego Costa, who was serving a suspension during the earlier games against Zenit and Porto, doubled Atletico's lead in the 20th minute after a solo run and was left unmarked when he made it 3-0 in the 53rd.

 Champions League glance: Napoli, Atletico on song; Porto stumble

The result kept Atletico top of Group G with nine points from three games, five points clear of second-place Zenit St. Petersburg. AP

The result kept Atletico top of Group G with nine points from three games, five points clear of second-place Zenit St. Petersburg, which beat Porto 1-0.

"This is the result of great team work," Atletico coach Diego Simeone said through an interpreter. "I don't want to change this team but with the many matches we are playing, I sometimes have to."

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Simeone left striker David Villa on the bench in favor of Raul Garcia alongside Diego Costa, who was doubtful after getting a knock on his right ankle against Espanyol on Saturday.

CELTIC 2-1 AJAX

Celtic revived its Champions League campaign by beating Ajax 2-1 on Tuesday, leaving the Dutch side's qualification hopes in tatters.

Ajax midfielder Stefano Denswil had a night to forget in Glasgow, bringing down Anthony Stokes to allow James Forrest to convert a penalty in the final minute of a lackluster first half.

Denswil then deflected Beram Kayal's shot into his own net after 53 minutes to make it 2-0 and ensure Ajax stayed on just one point from three games in a Group H that also contains heavyweight teams Barcelona and AC Milan.

Celtic played the final three minutes with 10 men after substitute Nir Biton was red-carded for a studs-up tackle on Thulani Serero, and conceded a goal to Lasse Schone with seconds left.

STEAUA BUCHAREST 1-1 BASEL

A late equalizer from Leondro Tatu gave Steaua Bucharest a 1-1 draw against Basel and its first point in Group E of the Champions League on Tuesday.

Marcelo Diaz opened the scoring for the Swiss side in the 48th minute, capitalizing on an error by Steaua's Iasmin Latovlevici, who gave the ball to Marco Streller. The Basel forward passed to Diaz who unleashed a 20-meter shot past goalkeeper Ciprian Tartarusanu.

It looked to be enough for all three points until Tatu collected a pass from Andi Popa and broke through the Basel defense to beat Yann Sommer from close range in the 88th minute.

PORTO 0-1 ZENIT

Aleksandr Kerzhakov scored five minutes from fulltime to give Zenit St. Petersburg a 1-0 win over 10-man FC Porto on Tuesday and its first victory in Champions League Group G.

Kerzhakov met a cross from Hulk to net the winner which lifted the Russian club into second place in the group with four points. Porto slipped to third, one point behind Zenit.

Atletico Madrid kept its grip on the group lead with a 3-0 result at Austria Vienna maintaining its winning run.

Zenit had lost four of its previous five away games and struggled to dominate a gutsy Porto team despite its numerical advantage, and the late goal was a cruel blow for the Portuguese team which twice hit the woodwork.

Porto held level for 80 minutes after Hector Herrera was shown his second yellow card only six minutes into his tournament debut.

AP

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Updated Date: Oct 23, 2013 10:32:10 IST