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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Steely Inter Eliminates Strasbourg 3-0




LONDON -- Italian league leaders Inter Milan, one of the most successful clubs in the UEFA Cup during the 1990s, needed to show composure as well as class to reach the quarterfinals of the competition.


Inter, which was beaten in last season's final by Germany's Schalke 04, went into the second leg of its third-round clash Tuesday in the San Siro stadium against Strasbourg 2-0 behind.


Even after Brazilian Ronaldo failed to convert an early penalty, the Italians kept their nerve to win 3-0 on the night and 3-2 on aggregate with goals from Ronaldo, Javier Zanetti and Diego Simeone.


They joined holders Schalke 04, fellow Italians Lazio, Atletico Madrid, Spartak Moscow, Auxerre and Aston Villa in the last eight.


Ajax looks favorite to take the final quarterfinal place when it takes on Bochum in Germany on Thursday with a 4-2 lead from the first leg.


Strasbourg had beaten seasoned European campaigner Liverpool in the last round. But the French team has been struggling in domestic competition and the result will make life even more difficult for coach Jacky Dugueperoux.


The Strasbourg trainer knew he faced being fired at the end of the season whatever the outcome of the game.


Aston Villa, England's only remaining team in the competition, also needed to bounce back from a 2-1 defeat in the first leg against Steaua Bucharest to go through 3-2 on aggregate after a 2-0 win in Birmingham.


Villa went through to the last eight for the first time in 20 years with second-half goals from Savo Milosevic and Ian Taylor.


After a goalless draw in their first leg against Braga in Portugal, Schalke cruised through in Gelsenkirchen with second-half goals from Martin Max and Dutchman Rene Eijkelkamp.


Braga had Jose Nuno sent off in the 39th minute after Belgian Marc Wilmots was brought down just outside the penalty area. Television replay showed the offense had been committed by another Braga defender, Sergio Abreu.


Atletico Madrid beat Croatia Zagreb 2-1 on aggregate after a crucial goal from Jose Luis Caminero just before halftime clinched a 1-0 win in the Spanish capital.


Auxerre, whose UEFA Cup campaign started with the Intertoto Cup in June, had few problems in a 2-0 victory over Twente Enschede of the Netherlands. Auxerre's Steve Marlet scored in the third minute to strengthen their 1-0 victory in the first leg. Stephane Guivarc'h got the second from a penalty eight minutes from the end.


A sweetly worked goal from Giorgio Venturin gave Lazio a 1-0 win over Austria's Rapid Vienna and a comfortable 3-0 victory on aggregate.


Venturin drove home his first goal of the season four minutes from time after Pierluigi Casiraghi had set him up with an acrobatic back-heel on the edge of the penalty area.