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Struggling Barcelona held to draw in Russia

Lionel Messi (right) was well watched by the Rubin Kazan defence as Barcelona were held 0-0 in Russia.
Lionel Messi (right) was well watched by the Rubin Kazan defence as Barcelona were held 0-0 in Russia.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Holders Barcelona held to a 0-0 Champions League draw at Rubin Kazan
  • The result means Barca have taken just a point from Russian opponents
  • Inter Milan top Group F after a late double gives them 2-1 triumph in Kiev
  • Sevilla qualify from Group G despite being held to a 1-1 draw by Stuttgart

(CNN) -- Champions League holders Barcelona are struggling to reach the last 16 of this year's competition after being held to a 0-0 draw at Rubin Kazan on Wednesday.

Russian champions Kazan put up a stunning defensive display on a freezing cold evening to remain level on points with the Catalan giants in Group F.

Both teams have five points, but the result means Kazan have a better head-to- head record following their surprise 2-1 victory at the Nou Camp.

Both teams are a point behind new group leaders Inter Milan, who scored two late goals to come from behind to win 2-1 at Dynamo Kiev, who are bottom of the tightest of the groups with four points.

Barcelona could have taken an early lead when Zlatan Ibrahimovic hit the post after a fine ball from Andrea Iniesta.

Xavi then went close with a cheeky chip in the 20th minute and a minute later Lionel Messi forced his way into the box after seizing on a knockdown from Ibrahimovic, but goalkeeper Sergei Ryzhikov smothered well.

In a bid to break the deadlock Kazan sent on star striker Aleksander Bukharov, who missed their first meeting because of a hand injury, in the 62nd minute.

Bukharov showed his class from the moment he came on, but he was twice denied by keeper Victor Valdes -- and three minutes from time Bukharov rose magnificently at the near post only to see his header flash over the bar.

Meanwhile, in Ukraine, Jose Mourinho's Inter scored two goals in the final four minutes to re-ignite their Champions League campaign.

Andrei Shevchenko opened the scoring for the home side with a superb strike, controlling the ball on his chest before sending a looping volley over the reach of goalkeeper Julio Cesar.

But, with time running out, Wesley Sneijder picked out Diego Milito, whose scuffed shot had enough power to dribble over the line.

And, in the final minute, Inter snatched the win when Milito turned the ball from an impossible angle against goalkeeper Stanislav Bogush's knees and Sneijder followed in to break Kiev's hearts.

Elsewhere, Barcelona's compatriots Sevilla have joined the growing list of clubs to have booked their spot in the last 16 after holding on for a 1-1 draw at home to battling Stuttgart.

Winger Jesus Navas, captaining the side in the absence of a number of senior players, put Sevilla ahead in the 14th minute.

Ndri Romaric played a ball into Luis Fabiano near the edge of the area, and the Brazilian laid a first-time pass into the path of Navas, who coolly slotted his shot past goalkeeper Jens Lehmann to add to his goal in the first meeting a fortnight ago.

But the visitors staged a second-half fightback and deservedly claimed a point thanks to Zdravko Kuzmanovic's deflected 25-yard strike 12 minutes from time.

The result ends Sevilla's 100 per cent record but, thanks to the 1-1 draw in the match between Unirea Urziceni and Rangers, they are guaranteed a place in the knockout stages.

Romanian minnows Urziceni are second in the group after coming from behind to claim a late draw against Scottish champions Rangers, who can still qualify for the last 16 despite propping up the table with just two points.

Lee McCulloch gave the Glasgow club the lead 11 minutes from time with a superb long-range strike.

But the home side hit back to claim a point when substitute Marius Onofras fired into the top corner to leave them in pole position to claim an unlikely place in the knockout stages.