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Manchester City go through to Europa League knockout stage

Mario Balotelli (right) proved a handful for the Salzburg defense with two goals at snowy Eastlands.
Mario Balotelli (right) proved a handful for the Salzburg defense with two goals at snowy Eastlands.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Mario Balotelli scores twice in Manchester City's 3-0 Europa League win over Salzburg
  • Victory at Eastlands puts City into last 32 knockout stage
  • Juventus go out after a 1-1 draw at Lech Poznan in Poland
  • Birmingham and Ipswich reach semifinals of English League Cup
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(CNN) -- Big-spending Manchester City clinched qualification to the knock out stages of the Europa League with a 3-0 home win over Salzburg with Mario Balotelli scoring twice.

The victory clinched their passage with one game to play, going through with Polish side Lech Poznan, who were held 1-1 at home by Juventus, the draw enough to put them through at the expense of the Italian giants.

Former Inter Milan striker Balotelli scored either side of half-time with Adam Johnson also finding the target late on against the Austrian champions.

In the 18th minute Balotelli swept home a fine volley from inside the area following a cross from Pablo Zabaleta.

City created a string of further chances before Balotelli scored his second goal from close range following a ball from Patrick Vieira after Johnson had won possession.

He almost completed his hat-trick soon afterwards but City made it 3-0 following a fine individual effort from Johnson as he beat three players before scoring with a low shot.

In other Europa League action Wednesday, Bayer Leverkusen are also through to the knockout rounds after Sidney Sam's 35th-minute goal earned them a 1-0 win away to Rosenborg of Norway.

Aris Salonika joined holders Atletico Madrid on seven points in the same group with a shock 3-2 win at the Estadio Vicente Calderon.

Sergio Koke put the home side ahead early but two goals in five minutes from Diego Forlan and Sergio Aguero gave Atletico a 2-1 lead

But Koke's 51st-minute penalty drew the teams level on 51 minutes and Nikos Lazaridis grabbed the winner with nine minutes to go.

In the English League Cup, Birmingham won the second city derby against Aston Villa 2-1 to reach the semifinals.

Sebastian Larsson put the home side ahead from the penalty spot after Richard Dunne fouled Lee Bowyer before Gabriel Agbonlahor leveled for Villa.

Serbian international Nikola Zigic's late goal then sealed it for the Blues.

Second flight Ipswich took some of the pressure off manager Roy Keane with a 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion in the other quarterfinal played Wednesday.