Arsenal send Milan packing as United, Barca win

Updated: 2008-03-05 09:07

BELGRADE - Arsenal sent holders Milan packing from the Champions League on Tuesday as the English Premier League leaders booked a quarter-final place with a 2-0 win at the San Siro.

Arsenal's Emmanuel Adebayor (L) celebrates with team mate Theo Walcott after scoring against AC Milan in their Champions League first knockout round, second leg soccer match at the San Siro stadium in Milan March 4, 2008. Arsenal won the match 2-0. [Agencies]

Manchester United eked out a 2-1 aggregate win over French rivals Olympique Lyon, Barcelona made smooth progress at the expense of Celtic while Turkish surprise package Fenerbahce sneaked through on penalties against Sevilla.

Goals from Cesc Fabregas and Emmanuel Adebayor guided Arsenal to victory in Milan, the first by an English side against the Rossoneri at the San Siro, giving manager Arsene Wenger high hopes of lifting the trophy in May.

"We are in the quarter-finals so why shouldn't we believe we can do it? The competition is very hard but it is a cup competition so you have to take it like that," Wenger told a news conference.

"We gave the performance we wanted. We played with organisation. We never dropped off, we closed them down and never gave them time. Overall we played with authority, maturity and talent."

Milan dominated the opening stages of a titanic tussle but Arsenal quickly found their feet and always looked more likely to score before Fabregas finally broke the deadlock with a stunning strike in the 84th minute.

The midfielder took the ball in his stride and beat Zeljko Kalac in goal with a rasping low shot from 30 metres that crept into the bottom right corner before Adebayor sealed the win from close range in injury time.

The Togo striker was left with a simple tap-in at the far post to score his first Champions League goal of the season after substitute Theo Walcott delivered a perfect low cross.


English champions United were made to work hard and defend resolutely at times in a nervy 1-0 win over Olympique Lyon at Old Trafford, courtesy of Cristiano Ronaldo's 30th goal of the season in all competitions.

Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo (L) celebrates scoring with his team mates Anderson (C) and Patrice Evra against Lyon during their Champions League first knockout round, second leg soccer match at Old Trafford in Manchester, northern England, March 4, 2008. [Agencies] 

The winger pounced on a rebound from Anderson's initial effort and threaded his shot past Gregory Coupet in the 41st minute as United equalled the record held by Juventus of 10 straight Champions League home wins.

United manager Alex Ferguson was pleased with the outcome that left his side on course to repeat the elusive 1999 treble although he acknowledged his troops struggled at times.

"We should have done more with the possession we had in the second half and we made it difficult for ourselves. But defensively we did well, they didn't have any chances in the game," he told ITV.

Barcelona completed a 4-2 aggregate win over Celtic with a 1-0 second leg win at the Nou Camp after Xavi rounded off a flowing team move with a clever flick into the top corner.

In contrast, their Spanish Primera Liga rivals Sevilla made a dramatic exit after taking a 2-0 lead against Fenerbahce in the opening 10 minutes through a pair of howlers by goalkeeper Volkan Demirel.

The keeper let in long-range efforts by Daniel Alves and Seydou Keita but turned hero when he denied Julien Escude, Enzo Maresca and finally Alves in the penalty shootout.

Goals by Brazilian striker Deivid either side of Frederic Kanoute's effort had made it 3-2 to Sevilla at the end of regular and extra time to tie the score 5-5 on aggregate and force a thrilling climax.


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