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Celtic shock Man United; Arsenal win
November 22, 2006 04:00 IST
Celtic and AC Milan took their places in the last 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday despite vastly contrasting fortunes.
Celtic celebrated one of the best nights in their long history of European competition by beating English rivals Manchester United 1-0 in Glasgow to ensure first or second place in Group F and a berth in the knockout stage for the first time.
Shunsuke Nakamura scored the only goal of the game from a free-kick eight minutes from time, while Celtic keeper Artur Boruc joined him on the hero's rostrum by saving Louis Saha's weakly-taken 90th minute penalty.
Champions League round-up
Manchester United would have advanced with a win or draw at Celtic, but they now have to avoid defeat at home to Benfica in their last match on December 6 to ensure they do.
Celtic top the group with nine points, followed by United (9), Benfica (7) and FC Copenhagen (4).
Benfica beat Copenhagen 3-1 in the other game in the group.
AC Milan lost 1-0 at AEK Athens, who have now won their last two matches after establishing an unenviable record of 21 games without a victory in the competition.
Julio Cesar scored the only goal from a free-kick after 32 minutes but despite the defeat Milan cannot finish out of the top two places in Group H.
The Italians go into the last 16 along with Celtic and previously qualified Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Olympique Lyon, Real Madrid, PSV Eindhoven and Valencia.
Milan have 10 points followed by AEK (7), Lille (6) and Anderlecht (3).
CSKA Moscow and Lille could also have clinched their places in the last 16 but results went against them and prevented them from doing so.
In Group G, CSKA lost 2-0 at home to Porto.
That setback, together with Arsenal's 3-1 win over Hamburg SV in the same group meant CSKA slipped from first to third in the standings behind Arsenal and Porto.
Arsenal have 10 points, Porto are also on 10, CSKA have eight and Hamburg none.
Defender Emmanuel Eboue spared Arsenal's blushes by firing a late goal in a tense match.
Hamburg, beaten in their four previous games and certain to finish bottom, took a shock fourth minute lead when Dutch playmaker Rafael van der Vaart curled in a superb shot from distance.
Arsenal's Dutch forward Robin Van Persie equalised in the 52nd minute but last season's beaten finalists were still in trouble until Ivorian right back Eboue rifled an angled shot beneath keeper Stefan Waechter in the 84th minute.
Brazilian substitute Julio Baptista headed the third in the 89th minute, though the celebrations were marred by a yellow card for talismanic striker Thierry Henry which rules him out of their final game in Porto on Dec 6.
Lille could have advanced with Milan from Group H but after being held to a 2-2 draw at home by Anderlecht they now face an uphill task to do so with their last match at Milan.
In Group E, Steaua Bucharest's 1-1 draw with Dynamo Kiev means the Romanian side qualify for a UEFA Cup place while Dynamo are eliminated fro Europe.
Real Madrid's 2-2 home draw with Olympique Lyon in the same group ensures the French champions finish top although both teams knew they had already qualified after the last round.
Lyon have 13 points, Real 10, Steaua four and Dynamo one.
Matchday Five continues on Wednesday with games in Groups A-D.
UEFA Champions League 2006-07: The Complete Coverage