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Manchester United, Arsenal in last 16

Last updated on: December 07, 2006 15:35 IST

Manchester United, Arsenal, Porto and Lille completed the line-up for the final 16 of the Champions League as the group phase of the competition ended on Wednesday.

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United ensured their passage into the knockout phase with a come-from-behind 3-1 win over Benfica that saw them qualify along with Celtic from Group F.

Benfica, who took an early lead with a blistering first half strike from Nelson, ended well beaten as Nemanja Vidic, Ryan Giggs and Louis Saha scored for United. The Portuguese side go into the UEFA Cup.

Arsenal and Porto qualified from Group G after their 0-0 draw in Portugal, but Arsenal lived dangerously as Quaresma twice hit the same post in the second half.

In the end even if Arsenal had lost they still would have qualified as CSKA Moscow, who could have gone through if Porto or Arsenal had lost, were eventually defeated themselves.

They went down 3-2 at Hamburg SV after twice leading. CSKA go into the UEFA Cup, while Hamburg salvaged some pride with their first win after five successive defeats.

Lille joined AC Milan in the last 16 after winning their Group H match 2-0 at the San Siro to reach the last 16 for the first time. It was also the first time Milan had lost at home to a French team.

Anderlecht drew 2-2 with AEK Athens in Brussels and that result, together with Lille's win in Milan, meant AEK finished third in the group and move across to the UEFA Cup.

In Group E, Dynamo Kiev were held to a 2-2 draw at home by already-qualified Real Madrid whose goals, one from the penalty spot, in the last four minutes were scored by Ronaldo.

Already confirmed as group winners, Olympique Lyon drew 1-1 with Steaua Bucharest, who move into the UEFA Cup.

FC Copenhagen ended their first Champions League campaign on a high with a 3-1 win over already-qualified Celtic in Group F.

The 16 qualifiers for the first knockout round are European champions Barcelona, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, Liverpool, PSV Eindhoven, Valencia, AS Roma, Lyon, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Celtic, Arsenal, Porto, AC Milan and Lille.

The eight UEFA Cup entrants will be Werder Bremen, Spartak Moscow, Girondins Bordeaux, Shakhtar Donetsk, Steaua Bucharest, Benfica, CSKA Moscow and AEK Athens.

The eight teams eliminated are: Levski Sofia, Sporting Lisbon, Galatasaray, Olympiakos Piraeus, Dynamo Kiev, FC Copenhagen, Hamburg SV and Anderlecht.

For the first time since the competition started in 1992-93, four teams from one country topped their groups with England's Chelsea winning Group A, Liverpool (Group C), Manchester United (Group F) and Arsenal (Group G).


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