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UEFA Champions League Wrap

Zenit Petersburg, Celtic, Plzen, Real Sociedad and AC Milan all saw themselves into the group stages proper of the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday night.

It was an entertaining night in the final second leg qualification matches for the most prestigious club tournament in the world as we saw 15 goals scored across five games.

 

Zenit Petersburg 4-2 Pacos Ferreira (Zenit win 8-3 on aggregate)

The team from Russia virtually had the tie wrapped up after winning the first leg away from home 4-1.

Still, despite the writing being on the wall, Zenit put up a good performance and took a three goal lead courtesy of a brace from Danny and a single strike from Aleksandr Bukharov.

The Portuguese side did try to restore some pride and managed to find a goal of their own through Manuel José in the 67th minute.

But Zenit were quick to restore their three goal lead as Andrey Arshavin found their fourth goal from the penalty spot.

Pacos Ferreira did have the last say with Carlao finding the back of the net with seven minutes to play, but it didn’t say much as they lost 8-3 on aggregate over the two qualifying legs.

 

Celtic 3-0 Shakhtar Karagandy (Celtic win 3-2 on aggregate)

Over in Scotland Celtic knew they had a mountain to climb if they were going to overturn their two goal deficit from the first leg, and in true Scottish grit they fought to the bitter end.

It took a goal from James Forrest in the 92nd minute to send them into the Champions League group stages.

Celtic dominated the proceedings from the outset, but it looked at one point as though it would not be their night after they missed chance after chance in front of goal.

Finally, in the first minute of added time in the opening stanza Kris Commons found the back of the net, and then three minutes after the restart Georgios Samaras scored their second.

Celtic continued to push forward after that as Shakhtar Karagandy sat back in defence.

Finally, the Scots made their pressure tell with virtually the last kick of the game, Forrest’s 92nd minute goal seeing them qualify.

 

Maribor 0-1 Plzen (Plzen win 4-1 on aggregate)

It was a rather timid affair in Slovenia as Maribor had to overturn a 3-1 deficit from the first leg, but it was not to be as Stanislav Tecl scored in the third minute of the match to put the tie to bed.

Maribor tried to fight their way back into the match, but they lacked creativity in attack and Plzen seemed content to just sit back and protect their three goal aggregate lead.

 

Real Sociedad 2-0 Lyon (Sociedad win 4-0 on aggregate)

The team from Spain never really looked in any trouble as they cruised to a comfortable 2-0 win over Lyon thanks to a brace from Carlos Vela.

It was a poor display from the French side who never really troubled Sociedad’s defence in both the first or second leg.

 

AC Milan 3-0 PSV Eindhoven (Milan win 4-1 on aggregate)

A brace from Kevin-Prince Boateng saw AC Milan cruise to a 3-0 win over PSV in front of their home crowd and consequently a 4-1 aggregate win to see them into the group stages of the Champions League.

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