Man U, Arsenal advance in Champions League

Updated: 09 November 2007 18:21 IST

Manchester United and Arsenal became the first teams to reach the second round of the Champions League on Wednesday


Manchester United and Arsenal became the first teams to reach the second round of the Champions League on Wednesday, and Inter Milan overturned a two goal deficit to beat CSKA Moscow 4-2.

United overpowered Dynamo Kiev 4-0 at Old Trafford and then discovered it had advanced because AS Roma had scored a late equalizer in a 2-2 draw with Sporting Lisbon in another Group F game.

Before 75,000 fans, center back Gerard Pique headed in his first goal for United in the 31st minute, and Carlos Tevez added a second six minutes later.

Wayne Rooney then made it seven goals in eight games in the 76th and Cristiano Ronaldo added the fourth in the 87th as United scored four against Dynamo for the second game in a row.

"It was a perfect result and gets us into the next stage so we must be very pleased with that," United manager Alex Ferguson said.

Dynamo "adopted a man-marking system and made it very difficult. It was something new for the young players. We got a break with the first goal and it opened up the game up for us."

Sporting looked set to stay alive until David Pizarro's long shot was knocked in by the head of Anderson Polga for an own-goal in the 89th minute.

The 2-2 draw means that Man United has 12 points, Roma has seven and Sporting has four with only two games remaining.

Needing only a point to advance, 2006 runner-up Arsenal gained a 0-0 draw at Slavia Prague, the team it demolished 7-0 two weeks ago.

The result means that the Gunners, who are even with Manchester United in the Premier League title race, are guaranteed a spot in the last 16 although they can be caught for the top spot by Sevilla, which beat Steaua Bucharest 2-0 off two goals by Renato.

Arsenal has 10 points from four games, while Sevilla has nine and Slavia has four.

"The result is quite positive because we qualified," said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who rested six of his regular starters. "The defensive performance was good, the offensive performance was average."

FC Barcelona stayed at the top of Group E by beating Rangers 2-0 with goals by Thierry Henry and Lionel Messi, although the first goal appeared to go in off the France striker's elbow.

Henry slid the ball home in the seventh minute from Messi's cross and the Argentina player added the second in the 43rd after swapping passes with Ronaldinho.

"You need two teams to make an attractive match," Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard said. "They (Rangers) came here only to defend. We did our job. Congratulations to the players. We took a step forward."

The result gives Barcelona a three-point lead over Rangers with French champion Lyon still in contention after beating Stuttgart 4-2, with Hatem Ben Arfa scoring twice.

Lyon, which hosts Barcelona in the next round of games Nov. 27, is a point behind Rangers.

"We'll try to play very well against Barcelona," Juninho said. "We'll have to take points so that we can play the last game (against Rangers) for the qualification."

A major surprise appeared likely when CSKA went up 2-0 at the San Siro off strikes by Jo and Wagner Love in the first 30 minutes.

But Italian champion Inter hit back with two goals each from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Esteban Cambiasso to improve to nine points, one more than Fenerbahce, which beat PSV Eindhoven 2-0.

"It was a difficult match," Inter coach Roberto Mancini said. "Our start was uncertain. Then, their goals woke us up. We needed something strong. In the end it was an entertaining match."

Liverpool's record 8-0 crushing of Besiktas was the highlight of Tuesday's action as last season's runner-up revived its chances of reaching the knockout stage with its first Group A victory after two losses and a draw.

Defending champion AC Milan moved closer to the last 16 with a 3-0 victory at Shakhtar Donetsk.

Topics : Football Wayne Rooney Chelsea Arsenal Alex Ferguson Manchester United
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