Arsenal in historic 2-0 win at Milan for CL quarters berth

March 5th, 2008 - 12:03 pm ICT by admin  

Hamburg, March 5 (DPA) Arsenal made football history for England with a late 2-0 victory against title holders AC Milan to reach the European Champions League quarter-finals. Cesc Fabregas struck from long range in the 84th minute after being denied by the crossbar in the first half. Emmanuel Adebayor wrapped up matters in stoppage time to see the English league leaders through 2-0 Tuesday night after a 0-0 draw in the first meeting two weeks ago.

Arsenal became the first English team in the 12th attempt to beat the seven-time champions Milan at the San Siro stadium.

Milan followed a negative trend for the titleholders as they are the fourth team in a row to go out in the round of 16 the year after lifting the trophy, following Barcelona (2007), Liverpool (2006) and Porto (2005).

There was more joy for England as Manchester United also advanced on the night, along with another ex-champion, Barcelona, and Turkey’s Fnerbahce.

United won 1-0 at Old Trafford from Cristiano Ronaldo and 2-1 overall against French champions Olympique Lyon. Barca’s 1-0 on the night from Xavi over Glasgow Celtic saw the Catalans through 4-2.

Fenerbahce beat two-time reigning UEFA Cup champions Sevilla 3-2 on penalties after a 5-5 aggregate deadlock in Spain: Sevilla led 3-2 after 120 minutes of play to cancel out a 3-2 first-leg loss.

Three other return legs are set for Wednesday: Porto vs. Schalke 04 (0-1 first leg), Real Madrid vs. Roma (1-2) and Chelsea vs. Olympiakos Piraeus (0-0). Inter Milan vs. Liverpool (0-2) is on March 11.

Inter’s match was delayed for a week because AC play in the same San Siro stadium, but that happen again in the next round if they advance as Milan crashed out.

Alexander Pato had an early chance for Milan but Arsenal were soon in command, with youngster Abu Diaby aiming wide right in the 13th.

Alexander Hleb was booked for allegedly diving in the 33rd, with television relays indicating that he was fouled on the penalty area line by Italy defender Alessandro Nesta.

One minute later Fabregas fired against the crossbar from 20 metres out and in the in the 47th but Philippe Senderos aimed right at reserve goal-keeper Zejlko Kalac from point blank range.

But Arsene Wenger’s men finally got on track for a deserved victory from Fabregas’ long-range blast with six minutes left. Abebayor did better in stoppage time than in the first meeting where he hit the bar, scoring from short range off Theo Walcott’s cross.

Arsenal’s main English title rivals United also advanced.

Cristiano Ronaldo settled the affair in the 41st minute with a left-footer after a goalmouth scramble, his sixth goal in the Champions League and his 30th overall this season for United.

But the fans held their breath when Lyon substitute Kader Keita was denied by the post in the 72nd.

Barcelona made no mistakes en route to the quarters, ending all hopes of Celtic for a major upset early on as Xavi flicked home a cross from Sylvinho to complete a fine Barcelona passing move.

There were also tears at the Nou Camp when Lionel Messi injured himself without an opponent involved. The Argentina star had to be consoled by team-mates as he limped off the pitch in the 37th minute, with first reports saying he tore a thigh muscle.

In Sevilla, goalkeeper Volkan Demirel turned from villain to hero as Fenerbahce stopped Sevilla’s bid for a third European trophy.

Demirel blundered badly against Daniel Alves’ freekick and Seydon Keita’s 25m blast that gave the hosts a 2-0 lead after just nine minutes.

But in the shoot-out he then saved from Julien Escude, Vicenzo Maresca and Alvez to see his side through as Sevilla goal-keeper Andres Palop could only save from Edu.

Earlier, Deivid scored for the Istanbul club in the 21st and then forced extra time in the 79th. Frederick Kanoute had given Sevilla a temporary 3-1 lead.

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