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Man U, Arsenal, Real in last 16
LONDON, Nov 26 (Agencies):
Published on 27 Nov. 2008 12:02 AM IST
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European heavyweights Manchester United, Arsenal and Real Madrid advanced into the Champions League last 16 Tuesday as all eight berths from the first four groups were sealed with a round to spare. A goaless draw between United and Villarreal, the fourth in a row between the two clubs, was enough to lift the Group E duo into the knockout stage. In the same group, AaB Aalborg came from behind to beat Celtic 2-1 in vain. Arsenal put their recent troubles behind to progress from Group G although they rode their luck to upset Dynamo Kiev 1-0 thanks to an 87th-minute goal by Nicklas Bendtner. Porto also booked their place after a Lisandro Lopez brace gifted them a 2-1 victory at Fenerbahce. Raul scored after seven minutes as Real Madrid won 1-0 at Bate Borisov to join already-qualified Juventus, who drew 0-0 at Zenit St Petersburg. Olympique Lyon and Bayern Munich are also through in Group F. Miroslav Klose clinched a double and Luca Toni added a third to give Bayern a 3-0 home win over Steaua Bucuresti while Lyon edged Fiorentina 2-1. Barcelona and Sporting Lisbon had already qualified, leaving six slots up for grabs from the remaining groups. Cesc Fabregas marked his first game as Arsenal captain by setting up substitute Nicklas Bendtner for the only goal of the game against Dynamo. Just as the game looked to be drawing towards a goalless conclusion, Fabregas responded quickly to a drop-ball and sent a long pass to Bendtner, who controlled well and scored. Olexandr Aliyev was sent off seconds later for clashing with referee Alain Hamer as Dynamo Kiev protested that Fabregas had reacted before they were ready. William Gallas was called back by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger after being stripped of the captaincy for publicly criticizing his team-mates. But the 31-year-old almost compounded his recent problems by gifting Dynamo a goal after 37 minutes when his weak attempted back pass was pounced on by Ismael Bangoura, who shot against the post. Bangoura hit the post for Dynamo in the first half and Manuel Almunia saved from Artem Milevskiy, but Arsenal were also wastefulin front of goal in a game which was closely fought throughout. Cristiano Ronaldo came closest to a goal for United but his powerful drive from Wayne Rooney's lay-off was tipped onto the crossbar by Villarreal keeper Diego Lopez. Joan Capdevila was given a red card for a challenge on Ronaldo eight minutes from time. The controversial decision ensured a lively end to what had been a largely low-key encounter. Results Villarreal 0 Man Utd 0 Aalborg 2 Celtic 1 Bayern 3 Steaua 0 Fiorentina 1 Lyon 2 Fenerbahce 1 Porto 2 Arsenal 1 Dynamo Kiev 0 Zenit 0 Juventus 0 BATE 0 Real Madrid 1

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