Champions League Results: Analysis for Celtic vs. Shakhtyor Karaganda and More
It was another thrilling night in the UEFA Champions League qualifiers, but if you missed the action, fear not. We've got it all covered for you right here.
Celtic were chasing a two-goal deficit at home, Lyon faced the same scoreline away and an impressive PSV Eindhoven side made their way to the San Siro in search of an upset.
Read on for a full analysis of tonight's action.
Zenit St. Petersburg 4-2 Pacos Ferreira (8-3 Aggregate)
Pacos Ferreira's dreams of making the UEFA Champions League proper were crushed on Wednesday evening and with them, the football romantic's wish for the underdog to make a splash.
Os Castores travelled to Russia sitting on a three-goal deficit. Danny's opener midway through the first half killed any hopes of a remarkable comeback.
The Portuguese winger added his second just after the break by lobbing the 'keeper, then Aleksandr Bukharov made it three with a diving header.
Pacos restored some pride for the visitors late on, with Manuel Jose and Carlao netting either side of an Andrey Arshavin penalty.
Milan 3-0 PSV Eindhoven (4-1 Aggregate)
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PSV's young side acquitted themselves extremely well in the first leg, but glaring mistakes undermined the great performance on show.
That propensity reared its ugly head once again as, despite a strong start, Kevin Prince Boateng was left in acres of space to fire home and give Milan the lead from distance.
Mario Balotelli made it two after half-time and took his personal tally to 13 goals in 16 games for the club in the process. Boateng rounded off the victory in the final stages, sending PSV to the Europa League and the Rossoneri into pot two for the draw.
Real Sociedad 2-0 Lyon (Aggregate 4-0)
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Real Sociedad secured their passage into the UEFA Champions League proper thanks to a 4-0 aggregate victory over Lyon. It was 2-0 on the night, but la Real could have scored three or four more had their forwards not been in a profligate mood.
Antoine Griezmann had the best of the wasted chances, going through on goal. But his attempt to chip the 'keeper went horribly wrong.
Carlos Vela eventually nodded home from an inswinging corner to settle any lingering doubts. He then doubled the lead in the closing minutes with a sublime run and chip to round it off.
Maribor 0-1 Viktoria Plzen (Aggregate 1-4)
Viktoria Plzen rescued a 3-1 victory at home to Maribor last week after an initial scare and secured the perfect start in Slovenia on Wednesday night.
Stanislav Tecl fired home after just three minutes to put the away side in complete control. They rode the tie out to enter the group stages proper on the back of a 4-1 aggregate win.
Viktorka have been a mainstay in the groups for several seasons now and punch well above their weight on occasion. They've shown a propensity to run the likes of Milan too close for comfort. They'll be a contender in every match.
Celtic 3-0 Shakhtyor Karaganda (Aggregate 3-2)
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Celtic served up an absolute treat as they chased down a 2-0 aggregate deficit to Shakhtyor Karaganda.
With the slip-up in Kazakhstan fresh in mind, Celtic Park was rocking as it cheered on the Bhoys to an almighty turnaround. The home side applied constant pressure. On the stroke of half-time, they had a breakthrough courtesy of a wonder strike from Kris Commons.
Shortly after half-time, Georgios Samaras made it two, collecting a deflected shot and firing home unopposed in true poacher's fashion.
Adam Matthews cleared a goal-bound effort off the line on the 60-minute mark. Then Fraser Forster misjudged a cross which looped up onto the bar; it served as a reminder that the tie was level, not tilted in the Scottish champions' favour.
It took until the 90th minute for Neil Lennon's side to find the winner, with Anthony Stokes gliding into the box and laying it on a platter for James Forrest to finish.
Confirmed Pots for the Group Stage Draw
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Here are the pots each team has landed in for the UEFA Champions League Group Stage draw.
|Pot 1||Pot 2||Pot 3||Pot 4|
|Bayern Munich||Atletico Madrid||Zenit St. Petersburg||Copenhagen|
|Barcelona||Shakhtar Donetsk||Manchester City||Napoli|
|Real Madrid||Schalke||Borussia Dortmund||Celtic|
|Manchester United||Marseille||Basel||Steaua Bucuresti|
|Arsenal||CSKA Moscow||Olympiacos||Viktoria Plzen|
|Porto||Paris Saint-Germain||Galatasaray||Real Sociedad|
|Benfica||Juventus||Bayer Leverkusen||Austrian Wien|
As stronger teams enter the UCL proper, the pots mean less and less. A potential "group of death" is Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City and Napoli.