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United in as Celtic shocks Barcelona

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Friday, November 09, 2012

PARIS - Manchester United became the third club to reach the Champions League knockout stages after coming from behind to beat Braga 3-1 and ensure they also top their group on Wednesday.

However, it was the side that beat them to being Britain's first ever winner of the European Cup, Celtic, that stole the glory as they recorded a deserved 2-1 home win over four-time champions Barcelona just a day after the hosts celebrated their 125th birthday.

Another British winner of European club football's premier competition — defending champions Chelsea — kept their hopes alive of avoiding the humiliation of becoming the first champions to go out at the group stage with a last gasp 3-2 home win over talented Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk.

However, while they top the group on goal difference from Shakhtar their fate probably hangs on their trip to Italian champions Juventus in a fortnight as their hosts are just a point behind them having demolished Nordsjaelland 4-0 in Turin.

The biggest winners of the night were last season's beaten finalists Bayern Munich who humiliated hapless French side Lille 6-1 with Peruvian striker Claudio Pizarro scoring a hat-trick in the first-half.

Bayern are battling it out on the same points as Valencia, who also enjoyed an easy night at home beating early pacesetters BATE Borisov 4-2. The Belarus side trail the top two by just three points but appear to have gone off the boil.

United were second best for most of their match with Braga but having resumed after a second-half power cut they scored three times in the last 10 minutes to give the scoreline a rather unfair look about it but still a place in the last 16.





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