Skip to main content

Milan breeze into Champions League group stages

August 28, 2013 -- Updated 2135 GMT (0535 HKT)
Mario Balotelli celebrates scoring Milan's second goal against PSV in the Champions League.
Mario Balotelli celebrates scoring Milan's second goal against PSV in the Champions League.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Italian giants AC Milan move into the group stages of the Champions League
  • Milan beat PSV at the San Siro to win their playoff 4-1 on aggregate
  • Celtic overturn a 2-0 first leg deficit to defeat Shakhter Karagandy
  • Zenit St Petersburg, Real Sociedad and Viktoria Plzen also through

(CNN) -- Seven-time European champions AC Milan breezed into the group stages of the Champions League with a 4-1 aggregate victory over Dutch side PSV Eindhoven.

The continent's top club competition would have seemed inconceivable without the Italian giants but they made light work of their youthful opponents at their San Siro stadium.

Two goals from Kevin-Prince Boateng and one from Italy striker Mario Balotelli secured Milan's passage to the lucrative group stages.

After suffering defeat in their opening Serie A game at the weekend to Hellas Verona, Milan restored some pride and ensured they will be in the hat when the draw is made on Thursday.

Read: Fenerbahce's two-year European ban upheld

If Milan enjoyed a comfortable night, Scottish champions Celtic had to secure their passage the hard way after coming back from a 2-0 first leg deficit to beat Shakhter Karagandy from Kazakhstan.

Shakhter were prevented from conducting their usual pre-match ritual of sacrificing a sheep and were hit by two goals either side of halftime as Kris Commons and Georgios Samaras leveled the tie.

And just as it looked like extra time was inevitable, James Forrest finished off a cross from Anthony Stokes to send Celtic manager Neil Lennon sprinting the length of the touchline to celebrate with his players.

Elsewhere, two goals from Carlos Vela helped Real Sociedad to a 2-0 victory over French side Lyon, the Spanish side winning 4-0 on aggregate.

Zenit St Petersburg booked their place with an emphatic 8-3 aggregate victory over Portuguese side Paços de Ferreira, winning 4-2 in Russia. Miguel Danny scored twice.

Czech club Viktoria Plzen triumphed 1-0 away to NK Maribor in Slovenia thanks to Stanislav Tecl's goal as they ran out 4-1 winners on aggregate.

In England's League Cup -- the third most prestigious domestic title behind the Premier League and the FA Cup -- five top flight clubs were in action.

Everton needed extra time to beat third tier Stevenage 2-1, while Aston Villa defeated Rotherham, from the same league 3-0.

Newcastle beat Morecambe, from the fourth tier, 2-0 while Cardiff triumphed 2-0 at Accrington Stanley and Stoke beat Walsall 3-1.

Read: Willian joins Chelsea as Bale switch moves closer

The draw for the third round threw up a tantalizing tie as Manchester United were drawn at home against Liverpool.

It is the first game in which Luis Suarez would be available to play for Liverpool after serving a 10-match ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic at the end of last season.

Suarez was banned for eight games the previous season after being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
July 27, 2014 -- Updated 1229 GMT (2029 HKT)
Major League Soccer has snared another big name from England with former Chelsea star Frank Lampard committing his future to New York City FC.
The U.S. government recognizes Kosovo, as do most European states, but getting football's ruling bodies to play ball has proved harder.
June 4, 2014 -- Updated 1504 GMT (2304 HKT)
National heroes don't always belong to one country. Ask France's World Cup hero Patrick Vieira, who is rediscovering his roots.
CNN's John Sinnott on the quiet Cambridge graduate behind Liverpool's resurgent campaign.
May 30, 2014 -- Updated 1519 GMT (2319 HKT)
They are the dispossessed -- stateless, and unrecognized by football's ruling body. But these teams will still play at their own World Cup.
Louis van Gaal will be a perfect fit for Manchester United the club, business and brand, says CNN's Patrick Snell.
May 19, 2014 -- Updated 1924 GMT (0324 HKT)
There's a new force in Spanish football -- and Atletico Madrid's ascendance is sharply contrasted by the fall from power of Barcelona.
May 13, 2014 -- Updated 1206 GMT (2006 HKT)
Rubber bullets, drones and FBI-trained riot police. Welcome to Brazil's 2014 World Cup -- will protests overshadow football's showpiece event?
May 9, 2014 -- Updated 1318 GMT (2118 HKT)
The former England international, who famously kicked a banana off the pitch 27 years ago, says education is the key to tackling racism.
May 7, 2014 -- Updated 1200 GMT (2000 HKT)
Of course not. But former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed seems to think the removal of Michael Jackson's statue was a very "bad" idea.
May 7, 2014 -- Updated 1603 GMT (0003 HKT)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 01: Neymar of Barcelona celebrates his goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between FC Barcelona and Club Atletico de Madrid at Camp Nou on April 1, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
The Brazilian star's first season in Spain may have spluttered along, but the 22-year-old says he'll be firing on all cylinders at the World Cup.
April 30, 2014 -- Updated 1715 GMT (0115 HKT)
Former Soviet footballer Sergei Baltacha traveled from the land of the hammer and sickle to join The Tractor Boys and in doing so broke new ground.
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 0931 GMT (1731 HKT)
Brazil's Dani Alves arrived at Barcelona from Sevilla in 2008 and he has gone on to make over 180 appearances for the club.
Villarreal football supporter who threw a banana at Barcelona's Dani Alves during league match handed a life ban by the La Liga club.
ADVERTISEMENT