LONDON - A burst of three goals in 14 second-half minutes powered Bayern Munich into the last 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday. Holders Manchester United also went through after a 0-0 draw at Villarreal as all eight qualifiers from Groups E to H were decided with a round to spare. Bayern were the most emphatic winners as Miroslav Klose scored twice and set up a third for Luca Toni in their 3-0 home win over Group F rivals Steaua Bucharest. "We're delighted. We're through to the last 16 with a game to spare and the way we did it was fantastic," said Bayern coach Juergen Klinsmann. "We've felt for the last six or eight weeks that we're really gaining momentum." Elsewhere in Group F, Olympique Lyon took their usual place in the knockout stage with a 2-1 triumph at Fiorentina thanks to goals by Jean Makoun and Karim Benzema. The top two each have 11 points from five matches and meet in France next month to decide who wins the group. Real Madrid, Arsenal and Porto also progressed with wins to join Juventus, who were already through. Barcelona and Sporting had secured their progress from Group C in the previous round of fixtures, leaving six other slots up for grabs, some of which could be filled on Wednesday. FREEZING CONDITIONS Nine-times European champions Real advanced with a 1-0 win at BATE Borisov in freezing conditions in Belarus, the only goal coming from Raul after seven minutes. The victory made sure Real got back on track after home and away defeats by Group H leaders Juventus, who drew 0-0 at Zenit St Petersburg on Tuesday. It was also goalless between Villarreal and Manchester United, as it was in their three previous meetings in the competition. The draw was also enough to take the Spaniards through from Group E. Celtic's miserable away form in Europe continued when, despite scoring their first Champions League away goal for two years, a late own goal gave AaB Aalborg a 2-1 victory in Denmark. There was also late drama at Arsenal as the home team needed an 87th-minute strike by substitute Nicklas Bendtner to beat Dynamo Kiev 1-0 in Group G. The Ukrainians had midfielder Olexandr Aliyev sent off at the end for pushing referee Alain Hamer. Arsenal, who recalled William Gallas after the France defender had been dropped from the side and stripped of the captaincy for criticising his team mates, top the group on 11 points. "Gallas was great tonight, his focus was great," said manager Arsene Wenger. "The crowd know he was a committed Arsenal captain. "This was the first step for us tonight, it was what the team needed, we needed reassurance." Porto are second in the group on nine points after two goals from Lisandro earned a 2-1 win at Fenerbahce. Arsenal visit Porto in their final game.
25 November 2008
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