Porto, Malaga into Champions League last 16

Last updated 11:00 07/11/2012
Pato Standard
Reuters
THROUGH: Alexandre Pato celebrates after scoring against Malaga, but the draw is enough for Malaga to make teh last 16.

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Porto and debutants Malaga became the first teams to reach the last 16 of the Champions League when they guaranteed their progress from the group stage with two games to spar.

Both sides's saw their 100 percent starts end, but moved on to 10 points from four games in Groups A and C to secure a knockout round place.

Group A leaders Porto have 10 points from four games, one in front of Paris St Germain and six ahead of Kiev. Dinamo Zagreb remain bottom without a point.

Having survived some early pressure, Porto started to take control of the midfield.

Jackson Martinez went close for the 1987 and 2004 champions when he forced keeper Maxym Koval into a stunning save from a header that seemed destined for the bottom corner of the net.

Goal chances were few and far between in the first half but James Rodriguez set up Porto team mate Silvestre Varela early in the second half only for the midfielder to hit the outside of the post.

Kiev carved out two good opportunities midway through the second period.

Andriy Yarmolenko broke down the right and shot weakly straight at Helton and the same player was denied again by the keeper from a header moments later.

The Ukrainians built a promising attack in the closing stages but the move had to be halted when a fan suddenly invaded the pitch and had to be taken off the field by security guards.

Kiev coach Oleg Blokhin, who turned 60 on Monday (local time), is still recovering after undergoing surgery a month ago and watched the game from the stands.

MALAGA THROUGH DESPITE DRAW

In group C injury-plagued striker Alexandre Pato headed a second-half equaliser during another shoddy performance by AC Milan to rescue a point in a 1-1 draw at home to Malaga in the Champions League.

His goal in an otherwise subdued performance by the Brazilian, who was starting a Champions League game for the first time this season, came in the 73rd minute and was the first Malaga have conceded in Group C.

The Spanish side had gone ahead five minutes before halftime with a superbly worked goal converted by Eliseu and the half-empty San Siro had become increasingly restless until Pato scored.

Malaga stayed top of Group C with 10 points from four games while Milan have five.

Milan briefly came to life midway through the first half with Bojan Krkic at the centre of the action.

He skipped past two defenders and saw his shot swung away by Willy Gonzalez, then set up a chance for Stephan El Shaaraway whose goal-bound shot was deflected by a defender.

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Gonzalez then produced an outstanding save as he dived backwards to turn Urby Emanuelson's curling free-kick past the far post.

Milan were otherwise sloppy and Malaga's goal came after they lost possession from a throw.

The ball ended up with Isco who threaded his pass between three defenders for Eliseu to slide into the far corner.

There were few chances for either side in a scrappy second half and the 30,000 crowd showed their displeasure when El Shaaraway, the top scorer in Serie A with eight goals, was replaced by Kevin-Prince Boateng.,

However, the mood changed when a long cross from the left found Pato and he headed home.

IBRAHIMOVIC IN THE MOOD AS PSG DESTROY ZAGREB

Zlatan Ibrahimovic set up all four goals as Paris St Germain thrashed Dinamo Zagreb 4-0 in group A to knock the Croatians out of the Champions League.

The Sweden striker, playing in a deeper position than usual, laid on goals for Alex, Blaise Matuidi, Jeremy Menez and Guillaume Hoarau as second-placed PSG took their points haul to nine from four matches in Group A, one behind leaders Porto.

PSG were below their best in a dull first half but they turned on the style in the second period to outclass their opponents.

Dinamo are bottom of the table with zero points, four behind Dynamo Kiev who drew 0-0 with Porto.

Argentine forward Ezequiel Lavezzi, who had been out for a month with a groin injury, started the game and produced some eye-catching early tricks for PSG.

Dinamo went close when Josip Pivaric's low cross-shot whizzed just wide.

The home side took the lead with their first real chance as defender Alex volleyed in a low centre from Ibrahimovic in the 16th minute.

Thiago Silva almost made it 2-0 in the 40th minute when the Brazil defender's point-blank header was saved by keeper Ivan Kelava.

Seventeen-year-old midfielder Adrien Rabiot, a product of the youth academy, shone for PSG in the first half.

Rabiot's fellow midfielder Mohamed Sissoko was replaced at halftime by Marco Verratti after the former Liverpool player had picked up an injury.

Ibrahimovic delighted the crowd early in the second half when he produced a kung fu-style volley that went just wide.

The Swede then provided a perfect 61st-minute pass for Matuidi to poke the ball home.

Four minutes later the towering Ibrahimovic found Menez in the box and the France winger toyed with a couple of defenders before slotting the ball past Kelava.

Ibrahimovic seemed set to score himself from one attack but slipped after bursting into the box.

He recovered his composure, though, and slipped the ball into the path of second-half substitute Hoarau who scored the fourth goal from close range with 10 minutes left.

MASKED STRIKER KEEPS ANDERLECHT ALIVE

Masked striker Dieumerci Mbokani returned from a broken nose injury to score for Anderlecht and give the Belgian champion a 1-0 victory over Zenit St. Petersburg in the Champions League.

The victory kept Anderlecht in contention to advance from Group C as it jumped over Zenit from last into third place.

Anderlecht got the breakthrough in the 17th minute when lone forward Mbokani set up a one-two with US midfielder Sacha Kljestan in the penalty area and deftly lifted the ball over outstretched goalie Viatsjeslav Malafeev.

Zenit, who beat Anderlecht at home in their last Champions League match, never looked like a challenger and sorely missed Brazilian striker Hulk, who is out injured.

It was the first Champions League victory in almost seven years for Belgium's most famous club.

"With four points, we have all options open" said Anderlecht defender Guillaume Gillet. "Now Milan comes and we can give it our best"

Victory confirmed Anderlecht's return to form. After two lopsided wins, Anderlecht is leading the Belgian league, even though it had not been able to show that form in the Champions League.

Needing a victory to stay alive with a realistic shot of advancing, coach John van den Brom took a big risk in sidelining striker Tom De Sutter, who scored five goals in the past two games.

Instead Van den Brom fielded Mbokani, who still needed to play with a face mask after breaking his nose last month. With his solitary strike, it paid off.

- AP

- Reuters

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