Juventus dispatch Celtic

Juventus dispatch Celtic

Italian side enters quarters on 5-0 aggregate win; PSG progress

Juventus dispatch Celtic

Juventus clinically dispatched Celtic 2-0 to complete an emphatic 5-0 aggregate win over the Scottish champions and reach the Champions League quarterfinals for the first time in seven years on Wednesday.

The twice European champions, who won their fifth straight match in the competition without conceding a goal, allowed Celtic plenty of possession but defended immaculately and looked dangerous every time they broke forward.

Despite resting several regulars, the Serie A leaders and champions completed the aggregate win with goals in each half from Alessandro Matri and Fabio Quagliarella, suggesting they are back as a force in European football after several years in the wilderness. With Andrea Pirlo and Paul Pogba adding a touch of artistry in midfield and the compact, ultra-modern Juventus stadium providing an intimidating backdrop, they will be a team to avoid in the last eight. "The difference is the quality in the final third of the field," conceded Celtic coach Neil Lennon. "We had good chances again tonight and we didn't take them.

Juventus last reached the last 16 in the 2005/06 season, shortly before the Calciopoli match-fixing scandal blew up. The club was stripped of their 2005 and 2006 Serie A titles, demoted to Serie B and spent the following few years rebuilding. "We're all very happy to be back in the elite of European football," said Conte, who spent most of his playing career with the club. "We hope to continue in the right way."

Conte, who has been rotating his strikers all season, this time began with Matri and Quagliarella in attack while regulars Giorgio Chiellini, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Claudio Marchisio were all rested. Celtic were far from outplayed in the first half, enjoying long periods of possession and giving Gianluigi Buffon several scares in the Juventus goal.

The hosts preferred to sit back and play on the counter, but looked like scoring every time they broke forward.

Their first goal came from one such move when Andrea Barzagli won the ball in midfield and released Quagliarella. Although his shot was saved by Fraser Forster, Matri was on hand to roll the ball into the net. Arturo Vidal wasted two chances to increase Juve's lead before the break, sending an over-ambitious chip too high following a flowing move then shooting weakly at Forster after a run down the middle..
Forster made a superb save to deny Matri at the start of the first half but was powerless in the 64th minute when Pirlo chipped the ball over the Celtic defence to Vidal, who rolled the ball for Quagliarella to score into an empty net.

PSG in quarters

Paris St Germain reached the quarterfinals of the Champions League for the first time in 18 years on Wednesday after Argentine striker Ezequiel Lavezzi salvaged a 1-1 home draw with Valencia to secure a 3-2 aggregate success.

The Qatari-backed club were far from convincing in the last-16 second-leg and after a first half short on entertainment, Valencia made the tie interesting when Brazilian Jonas put the Spaniards ahead with a superb 25-metre strike on 55 minutes.
PSG, without suspended top-scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic who was sent off late in the first leg, equalised 11 minutes later when Lavezzi scored at the second attempt after his initial shot was parried back to him by ’keeper Vicente Guaita.
Another Valencia goal would have sent the game to extra time but PSG's defence, marshalled superbly by Thiago Silva -- back from a two-month injury layoff -- held firm.

Beckham misses out

Former England captain David Beckham, who signed a short-term deal with PSG in January, will have to wait to make his first Champions League appearance since 2010 with AC Milan after Ancelotti opted to leave the midfielder on the bench.