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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Champions League Round of 16 – Juventus Tear Celtic Apart as PSG Win at Valencia

Walking away - Celtic's Victor Wanyama, Frasser Foster and Efe Ambrose
Italian Serie A leaders Juventus put one leg into the Champions League quarterfinals after claiming an emphatic 3-0 win away to Celtic as the UEFA Champions league returned Tuesday night.

The Bianconeri struck as early as the third minute when Alessandro Matri pounced on an attempted header by Nigeria international Efe Ambrose to his goalkeeper to put Juventus ahead. The two teams exchanged blows for the rest of the half with Celtic forcing Gianluggi Buffon into drawing smart saves from Victor Wanyama and Chris Commons but the half ended 1-0 to the visitors.

The second half began in the same fashion as the first had ended as Neil Lennon’s side pushed for the equalizer. Ambrose, making his return from a successful Cup of Nations campaign with Nigeria, was presented with a perfect opportunity to redeem himself on the hour mark but headed straight at Buffon.

Juve, however, withstood the pressure and doubled their lead in 77th minute courtesy of Claudio Marchiisio. Things went from bad to worse for Celtic and Ambrose in the 83rd minute. The Nigerian international lost possession a few yards from his penalty area and Juventus duly punished them with Marchiisio assisting Vucinic who scored to put the game and the tie beyond Celtic’s reach ahead of the return leg in a fortnight. 

Meanwhile two first half goals from Argentine duo Ezequiel Lavezzi and Javier Pastore gave big-spending Paris Saint Germain a vital 2-1 win over Valencia at the Estadio de Mestella. Lavezzi put PSG ahead in the 10th minute after playing a one-two with Pastore before skidding his way past the Valencia defence and riffling in between the hands of goalkeeper Vicente Guaita.

The second goal was courtesy of Lucas Moura's brilliance. The Brazilian, who was making his European debut, had been a nuisance on the right wing. Valencia's failure to find a way to silence him proved costly two minutes before the interval when he easily beat Andres Guardado on the flank and squared for Pastore to slot in the second.

Adil Rami pulled one back for Valencia in injury time to give the Spaniards a fair chance in the return leg in Paris. There was still time for more drama however when Zlatan Ibrahimovic was given his marching orders for a foul on Guardado meaning he will miss the return leg.

On Wednesday, Manchester United travel to Estadio Bernabue to tackle Real Madrid while Shakhtar welcome Borussia Dortmund.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!