English Quartet Progress to Champions League Quarters | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 12.03.2009
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English Quartet Progress to Champions League Quarters

English clubs Manchester United and Arsenal, along with Spanish outfit Barcelona and Porto of Portugal all progressed to the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals after Wednesday night's action.

Manchester United's Nemanja Vidic, third left, reacts with teammate Rio Ferdinand, third right, after scoring

United went ahead early in the clash

Nemanja Vidic and Cristiano Ronaldo both scored as Manchester United booked their place in the quarterfinals of the Champions League with a 2-0 victory over Inter Milan Wednesday. A brace from Thierry Henry helped Barcelona past Olympique Lyon.

Arsenal meanwhile progressed to the last eight after a penalty shootout with Roma, while Porto advanced via the away goals rule after their scoreless draw with Atletico Madrid left the tie level at 2-2 on aggregate.

With the tie finely poised at 0-0 after the first leg in Milan, Vidic gave United the perfect start against Jose Mourinho's Serie A table-toppers, rising virtually unchallenged to head home a Michael Carrick corner after just three minutes.

Inter came into the game as the half progressed with a bouncing Zlatan Ibrahimovic header that clipped the bar. Soon after United keeper Edwin van der Sar was forced to push away a strong Dejan Stankovic right-foot shot.

United maintained their control of the game on 49 minutes when Ronaldo got on the end of a Wayne Rooney cross to register his first Champions League goal since scoring in last season's final against Chelsea in Moscow.

Inter substitute Adriano made an immediate impact after hitting the post within a minute of coming on, while United's Dimitar Berbatov saw his gilt-edged effort well saved by Inter goalkeeper Julio Cesar, who soon after also denied John O'Shea.

A "tough encounter"

Manchester United Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo, right

Cristiano Ronaldo bagged United's second goal

Despite the attempts the score stayed at 2-0 as United held on to progress by the same score on aggregate to the last eight of the competition for a record 10th time.

"When we scored at 2-0, it killed the game," Ronaldo said. "Then our defence did a fantastic job, and at the end of the day we deserved to win."

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, meanwhile, said it had been a tough encounter.

"They're a side with fantastic experience, very difficult to break down. This was the hardest draw, playing a magnificently experienced Inter team who are seven points clear (in Serie A) ... it's a good result, but not a great performance."

Mourinho meanwhile said Inter had the ability to win the tie, but were luckless on the night.

"I don't like to talk about luck, but it is true that we played according to out potential. We created two or three chances, but we did not score against an incredible opponent," Mourinho told Sky TV.

Barca through

Barcelona's Thierry Henry

Thierry Henry scored a double against Lyon

Henry scored twice as Barcelona beat French outfit Lyon 5-2 at the Camp Nou to progress to the next round 6-3 on aggregate.

The Spanish league leaders raced to a four-goal lead by half-time after a wonder goal from Lionel Messi and a fierce Samuel Eto'o strike added to Henry's early brace.

However, a Jean Makoun header and a simple strike from Lyon captain Juninho following a subtle dummy from Karim Benzema briefly gave Lyon hopes of a miracle comeback, but those thoughts ended when Juninho received his marching orders after picking up a second yellow card.

Barca took full advantage of the extra man, making it 5-2 shortly before full time when Seydou Keita latched on to a Xavi pass before rounding Lyon goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and slotting home.

Gunners win shootout

AS Roma forward Francesco Totti, left, collides with Arsenal forward Robin Van Persie

Arsenal did enough to move past Roma

Arsenal went to the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, host venue for this year's final, holding a slender 1-0 lead from the first-leg, but Roma levelled the tie after just nine minutes when Juan steered a Francesco Totti cross home at the far post.

Neither team was able to produce another goal after the remainder of regulation time and a further 30 minutes of extra-time, so the match went to penalties with the Gunners prevailing 7-6 after Max Tonetto failed to convert his spot kick.

On Tuesday, Liverpool, Chelsea, Villarreal and Bayern Munich all booked their places in the quarterfinals, the draw for which takes place Friday. The first legs of the quarters take place April 7-8, with the return legs to be held the following week.

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