Three French clubs out of four have qualified for the last 16 of the UEFA Cup as Marseille enjoyed a penalty shoot-out win over Twente, Paris (photo) defeated Wolfsburg and St Etienne beat Olympiakos. Only Bordeaux pulled out.
AFP - Aston Villa, with one eye on Champions League riches, suffered the brutal cost of downgrading the UEFA Cup on Thursday when their second-string team slumped to a last 32 exit in freezing Moscow.
Villa boss Martin O'Neill left the likes of Gareth Barry, Brad Friedel, Emile Heskey, James Milner, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Ashley Young back in England for the second leg tie against CSKA.
The Russian side took full advantage to carve out a 2-0 win on the night and a 3-1 aggregate victory to reach the last 16.
Russian international winger Yury Zhirkov netted the opening goal, while Brazilian striker Vagner Love added an injury-time strike.
Sampdoria, struggling to avoid relegation from Serie A, were also big-name casualties when they lost 2-0 to Metalist Kharkiv in Ukraine having also lost the first leg 1-0.
Sergey Valyaev and Jackson Coelho grabbed first-half goals for Metalist.
Turkish giants Galatasary, the 2000 champions, made the last 16 winning a 4-3 thriller in Istanbul against French side Bordeaux.
David Bellion gave Bordeaux a first-minute lead before Arda Turan (2) and Australian star Harry Kewell put the Turks 3-1 ahead.
Marouane Chamakh and Fernando Cavenaghi scored in the space of two minutes to level the tie and put their side on course for the next round on away goals.
But Sabri Sarioglu found the target in the 90th minute to give Galatasary victory.
Marseille and Paris Saint Germain kept French hopes alive.
Marseille enjoyed a penalty shoot-out win over Steve McClaren's FC Twente in Holland.
The Dutch side had won the first leg 1-0 but were pegged back on Thursday by a Hatem Ben Arfa goal in the 24th minute. Marseille held their nerve in the shoot-out 7-6 to go through.
PSG, 2-0 ahead from the first leg, beat Wolfsburg 3-1 in Germany with Peguy Luyindula scoring two of the goals for the visitors.
Later Thursday, AC Milan will hope to put off-field distractions to one side when they face Werder Bremen.
The Rossoneri conceded a late goal to Diego to draw 1-1 in the first leg in Germany last week, while speculation continues to mount over the future of David Beckham.
Tottenham, facing an English League Cup final date with Manchester United on Sunday, were trying to overturn a 2-0 deficit against Ukraine's Shakhtar Donetsk.
Manchester City host Danish underdogs FC Copenhagen after being held to a 2-2 draw in the first leg.
Spanish high-fliers Valencia take on Dynamo Kiev after being held to a 1-1 draw in Ukraine in the first leg, while defending champions Zenit St Petersburg have a 2-1 advantage to protect when they travel to Germany to face Stuttgart.
Date created : 2009-02-26