English big shots Chelsea qualified for the knockout round of the Champions League, along with Porto and French team Bordeaux (photo) who marked up a splendid victory over Bayern Munich.
AFP - English giants Chelsea and Manchester United made hard work of it but ended up coming from behind to both qualify for the Champions League knockout stages on Tuesday.
French champions Bordeaux joined them as they earned an impressive 2-0 victory over Bayern Munich in Munich, while Porto can also look forward to Champions League football in the spring after winning 1-0 at APOEL Nicosia.
Chelsea came from 1-0 down to draw 2-2 with Atletico Madrid - Didier Drogba scoring both goals on his return from a three-match Champions League suspension.
United had to come from even further behind as they trailed 3-1 late into the match against CSKA Moscow at Old Trafford before two goals levelled matters and pushed them through.
United were always on the back foot against the Russians, having trailed 1-0 before levelling at 1-1 through Michael Owen.
However, they went into the break 2-1 down and just after Sir Alex Ferguson had called for better defending at half-time they were 3-1 down after Vasili Berezutski nodded in.
Veteran midfielder Paul Scholes, though, gave the hosts hope with a header from Gary Neville's cross and Russian heartbreak was confirmed as Georgy Shchennikov deflected in Antonio Valencia's shot in injury time.
CSKA were reduced to 10 men shortly before the final whistle when Deividas Sembreras was sent-off.
Chelsea had failed to make the most of their chances in the first half and were made to pay as Diego Maradona's son-in-law Sergio Aguero volleyed the Spaniards ahead shortly after coming on as a substitute.
The visitors levelled with the clock running down for half-time when Drogba met Florent Malouda's cross and the Ivory Coast star looked set for a fairytale comeback when he added a second, only for the hosts to equalise through an exquisite Aguero free-kick at the death.
AC Milan and Real Madrid's group has become one of the tightest as the two giants fought out a 1-1 draw in Milan, while rivals Marseille thrashed FC Zurich 6-1 to stand just a point behind the duo.
Milan and Real shared the spoils at the San Siro, with both goals coming in the first half.
Karim Benzema got his first goal in seven matches for the visitors before Ronaldinho drew Milan level from the penalty spot.
Marseille had wrapped things up shortly after half-time as captain Mamadou Niang was on hand to round off a nicely worked move by the French side to make it 3-1 against FC Zurich.
Marseille had left the blocks brilliantly, leading 2-0 after 11 minutes through an own goal from Silvan Aegerter and a Fabrice Abriel free-kick that stood despite several of the home side appearing to be offside.
They capped a fine evening's work when Hilton stroked home a delightful right-footed effort from outside the box with less than 10 minutes remaining and added two more for good measure late on to complete the rout.
Marseille's fellow French side Bordeaux qualified after securing a splendid 2-0 victory over Bayern Munich after French international Yoann Gourcuff netted in the first half and Moroccan international Marouane Chamakh sealed victory late on in the second-half.
Bayern's position is even more precarious given that Juventus beat Maccabi Haifa 1-0 in Israel -- World Cup winner Mauro Camoranesi scoring in the first half -- to move onto eight points, four clear of Bayern with two matches remaining.
Date created : 2009-11-04