Juventus rout, Valencia hold on
- Published: 13/02/2013 at 07:08 AM
- Online news:
Juventus all but clinched their place in the last eight as the knockout stage of the Champions League began Wednesday (Thailand time).
A clinical display from the Italian champions earned them a 3-0 win over Celtic at Parkhead.
Celtic manager Neil Lennon surprised everyone before kick-off as he handed Efe Ambrose a starting place despite the defender playing in Nigeria's Africa Cup of Nations final win over Burkina Faso on Sunday.
But the gamble went horribly wrong with the defender at fault for two of Juve's deadly away goals.
Celtic got off to a nightmare start when Ambrose was caught out by the flight of Federico Peluso's long ball in the third minute, allowing Alessandro Matri to get in behind him and fire the ball over the line despite Kelvin Wilson's desperate attempted clearance on the line.
The Hoops then showed the intensity they had produced to pick up a famous win over Barcelona in the group stages as they laid siege to the Juve goal, with Victor Wanyama and Kris Commons both testing Gianluigi Buffon with strikes.
But the Italians weathered the storm and increased their lead in the 77th minute when Marchisio smashed a shot past Fraser Forster.
Mirko Vucinic finished low through Forster's legs in the 83rd minute after Ambrose had been caught in possession by Marchisio as Juventus ended any remaining Celtic hopes.
"That's the harsh reality of football at this level," a clearly disappointed Lennon said.
Paris Saint-Germain will take a 2-1 lead into the second leg of their tie against Valencia, but a dramatic late turn of events handed the Spanish side a lifeline.
Going into the 90th minute at the Mestalla on Tuesday, the French league leaders appeared in cruise control thanks to first-half goals from Ezequiel Lavezzi and Javier Pastore.
However, French international centre-back Adil Rami found the net in the final minute to keep Valencia in the tie, before PSG had Zlatan Ibrahimovic controversially sent-off for a studs-up challenge on Andres Guardado.
The Swede, who has been criticised in the past for failing to produce his very best in the Champions League knockout stages, will now miss the return leg at the Parc des Princes next month, but at least PSG will have a lead to defend in that game.
"Ibrahimovic did not deserve the red card. I don't understand the decision," an unhappy PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti told French Canal Plus television at full-time.