Five teams are through to the group stage of the UEFA Champions League after the first set of playoff matches wrapped up today throughout Europe.
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Scottish champions Celtic is not of those clubs, as they were bounced from the competition after losing away to Malmo. Monaco was also sent packing, as the team that made the Round of 16 in the Champions League last season fell to Valencia on aggregate.
Malmo 2-0 Celtic (Malmo advances 4-3 on aggregate)
Malmo entered the match down 3-2 on aggregate, but goals from Markus Rosenberg and Felipe Carvalho erased the deficit and pushed the Swedish champions through to the Champions League group stage. Celtic had an early goal disallowed for a phantom foul in the box, but after a win in the opening leg, this is a devastating loss for the Scottish club.
Monaco 2-1 Valencia (Valencia advances 4-3 on aggregate)
Valencia was lucky to have won 3-1 in the first leg, because the Spanish side was far from convincing today as they lost 2-1 to Monaco but still advanced on aggregate. Valencia jumped out to an early lead through a fourth minute goal from Alvaro Negredo, and that proved to be crucial as the side squeaked into the group stage by one goal.
Dinamo Zagreb 4-1 Skenderbeu (Zagreb advances 6-2 on aggregate)
The Croatian champions cruised to a 4-1 win at home over Albanian side Skenderbeu, advancing 6-2 on aggregate. Despite playing nearly the entire second half down a man, Zagreb was dominant and is the only team to to advance so far by winning both matches.
Shakhtar Donetsk 2-2 Rapid Wien (Shakhtar advances 3-2 on aggregate)
Marlos scored the only goal of the first leg when Shakhtar won 1-0 in Vienna, and the Brazilian scored again today just ten minutes into the match to give the Ukrainian side a comfortable 2-0 aggregate lead. Rapid Wien battled back with two quick goals to level the playing field, but Olexandr Gladkiy’s tally was the difference as Shakhtar advances 3-2 on aggregate.
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Maccabi Tel-Aviv 1-1 FC Basel
(Tel-Aviv advances 3-3 on aggregate, 2-1 on away goals)
Eran Zahavi won’t be paying for any drinks in Tel-Aviv for quite some time as the striker scored all three of his club’s goals throughout the playoff to put the Israeli side into the group stage for the first time in 11 years. Both matches ended in draws, but Zahavi’s goal in the sixth minute of stoppage time in Basel proved to be the difference, as Tel-Aviv advances on away goals.
Wednesday’s UCL schedule
Club Brugge vs. Manchester United (United leads 3-1)
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Lazio (Lazio leads 1-0)
APOEL vs. Astana (Astana leads 1-0)
CSKA Moscow vs. Sporting CP (Sporting leads 2-1)
Partizan Belgrade vs. BATE Borisov (BATE leads 1-0)