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Friday, Dec. 10, 2010

Arsenal advances to last 16

Late goals put Gunners into knockout stage of Champions League

LONDON (AP) AS Roma, Shakhtar Donetsk and Arsenal became the final three teams to reach the knockout stage of the Champions League on Wednesday.

News photo
Stepover time: Real Madrid's Ronaldo vies for the ball in front of Auxerre's Adama Coulibaly on Wednesday night. AP PHOTO

Roma secured second place in Group E, behind Bayern Munich, by drawing 1-1 at Cluj. FC Basel came into its final match needing to beat Bayern to stand any chance of catching Roma but was thrashed 3-0 in Germany.

Group H had both qualifying spots open but Shakhtar finished on top by winning 2-0 at home to FC Braga, and Arsenal joined the Ukrainian champions after a nervy 3-1 victory over Partizan Belgrade.

Chelsea's perfect record in Group F ended with a 1-0 loss at Marseille to increase the pressure on manager Carlo Ancelotti, while Real Madrid remained unbeaten after its six matches in Group G courtesy of a 4-0 win over Auxerre, with Karim Benzema scoring a hat trick.

Roma only needed a point to go through, but looked like it would pick up all three when striker Marco Borriello put the Italian side in the lead in the 21st minute from 12 meters.

Lacina Traore, who had squandered a number of good opportunities, headed home in the 88th to earn the Romanian team a draw.

France winger Franck Ribery scored in both halves for Bayern, which was already assured of top spot in the group. Defensive midfielder Anatoliy Tymoshchuk also found the target for last season's runnerup.

Basel finished third and will play in the Europa League.

Arsenal reached the second round of the Champions League for the 11th successive year but was given a scare by Partizan, needing late goals by Theo Walcott and Samir Nasri to seal the win.

Robin van Persie, making his first start in the competition in more than a year, put the Gunners ahead from the penalty spot in the 30th after he was fouled by Marko Jovanovic.

But Arsene Wenger's side, which climbed to the top of the Premier League last weekend, was far from its fluent best and conceded when Cordova Cleo's shot deflected off Sebastien Squillaci and over diving Arsenal goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski in the 42nd.

Wenger sent on substitute Walcott and the England winger scored within six minutes, volleying home after collecting a poor defensive clearance.

Pardew named boss

NEWCASTLE , England (AP) Alan Pardew was hired as Premier League club Newcastle's new manager on a 5 1/2-year deal on Thursday.

Pardew took over from Chris Hughton, who was fired by Newcastle on Monday despite leading the northeast club back into England's top division at the first attempt and into a mid-table position.

Pardew, whose first match in charge will be against Liverpool at St James' Park on Saturday, was fired as manager of second-tier team Southampton in August. He has also previously managed West Ham, Charlton and Reading.

"I am honored and privileged to have been given this opportunity at Newcastle United, one of the truly great clubs in English football," Pardew said.

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