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Millennium Post

Three-star ‘Juve’ floor Celtic

Juventus secured a largely undeserved 3-0 win over Celtic in their Champions League last 16 first-leg tie on Tuesday after an otherwise backs-to-the-wall display to silence almost 60,000 passionate home fans at Parkhead.

Alessandro Matri handed Juve a third-minute lead and they then weathered a Celtic storm in a red-hot atmosphere before Claudio Marchisio struck in the 77th and Mirko Vucinic made it three in the 83rd as the hosts tired.

Matri scored after taking advantage of a mistake by Celtic’s Efe Ambrose, who went straight into the team after winning the African Nations Cup with Nigeria on Sunday, and Kelvin Wilson’s valiant attempt to clear on the line came too late.

The Scottish champions, who beat Barcelona in the group stage, launched a series of assaults on goal for the rest of the first half but Kris Commons wasted several chances and a couple of penalty appeals against Stephan Lichtsteiner were ignored.

The pace eased in a less frantic second period and the Serie A leaders increased their advantage through Claudio Marchisio and Mirko Vucinic to be perfectly placed to reach the quarter-finals when they host the return leg in Turin on March 6.

Juve goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon had tried to play down the impact of Celtic’s famously noisy fans ahead of the match but even the coolest of Italians would have struggled not to have been affected by the fervent Glasgow atmosphere.

Almost all the Celtic fans in the near 60,000 crowd stood with scarves aloft singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” before kickoff but they were soon cursing their luck after manager Neil Lennon’s decision to throw Ambrose straight in backfired.


IBRA SEES RED CARD IN PSG WIN

Paris St Germain conceded a late goal and had Zlatan Ibrahimovic sent off in added time in a 2-1 win at Valencia in their Champions League last-16 first leg at the Mestalla on Tuesday.

The Ligue 1 leaders looked to be strolling into the quarter-finals when they took the lead in the 10th minute through Ezequiel Lavezzi and his Argentina team mate Javier Pastore added a second goal two minutes before halftime.

Valencia improved after coach Ernesto Valverde made a couple of changes at the break and it was no more than they deserved when centre back Adil Rami surged into the area and volleyed home in the 90th minute.

Ibrahimovic was shown a straight red card for a wild lunge on defender Andres Guardado in the second minute of added time but even without the Sweden striker for the return leg in Paris on March 6, PSG will still be favourites to progress.
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