|An acrobatic attempt by Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney is thwarted by an FC Copenhagen defender at Old Trafford on Tuesday. United won 3-0. (AP)
London: Olympique Lyon, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Celtic, CSKA Moscow and AC Milan all won on Tuesday to move a step nearer the knockout phase of the Champions League as the group phase reached the halfway point.
Lyon maintained their perfect start in Group E with a 3-0 win over Dynamo Kiev in Ukraine, to move on to nine points from their three matches, while Kiev’s hopes all but vanished with their third successive defeat.
Lyon gave a superb display of controlled football in freezing conditions and won with goals from Juninho, Kim Kallstrom and Florent Malouda. They ended the night with an overall 8-0 goal tally from their three matches.
Kiev also became the joint-owners of an unwanted record of having conceded at least three goals in four successive matches in the competition. Celtic, Sporting Lisbon and Willem II Tilburg have also done the same.
Real Madrid bounced back from their first domestic league defeat of the season at the weekend to win 4-1 at Steaua BucharestThey have six points from their opening three games and played superbly Tuesday.
Raul stretched his all-time Champions League scoring record to 54 goals, Ruud van Nistelrooy took his tally to 46, the second highest in the competition’s history, and David Beckham became the third player to make 100 Champions League appearances when he came on as a 71st minute substitute for the nine-time European champions.
Raul, who was making his 104th appearance in the competition, and Roberto Carlos, making his 102nd, are the only other Champions League ‘centurions’.
Manchester United look sure to progress from Group F after a 3-0 victory over FC Copenhagen at Old Trafford, their third straight win.
United could have gone ahead after only 25 seconds but were thwarted by goalkeeper Jesper Christiansen, although he could do nothing to keep out strikes from Paul Scholes and John ’Shea.
Celtic could make it a British double in Group F after their emphatic 3-0 win over Benfica in Glasgow, their fifth successive clean sheet at home in European ties. Two goals inside 10 second half minutes from Kenny Miller and a third in the last minute from Stephen Pearson gave Celtic a memorable victory and strengthens their belief they can advance from the group phase for the first time.
Celtic are now five points clear of Benfica and Copenhagen who both have one point each. CSKA Moscow moved to the top of Group G at the expense of Arsenal who they beat 1-0 in Moscow to climb to seven points.
The only goal of the game was fired home by Brazilian Daniel Carvalho after 24 minutes but three other goals were disallowed — one for CSKA and two for Arsenal including an 86th-minute strike by Thierry Henry.
Spanish referee Manuel Mejuto Gonzalez ruled that Henry handled the ball and booked the Frenchman — who was furious afterwards as was Arsene Wenger. “It was a goal, but sometimes referees cancel good goals because they didn’t see things,” said Wenger.
“Tonight we had a new thing because they cancelled the goal because they saw things that didn’t exist.” Arsenal slipped to second on six points.
AC Milan stayed top of Group H with seven points after their 1-0 win at Anderlecht where Kaka scored the only goal after 58 minutes. The Italians played almost the entire second half with 10 men after defender Daniele Bonera was sent off.
Lille moved on to five points after their 3-1 home victory over AEK Athens.