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Juventus cruise to Celtic victory

Published: Wednesday 6 March 2013, 22.50CET
Juventus 2-0 Celtic FC (agg: 5-0)
A goal in each half by Alessandro Matri and Fabio Quagliarella sealed a comfortable win that took Juve into the last eight for the first time since 2006.
by Paolo Menicucci
from Juventus Stadium

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Published: Wednesday 6 March 2013, 22.50CET

Juventus cruise to Celtic victory

Juventus 2-0 Celtic FC (agg: 5-0)
A goal in each half by Alessandro Matri and Fabio Quagliarella sealed a comfortable win that took Juve into the last eight for the first time since 2006.

Alessandro Matri and Fabio Quagliarella scored in each half as Juventus beat Celtic FC 2-0 to qualify for the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals with a convincing 5-0 round of 16 aggregate triumph.

Juventus, who have not conceded a goal in the competition since matchday three, had already done most of the work in the first leg when they won 3-0 at Celtic Park, a result that allowed coach Antonio Conte to rest several players. Celtic tried to mount an unlikely comeback but fell behind on the night to an opportunistic Matri strike on 24 minutes before Juve doubled their lead 20 minutes into the second half. Quagliarella rounded off a nice team move to complete a victory that takes them into the last eight for the first time since 2005/06.

In heavy rain both sides struggled to create serious opportunities in the early stages, the first attempt coming after 21 minutes when Joe Ledley's left-footed strike from 25 metres whistled centimetres wide of Gianluigi Buffon's top corner. Three minutes later Juve were more accurate with their own first attempt, Fraser Forster only parrying Quagliarella's low shot and Matri quick to pounce on the rebound to put the Bianconeri in front.

Only a great Buffon save prevented Celtic responding immediately after Gary Hooper diverted Kris Commons's low drive, forcing the wrong-footed Bianconeri goalkeeper to acrobatically twist to his left and palm away. At the other end Arturo Vidal blazed over from a good position after a counterattack led by Quagliarella.

Ten minutes before the interval Celtic were again close to an equaliser as Giorgos Samaras finished a good run down the left with a low cross-shot which flashed narrowly wide at the far post, Hooper just failing to make contact. Juventus, however, continued to look the likelier scorers and threatened another goal soon after the break, Quagliarella forcing Forster into a difficult stop after a nice back-heeled pass by Matri.

Visiting manager Neil Lennon lost Adam Matthews to an injury shortly after, replacing him with James Forrest. Celtic's reshuffled back line were exposed again five minutes past the hour, a trademark Andrea Pirlo pass picking out Vidal in behind the defence; the Chile midfielder chested down and squared for Quagliarella to roll into the empty net.

Samaras had a chance to give Celtic the last word but fired over from a good position with seven minutes remaining. Juve therefore reach the quarter-finals on a streak of five consecutive wins without conceding – and will be aiming for the last four for the first time in ten years.

Last updated: 04/12/13 6.25CET

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