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Chorus of approval for qualifiers

Published: Thursday 27 November 2003, 17.15CET
Matchday 5 produced six more last 16 qualifiers, and more ammunition for the newspapers. features

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Published: Thursday 27 November 2003, 17.15CET

Chorus of approval for qualifiers

Matchday 5 produced six more last 16 qualifiers, and more ammunition for the newspapers.
It would be premature to strike up tunes of glory, but a march might be appropriate at several clubs today after AS Monaco FC, Chelsea FC, Manchester United FC, AC Milan, FC Porto and VfB Stuttgart all advanced into the knockout stage this week.

Here rounds up the press reaction across Europe to the events of Matchday 5.

Club Brugge KV: Club Brugge are still alive. Substitutes Kevin Roelandts and Rune Lange produced the moment which, brought the Flemmish side level with Celta at the very end of the match. The Belgian champions can still hope for the knockout phase. (Het Nieuwsblad)
RSC Anderlecht: Thanks to a great headed goal from Hannu Tihinen, Anderlecht got past Olympique Lyonnais and stationed themselves at the top of Group A. The decider will follow in a fortnight when one point at Bayern could be enough. (Het Nieuwsblad)

Czech Republic
AC Sparta Praha: There is still hope for Sparta. The difference here was that they did not concede a goal in the dying stages. (Blesk)

Arsenal FC: One of the continent's great underperformers, they produced a triumph that rewrote the record books for matches between English and Italian sides as they turned a wonderful victory into a breathtaking rout with three goals in the last five minutes. (The Times)
Chelsea FC: There was a distinct lack of gloss as Claudio Ranieri's galaxy of stars shuffled into the last 16 of the Champions League. Not every game can be beautiful and this was definitely the ugly sister to Arsenal's romp against Inter. (The Sun)
Manchester United FC: Manchester United have seldom shone in knockout matches since winning the European Cup in 1999 - their record is one victory in three seasons. They will probably have to show more imagination than they did in Athens to find a second. (Independent)

AS Monaco FC: Monaco needed a draw to progress and they got one. After a six-year absence, Monaco are back among the cream of European clubs. (L'Equipe)
Olympique Lyonnais: Having travelled to Belgium with a degree of certainty, OL are now left to worry. How could they slip up as they had done in Scotland? How could they become more and more dominated the longer the match wore on? (L'Equipe)
Olympique de Marseille: Marseille know they had the chance to hold a European giant, but they lacked a cutting edge. This tie can be a reference point for them. (L'Equipe)

FC Bayern München: You could feel the pressure on them and they were fighting for their survival in the Champions League. The situation is now hopeful and Bayern can feel they won on points. (Süddeutsche Zeitung)
VfB Stuttgart: Cool and clever VfB go through to the next round. The Swabians unite the whole of Germany and we can be proud of this Stuttgart team. The miracle goes on. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten)

AEK Athens FC: AEK tried but could not prevent another heavy defeat. Europe has been a nightmare for AEK this season, and they cannot even qualify for the UEFA Cup. (Eleftheros Typos)
Olympiacos CFP: Olympiacos said goodbye to the UEFA Champions League and now they await a 'gift' from Juventus for a UEFA Cup berth. (Adesmeftos Typos)
Panathinaikos FC: Diego Forlán punished Panathinaikos's attacking impotence and gave the win to Manchester United, in a game nobody will remember. (Sportime)

Internazionale FC: This was the biggest-ever home defeat for an Italian team in Europe. If it was a boxing match, the referee would have stopped it to avoid a massacre. Henry was a model of technical and physical beauty. (Gazzetta dello Sport)
S.S. Lazio: Roberto Muzzi's magic was not enough. Lazio deserved to win but now need a victory in Prague and a helping hand from Chelsea to qualify. (Corriere dello Sport)
AC Milan: The Rossoneri were clearly superior even though Ajax were missing several key players. The only problem for the European champions is that they have scored just three goals in five matches. (Gazzetta dello Sport)

AFC Ajax: With so many absent players, Ajax were a pale parody of themselves and were beaten without a fight by AC Milan. (De Volkskrant)
PSV Eindhoven: Seven minutes away from the final whistle - and an eighth early exit from the Champions League - substitute Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink got his head to an Arjen Robben free-kick to make it 1-1. Now, PSV can still qualify. (Algemeen Dagblad)

FC Porto: Benni McCarthy made certain for Porto on a night when the safe hands of Vitor Baía, the efficiency of both central defenders, and the performances of Costinha and Maniche did the rest. (O Jogo)

Celtic FC: Celtic and their supporters will walk a European tightrope all the way to Lyon in two weeks' time. The goal that would have lowered stress levels and put Martin O'Neill's side a giant step closer to the uncharted waters of the Champions League knockout stages failed to materialise. (Daily Record)
Rangers FC: Their defeat in Germany last night was as deserved as it was expected, but no one at Ibrox should feel embarrassed by the outcome. (The Herald)

Serbia and Montenegro
FK Partizan: The UEFA Cup is the new target for Partizan. The players had promised they would go all out to win, but Porto were the better team. Now the match against Olympique de Marseille is vital for football in Serbia and Montengro. (Sportski zurnal)

RC Celta de Vigo: Just when the Balaídos was starting to dream of reaching the next round, a late goal from Lange poured cold water on the Galician party. (AS)
RC Deportivo La Coruña: It was a question of confidence, but Deportivo overcome the memory of their thrashing by Monaco to break down a fragile Greek defence thanks to a couple of magic moments from Juan Carlos Valerón. (El Mundo)
Real Madrid CF: Madrid knew how to impose their superiority on a Marseille team who put up a fight but who had already waved goodbye to the Champions League. (Sport)
Real Sociedad de Fútbol: La Real showed the bravery to make the game work in their favour - and the luck to seal a dream draw. (AS)

Besiktas JK: Besiktas missed the chance of a win in Rome but half-opened the door for the next round. They are now guaranteed a place in the UEFA Cup. (Milliyet)

Last updated: 28/11/03 20.47CET

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