Milan, CSKA progress as City, Spurs move closer

A late strike from Filippo Inzaghi was enough to salvage a 2-2 draw for AC Milan away to Portsmouth in the UEFA Cup Thursday and book the Serie A side's place in the tournament's knockout stages, dpa reported.

CSKA Moscow also progressed thanks to a 2-1 win over Lech Poznan while Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester and Standard Liege moved a step closer with victories.

Milan found themselves behind when Younes Kaboul headed home a Glen Johnson cross and looked to be heading for certain defeat when Kanu made it 2-0 for Pompey.

However substitute Ronaldinho reduced the deficit with a stunning free-kick and Inzaghi, who had already hit the post three times in the game, finally got the goal he deserved to make it 2-2 and book Milan's place in the last 32.

The draw sees Milan remain top of Group E with seven points, four clear of VfL Wolfsburg and SC Braga, who meet later Thursday.

Manchester City eased to a 2-0 victory over German side Schalke 04 even without injured stars Robinho, Elano and Martin Petrov.

The English Premier League side proved too strong for Schalke at the Veltins Arena with Benjani putting Mark Hughes' side in front on 32 minutes and Stephen Ireland sealing the win after 66 minutes with a clinical finish.

"We lost our belief after going a goal down," said Schalke coach Fred Rutten. "We were up against a very strong opponent and weren't able to turn the game around."

The victory moves City on to six points in Group A, two clear of Schalke. Paris St Germain and Racing Santander drew 2-2 in the other group game.

CSKA Moscow booked their place in the knockout stages with a 2-1 victory over Poznan in a Group H encounter.

Alan Dzagoev latched on to a pass from Vagner Love to open the scoring for the Russians and Yuri Zhirkov doubled the home side's lead at the Luzhniki Stadium with a left-footed volley just before the break.

Semir Pilic pulled on back for Poznan from a free-kick after 66 minutes.

The victory was CSKA's third win in succession in the group and moves them on to nine points from three matches, five clear of Nancy.

In the other group match, Deportivo La Coruna got their first points of the campaign with a 3-0 victory against Feyenoord Rotterdam.

Alberto Lopo netted from close range on the half-hour mark while an own goal by Kevin Hofland shortly after the restart followed by an Andres Guardado strike completed a miserable night for the Dutch.

Jamie O'Hara scored the only goal of the game as Tottenham Hotspur beat Dutch side NEC Nijmegen 1-0 in Group D. Spartak Moscow prevailed against Dinamo Zagreb by the same scoreline thanks to a goal from Ivan Saenko 15 minutes from time.

The victory moves Spurs to the top of the group, level on six points with Udinese and three clear of Dinamo and Spartak.

Metalist Kharkiv shocked Galatasaray 1-0 in Group B, with Edmar snatching all three points with a winner nine minutes from time.

Olympiakos demolished Benfica 5-1 in the other group game. The Greeks never looked back after Luciano Galletti put them in front in the first minutes and Christos Patsatzoglou doubled their lead on 17. Two further goals from Santo and one from Fernando Belluschi completed the rout. David Luiz scored for Benfica.

In Group F, SV Hamburg missed the chance of booking an early place in the knockout phase after going down 1-0 at home to Ajax Amsterdam, who secured the points with a goal from substitute Leonardo 13 minutes from time.

"We knew we needed three points to progress but it didn't work out," said coach Martin Jol.

Trouble from Dutch fans had marred the build-up to the game with 40 Ajax fans taken into custody the previous night and 800 police on duty for the game. In the other match, Zilina and Slavia Prague got their first points of the campaign as the two sides played out a scoreless draw.

Markus Babbel's first match in charge of VfB Stuttgart ended in a draw as his side drew 1-1 with Sampdoria in Group C while Standard Liege overcame Partizan Belgrade 1-0 to sit top on six points after two games.

In Group G, Valencia took revenge for two defeats in last year's Champions League at the hands of Rosenborg Trondheim by handing out a 4-0 thumping to the Norwegian side this time around.

Juan Mata gave the visitors the lead in the first half while late goals from Pablo Hernandez and substitutes Ruben Baraja and Joaquin sealed the easy win. Club Brugge and St Etienne drew 1-1 in the other match in Group G.

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