Arsenal ease past Hoops

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Arsenal were barely made to break sweat as they cruised into the Champions League group stages with a 3-1 (5-1 on aggregate) victory against Celtic at the Emirates Stadium.

Eduardo may have dived for his opener from the penalty spot. But Tony Mowbray's men hardly tested the Gunners before or afterwards, with Emmanuel Eboue adding a second following a crisp move at the start of the second half.

Andrey Arshavin came off the bench to add another. But the visitors, who started the second leg of the play-off 2-0 down, knew long before the third goal that they would be playing Europa League football this season. Massimo Donati pulled one back in injury time.

Arsenal had the luxury of a 2-0 lead from the first leg in Glasgow, and so Arsene Wenger decided to start with Robin van Persie and Arshavin on the bench.

After 29 minutes, Arsenal were awarded a penalty when Eduardo went down following what looked minimal contact at best by Artur Boruc after he skipped into the left side of the box.

It was, though, enough to convince Spanish referee Manuel Gonzalez, which was all that mattered - and Eduardo was certainly not worried by chants of "cheat" from the massed ranks of green behind the goal.

The Croatia striker, set to face England in next month's crucial World Cup qualifier at Wembley, stepped up to send the keeper the wrong way - and all but kill off the tie.

After 53 minutes, Eboue drilled a low shot past Boruc following more neat build-up from a clever flick by Nicklas Bendtner and Abou Diaby's centre to make it 2-0.

Arshavin was introduced for the final 20 minutes and the Russian netted his first Champions League goal for Arsenal after a neat turn and finish after collecting fellow substitute jack Wilshere's pass after 74 minutes.

Donati salvaged some wounded pride in stoppage time with a stunning volley in off the post from Andreas Hinkel's right-wing cross.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Emmanuel Eboue
Robin Van Persie
Andrey Arshavin
European News
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Vassiriki Abou Diaby
Jack Wilshere
Nicklas Bendtner

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