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Arsenal sweep aside Celtic at Emirates

  • Story Highlights
  • Arsenal ease into Champions League group stages with home win over Celtic
  • Goals from Eduardo, Eboue and Arshavin give Arsenal 5-1 aggregate win
  • Fiorentina through after 1-1 home draw against Sporting Lisbon in Florence
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(CNN) -- Arsenal eased past Celtic 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium to go into Thursday's draw for the lucrative group stages of the Champions League.

Eduardo celebrates his opening penalty strike for Arsenal at the Emirates.

Eduardo celebrates his opening penalty strike for Arsenal at the Emirates.

A first half penalty from Eduardo and second half strikes from Emmanuel Eboue and Andrey Arshavin gave Arsene Wenger's men a convincing 5-1 aggregate win over a spirited but largely outclassed Celtic side.

Wenger had stated before Wednesday night's clash that it was a more important match than the weekend English Premier League title clash with Manchester United, but promptly left Robin van Persie and Arshavin on the bench.

It left the stage for Croatian star Eduardo to show his undoubted quality and he came close to scoring on the stretch from close range before his controversial opener in the 28th minute.

Played through by Eboue, he was forced wide before going down theatrically under challenge from Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc, who was furious when the referee awarded a penalty.

Eduardo slotted it home and might have added to his tally with a series of half chances, with Niklas Bendtner also heading wide from a corner with the goal gaping.

Eboue finished off the game with a 53rd minute strike and Arshavin came on to add a classy third on the turn with 16 minutes left.

Celtic at least had the consolation of scoring the goal of the tie in injury time as Massimo Donati volleyed home from an acute angle.

The heavyweight clash of the night in final qualifying saw Fiorentina come from a goal down to draw 1-1 at home with Sporting Lisbon to go through on the away goals rule after a 2-2 draw in the first leg.

Stevan Jovetic scored the crucial equalizer in the 54th to put the side from Florence through.

German side Stuttgart were held 0-0 at home by Timisoara of Rumania, but went through 2-0 on aggregate.

Olympiakos of Greece also reached the group stages with a 1-0 win over Sherrif of Moldova, 3-0 on aggregate.

APOEL of Nicosia became the second Cypriot side into the Champions League group stages by coming from a goal down after the first leg to beat FC Copenhagen of Denmark 3-1, going through 3-2 over the two legs.

Cypriot international Chrysis Michael scored twice for the home side with Polish midfielder Kamil Kosowski grabbing the opener to set the scene.

Michel made it 2-0 from the penalty spot to put APOEL ahead on aggregate before Dame N'Doye pegged back the score with a vital away goal.

Michel's diving header just before halftime proved the eventual clincher as the home side survived a nervy second half.

The losing sides from Tuesday and Wednesday's final qualifying round ties go into the second-tier Europa Cup.

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