Juventus, PSG reach Champions League quarterfinals

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Associated Press

Posted on March 7, 2013 at 6:02 AM

Updated Thursday, Mar 7 at 8:02 PM

Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain protected their leads from the first legs to reach the quarterfinals of the Champions League on Wednesday.

Juventus avoided any slip-ups against Celtic, finishing off the Scottish team with a 2-0 win to advance 5-0 on aggregate. PSG faced a tougher challenge against Valencia, but Ezequiel Lavezzi equalized in the second half for a 1-1 tie that was enough to put the French team into the quarterfinals for the first time since 1995. PSG had won the away leg of their round-of-16 match 2-1.

Juventus held a commanding 3-0 lead after the away leg and withstood some early pressure from Celtic before Alessandro Matri essentially clinched the series when he put the Italian side ahead in the 24th minute.

Celtic's best chance came minutes later but Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon pulled off a one-handed stop on Kris Commons' deflected effort.

Fabio Quagliarella doubled Juventus' lead in the 65th, slotting the ball into an empty net from close range after being set up by Arturo Vidal.

It is the first time Juventus has reached the quarterfinals since it was demoted to Serie B in the 2006 match-fixing scandal.

In Paris, PSG seemed content to sit back during a dull first half in which the visitors mustered two tame shots on target. The match came to life in the 55th when Valencia's Brazilian forward Jonas picked up a loose ball and scored with a fierce shot from about 21 yards out for his fourth goal in three games.

The goal seemed to rattle PSG and coach Carlo Ancelotti brought on substitute Kevin Gameiro shortly after, and his direct style and pace immediately caused problems for Valencia's defense.

Gameiro's surging run led to Lavezzi's equalizer in the 66th, as the Argentina winger knocked the ball in after his teammate's initial shot had been saved by goalkeeper Vicente Guaita, prompting wild celebrations on the PSG bench.

Former England captain David Beckham was on the bench for PSG, but Ancelotti opted against bringing him on in the second half, making a defensive substitution instead after the equalizer to protect the team's advantage.

Both sides were missing key players, with PSG's top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic suspended and Valencia without injured center half Adil Rami, who scored Valencia's late goal in the first leg.

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