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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

UCL: Shakhtar, Olympiakos, Fener out as Celtic and Monaco reach playoff

ESPN FC's Craig Burley and Paul Mariner think Carlo Ancelotti's UCL pedigree could make them favourites to win the tournament.

Shakhtar Donetsk, Olympiakos and Fenerbahce all crashed out of the UEFA Champions League in the third qualifying round on Wednesday, while Monaco, Ajax and Celtic got through to the playoff round.

Shakhtar will return to the Europa League this season, having reached the semifinals of the competition last campaign.

Yuya Kubo scored twice in a seven-minute span for Young Boys early in the second half to level the tie 2-2 on aggregate, before both Fred and Yaroslav Rakitskiy misfired in the shootout...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

UCL: Shakhtar Donetsk open campaign with win as Ajax draw

Ajax drew 1-1 at home to PAOK in the first leg of the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League.

Shakhtar Donetsk began their Champions League campaign with a 2-0 win over Young Boys in the third qualifying round on Tuesday.

Bernard opened the scoring in the 27th minute, and the Swiss club's hopes of finding an own goal were dimed when Milan Vilotic was sent off with a second yellow card 10 minutes after half-time.

Yevhen Seleznyov added a goal in the 75th minute to give the Ukraine club a two-goal advantage ahead of the second leg.

BATE Borisov continued their quest to feature in the group...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

UCL - Celtic rally after first-leg loss to see off Lincoln Red Imps

Celtic put part-time Lincoln Red Imps in their place with a 3-0 Parkhead win that set up a Champions League third-round qualifying meeting with Astana.

The Hoops had been embarrassed by a 1-0 defeat in last week's first leg in Gibraltar, in what was new boss Brendan Rodgers' first competitive game.

However, Celtic burst out of the traps eager to get revenge and three first-half goals from defender Mikael Lustig, striker Leigh Griffiths and winger Patrick Roberts had the tie finished before the...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

FC Copenhagen control Crusaders in Champions League qualifying

Danish champions FC Copenhagen cruised to a 3-0 win over Northern Ireland side Crusaders in the first leg of their Champions League second qualifying round on Wednesday.

Federico Santander's header opened the scoring in the 19th minute before a diving header from Andreas Cornelius made it 2-0 five minutes before the break.

Rasmus Falk scored from distance early in the second half to complete a comfortable win for Copenhagen ahead of their home leg.

Also on Wednesday, Norway's Rosenborg opened a...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Partizani replace Skenderbeu in UCL draw after match-fixing ruling upheld

Skenderbeu will be replaced in the Champions League by Partizani Tirana.

UEFA has said Albanian champions Skenderbeu will be replaced in the Champions League by runners-up Partizani Tirana after being found guilty of match-fixing.

The development comes after a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruling upheld Skenderbeu's expulsion from the qualifying rounds.

Skenderbeu's name had been kept in the second-round qualifying draw, in which they had been due to play Hungarian club Ferencvaros, until the CAS verdict on Wednesday.

In a statement, UEFA confirmed that Partizani...