x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Man Utd come from behind to draw at Celtic

Ryan Giggs rescues a 1-1 draw for Man United at Celtic, which should almost certainly be enough to guarantee passage into the next round of the Champions League.

Manchester United's Ryan Giggs (right) and Darren Fletcher celebrate Giggs' goal against Celtic.
Manchester United's Ryan Giggs (right) and Darren Fletcher celebrate Giggs' goal against Celtic.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND // Ryan Giggs rescued a 1-1 draw for Manchester United at Celtic, which should almost certainly be enough to guarantee the defending champions passage into the next round of the Champions League. United took until the 84th minute to cancel out Scott McDonald's delicate lob for the opener in the 13th minute. "With so little time to go I suppose we'll settle for a draw but with the way we played and our tempo in the second half, we probably deserved to win," Giggs said.

"It was a disappointing first half for us but the performance in the second half was much better. We came out and worked really hard and kept them pinned down. "We knew chances would come. We knew we just had to keep the crosses and the one-twos going, keep the tempo up and it (the goal) would come." Giggs, 34, headed home after Cristiano Ronaldo's dipping strike from distance was parried by Celtic keeper Artur Boruc into the veteran striker's path. "I just gambled and it fell right onto my head," Giggs said.

But Celtic could find themselves facing a UEFA fine after a man ran onto the pitch during the match. The man, who appeared to be wearing a Celtic scarf underneath his coat, encroached on Celtic Park in the 35th minute. The Celtic manager Gordon Strachan thought the red and blue hood the fan was wearing could have been a United States flag. "I don't know where he came from, he appeared to have an American flag on his head or something," Strachan said. "Maybe it was a political thing."

The result leaves Manchester United top of Group E level on eight points with Villarreal, who drew 2-2 at AaB Aalborg after the home side twice came from behind to keep a mathematical chance of progressing. Group F took on a similar look after Bayern drew 1-1 at Fiorentina and Lyon beat Steaua Bucharest 2-0. Fiorentina have three points and a slim chance of reaching the last 16 while Steaua, who have one point, can only hope for a UEFA Cup berth available to third-placed teams. Arsenal failed to break down a stubborn Fenerbahce at the Emirates Stadium but still lead Group G with eight points, two more than Porto following their come-from-behind 2-1 win at Dynamo Kiev. Dynamo are still in contention on five points.

Juventus, inspired by two-goal Alessandro Del Piero, chalked up their first win at Real Madrid since 1962 by beating the Spaniards 2-0 on Wednesday to qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League. Defeat left the nine-times European champions Real in a precarious position in Group H, needing to avoid slip-ups in their final two matches against BATE Borisov and Zenit St Petersburg. BATE were beaten 2-0 by visiting Zenit yesterday. *Agencies