blues, United ride the storm

PARIS - English giants Chelsea and Manchester United made hard work of it but ended up coming from behind to both qualify for the Champions League knockout stages on Tuesday.

PARIS - English giants Chelsea and Manchester United made hard work of it but ended up coming from behind to both qualify for the Champions League knockout stages on Tuesday.

French champions Bordeaux joined them as they earned an impressive 2-0 victory over Bayern Munich in Munich, while Porto can also look forward to Champions League football in the spring after winning 1-0 at Apoel Nicosia.

However, things look stark for Bayern Munich and their Champions League-winning coach Louis van Gaal as his side trail second-placed Juventus by four points in Group A with two matches remaining.

Chelsea came from 1-0 down to draw 2-2 with Atletico Madrid - Didier Drogba scoring both goals on his return from a three-match Champions League suspension.

"It was a good game but frustrating because we didn't win it," said Drogba. "We have qualified, which is great although it would have been nice to do it with a win."

United had to come from even further behind as they trailed 3-1 late into the match against CSKA Moscow at Old Trafford before two goals levelled matters and pushed them through.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was relieved to have progressed but was left less than happy by the referee's performance, especially over a penalty that was not awarded for a trip on Darren Fletcher - the Scottish midfielder being booked instead.

"I can't believe the decision. It's one of the worst I have seen in my lifetime," fumed the irascible Scot.

AC Milan and Real Madrid's group has become one of the tightest as the two giants fought out a 1-1 draw in Milan, while rivals Marseille thrashed FC Zurich 6-1 to stand just a point behind the duo. - Sapa-AFP

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