Arsenal 3-1 Celtic
Arsenal made light work of Celtic in their Champions League qualifier’s second leg, winning 3-1 on the night and 5-1 on aggregate.
The game turned when Eduardo earned and dispatched a controversial penalty after 28 minutes.
Emmanuel Eboue then scored following a slick passing move eight minutes after the re-start and substitute Andrey Arshavin added a third on 74 minutes.
Massimo Donati hit a superb consolation in injury time for the Hoops as Arsene Wenger’s side went through with a comfortable 5-1 aggregate victory.
The cost of failure, both financial and in sporting terms, would have been immeasurable on the Gunners, who have consistently competed among the elite clubs of European football for more than a decade.
For now, at least, the likes of Manchester City must sit and watch as Wenger’s side take their place in the pot for Thursday’s group stage draw in the millionaire’s playground of Monaco, with expectations once again set high they can go one better than their semi-final appearance last season.
Celtic, meanwhile, may be giants in Scottish football but dropping into the Europa League will prove little consolation for the missed revenue and big-match experience.