26.08.2014 20:04 h

Zenit cruise into Champions League group stage

Zenit St Petersburg eased into the Champions League group stage for the fourth season running on Tuesday with a 3-0 win at home to Belgians Standard Liege securing a 4-0 triumph on aggregate.

Last season's Russian Premier League runners-up had been in control of the tie after winning 1-0 in Liege last week thanks to Oleg Shatov's early goal.

In the return at the Petrovski Stadium, Andre Villas-Boas's side took the lead half an hour in when Venezuelan striker Jose Salomon Rondon converted after Japanese goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima had palmed a Domenico Criscito cross into his path.

Standard rarely looked like coming back into the tie, and they were killed off in the second half when Hulk bagged two goals four minutes apart just before the hour mark.

First the Brazilian forward netted from the penalty spot after Jelle van Damme had fouled Igor Smolnikov, and then he pounced on a loose pass by Jeff Louis to run half the length of the field and beat Kawashima with a left-footed finish.

Zenit could find themselves in the second pot of seeds for Thursday's draw for the group stage, which will take place in Monaco, while Standard, runners-up in the Belgian top flight last season, will drop into the Europa League group stage.

Later on Tuesday, Scottish champions Celtic host Maribor of Slovenia looking to progress after drawing 1-1 in the first leg last week.

Elsewhere, Porto take a 1-0 lead into the home leg of their tie against Lille, while the ties between BATE Borisov and Slovan Bratislava and APOEL and Aalborg are both level at 1-1.

The remaining five ties will be played on Wednesday, including Arsenal at home to Besiktas after a 0-0 draw in Turkey last week and Athletic Bilbao hosting Napoli after a 1-1 draw in Italy in the first leg.