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Page last updated at 21:14 GMT, Thursday, 1 October 2009 22:14 UK

Europa League as it happened



To get involved use 606 or text us your views & comments on 81111. (Not all contributions can be used)

By Jonathan Stevenson

2213: Done. Thanks a million for your company, I cannot tell you how much we appreciate it on nights like tonight. Please join Sam Lyon tomorrow at 0900 BST for his live text on the 2016 Olympic host announcement, and I'll see you again on Saturday when the Premier League returns. Sleep well.

From boxpenetrator 606: "Haha, Stevo I just saw Samuel Yeboah's goal, it was a tap-in from about 30cm after a lengthy goal mouth scramble... great celebration though, the kid must have been a gymnast to pull off that many flips!"

Fulham goalscorer Danny Murphy: "Tonight showed one thing - the Premier League is a priority and it should be, but we are not disrespecting this competition at all, you could see the hunger we showed to win the game and we want to stay in it."

Celtic boss Tony Mowbray: "We saw enough tonight to think that we can go to Vienna and win, but Hamburg will be very tough opponents, we know that."

2159: You can't keep a good man down. Or Europa League Macca, for that matter: "Lille will not want the full-time whistle to go. You can't really blame them after three goals in the last five minutes puts them 5-1 up at Slavia Prague. The full-time whistle has gone anyway. It's also blown at Anderlecht, but not before Jonathan Legear can grab an equaliser that keeps them top of Group A."

Full time
2156: Full-time Fulham 1-0 Basle
Big win for Fulham and they go top of their group ahead of a home tie with Francesco Totti's Roma in three weeks' time. Mark Schwarzer had to be alert to save from Scott Chipperfield with seconds remaining, too.

Full time
2152: Full-time Celtic 1-1 Rapid Vienna
Not the result they wanted at Celtic Park, either for what happened 25 years ago or for their current European campaign. But a share of the spoils is probably what the Austrians deserve.

2151: Oh God, what more can happen tonight, Europa League Macca? "Panathinaikos have gone in front away to Dinamo Bucuresti through Greek legend Giorgos Karagounis. Hamburg look home and dry after Ze Roberto puts them 4-2 up. By the way, does every team in Europe have a Brazilian these days? Anyway, David Villa, who is definitely not Brazilian, has scored from the spot to edge Valencia into a 3-2 lead. Anderlecht are down to 10 men after Jelle Van Damme is the latest to be dismissed for serious foul play. That's it for now."

2149: That would have been a truly fabulous goal as Basle's Brazilian Antonio da Silva curls (with pace) a stunning free-kick from fully 35 yards that flies about two inches wide of Mark Schwarzer's right-hand post. Garrincha and the others would have been proud at the bend on that one.

2147: Three minutes left at Celtic Park (1-1), five left at Fulham (1-0).

2145: Great chance for Marco Streller at Fulham, but the striker blazes over the bar from eight yards. Is that Basle's last chance to get something from the game?

2142: What a chance for Rapid, and the Celtic fans went horrifically silent for a second there as Nikica Jelavic, who has been kept so quiet since the break, heads a cross wide.

2141: Crazy night for Europa League Macca: "Lille have come from behind in Prague to lead 2-1. Forward Pierre-Alain Frau - who is nicknamed PAF, not sure why - is their latest scorer. Hapoel Tel-Aviv will have to play the last few minutes with 10 men after Walid Badir was dismissed for a spot of serious foul play. Ajax could be heading for top spot in Group A after former Charlton winger Dennis Rommedahl edged them ahead in Anderlecht."

2139: Remember, it's Celtic 1-1 Rapid, and Fulham 1-0 Basle. Meanwhile, I've just got over-excited that Tony Yeboah's nephew has scored. Please let it be either A) a scorching volley that crashes in off the underside of the crossbar from 25 yards or B) a juggling act that appears to be played out in fast-forward, followed by a quite ludicrous half-volley that crashes against the underside of the bar and flies in. Please.

2136: Andrew Johnson is denied a penalty at Fulham as he goes down under another challenge, this time from Behrang Safari - looked like he got the ball, to be fair to the guy.

2135: Fans of drama, look this way. Right now. Europa League Macca has more: "Drama, drama, drama. Not for Dinamo Zagreb, who are 3-0 ahead after Chilean Pedro Morales scores. But certainly at Valencia, where Houssine Kharja's penalty has levelled for Genoa. And quite possibly in Hamburg where Samuel Yeboah - nephew of Tony - has pulled one back for Hapoel Tel-Aviv, who now trail 3-2. And Galatasaray is a good place to host some drama, so ex-Liverpool striker Milan Baros probably thought when he grabbed the equaliser against Sturm Graz."

2134: Twice in two minutes at Celtic Park Shaun Maloney is given offside, the first one it's marginally the correct call, the second I'm not so sure, but he slams the ball against the post anyhow.

2131: Basle make an attacking substitution at Fulham, with defender David Abraham off and midfielder Antonio da Silva on in his place. More or less 20 minutes to go in both games now.

2129: At Celtic, Rapid are having a go again now. They've got Christopher Drazan on for Branko Boskovic, and he's making some hay down their left flank.

From redandblackT1899 606: "Artur Boruc seems to have recovered from the disastrous patch of form that plagued him towards the end of last season."

2124: We're, like, having a conversation now. I want goals, Europa League Macca. How can you help me? "If it's goals you want, Stevo, then Europe is here to help. Valencia have wasted little time in responding to that hammer blow before half-time by Genoa. Two goals in four minutes from David Silva and Nikola Zigic have put them in the lead. Dinamo Zagreb's Brazilian-born midfielder Jorge Sammir has increased their lead over Timisoara, while an own goal by Slavia Prague's Marek Suchy has levelled things up for Lille. More goals where they came from, I suspect."

2121: Could have been two at Fulham as Franco Costanzo races off his line needlessly to deal with Andrew Johnson, but Behrang Safari does well to keep his cool and head the ball away from danger.

Fulham goal: Nicely worked goal that, and the hosts get themselves in front. Stephen Kelly sends Andrew Johnson away down the right and his pull-back to the edge of the 18-yard box is side-footed into the corner by Danny Murphy via the right hand of Franco Costanzo.

2119: GOAL Fulham 1-0 Basle

2119: An actual chance at Fulham as Clint Dempsey turns into space and shoots 25 yards out, but his right-foot effort flies a yard or two wide. Has a lot of shots, doesn't he, Dempsey?

2116: Tony Mowbray cannot believe Gary Caldwell has missed as Celtic work a corner routine and it is flashed back across the six-yard box to Caldwell, who sticks out a boot and can only direct the ball wide.

2115: It's comically quiet for Fulham at Craven Cottage, absolutely nothing of note has happened since half-time. Meanwhile at Celtic, Danny Fox curls a shot towards the top corner and Helge Payer parries it away.

2112: Half-chance for Nikica Jelavic as he tries to latch on to a cross from the Rapid left, but Celtic have got a lot tighter to the striker and, under pressure, his effort flies wide.

2110: Super catch from Artur Boruc as Andreas Dober cracks in a right-footer from outside the box that seams away from the Pole. I wonder what would happen if I tried to explain that to Boruc...

2108: Cracking double chance for Celtic, who must be wondering how they are not ahead. Shaun Maloney beats the offside trap down the left and cuts into the box, but Helge Payer makes the save and from the rebound Scott McDonald's goalbound volley is whacked off the line by Ragnvald Soma.

2107: They're back in action at Craven Cottage, too, where it's Fulham 0-0 Basle. Come on goals.

2105: Back under way at Celtic Park. It's Celtic 1-1 Rapid Vienna.

From Rob, via text on 81111: "My missus just can't get her head around foreign teams. After taking the first half of the Utd game explaining the difference between Wolves and Wolfsburg, now it's hilarious that Basle have nothing to do with Fawlty Towers. Anybody wanna swap?"

2101: Want a round-up of the late games? "Europa League Macca, they're asking for you." And, magically re-appearing like the shopkeeper in Mr Benn, here he is: "Great time to score a goal, just before half-time. You don't need to tell Sergio Floccari that, he's just put Group B table-toppers Genoa 1-0 up away to Valencia. You don't need to tell Eljero Elia either, as he's already bagged to put Hamburg 3-1 up. Ditto Daniel Beichler as he has given Sturm Graz the lead away in Galatasaray."

2058: Celtic have lost their last two games at home in European competition, against Dinamo Moscow and Arsenal. They have never lost three in a row at home in Europe in history.

From rkbloggeron 606: "The Basle fans are making a lot of noise, you'd think they were the home team!"

2052: Half-time Fulham 0-0 Basle

2051: Andrew Johnson wants a penalty at Fulham, but he gets absolutely nothing instead. He goes down under a challenge from Basle keeper Franco Costanzo in the opposition's area, but German referee Michael Weiner waves his protests away.

2050: Half-time Celtic 1-1 Rapid Vienna

2047: What a chance for Celtic as Aiden McGeady swings over a cross from the right and Stephen McManus bullets a header wide of Helge Payer's left-hand upright. He probably headed that harder than most people can kick it.

2045: Artur Boruc makes a top class save to tip one-handed Steffen Hofmann's 25-yard free-kick over at Celtic. Hofmann isn't one-handed, you understand - the save was. Clear? Good.

2045: About five minutes left until half-time and it's Celtic 1-1 Rapid Vienna and Fulham 0-0 Basle.

2041: Basle's Benjamin Huggel brings down Clint Dempsey 22 yards out at Fulham and Danny Murphy curls the resulting free-kick a couple of yards over the bar.

2040: Aiden McGeady jinks away from one challenge on the edge of the Rapid box, but as he pulls the trigger another visiting defender makes a crucial intervention to deflect the ball wide.

2038: Here's more Europa League Macca, with a nod to history and ages to boot: "Sporting, runners up in 2005, have gone into the lead against Hertha Berlin through Portuguese midfielder Adrien Silva, while 1991 finalists Roma have grabbed two goals in as many minutes through their 20-year-old striker Stefano Okaka Chuka and their 32-year-old midfielder Simone Perrotta."

2035: Lovely stuff from Celtic as they carve Rapid open down their right, but Giorgios Samaras's pacy cross just evades Shaun Maloney at the far stick.

2033: Steffen Hofmann lashes a right-foot shot a little high and a little wide from 25 yards after a brilliant piece of improvised chest control from that man Nikica Jelavic.

2030: Golden chance for Benjamin Huggel at Fulham - how are Basle not ahead? From Marco Streller's headed knock-down, the midfielder can only side-foot over from five yards, an appalling miss.

2028: Half-chance for Rapid as a cross is sent over from the left and Branko Boskovic glances a header over Artur Boruc's crossbar.

2027: I love goals, me. Europa League Macca breeds them: "Hamburg's appropriately named Marcus Berg is having some fun against Hapoel Tel-Aviv. The Swedish hitman has only gone and got himself a second goal and they lead 2-0. Celtic could find themselves bottom of Group C if they're not careful."

Celtic goal: One piece of woeful defending each and we are back to level terms. Andreas Dober's reckless, careless backpass goes straight to Scott McDonald, he does really well to race into the Rapid area and, from a tight angle, crash a shot across keeper Helge Peyer and into the bottom corner.

2024: GOAL Celtic 1-1 Rapid Vienna

2022: Andrew Johnson has Fulham's best chance so far as Basle give the ball away and he surges forward, his 20-yard shot fling through a defender's legs and missing the post by a foot or so.

2021: The boy Nikica Jelavic, to say he's a danger doesn't even get close. He is inches away from flying on to a cross from the right, but the flag is up anyway. He's one to watch, both now and in the future.

2020: Goals are flying in again, which can only mean one thing, Europa League Macca: "A few early goals to update you on: Slavia Prague lead Lille thanks to a Tjani Belaid penalty, while, in Celtic's group, Hamburg are 1-0 up at home to Hapoel Tel-Aviv. Marcus Berg was their scorer. In Group A, Milan Badelj has put Dinamo Zagreb in front against Romania opponents FC Timisoara."

2019: Chance for Basle at Fulham as Alexander Frei drags wide of the far post after Stephen Kelly was caught out by Behrang Safari down the Basle left flank.

2018: Danny Fox goes on a decent run down the Celtic left, but he eventually runs the ball out and it's a goalkick. Can the former Coventry and England Under-21 left-back celebrate his first Scotland call-up in style this evening?

2016: Fulham have had one half-chance at Craven Cottage, but it's fairly even-steven in their game against Basle so far.

From memnoch666 on 606: "This Rapid team look deadly. I wonder what the odds are on them winning the full tournament? They certainly aren't intimidated by anyone."

2011: The crowd are a little more subdued in Glasgow now, that goal has just shattered Celtic's supporters in the early stages. Let's hope the team can bounce back.

Celtic goal: Not quite what they had in mind inside Celtic Park. Captain Stephen McManus gives the ball away and Nikica Jelavic is played through down the inside right channel, slamming an arrow-like shot into the far corner. Cracking finish.

2007: GOAL Celtic 0-1 Rapid Vienna

2006: The games at Celtic and Fulham get under way. In Scotland, every Rapid touch is being booed and every Celtic touch is being cheered. Don't be surprised if that lasts the entire game.

2003: Europa League Macca has some final chat from the earlier games: "By the way, Ivan Perisic grabbed a late draw for Club Brugge away to Toulouse. What an important point that is as well after they took a 4-1 hammering off Shakhtar in their opening game."

2002: The players are out at Celtic Park. This time, it's personal, and the Celtic fans are going to sing it loud and proud all evening.

2000: It's almost time for Celtic v Rapid Vienna and Fulham v Basle. I'm getting a banner update from Celtic Park: One says "Unforgiven"…. another says "1984-2009 - We still hate Rapid"… and one with the Rapid Vienna badge on it saying "Rapid Vienna - cheats, liars and conmen". Fair to say revenge is thick in the air.

From Chris, via text, on 81111: "It wasnt 'Goal Lazio' on Football Italia by the way! It was goalaccio, which is Italian for goaltastic. Just to clear up that myth."
I can't believe you'd think we don't know that. I'm mortally offended.

1953: It must be update o'clock. Here's Europa League Macca once again: "Bilbao's hopes of nicking a point late on lasted about seven seconds. Well maybe a few more, but they've got no chance now as Torsten Frings smashes a penalty low and into the net. It's 3-1 and there goes the final whistle."

1952: Europa League Macca: "Villarreal are having their troubles in La Liga and things are not looking too clever in Europe either as they now trail Salzburg 2-0 after the Austrian's Cameroonian midfielder Somen Tchoyi doubles their lead. In Group L, Austria Vienna have levelled at home to Nacional. Toulouse could be heading for victory as Andre Pierre Gignac has put them 2-1 in front at home to Club Brugge and Adem Ljajic has grabbed a consolation for Partizan Belgrade. A stunning turn and finish from Fernando Llorente has given Athletic Bilbao late hope."

Full time
1951: Full-time BATE Borisov 1-2 Everton
Not a bad game of football at all to kick-off the evening and Everton can be well chuffed to come from behind in very difficult circumstances and win. Back-to-back Europa League wins now for the boys from Goodison Park.

1949: ... which comes to nothing. Seconds left.

1949: We are deep into injury time, and BATE have a corner...

1947: My word that was close, another BATE attack and right-back Aleksandr Yurevich clips a left-foot shot a couple of yards wide from the edge of the area. To be fair to the boys from Borisov, they've given it absolutely everything as we enter stoppage time.

1946: Everton are living by their wits courtesy of some dogged defending in the later stages, this time Vitali Rodionov's shot deflecting wide off Tony Hibbert, before Sergei Sosnovski heads over from the resulting corner.

1943: A splash of tinkering from Fulham boss Roy Hodgson, bringing in 19-year-old Chris Smalling in place of Brede Hangeland at the heart of defence alongside Chris Baird. Jonathan Greening and Bjorn Helge Riise return to midfield while Andrew Johnson and Bobby Zamora take their places up front. Basel will make a decent fist of things at Craven Cottage having beaten Italian giants Roma in the previous round. Up front are the dangerous Alexander Frei and Marco Streller.

1942: Celtic v Rapid Vienna line-ups:
Boruc, Wilson, Caldwell, McManus, Daniel Fox, McGeady, Brown, N'Guemo, Maloney, McDonald, Samaras.
Subs: Zaluska, McGinn, Crosas, Robson, Loovens, Killen, Caddis.
Rapid Vienna: Payer, Dober, Patocka, Soma, Katzer, Heikkinen, Pehlivan, Kavlak, Hoffmann, Boskovic, Jelavic.
Subs: Hedl, Thonhofer, Kulovits, Salihi, Eder, Drazan, Konrad.
Referee: Bruno Miguel Duarte Paixao (Portugal)

1940: Hovhannes Goharyan makes an immediate impression, slipping a pass in for Vitali Rodionov, but after it appears he has got past Tony Hibbert the makeshift centre-back does well to recover and the danger is averted.

1939: BATE haul off goalscorer Dmitri Likhtarovich, who will rememeber tonight for the rest of his days whatever the score, and shove on Armenian hitman Hovhannes Goharyan.

1937: Europa League Macca goes all 1990s Football Italia on us: "Goooooaaaaalllllllll (for) Lazio. It's their fourth of the night courtesy of skipper Tommaso Rocchi and they look like they could well be top of Group G by the end of the evening."

1936: A weary Yakubu is taken off and Kieran Agard comes on for the Toffees.

Everton goal: Very, very good finish in such difficult conditions, and Everton have transformed the match. Leighton Baines' ball from the left is flicked on by Diniyar Bilyaletdinov and Tim Cahill times his run to perfection, clipping past Sergei Veremko on the slide. Cracking goal from the Australian.

1933: GOAL BATE Borisov 1-2 Everton

1933: About 15 minutes left in Belarus where it's BATE 1-1 Everton, about half an hour until kick-off in Glasgow and London.

1930: Just great times to be alive, aren't they Europa League Macca? "It's all turned a bit naughty in Bremen as Peter Niemeyer is shown two yellows in the space of about five minutes, the second for a late, late lunge. The Germans, who are 2-0 up against Athletic Bilbao, are down to 10 men. Meanwhile, Shakhtar have a fourth goal through Yaroslav Rakitskiy and Lazio a third, with Mourad Meghni the scorer."

1928: Fulham v Basle line-ups:
Schwarzer, Kelly, Baird, Smalling, Konchesky, Dempsey, Greening, Murphy, Riise, Zamora, Andrew Johnson.
Subs: Pantsil, Nevland, Gera, Kamara, Hughes, Saunders, Anderson.
Basle: Costanzo, Sahin, Abraham, Atan, Safari, Carlitos, Gelabert, Huggel, Stocker, Frei, Streller.
Subs: Colomba, Chipperfield, Almerares, Shaqiri, Cabral, Da Silva, Ferati.
Referee: Michael Weiner (Germany)

Everton goal: From the sublime to the ridiculous for BATE - after their stunning goal, some of the worst defending you could see. Leighton Baines floats over a free-kick from the left and Jo and Marouane Fellaini are so free it's barely even believable - the big Belgian does the honours and nods in his first for 14 games. SimpreZola, below - that one's for you, son.

1925: GOAL BATE Borisov 1-1 Everton

1924: Igor Shitov is shown a yellow card for a clumsy challenge on a marauding Yakubu. Seriously, stop it.

From SimpreZola on 606: "Goal repeller Stevo..."

1921: Europa League Macca latest: "Moussa Sissoko has produced an almost immediate response to Brugge's goal. It's 1-1 in Toulouse. Shakhtar Donetsk are going goal crazy against Partizan, with Rodrigues Jadson making it 3-0, and Alex has put Fenerbahce ahead away to FC Sheriff. The Turks could use the points after losing to FC Twente in their opener."

1918: We've had over an hour in Minsk, and Everton still trail the Belarussian champions BATE Borisov 1-0, thanks to Dmitri Likhtarovich's early 35-yard screamer.

1915: Marouane Fellaini drifts over a cross from the left but there's no pace on the ball so Jo has it all to do, and his header from 12 yards loops into Sergei Veremko's arms.

1914: Uh-oh. Europa League Macca - a man I learned many an appalling pun from - is back: "I was sure someone told me Club Brugge were playing to lose tonight. They obviously didn't tell Joseph Akpala as he has put them 1-0 in front away to French club Toulouse. Sorry. I'm really very, very sorry." So am I, son, so am I.

1912: More problems for Everton down their right flank as Tim Cahill tugs Maksim Bordachov back and this is a dangerous position for BATE...

1910: My colleague Sam is getting very excited, bless his little cotton socks. Tomorrow, he will be doing a live text on the announcement of the host city for the 2016 Olympic Games. Oh, he starts at 0900 BST, in case you were wondering.

1907: They do play some lovely stuff, BATE. Two quality passes down the right almost create an opening inside the Everton box, but Tony Hibbert reads the danger and slides across to get the ball clear.

1904: A most humble and contrite Europa League Macca returns: "Sorry about that Euro fans, I went missing for a bit there. Here's what's been happening: Portuguese side Nacional are ahead at Austria Vienna, Shakhtar Donetsk have doubled their lead at home to Partizan Belgrade, Ronaldo Naldo has got a second for Werder Bremen, a Daniel Majstorovic goal for AEK Athens sees Benfica trail in Greece and Mauro Zarate grabbed a second for Lazio shortly before the half-time whistle. That's all really."

1902: Back under way in Minsk. It's still cold - oh, and it's raining, too. Bit like Manchester yesterday.

From chocl8rain on 606: "My favourite long-range goal of all time is Hugo Almeida's thunderous free-kick against Inter in the Champions League. Haven't seen it, but if BATE's goal was anywhere near as good as that then I would take my hat off to them, if I had one..."
It's up there, trust me.

1857: Europa League Macca has been having some technical problems. We'd like to apologise for a lack of updates, but rest assured, they'll shortly be coming thick and fast. I did tell him to turn it off and on again, but he wouldn't listen.

From Neil in Runcorn, via text on 81111: "Keith in NI - does that mean crispy duck for dinner tonight then?"

1850: You want early team news from Glasgow? You got it: Celtic midfielder Aiden McGeady has been passed fit to face Rapid Vienna, having recovered from an ankle injury that forced him to miss the win over St Mirren at the weekend. McGeady is expected to play on the wing in a four-man midfield, with Shaun Maloney on the opposite flank. But Andreas Hinkel misses out through injury, with Mark Wilson coming in at right-back. Gary Caldwell and Stephen McManus will be the central defensive pairing, with Glenn Loovens dropping out. Celtic will play with two up front, with Georgios Samaras and Scott McDonald given the starting places.

1847: Half-time BATE Borisov 1-0 Everton

1845: Crikey, the last thing Everton need is another injury, but Jo requires a little bit of treatment after a clash in the middle of the pitch. We're into first-half stoppage time.

1844: Lovely feet from Leon Osman as he skips past two tackles, but when he plays the ball into the BATE box Yakubu is caught on his heels and cannot grab possession.

1840: It's a cracking atmosphere in Minsk and it goes up a decibel or two every time BATE get near the Everton box. Keith is right - BATE are having an awful lot of joy down young Dan Gosling's side.

From Keith, NI, via text on 81111: "Stevo, young Gosling has been getting a bit of a roasting so far!"

1835: I've only just noticed the extra officials in play in the Europa League tonight. When someone told me there were two guys behind the goals, I wondered why the former Turkey and Blackburn schemer would get involved in such a thing...

1832: Good grief. Europa League Macca in the mixer: "It's goals o'clock. SV Red Bull Salzburg's Euro campaign is flying without wings. After their opening win over Lazio they are now 1-0 up at home to Villarreal in Group G, a potential Group of Death I reckon. Lazio's hopes are looking a bit more rosy as Brazilian midfielder Matuzalem has put them in front at Levski Sofia. Not to be outdone, FC Copenhagen and Shakhtar Donetsk are also leading."

1829: Marouane Fellaini is spared a bit of embarrassment after heading bizarrely off target - but the flag had already gone up. BATE are forced into a change as Igor Sasevich comes on for Maksim Skavysh.

From ShotsPaauul on 606: "How come Forest weren't allowed a replay while Vienna were?"
Cos in those days, Uefa hated English clubs... haha. Good job that changed.

1825: Tim Cahill should score. The Australian is played into space inside the BATE area on the left-hand side and it's a golden chance, but he badly scuffs his shot and it's deflected behind.

1823: I'm still reeling from that Dmitri Likhtarovich wonder strike. I mean, eat your heart out Arie Haan. What a hit.

1822: Oh what a night. Europa League Macca is having a ball: "Wonder goals are us. Werder Bremen go in front at home to Athletic Bilbao when the ball falls kindly for Aaron Hunt just inside the area. There was still plenty of work to do and he did it in some style, thumping a volley home. Smashing stuff."

1819: Oh no, Europa League Macca had just whacked me this missive when BATE spanked one in from a mile: "PSV are the proud owner of tonight's opening goal. Otman Bakkal has put them in front after eight minutes in their home tie against CFR 1907 Cluj-Napoca. Or shall we just call them Cluj?"

BATE goal: That is one of the finest goals from distance you will ever see. BATE build-up down their left and when the ball falls back to Dmitri Likhtarovich 35 yards out, he absolutely lashes it with his magical right boot into the top corner past a flailing Tim Howard. Two keepers wouldn't have saved that. It's probably still rising. Etc, etc. A stunning goal.

1816: GOAL BATE Borisov 1-0 Everton

Someone has struck the woodwork
1813: What a hit that is from Everton's very own enormously-named Russian wide boy. Diniyar Bilyaletdinov scampers away down the left and fires in a sizzling shot from an improbable angle that beats the keeper and crashes back into play off the left-hand upright. Brilliant.

1811: BATE are knocking it around quite nicely, and not just to keep warm either. They've monopolised possession in the early stages, content to move Everton around the pitch and wait for an opening.

1808: You don't have to be a rocket scientist to work out that it's freezing cold in Minsk right now, though a few of the hard core Everton boys have gone short-sleeved shirts. If you are a rocket scientist, maybe Minsk is a good place to go...?

1805: It's a low-key start in the Dinamo Stadium so far, with both teams doing little more than checking each other out.

From setyourselfonfire - Radoslaw! pomoc! ratuj! on 606: "Stevo! How could you forget another disastrous thing about European football in 1984? Nottingham Forest were knocked out of the Uefa Cup in the quarter-finals by Anderlecht - the referee took a bribe for the away fixture in Belgium. It remains the only case of referee-bribery to be proven in European football."
Two points to make: A) If you really thought I wasn't going to mention that tonight, you don't know me at all and B) It was the semi-finals, mate ;)

1801: Don't think we haven't started in Minsk. Because we very much have.

1800: Good God, nearly forgot Stevo's Predo's:
BATE 2-1 Everton
Fulham 1-1 Basle
Celtic 2-2 Rapid Vienna

1757: As the players walk out on to the Dinamo Stadium pitch, let's just remember what a good team BATE are. They played in the Champions League last season and by no means disgraced themselves - check these results out:
Real Madrid 2-0 BATE
BATE 2-2 Juventus
Zenit 1-1 BATE
BATE 0-2 Zenit
BATE 0-1 Real Madrid
Juventus 0-0 BATE

1754: You know what I love most about the Europa League? Getting to grips with new players - especially ones with wonderful names. With the likes of Sosnovskiy, Rzhevskiy, Likhtarovich and Nekhaychik involved, it's like living the text commentator's dream. Don't even get me started on the left-back...

From Tony, getting ready for night shift in Exeter, via text on 81111: "Doesn't matter about the reasons why Celtic lost because the 1984 Everton team would have beat them both at the same time!"

1750: So Everton, with a host of first-teamers already unavailable including Steven Pienaar, Johnny Heitinga and Lucas Neill, are forced into a further last-minute change for the trip to Minsk as Jospeh Yobo is ruled out late on with a thigh injury. That means a makeshift backline is in operation for the Toffees, with teenager Dan Gosling at right-back and Tony Hibbert at centre-half, while Jo is partnered by Yakubu up front.

1746: BATE v Everton line-ups:
BATE: Veremko, Yurevich, Shitov, Sosnovskiy, Bordachov, Pavlov, Likhtarovich, Krivets, Rodionov, Nekhaychik, Skavysh.
Subs: Hutar, Volodko, Radkov, Stasevich, Baga, Rzhevskiy, Goaryan.
Everton: Howard, Gosling, Hibbert, Distin, Baines, Osman, Cahill, Fellaini, Bilyaletdinov, Jo, Yakubu.
Subs: Nash, Duffy, Agard, Baxter, Wallace, Mustafi, Akpan.
Referee: Pavel Balaj (Romania).

1743: There's an early game to concentrate on before we get to Celtic, though. The Hoops and Fulham v Basle both kick-off at 2005 BST, but at 1800 hours Everton are in action in Minsk as their injury-hit squad takes on reigning Belarusian Premier League champions BATE Borisov.

1740: Thought you might want to get involved. Get rid of 25 years of pent-up rage by texting to 81111 and joining the debate on 606. Come on, let it all out.

1738: Or that Rapid are playing tonight in a special red strip to commemorate that *special* night in Manchester 25 years ago? "It's not aimed at upsetting Celtic," said Rapid spokesman Sharif Shoukry, presumably while winking in the vague direction of 2006's Cristiano Ronaldo and Bloodgate's Tom Williams.

1736: Oh, did I mention that the goalscorer in Manchester was current Rapid coach Peter Pacult?

1734: If this story has passed you by, here's a snapshot: Celtic lose first leg tie 3-1 at Rapid Vienna, but produce stunning fightback to win second leg 3-0 and book quarter-final berth. Oh no you don't, says Rapid's Rudi Weinhofer, who allegedly fakes injury, claiming he has been hit by an object thrown from the Celtic fans. Uefa agrees, says the result shouldn't stand and orders a replay, with the game to be played at least 100 miles from Glasgow. Rapid win 1-0 at Old Trafford and end up in the final, where they lose 3-1 to Everton.

1730: George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, the classic dystopian novel, tells a story of a world where totalitarianism is king, where an oppressive regime rules by fear and real events are systematically manipulated into untruths. It was also 1984 when a frankly appalling decision by European football's governing body Uefa led to Celtic being dumped out of the European Cup-Winners' Cup by Rapid Vienna, much to the Scottish club's disgust. In Glasgow, they've been talking about little else for days. Rapid are bored by the continual telling of the story. The Uefa Europa League is about to get unbelievably lively.

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Europa League results

1 Oct 2009 23:59 UK

Home Team Score Away Team Time
AEK Athens 1-0 Benfica R
Anderlecht 1-1 Ajax R
BATE 1-2 Everton R
Celtic 1-1 Rapid Vienna R
FC Copenhagen 1-0 Sparta Prague R
FC Dinamo Bucuresti 0-1 Panathinaikos R
Tiraspol 0-1 Fenerbahce R
FC Twente 0-0 Steaua Bucuresti R
FK Austria Vienna 1-1 Nacional R
FK Ventspils 0-0 Heerenveen R
Fulham 1-0 Basle R
Galatasaray 1-1 SK Sturm Graz R
Hamburg 4-2 Hapoel Tel-Aviv R
Levski Sofia 0-4 Lazio R
Timisoara 0-3 Dinamo Zagreb R
PSV 1-0 CFR 1907 Cluj-Napoca R
Roma 2-0 CSKA Sofia R
S. Donetsk 4-1 P. Belgrade R
Slavia Prague 1-5 Lille R
Sporting 1-0 Hertha Berlin R
SV Red Bull Salzburg 2-0 Villarreal R
Toulouse 2-2 Club Brugge R
Valencia 3-2 Genoa R
Werder Bremen 3-1 Athletic Bilbao R

see also
Celtic 1-1 Rapid Vienna
01 Oct 09 |  Europe
Fulham 1-0 Basle
01 Oct 09 |  Europe
BATE 1-2 Everton
01 Oct 09 |  Europe
Football on the BBC
11 Aug 10 |  Football

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