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Page last updated at 22:10 GMT, Thursday, 18 February 2010

Europa League football as it happened


To get involved use 606 or text us your views & comments on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide). (Not all contributions can be used)

By Caroline Cheese

2207: Over and out. Thanks for sticking around tonight. Il Stevo returns on Saturday for what's certain to be a lively weekend of Premier League. More lively than Liverpool-Unirea Urziceni anyway.

From lochnesssnowman on Twitter "I don't think Rafa's comments (see 1919) fully prepared us for that horror. I'm glad I only had to endure it via text."

2204: We'll need a new bandwagon soon. This one's getting ever so full. Danny Murphy reckons Bobby Zamora has got to have "a good shout" of getting into the England squad if he continues his current form. Remember where you heard it first though, yes?

From Scouse House Mafia on 606: "Does anybody else's eyes hurt watching us this season? It's absolutely appalling."

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard: "I think we'll get more joy away from home against these. They'll have to come out and try to beat us. I'm confident we can win more convincingly away from home."

2158: Anfield may be a bit flat, but it's buzzing at the Cottage where Fulham celebrate a fine first-leg win over defending champions Shakhtar Donetsk. You'd make the Ukrainian side favourites to go through, but still an excellent result for Roy Hodgson's side.

BBC 5 live summariser Jan Molby: "Liverpool cannot produce a performance like that again in a week's time. There wasn't that buzz you get on European nights at Anfield. Once the players couldn't lift the crowd, it was always going to be a very disappointing night."

2156: FULL-TIME Fulham 2-1 Shakhtar Donetsk

2156: FULL-TIME Liverpool 1-0 Unirea Urziceni

2154: Late pressure from Shakhtar and Mark Schwarzer pulls off a wonderful save to deny Fernandinho a late equaliser at Craven Cottage. They're into added time there too.

From Ituralde on Twitter: "Re 2150: All that abundant number of officials did not notice that foul on Masch??"

2152: Four minutes of added time remaining at Anfield.

2150: Pablo Brandan is a very lucky boy. The Argentine, who has already been booked, slides in on Javier Mascherano on the right-hand edge of the box. He gets nowhere near the ball, but Liverpool only get a corner.

2148: Lazaros Christodoulopoulos has made it 2-2 for Panathinaikos against Roma. That's Lazaros Christodoulopoulos. Bet they don't much call for his shirt in the club shop.

2147: Liverpool threatening a second now. Steven Gerrard brings the ball down brilliantly outside the area, creating the space for a shot which whizzes just past the post.

From joew3103 on Twitter: "Re 2126: If if you think that's Zamora's best goal check out some of the ones he scored for Brighton, pure skill."

Liverpool goal: The near-silence is broken at Anfield as the two substitutes combine to help break the deadlock. Daniel Pacheco heads Ryan Babel's deep left-wing cross across goal for David Ngog to nod in from close range.

2142: GOALFLASH Liverpool 1-0 Unirea Urziceni (Ngog)

2141: Javier Mascherano loses out to Iulian Apostol in the centre circle and it's a promising counter for Unirea - but Apostol gets his shot all wrong, bending it well wide.

2137: The anonymous Alberto Aquilani is the next to be hooked by Rafa Benitez. The promising Daniel Pacheco will have a go instead.

2135: I notice you're all very keen to jump on the 'Zamora for England' bandwagon. Just remember who started it way back on 6 December 2009 at 1542 GMT.

2133: An easier chance for Bobby Zamora now. It's a free header about eight yards out but he heads wide. Should have chested it down and gone for the volley. Probably would have flown in.

2132: Fabio Aurelio whips over a delicious corner from the right, and Martin Skrtel has lost his marker but heads over. Should have scored.

2130: Damien Duff puts a cross onto the head of Zoltan Gera but Andriy Pyatov makes the save. Unbelievable turnaround at the Cottage.

From fcessiogba on Twitter: "ZAMORA YA BEAUTY!!!!!!!!!!!"

Fulham goal: That is surely the best goal Bobby Zamora has ever scored. The soon-to-be England striker picks up the ball from Zoltan Gera and smashes a glorious right-foot shot into the top corner from 20 yards. His 14th goal of the season and an absolute cracker.

2126: GOALFLASH Fulham 2-1 Shakhtar Donetsk (Zamora)

2125: Ryan Babel skips down the left and crosses deep for Steven Gerrard, who is shepherded away from danger by the defender.

2124: Great save by Unirea keeper Giedrius Arlauskis, pushing Fabio Aurelio's well-struck shot around the post. Ryan Babel does indeed come on, replacing the disappointing Albert Riera.

2122: Rafa Benitez is surely thinking of changes now. Ryan Babel?

Yellow card
2119: Pablo Brandan sticks out a leg to trip Steven Gerrard in the centre circle. That yellow card means the Argentine will miss the second leg in Romania. From the free-kick, Gerrard has a shot from outside the box, but blasts it well over.

From anon via text: "I'll nip out and put the kettle on. Someone always scores then."

2116: And after typing that, I look up to see Albert Riera in a good position on the left - but crossing straight to a Unirea defender. Understandable groans from the Anfield faithful.

2114: An update on the ties in which the winners could face British opposition in the last 16. Make sense? Thought not. Juventus have a 2-1 lead after the away leg against Ajax (could face Fulham). Lille beat Fenerbahce 2-1 at home (could face Liverpool) and Atletico Madrid lead Galatasary 1-0 (could face Everton).

2113: Steven Gerrard heads another one wide from a right-wing cross. Not an easy chance.

2112: Come on something... happen.

2108: Bit of faffing about at Craven Cottage, but Shakhtar eventually get the second half under way. No changes there either.

2106: Liverpool fans making some decent noise as we get under way in the second half at Anfield. No changes.

2103: Well, things may look a bit gloomy for the British clubs tonight, so if you need some cheer, can I highly recommend watching Marion Rolland's heroic effort in the women's downhill yesterday? It's on the BBC website for UK viewers and probably on a video-sharing website for those of you out there in the big wide world.

From Fernando Torrid-time Defense on 606: "Ngog moving around the penalty box, is like a cute kitten jumping up and down the couch. He is so so soft..."

2055: Yes, sorry, wrote Unirea twice. Me rubbish. Meanwhile, an anonymous texter reminds us that Rapid Vienna manager Peter Pacult came up with an interesting verdict on the experimental goal-line officials. "You just have two more people standing around doing nothing. I don't think though that the game will suffer additionally by having two more penguins running around on the pitch."

BBC 5 live summariser Jan Molby: "Liverpool's European campaign has been a nightmare this season, and that has continued in the first 45 minutes here. It has been dreadful."

2052: HALF-TIME Liverpool 0-0 Unirea Urziceni

2051: HALF-TIME Fulham 1-1 Shakhtar Donetsk

From Winnerpool... on 606: "Rafa please remove Ngog and bring on Babel on the right with Kuyt up top!"

2049: Still Shakhtar running the show at Craven Cottage, where Fulham are struggling to get a touch on the ball. The Ukrainians look like they could score again at any moment.

Yellow card
2045: Steven Gerrard nicks the ball past Bruno Fernandes and seems to look for the foul, earning the defender a yellow card. Bit harsh. Jan Molby doesn't even think it's a free-kick.

2041: Unirea make a mess of clearing a corner and Javier Mascherano's viciously struck shot is blocked by the defender. Moments later, David Ngog shows some neat skill in the box, turning and smacking low a shot, which is well saved.

Shakhtar goal: And they're not hanging on any more. Ilsinho threads the pass through for Luiz Adriano, who stays onside before taking the ball past Mark Schwarzer and rolling it into the empty net. Well taken and well deserved.

2037: GOALFLASH Fulham 1-1 Shakhtar Donetsk (Adriano)

2036: Darijo Srna fires a shot narrowly wide of Mark Schwarzer's right-hand post. Still 15 minutes remaining in the half and Fulham hanging onto their lead.

2034: All Shakhtar at Craven Cottage now as Jadson has a shot blocked.

BBC 5 live summariser Jan Molby: "It's easy to criticise the tempo, but if there is no movement - and there is absolutely none from Liverpool - there's nothing you can do."

From Rob, London, via text: "The extra officials without flags remind me of awkward looking miming singers without microphones during 80's Top Of The Pops."

2028: Fulham have a free-kick after Bobby Zamora finds Yaroslav Rakitskiy on his back as the striker tries to hold the ball up. Danny Murphy shoots just wide from 25 yards.

2024: Rafa Benitez was spot on, by the way. The atmosphere will depend on his players tonight. It's noticeably quiet at Anfield at the moment. Liverpool are working hard unquestionably, but they could perhaps do with upping the tempo.

2022: Albert Riera drives in the cross from the left, finding an unmarked Steven Gerrard - but the skipper glances the header wide. Shakhtar coming back into it against Fulham after that shaky start.

2020: Re 2013: Yes, texters, they might be the fifth and sixth officials. Unless, like me, you call the fourth official the sixth official.

2019: Fabio Aurelio beats the wall but is about two yards wide with a free-kick from about 25 yards.

2015: Dirk Kuyt drags a shot across the face of goal for Liverpool. A decent-ish start for the hosts, up against a team who have parked the bus.

2013: Mohamed al Fayed will be fuming. There's a man in a tracksuit by each goal-line. Yes, people who are new to the Europa League, they're the fourth and fifth officials.

Fulham goal: Sizzling start for Fulham against, let's not forget, the defending champions. Danny Murphy plays the ball forward for Bobby Zamora, who touches it on brilliantly for Zoltan Gera to squeeze a shot under the body of Andriy Pyatov.

2007: GOALFLASH Fulham 1-0 Shakhtar Donetsk (Gera)

2006: Shakhtar might be the holders, but they clearly haven't heard of Brede Hangeland. The giant Fulham defender is twice allowed free headers from corners, his first forcing a fine tip over from Andriy Pyatov and the second blocked by a defender. All inside the first minute.

2005: Liverpool up and at 'em straight away, Dirk Kuyt sliding a ball through for Steven Gerrard, whose shot is pushed around the post by Unirea keeper Giedrius Arlauskis.

2005: And they're off at Anfield... and Craven Cottage.

2003: Now, in case you're unfamiliar with the Europa League, this is the last 32. They've already made the draw for the last 16. Should Everton win, they'll face Atletico Madrid/Galatasaray. Should Liverpool win, they'll face Lille/Fenerbahce. Should Fulham win, they'll face Ajax/Juventus.

1959: Rangers, of course, know much more than they'd like to about Unirea Urziceni. Walter Smith's side were royally thumped 4-1 by the Romanian side in Champions League Group G. The Wolves of Baragan also beat Sevilla as they finished with eight points, one more than Liverpool. I just wrote that because I really don't like Liverpool (see previous text).

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson: "Tonight we go one step further than we've been before in this tournament by playing the holders. They have a lot of very good players on a very big budget and they have dominated their league as a result. I don't know whether it helps them or us that they haven't played recently because their season has finished - we'll know by the end."

From anon via text: "Wow, we haven't kicked off yet and already it's pretty clear you REALLY don't like Liverpool do you Caroline?! Heaven forbid if we're not 3-0 before half time."

From FourFourTwo blogger NMTB on Twitter: "Re 1937: Aghahowa is missing because he isn't in Shakhtar's Europa League squad. He was replaced by their new signing Douglas Costa."

From Urchin D, via text: "Re 1939: I have been chucked out of a shop for trying to steal a tracksuit, in a tracksuit. Does that count? Come on you Reds."

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez: "I've told the players, the atmosphere depends on us, if we work hard and play at a high tempo. They don't concede too many goals so I don't see an easy game, we won't score a lot of goals, I hope I'm wrong!"

1942: In case you missed the news, Dan Petrescu hopped it from Unirea during the Romanian season's winter break to join Russian side Kuban Krasnodar. In his place comes Roni Levy, who was manager of Maccabi Haifa when they lost a tight game 2-1 at Anfield in the 2006 Champs League qualifying round.

From Farrell, a very excited Fulham fan, via text: "Still cannot believe we are in the last 32 of the Europa League, to be in the same round as regular Champions League teams such as Liverpool, Ajax, Shakhtar, Juventus, etc, is nothing short of unbelievable... I still think we will probably lose tonight, but enjoying the experience. The Cottage tonight is going to be rocking."

From The Kid from Fuenlabrada on 606: "Shakhtar are a very good side. There are plenty of good teams in this competition and Liverpool, Everton, and Fulham fans have no reason to be arrogant or overconfident."

1939: Have you ever been chucked out of a shop because you were wearing a tracksuit? Why not let me know on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (world) or get on 606 or Twitter.

1937: TEAM NEWS Fulham v Shakhtar Donetsk
Fulham boss Roy Hodgson makes two changes from the side that thrashed Notts County in the FA Cup, with Stephen Kelly in for the ineligible Nicky Shorey and fit-again Zoltan Gera returning at the expense of David Elm. Holders Shakhtar are missing influential forward Julius Aghahowa, but influential Brazilians Fernandinho, Willian and Rodrigues Jadson all start.

1933: TEAM NEWS Liverpool v Unirea Urziceni
Jamie Carragher shakes off a groin injury and starts for Liverpool, who make three changes from the side that lost to Arsenal in the Premier League last week. Fabiano Aurelio comes in for Emiliano Insua in defence while, in midfield, Alberto Aquilani is in for Leiva Lucas after recovering from an illness and Albert Riera replaces Rodriguez Maxi, who is ineligible. Unirea Urziceni, as expected, play just Marius Bilasco up front in manager Roni Levy's first game in charge.

1930: TEAMS Fulham v Shakhtar Donetsk
Fulham: Schwarzer, Baird, Hughes, Hangeland, Kelly, Davies, Etuhu, Murphy, Duff, Gera, Zamora. Subs: Zuberbuhler, Nevland, Riise, Smalling, Greening, Elm, Marsh-Brown.
Shakhtar Donetsk: Pyatov, Srna, Kucher, Rakitskiy, Rat, Ilsinho, Hubschman, Fernandinho, Willian, Jadson, Luiz Adriano. Subs: Khudzamov, Lewandowski, Gai, Douglas Costa, Gladkyy, Kravchenko, Ischenko.

1927: Meanwhile, at the Cottage they call Craven, Fulham entertain defending champions Shakhtar Donetsk. This game has been overshadowed by the Pitmen (as I prefer to call them) being turfed out of Harrods (officially because the shop was "too busy", unofficially because the Pitmen were wearing tracksuits). The Ukrainian club posted the following on their official website: "The players decided to increase the earnings of one of London's reputable shops - Harrods. The footballers, who have money and are eager to buy a lot, were certain to leave a big sum. You may be surprised but the Pitmen weren't allowed to enter the shop. The staff said that the group of customers was too big and suspicious. All of them were wearing similar tracksuits. The players explained this was the football team and were not in the habit of taking tuxedos to the training camp to go shopping. But those explanations were fruitless."

1924: TEAMS Liverpool v Unirea Urziceni
Liverpool: Reina, Carragher, Skrtel, Agger, Aurelio, Mascherano, Aquilani, Kuyt, Gerrard, Riera, Ngog. Subs: Cavalieri, Kyrgiakos, Babel, Lucas, Insua, Degen, Pacheco.
Unirea Urziceni: Arlauskis, Maftei, Galamaz, Bruno Fernandes, Brandan, Paraschiv, Onofras, Paduretu, Apostol, Frunza, Bilasco. Subs: Tudor, Mehmedovic, Rusescu, Nicu, Vilana, Marinescu, Bordeanu.

1922: Does Rafa not understand that having watched Milan-Man U and Porto-Arsenal on successive nights, the ball being in both boxes all the time is the very least I expect? Hang on, the ball being in both boxes all the time...? Um…

1919: Liverpool's reward for coming third in their Champions League group is a tie against Romanian champions Unirea Urziceni - or The Wolves of Baragan, as I prefer to call them. I'll hand over to Rafa Benitez for the BIG build-up: "The problem with Unirea is that they are defensively good, they play on the counter and so it will not be open, not a game you enjoy watching, with the ball in both boxes all the time."

1915: "Anyone who underestimates the Europa League is not for me." No, no, dear people who are bored enough to bother reading these intros, those are not my words, they are from the mouth of Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard. And who are we to argue?

Print Sponsor

Europa League results

18 Feb 2010 23:59 UK

  • Ajax1-2Juventus
  • Athletic Bilbao1-1Anderlecht
  • Atletico Madrid1-1Galatasaray
  • Club Brugge1-0Valencia
  • FC Copenhagen1-3Marseille
  • FC Twente1-0Werder Bremen
  • Fulham2-1S. Donetsk
  • Hamburg1-0PSV
  • Hertha Berlin1-1Benfica
  • Lille2-1Fenerbahce
  • Liverpool1-0Unirea Urziceni
  • Panathinaikos3-2Roma
  • Rubin Kazan3-0Hapoel Tel-Aviv
  • Standard Liege3-2SV Salzburg
  • Villarreal2-2Wolfsburg

see also
Football on the BBC
11 Aug 10 |  Football

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