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Page last updated at 22:38 GMT, Thursday, 17 March 2011

Europa League as it happened


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By Jonathan Stevenson

2225: I've been Jonathan Stevenson, your host on a night when British participation in the Europa League came crashing to a halt. But it wasn't dull, was it? Lively last week (see 1740), stuff going on today - Mario Balotelli losing the plot, five officials missing a blatant goalline handball and Liverpool, er... Anyway, I'm off, but get in the mix with Sam Lyon on Friday at about 1030 GMT for the Champions League quarter-final draw. See you soon, maybe. Bless you.

Champions League quarter-final qualifiers:
Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Chelsea, Tottenham, Inter Milan, Shakhtar Donestk, Schalke

Europa League quarter-final qualifiers:
Benfica, Braga, Dynamo Kiev, FC Porto, FC Twente, PSV Eindhoven, Spartak Moscow, Villarreal

From James, Newbury, on text: "Catastrophic refereeing in Scotland... I'm embarrassed, Stevo. What's happening to our lovely game of football?!"

From Matthew__Hirsch on Twitter: "We desperately need to sign to top wingers in the summer if we want to get the best out of Andy Carroll."

Liverpool 0-0 Braga (agg 0-1)
Mandeep Sanghera reports: "Liverpool limp out of the Europa League and rarely looked like breaking Braga down. It just became even clearer that reinforcements are needed in the summer."

Rangers 0-1 PSV Eindhoven (agg 0-1)
Colin Moffat reports: "Rangers are left to rue a timid first-half display as they crash out of Europe. Walter Smith's men looked much better when they adopted a more positive approach and things might have been different had the multitude of match officials spotted a clear handball on the goal-line. However, PSV did go close to extending their lead on a couple of occasions. On balance, the better team, just, has gone through."

Man City 1-0 Dynamo Kiev (agg 1-2)
Saj Chowdhury reports: "Judged purely on his efforts so far this season, Mario Balotelli is unlikely to ever reach his target of becoming one of the world's best players. Too often, his fiery temperament has let him down and tonight he let down the blue half of Manchester. He's now been sent off twice this season - another strike and he could be out of City."

2208: What a day. On Black Thursday, I wonder what our match report writers make of it...

From InfostradaLive on Twitter: "Liverpool scored just one goal in their last five European matches, their lowest scoring rate ever in five successive European games."

2204: Braga, would you believe, have never before reached the quarter-finals of a European competition, so many congratulations to the plucky Portuguese. They are celebrating as you'd expect with their fans in a corner of Anfield, like they've just won the thing. Happy times.

From Chris in Cheltenham, on text: "Well, this shows that we don't have the best league in the world, just a good top four and a totally mediocre rest."

Europa League Danny: "Full-times. FC Porto 2-1 CSKA Moscow (agg 3-1). Villarreal 2-1 Bayer Leverkusen (agg 5-3). So Porto and Villarreal join the others in the last eight..."

2158: Full-time Liverpool 0-0 Braga (agg: 0-1)

2158: Full-time Rangers 0-1 PSV Eindhoven (agg: 0-1)

2157: Liverpool try to get the ball into the Braga penalty area, but it just hasn't happened for them tonight. It's a desperately disappointing night.

2155: Raul Meireles chips a free-kick to the far post, but David Ngog agonisingly fails to make contact as he leaps at the back post. Not much time left now.

2154: There will be four minutes of injury time at Anfield as well. The end is nigh...

2153: Madjid Bougherra falls under an Ola Toivonen tackle inside the PSV area, but referee Robert Schorgenhofer of Austria denies the Ibrox men a route back into the match once again. Four minutes of stoppage time there.

2152: Rangers are still attacking, but two goals is an awful lot to ask against a side of PSV's quality. Liverpool only need once chance to fall their way, but we're approaching stoppage time now and Anfield isn't exactly humming. Braga bring on Mossoro for Leandro Salino.

From Rob, Aberystwyth, on text: "Collina. People forget Villarreal in August 2005. Refereeing is no worse than it was a decade ago. The mistakes are just more high-profile. Football is crying out for video technology. People cite romance, but where's the 'romance' in cheating? Don't blame refereeing, blame the lack of technology."

Europa League Danny: "Looks like it's all over for Bayer Leverkusen, although a Gonzalo Rodriguez own goal has reduced the deficit after Giuseppe Rossi's earlier goal for Villarreal. It's 2-1 on the night to the Spanish club and 5-3 on aggregate, so Villarreal look safe."

2148: The corner falls for Andy Carroll, but his header seems to hit team-mate Dirk Kuyt on the back of his head. When the ball is played back into the mixer, Martin Skrtel's shot is saved brilliantly by Artur, who came flying off his line.

2147: Liverpool have a corner, as Braga take off Lima and send on Albert Mayong, the Cameroonian.

Someone has struck the woodwork
2146: That is almost goodnight Rangers as PSV's Hungarian winger Balazs Dzsudzsak slams a low left-foot free-kick against the inside of Neil Alexander's left-hand post, the ball ricocheting to safety.

2145: Liverpool and Rangers have nine minutes - the Reds need a goal to take Braga to extra-time, while the Scottish side need two to go through at home to PSV. It's now or never time.

From MaxNeal13 on Twitter: "How can Blatter sit there and justify not using replays? Suppose the only good thing is that it piles on the pressure for video."

2141: Liverpool have upped the tempo and David Ngog turns neatly on the left-hand edge of the Braga 18-yard box, the Frenchman slamming a shot into the midriff of Artur. Just one goal needed for extra-time.

2140: So, David Ngog has gone up top to partner Andy Carroll, Dirk Kuyt is on the left wing and Raul Meireles on the right. At Rangers, Madjid Bougherra has a free header on the penalty spot from a corner, but he heads woefully over. Rangers are running out of time, too.

Mike from Edinburgh, on text: "Between this latest farce at Ibrox, the Van Persie red card and Martin Atkinson's absolute 'mare at Stamford Bridge, the standard of refereeing across the world is getting so much worse! Either bring in technology or bring back Pierluigi Collina. The game is suffering."

2138: Jay Spearing and David Ngog are on for Joe Cole and Maxi. Liverpool are running out of time.

2137: Braga take Vandinho, who is booked for time-wasting, off for Kaka, who elbowed Andy Carroll in the head a week ago. Not a popular move around Anfield in any way, in fairness.

2136: Decent break from Liverpool as Glen Johnson powers down the right and sends over a cross that is begging to be converted, but Raul Meireles cannot get there in time and Artur gathers.

2134: Rangers have indeed looked the better team after half-time, which makes you wonder why Walter won't be a bit more attacking more often. At Liverpool, Braga's Hugo Viana hits an audacious 30-yard free-kick goalwards, but Pepe Reina's safe hands deal with the danger.

From Maaaattyy on Twitter: "Daylight robbery. Rangers have looked a better team after half-time though. COME ON GERS!"

2132: Great save from Rangers keeper Neil Alexander, who dives to his left and tips a wicked curling effort from Ola Toivonen around the corner. Rangers clear the danger.

2131: Liverpool's frustration grows, we're now halfway through the second half and they do not look any closer to breaking the deadlock at home against Braga. They only need one to take us to extra-time, remember.

2128: Rangers' night goes from bad to worse as Kyle Lafferty is stretchered off and El-Hadji Diouf, who, I read recently, wants to become a manager one day, is on in his place. If it was lively before...

2127: I'm stunned by that. Genuinely. It was so obvious straight away. How on Earth can Uefa say this five officials system works?

2125: Oh my life. Rangers have been robbed blind - how many referees does it take to see a handball, for goodness sake? Utterly shameful officiating. A Steven Naismith header slams against the crossbar inside the six-yard box and from the follow-up, Maurice Edu's shot is clearly handled on the line by Atiba Hutchinson. Should be a red card and a penalty, but nothing is given. It's just laughable.

2123: Rangers should be level. After a flick-on by Steven Whittaker, the ball falls to Maurice Edu, but the midfielder's shot from about 12 yards brings a decent save from Andreas Isaksson.

2121: Chance for Liverpool. Dirk Kuyt whips over a cross from the Reds left and Raul Meireles has got into a great position about 10 yards out, only for the Portuguese to thump a header a few yards over Artur's crossbar. Think he was trying to get too much power behind it.

From Matt, on text: "Nothing to worry about for Liverpool yet. It's Olympiakos '05 all over again, except this time they only need two goals, not three..."

2119: Gregg Wylde is doing very well down the Rangers left and his cross into the PSV six-yard box is touched behind by Marcelo, who wasn't too far away from putting it into his own net. Boy could Rangers do with a goal right now.

2117: The ball drops for Maxi just inside the Braga box out on the left and the Argentine slams a volley over the Portuguese side's crossbar.

2117: Slightly brighter from Rangers and PSV are thankful for a solid boot from Wilfred Bouma to clear the danger as a loose ball bounces around the box. Home crowd getting a bit louder.

Yellow card
Yellow card
2115: Andy Carroll and Braga's Paulao square up after a challenge on the byeline - Carroll is trying to stop the ball going out for a goalkick and he swings a leg towards the ball which makes contact with the defender, who confronts Carroll. They are both booked, as Fabio Capello watches on, deep in conversation with Ian Rush.

2113: Liverpool are really trying to get themselves going, but the assistant's flag denies Andy Carroll the chance to get away on the right. At Ibrox, Jeremain Lens flashes a left-foot shot wide of the Rangers goal - if PSV score again, it really is curtains for the Scots.

From Avant77 on Twitter: "You have to see this... Mario 'Bib'otelli involved in the funniest thing that has ever happened."
I said it at 1840, but there's something not right about that boy

2109: Rangers made a change at the break, bringing on Steven Naismith for David Weir. That's an attacking move from Walter Smith, something he was left with little choice about.

2108: Back under way at Ibrox and Anfield. As it stands, there will not be a single British team in the Europa League quarter-finals. Let's do something about that, shall we?

From Henrik in Winchester, on text: "Liverpool the epitome of mediocrity in that first half. Carroll showing good signs but with Liverpool's depressingly untalented bench it is hard to see how the King can change things and prevent Liverpool being knocked out of yet another competition."

2103: Don't forget, your chat is as important as mine: text me at 81111, tweet with the hashtag #BBCFootball or tweet me @Stevo_football. You'll make Europa League Danny a very, very happy man.

From palexandcsco on Twitter: "If City lose at Wembley, Mancini is History. Balotelli has been a liability for him."

2059: Apparently, Roberto Mancini revealed after the Man City game that in-disgrace striker Mario Balotelli may not be in the squad for Sunday's Premier League game against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Mancini was reacting after Balotelli's shameful sending off earlier in their 1-0 win over Dynamo Kiev, which put City out of the Europa League 2-1 on aggregate.

Europa League Danny: "Other, non-Brit themed half-times. FC Porto 2-1 CSKA Moscow (agg 3-1). Villarreal 1-0 Bayer Leverkusen (agg 4-2)."

Half time
2054: Half-time Liverpool 0-0 Braga (agg: 0-1)
Mandeep Sanghera's HT snapshot: "Liverpool's early impetus quelled the longer the half went on and they are struggling to break a tough nut in Braga."

Half time
2052: Half-time Rangers 0-1 PSV Eindhoven (agg: 0-1)
Colin Moffat's HT snapshot:
"PSV have been cruising since Jeremain Lens tapped in that early goal. The visitors are knocking the ball around with remarkable ease and Rangers have not posed any kind of threat. Walter Smith must commit more men in attack if they are to have any chance of finding the two goals required to progress. The home fans are not at all happy."

2051: Andy Carroll meets a Maxi cross from the left with his head, but he cannot get enough power on it and glances the ball wide of Artur's left-hand post. Into first-half injury time at Ibrox and at Anfield.

2049: Rangers' Steven Whittaker does better with this cross from the left, sending it to the back post where Madjid Bougherra nods over the bar.

2048: Raul Meireles and Alan crash heads in the Braga half but the referee doesn't stop play and both players get up promptly, thankfully. It's a bit flat at Anfield, and Ibrox too for that matter. Hopefully the fans can raise the roof after the break.

2046: Rangers have a minute's breathing space from PSV attacking and Steven Whittaker takes a free-kick 40 yards out, spooning his cross aimlessly out of play, to more groans from the locals at Ibrox.

2045: Braga keeper Artur comes a long way for a cross and guess what? Andy Carroll goes up with him and is penalised for making contact with Artur. I wonder how many free-kicks Carroll will concede in his Liverpool career...

From George, a nostalgic Fulham fan, on text: "Re 2034 - Where are Bobby Zamora's European exploits when you need them?"
Ah, my kingdom for Bobby Zamora. My (Europa League) hero.

Europa League Danny: "Europa League Danny has spoken too soon (see 2034). Zoran Tosic pulls one back for CSKA Moscow at Porto, and the Russian side trail 2-1 on the night, 3-1 on aggregate. Meanwhile, Gonzalez Cazorla springs the offside trap and produces a lovely finish for Villarreal who take the lead 1-0 on the night against Bayer Leverkusen and are 4-2 up overall."

2040: Dirk Kuyt peels away down the Liverpool right and his cross into the penalty area is heading for Andy Carroll, who once again goes to ground, appealing for a penalty. Nothing doing, and moments later Raul Meireles puts the ball back into the box, Lucas going down under a challenge from Alberto Rodriguez, but that's never a spot-kick either. Frustration for Liverpool.

2038: Liverpool need a spell of possession, but Joe Cole carelessly gives the ball away. How much they'd give to have Luis Suarez on the pitch right now.

Europa League Danny: "Looks like job done for Porto. Fredy Guarin puts them 2-0 up on CSKA Moscow - that's 3-0 on aggregate."

2034: In 270 minutes last Thursday and nearly 150 today, there has been one solitary goal from a British team. Balazs Dzsudzsak fires way over from a good position in the box for PSV, as Rangers continue to struggle.

2032: Rangers' fans are showing their annoyance at a frustrating display from their team so far. Meanwhile at Anfield, Braga are the better team at the moment. It's gonna be a long night.

From barcastuff on Twitter: "Official: Abidal had surgery for 3 hours. The tumour has been totally removed. He could leave the hospital in a week."

From Mopgaw on Twitter: "Might be time for Rangers to adopt an insanely adventurous 4-4-2 formation..."

2028: A Liverpool corner comes over from the right and Andy Carroll seems to be pushed in the Braga box by a visiting defender. Carroll falls into another defender, and is penalised. Oh referee Gianluca Rocchi from Italy, behave. Coulda, woulda, shoulda been a penalty.

2026: Liverpool's strong start has subsided a little, a bit like City's did earlier. Braga, and Alan in particular, have settled, and the Brazilian fires a left-foot shot wide from 30 yards after cutting forcefully inside.

From Robert, on text: "In an Indian restaurant in north London following Liverpool game on the BBC. Malabar fish curry, dhal and a mint paratha, since you ask, plus a pint of the Amber nectar. And I'm an Everton fan. Text-based commentary is curiously addictive."

2022: We cannot have extra-time at Ibrox, now, and Rangers are going to have to start doing some attacking. Could be an apocalyptic night in the Europa League for the Brits.

PSV goal: And now Rangers need two to go through. PSV catch them cold with a break down the left as Erik Pieters sends Balazs Dzsudzsak away and his cross into the six-yard box is slid home by the on-rushing Jeremain Lens, who was too quick for Sasa Papac to track.

2020: GOAL Rangers 0-1 PSV (Lens) (agg: 0-1)

2019: Maxi's cheeky backheel almost gets Andy Carroll into space in the penalty area, but the big frontman has strayed a yard offside. Liverpool are doing enough to suggest they are very much in this tie, though.

From GoodFootball on Twitter: "Joe Cole's hand-on-hips stance: the most infuriating posture in world football? Goals to be had at Anfield."

2015: Atiba Hutchison side-foots wide from 20 yards for PSV after uncertainty in the Rangers defence. Apart from goals, it's all happening.

2014: Unplayable - it's all about Andy Carroll. He gets a flick on inside the Braga box and Joe Cole spanks a left-foot shot that Artur saves. From the rebound, Carroll's shot is deflected behind, and from the corner the giant striker heads just wide of the far post. He's in the game, no doubt.

2012: Gregg Wylde crosses from the Rangers left and Steven Whittaker fouls a PSV defender as he tries to latch on to it. Nervy start for both teams at Ibrox. Apparently, Rangers' prospective new owner Craig Whyte has taken a seat at Ibrox. Reports suggest a takeover could be completed by the end of next week.

Europa League Danny: "Incredible. Hulk nets for FC Porto inside three minutes to put them 1-0 up on CSKA Moscow and 2-0 on aggregate. Fightback needed if they're to join fellow Muscovites Spartak in the last eight."

2010: Lively, snappy start at Anfield and Joe Cole tries to get Dirk Kuyt through the middle, but the midfielder's pass is just a touch too strong and Artur comes out to gather.

Man City boss Roberto Mancini: "It's a disappointing result. We deserved another goal tonight. We played a fantastic game with only 10 players. I didn't see the [Mario Balotelli] incident from the bench so I can't comment. But we would have won the game with 11 players on the pitch."

From Theo, Liverpool, on text: "J-Dog, I'm a student at Liverpool Uni and a candidate in the student presidential elections... after a 5am start for campaigning, this football is MORE than welcome! As I'm missing out on St Paddy's, any chance of some publicity for a fellow football aficionado?!"
J- what?? Are you actually for real?

2006: Under way at Anfield, and under way at Ibrox. Two cracking venues, let's hope for two belting ties. Get in touch: text us on 81111, tweet with the hashtag #BBCFootball or tweet me @Stevo_football. Do it for Britain (or Europe).

Europa League Danny: "There are a couple of lovely-looking 2005 GMT kick-offs elsewhere in Europe. FC Porto host Kirill Nababkin's CSKA Moscow and they only have one of your European goals to overturn - Fredy Guarin notched the only one in the first leg for the Portuguese side. Meanwhile, Villarreal and Bayer Leverkusen served up a first-leg cracker, with the Spanish side triumphing 3-2 in Germany. A difficult return leg to predict - but expect breathless sporting drama, I say."

Man City's Vincent Kompany: "As soon as we went down to 10 men it became a very difficult game. We gave up a lot of energy in this game. I thought we played well."

2003: Hello UK web users - if you manually refresh your page, or are so inclined to do such things, you will get BBC Radio 5 live commentary of Liverpool v Braga. That, and Rangers v PSV, are just about to start. Don't go anywhere.

From Jonny in Thrapston, on text: "Balotelli will have his team-mates to answer to for losing this."

From energ1s on Twitter: "Balotelli cost us the tie. Dynamo were poor and with 11 men they could have been well beaten."

Europa League Danny: "Well, that second half didn't really deliver goals-wise across Europe. Sorry. Alex's beauty of a free-kick for Spartak Moscow was the only one in all four ties. Here are your non-Manchester based full-times. Paris Saint-Germain 1-1 Benfica (agg 2-3). Spartak Moscow 3-0 Ajax (agg 4-0). Zenit St Petersburg 2-0 FC Twente (agg 2-3). So Benfica, Spartak Moscow and FC Twente join Dynamo in the last eight."

1956: Just so you are sure, Man City are out of the Europa League.

1955: Full-time Manchester City 1-0 Dynamo Kiev (agg: 1-2)

1954: Edin Dzeko tries to fashion a shooting chance, but he is crowded out. We're over the five minutes of injury time now...

1953: Yaya Toure shoots, the ball bounces just in front of Olexandr Shovkovskiy and Carlos Tevez, typically running across the goalkeeper, narrowly fails to get a touch. So, so close. Deep into injury time, and we're still not finished...

1951: Edin Dzeko brilliantly controls a long ball with his chest on the edge of the Dynamo area and swivels, hitting a superb left-foot half-volley that flies into the arms of Olexandr Shovkovskiy. Either side of him and that might have been in. Hang on, City have a free-kick 35 yards out, and they're all getting involved...

1950: The blood rushes to Vincent Kompany's head and he volleys wide from 30 yards when a ball into the mixer would have made more sense. Dynamo bring on Betao for stoppage time (wasting).

1949: Dynamo have been as bad tonight as they were good last week. They have hardly offered anything, the Ukraine side. A couple of Adam Johnson inswinging corners from the right come to nothing for Man City.

1948: City just cannot get the ball in the Dynamo area often enough. We do have five minutes of injury time coming up, though.

1946: Ayila Yussuf keeps slicing clearances - City need him to be defending in his own six-yard box, not on the halfway line. City bring on James Milner for Aleksandar Kolarov. Not a great deal of time left, and that kitchen sink is nowhere to be seen...

BBC Sport's Mandeep Sanghera: "Pepe Reina is making his 300th Liverpool appearance and tonight Jamie Carragher equals former captain Emlyn Hughes' record of 45 games in this competition."

1943: Roberto Mancini is always telling us his players are tired, and I don't think chasing a tie for nearly an hour with 10 men is going to help. The hosts are starting to look tired, and Dynamo are looking for a goal that would properly kill this off as a contest. Roman Eremenko's 25-yard drive is pushed over by Joe Hart.

1940: Close for City again. Aleksandar Kolarov crosses from the left, it comes off the head of Dynamo defender Danilo Silva and goalkeeper Olexandr Shovkovskiy has to be alert to push it behind for a corner. Less than 10 minutes of normal time remaining, and City need a goal to take us to extra-time.

1939: Hang on, one of the Dynamo players is down with an "injury". He is told to get up by the referee, and does so. Time-wasting is high on their agenda at the moment, and with such a slender lead you can't really blame them.

Liverpool v Braga team news
Mandeep Sanghera reports: "Liverpool striker Andy Carroll makes his first start for the club since his £35m January move from Newcastle. He is one of three Reds changes from the first leg as defender Danny Wilson and midfielder Maxi Rodriguez also come into the side with Sotirios Kyrgiakos, Jay Spearing and Christian Poulsen dropping to the bench. Braga make two changes as defender Paulao and midfielder Vandinho replace Kaka and Mossoro."

Yellow card
1936: City are going to throw the kitchen sink at Dynamo now and the Ukraines are getting a little nervous as Ayila Yussuf slices a clearance out for a corner, which comes to nothing. Nigel de Jong is booked for Man City soon after.

1934: Edin Dzeko comes on for David Silva. Mug's game, gambling.

1933: Edin Dzeko is the next to take his tracksuit off, the Bosnian will be coming on shortly. Dynamo are slowing the game down at every opportunity at the moment. It's clever, but very frustrating. Hope there's significant injury time to reflect it.

From colthekid on Twitter: "No quibbles about the red card, but apart from that this ref has been AWFUL! Fussy doesn't even come close!"

1929: Adam Johnson comes on for Gareth Barry and Man City are about to go for it with 20 minutes left.

1929: Adam Johnson is stripping off on the Manchester City bench. One for the girls, there.

1927: I think Roberto Mancini is getting frustrated by some decisions at Eastlands - he laughs at the referee after one call goes the way of the Ukraine side. It's got to be Edin Dzeko o'clock sooner rather than later, surely?

1925: My word that was close for Man City. A cross from the left is headed into the ground and towards the back post by Denys Garmash - the ball seems to be dropping into the net, before Joleon Lescott heads it off the line.

1925: David Silva again has a shooting chance after he is slipped into the Dynamo area by Gareth Barry, but the ball is a touch too far ahead of him and his left-foot shot at an angle is well saved by Olexandr Shovkovskiy.

From Matt, Liverpool, on text: "Happy to see Carroll starting, but struggling to see another dimension or someone able to change the game if Braga frustrate us. Weak, weak bench."

1921: Joe Hart comes over all David James - what is he doing? A shot is deflected and it's going out for a corner, so Hart tries to keep it in, but only flaps it to Andriy Yarmolenko, whose cross does not find a team-mate. If it did, Hart was out of his goal. Risky stuff.

Yellow card
1920: We've had more than an hour at Eastlands, and as it stands Manchester City are going out of Europe. Vincent Kompany brings down Roman Zozulya and it booked. The ineffective Andriy Shevchenko is taken off by Dynamo and on in his place is Denys Garmash.

Europa League Danny: "Wow. Alex lines up a free-kick from 30 odd yards for Spartak Moscow and slams it into the corner. Ajax keeper Jeroen Verhoeven gets hands to it and will be disappointed, but it was sweetly-struck indeed. Spartak Moscow 3-0 Ajax, 4-0 on aggregate. Job done."

1916: Rangers v PSV Eindhoven line-ups:
Alexander, Foster, Bougherra, Weir, Papac, Whittaker, Davis, Bartley, Edu, Wylde, Lafferty.
Subs: McGregor, Fleck, Naismith, Healy, Diouf, Hutton, Hemmings.
PSV: Isaksson, Tamata, Marcelo, Bouma, Pieters, Engelaar, Hutchinson, Lens, Toivonen, Dzsudzsak, Berg.
Subs: Cassio, Rodriguez, Vukovic, Koevermans, Wuytens, Bakkal, Zeefuik.
Referee: Robert Schorgenhofer (Austria)

1914: David Silva runs at the Dynamo defence but soon he is surrounded by them, and the Spaniard still manages to get a shot in that is deflected behind for a corner. Knew I shouldn't have bet on him to score today...

From ajmcleish on Twitter: "What's going on, Stevo?? More twists and turns than a salsa class, Kiev to get away goal and shut up shop. City to finish with eight."

1911: He's hit that, the lad. The ball drops invitingly for Andriy Yarmolenko about 35 yards out and he hits a sizzling left-foot half-volley that, unfortunately for him, just curls away from Joe Hart's right-hand post. The keeper probably had it covered.

Yellow card
1909: Ouch. I'd be amazed if either of them didn't wake up in all sorts of trouble tomorrow. It's a 50-50 and Carlos Tevez and Leandro Almeida both go in no holds barred for the ball, cannoning off each other and both writhing around on the floor. The Dynamo man is booked, which seems a little harsh. David Silva curls in the free-kick and Micah Richards heads over.

1908: Liverpool v Braga line-ups:
Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Skrtel, Wilson, Maxi, Lucas, Meireles, Cole, Carroll, Kuyt.
Subs: Gulacsi, Pacheco, Kyrgiakos, Ngog, Spearing, Poulsen, Flanagan.
Braga: Artur Moraes, Miguel Garcia, Paulao, Rodriguez, Silvio, Alan, Leandro Salino, Vandinho, Hugo Viana, Paulo Cesar, Lima.
Subs: Cristiano, Kaka, Mossoro, Helder Barbosa, Meyong, Dani, Peterson.
Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (Italy)

1906: Aleksandar Kolarov slams in another left-foot shot from 20 yards, but this is an easy save for Olexandr Shovkovskiy. Kolarov injures himself in the process, but he should be OK after some treatment.

1904: Dynamo Kiev have sent on Roman Zozulya for Milos Ninkovic and Man City get us under way in the second half. City lead 1-0 on the night, but trail 2-1 on aggregate. Big 45 minutes ahead for the 10 men.

1904: Rangers v PSV Eindhoven scene-setter:
Colin Moffat reports:
"Rangers need a win to progress, any win. However, with the tie goalless after a cagey affair in the Netherlands, don't expect a cavalier approach from Walter Smith's men. It could be a long, nerve-wracking evening for the Ibrox faithful. The home side have one eye on Sunday's Co-operative Insurance final with Celtic, which may explain the absence of Steven Naismith and El Hadji Diouf. It's a 5-4-1 formation, with teenage midfielder Gregg Wylde making his first European start."

1903: Liverpool v Braga scene-setter:
Mandeep Sanghera reports: "If Braga's impressive home record in the first leg helped them nudge ahead with a 1-0 lead, the Portuguese side's record in England should be a cause of concern for them and hope for Liverpool. Of five games in England, Braga have failed to win and have lost four, including two 6-0 defeats at Arsenal earlier this season and Tottenham in 1984. The Reds need to win by two clear goals and will be hoping the Anfield factor comes into play. They have won nine and drawn one of their last 10 home European matches."

1901: Predo? Thoughts on Mario? You don't have to be a psychiatrist, but it might help. Whack us a text to 81111, tweet with the hashtag #BBCFootball or tweet me @Stevo_football. Go Balotelli bonkers.

From Craig, Swindon, on text: "Balotelli is clearly a United fan. Sendings off and cards galore, just a ploy to do over City?"

1855: Breaking news: Andy Carroll starts for Liverpool at home against Braga.

From mg0892 on Twitter: "City have shown enough, even with 10 men, to prove they can score again. The tie hinges on what Kiev can do at the other end."

Europa League Danny: "Half-times - PSG 1-1 Benfica (agg 2-3). Spartak Moscow 2-0 Ajax (agg 3-0). Zenit St Petersburg 2-0 FC Twente (agg 2-3)."

Half time
1849: Half-time Man City 1-0 Dynamo Kiev
Saj Chowdhury's HT snapshot: "A very strange half. City have created several chances, the best falling to Mario Balotelli, who missed from about three yards. The Italian is then shown a red and City score about a two minutes later. Fancy predicting the outcome?"

Yellow card
Yellow card
1848: A booking apiece, as Milos Ninkovic is cautioned for a foul on Nigel de Jong, and then Carlos Tevez gets a yellow for a furious reaction to the assistant not giving him a decision. Both teams are desperate to win this, it's obvious.

From Anon, on text: "We should take pity on Balotelli, his allergy to grass forcing him to jump that high off the ground."

1844: Dynamo have a half-chance of their own, but Andriy Yarmolenko's right-foot shot from the edge of the Man City box is easily dealt with by Joe Hart.

Europa League Danny: "Oooh. Here's one for you. Alexander Kerzhakov makes it Zenit St Petersburg 2-0 FC Twente. You do the maths. Actually don't, I will - it's 2-3 on aggregate and Zenit are right back in it. Nervous Twente times."

Man City goal: Or City will play much better without Mario Balotelli and will cruise through... Eastlands erupts as the 10 men go in front, David Silva touching a free-kick on the right-hand angle of the Dynamo penalty area to Aleksandar Kolarov and the left-back taking it infield before rifling a low shot under the body of Olexandr Shovkovskiy and into the net. Game on.

1841: GOAL Man City 1-0 Dynamo Kiev (Kolarov)

Europa League Danny: "Mathieu Bodmer levels in France. It's PSG 1-1 Benfica, but the Portuguese side retain the advantage - 3-2 on aggregate. Match = in the mix."

1840: Fifteen starts for Mario Balotelli in a Manchester City shirt, which have brought eight yellow cards and two reds. There's something just not quite right about that boy. I worry about him.

Red card
1838: SENDING OFF (Mario Balotelli, Man City)
I think the Italian might have just cost his side a place in the last eight. He goes in chest, then thigh-high on Goran Popov, right in front of the referee and assistant. He's sent off, no questions asked.

Europa League Danny: "Game over in Russia? Morais Welliton races through after Dmitri Kombarov's through ball, keeps his nerve and slots home to make it Spartak Moscow 2-0 Ajax - and 3-0 on aggregate. He nearly slides his way to an injury celebration on the frozen running track after the goal, but recovers from some inadvertent splits. Ajax done for, it would seem."

1834: City are getting real joy down both flanks right now and they go close once more, this time Yaya Toure hammering a low cross into the six-yard box from the right byeline and once again David Silva is only inches away from getting a touch on it in the danger zone.

1832: City are getting close, but still no cigar. Micah Richards crosses on the run from the right, Mario Balotelli glances on a header at the near post and the ball is cleared by a Dynamo defender inside his six-yard box just as David Silva is arriving.

Europa League Danny: "Nicolas Gaitan of Benfica has silenced the Parisians. He's put the Portuguese side 1-0 up at Paris Saint-Germain and it's a big goal. Benfica lead 3-1 on aggregate."

1829: Better from City. Aleksandar Kolarov fires over a cross from the left which is half-cleared into the path of David Silva just inside the Dynamo area - the Spaniard clatters a left-foot volley goalwards but it hits Mario Balotelli, who has no time to get out of the way, and flies well wide.

From Halpinforpope on Twitter: "Trying to digest tea, Chris Moyles' marathon, Eng CWC permutations and Balotelli's miss - only so much this brain can take."

1827: Andriy Shevchenko turns Nigel de Jong and then stops running, and it's enough for the veteran striker to be given a free-kick. Soft. But we're more than halfway through the first half, and Dynamo will be over the moon with proceedings thus far.

Europa League Danny: "Looking good for Spartak Moscow, who have taken a 1-0 lead over Ajax on the night and who now lead 2-0 on aggregate. Dmitri Kombarov with the goal."

1825: All going off at Arsenal. No sooner do they confirm the re-signing of Jens Lehmann on a rolling monthly contract until the end of the season, than news breaks that manager Arsene Wenger and midfielder Samir Nasri have both been banned for one match for improper conduct by Uefa. Also, Tottenham first-team coach Joe Jordan has been banned for one match following the incident involving Gennaro Gattuso in the first leg of their Champions League against AC Milan.

Europa League Danny: "Here's your first Euro-goal of the night. Zenit St Petersburg have taken a 17th-minute lead against FC Twente to reduce their aggregate deficit to 3-1 (yes, thanks eagle-eyed fans, Twente did indeed win the first leg, not Zenit). Anyway, the main point is this - is it comeback o'clock?"

From Lat, London Victoria, on text: "Re: Jdubb - Silva-ware there's a will, there's a way."

1819: Fabio Capello is sitting in the stand at Eastlands with Kolo Toure, the banned City defender. Wonder if he's asking Kolo who he thinks should be England captain? On the pitch, Yaya Toure fouls Goran Popov and City have gone a bit flat all of a sudden.

1818: Yeah, gonna need more input from you tonight, I'm afraid: text 81111; tweet with the hashtag #BBCFootball and tweet me @Stevo_football.

1816: Practicalities alert: It's very simple - away goals count after 90 minutes. So if Man City beat Dynamo 3-1, the Ukraine side would go through. If City win 2-0, we go to extra-time and then penalties. Without an away goal from any of our British clubs after the first leg a week ago, what we don't need are Dynamo/Braga/PSV scoring.

1814: Dynamo have successfully slowed the tempo of the game down after a fast and furious City start, which obviously suits the Ukraine side more. Mario Balotelli heads an Aleksandar Kolarov corner from the left over.

From Jdubb, on text: "(See 1733) If City won the Europa League, would Silva be strong enough to lift it?"

1811: David Silva is heavily involved in City's build-up play at the moment, the Spaniard buzzing around trying to make things happen. City are certainly going for it, but they must be careful Dynamo don't catch them on the break, because conceding a goal would be a disaster.

1808: Oleh Gusev looked pretty handy in Kiev and he's at it again, cutting in from the City left and firing in a low shot that Joe Hart does well to get down and save. It's potentially a wonderfully open game of football, this.

1806: Taxi for Mario... that's a shocker from Balotelli and City should be ahead. The hosts are already camped in the Dynamo half and Micah Richards fizzes the ball across the six-yard box - but at the back post, the Italian striker leans back and blazes way over with the goal gaping.

1805: Carlos Tevez goes on an early run down the City right, just outside the Dynamo area. He falls to the floor under challenge from two Dynamo defenders, but nothing given by referee Cuneyt Cakir. Moments later, Tevez fires in a shot from 12 yards that is deflected behind. Great start from City.

1803: Andriy Shevchenko gets us under way at Eastlands. Remember, from the first leg Dynamo Kiev lead Manchester City 2-0.

1801: We've just had a superb minute's silence for the victims of the last week's devastation in Japan and we're about to get under way.

From MitchellA42 on Twitter: "If Tevez is in the mood there is only one outcome."

1758: Man City are resplendent in light blue shirts, white shorts and light blue socks, while Dynamo Kiev showcase their all-royal blue kits. Captains Carlos Tevez and Olexandr Shovkovskiy lead them out at Eastlands. Bit early, isn't it?

Europa League Danny: "Drama fans will be aware that the 'Round of 16' is poised to deliver spanking big thrills in tonight's second legs - and not just in Manchester. Starting with the 1800 GMT kick-offs - Paris Saint-Germain have a 2-1 deficit to overturn at home against Benfica. Allez. Spartak Moscow have a slender 1-0 advantage in their home leg against Ajax, who may want to snood up in predicted temperatures of -5C. The only seemingly done deal is at Zenit St Petersburg, who start 3-0 down against FC Twente, who have one foot in Friday's quarter-final draw."

Man City manager Roberto Mancini: "The plan is not to concede any goals and score three if possible. It'll be very, very difficult, but we want to try. We have to be patient, we can score in any moment."

1752: Manchester City v Dynamo Kiev team news:
Saj Chowdhury reports: "Man City, needing goals, have Mario Balotelli in the starting line-up, after the striker was forced off in the first leg in Ukraine following an allergic reaction. He replaces Shaun Wright-Phillips, with Gareth Barry coming in for Patrick Vieira in the only other change from Saturday's FA Cup win over Reading. England winger Adam Johnson makes the bench after the best part of two months out with an ankle injury. Dynamo Kiev make two changes from the first leg, bringing defender Leandro Almeida in for Yevhen Khacheridi and Milos Ninkovic in for the dangerous - but injured - Artem Milevskiy."

From MCFC on Twitter: "We might be two goals down on aggregate but we can turn this round! Remember Gillingham '99 & Tottenham '04? Let's hope it will be Kyiv '11!"

From Anon, on text: "'Soon we will all turn to dust' is a bit deep for quarter to six! I put £20 on Rangers, Man City and Liverpool going through. Let's hope mine is gold dust!"

1745: Stevo's Predos:
Man City 2-1 Dynamo Kiev
Liverpool 3-1 Braga
Rangers 1-1 PSV Eindhoven

1743: Manchester City v Dynamo Kiev line-ups:
Man City:
Hart, Kolarov, Lescott, Kompany, Richards, Barry, Toure Yaya, De Jong, Balotelli, Tevez, Silva.
Subs: Taylor, Milner, Wright-Phillips, Dzeko, Adam Johnson, Vieira, Boyata.
Dynamo Kiev: Shovkovskiy, Danilo Silva, Leandro Almeida, Yussuf, Popov, Gusev, Eremenko, Vukojevic, Yarmolenko, Ninkovic, Shevchenko.
Subs: Koval, Betao, Rybalka, Garmash, Nesmachniy, Zozulya, Guilherme.
Referee: Cuneyt Cakir (Turkey)

1741: Manchester City v Dynamo Kiev scene-setter:
Saj Chowdhury reports: "This is a huge test for Manchester City and their manager Roberto Mancini. Last week, they were outplayed by European stalwarts Dynamo Kiev on a very chilly night in the Ukraine. Eastlands will feel like room temperature and City will have to put the heat on their opponents early on or they may be faced with an unexpected exit, leaving them with just one trophy to fight for. This has the makings of a Europa classic."

1737: Don't be a stranger, yeah? One day the only thing left will be dust - so whack us a missive while we're still young. Tweet me @Stevo_football or by using the hashtag #BBCFootball or text us on 81111. Fill them boots.

1735: It's last 16, second leg night. There are three British teams in action and here's how they line-up, with first-leg scores in brackets:
1800 GMT: Man City v Dynamo Kiev (agg 0-2)
2005 GMT: Liverpool v Braga (agg 0-1)
2005 GMT: Rangers v PSV Eindhoven (agg 0-0)

1733: The Europa League trophy is what they're playing for. I reckon I'd happily settle for winning the heaviest of the Uefa silverware family - all 15kg, 65cm high, 33cm wide and 23cm deep of it...

The Europa League trophy

1730: Now admittedly, scores of Dynamo 2-0 Man City, Braga 1-0 Liverpool and PSV 0-0 Rangers don't sound totally exhilarating. But throw in a reckless elbow to the side of Andy Carroll's face, a hilariously glaring PSV miss from two yards and the always box office Mario Balotelli suffering from an allergic reaction to grass, and you've probably got enough to keep you interested on a night of knockout European football. Same again? I've absolutely no idea...

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Europa League results

17 Mar 2011 23:59 UK

see also
Thursday's football photos
17 Mar 11 |  Football
Dynamo Kiev 2-0 Man City
10 Mar 11 |  Europe
Braga 1-0 Liverpool
10 Mar 11 |  Europe
PSV Eindhoven 0-0 Rangers
10 Mar 11 |  Rangers

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