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Page last updated at 21:16 GMT, Thursday, 27 August 2009 22:16 UK

Thursday's football as it happened

GOALFLASHES AND MAJOR INCIDENTS (all times BST)

606: DEBATE

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

By Jonathan Stevenson

2215: Enough. A day of some drama comes to a close, thanks for sticking with it for so long. Hope the Champo League draw did a job for you, don't forget the Uefa Europa one is tomorrow at 1200 BST. Catch you at the weekend.

From redandblackT1899™ on 606: "Are the Villa fans allowed to boo now, MON?"

2207: Want to read about a top-class former footballer now firefighting at the bottom of the Football League? Then you've absolutely come to the right place, for Fletch's latest FL blog.

2205: Yeah, why not:
Group A: Bayern Munich, Juventus, Bordeaux, Maccabi Haifa
Group B: MANCHESTER UNITED, CSKA Moscow, Besiktas, Wolfsburg
Group C: AC Milan, Real Madrid, Marseille, FC Zurich
Group D: CHELSEA, FC Porto, Atletico Madrid, APOEL
Group E: LIVERPOOL, Lyon, Fiorentina, Debrecen
Group F: FC Barcelona, Inter Milan, Dinamo Kiev, FC Rubin Kazan
Group G: Sevilla, RANGERS, Stuttgart, Unirea
Group H: ARSENAL, AZ Alkmaar, Olympiakos, Standard

2203: Hey, anyone fancy seeing the Champions League groups in all their glory once again?

2201: I can't work out whether this is a good or bad thing for Aston Villa. I mean, they are a work in progress, but does this competition help bring a team on or just tire them out - especially a squad not too heavy in numbers?

Aston Villa's James Milner: "I should have scored at 1-0 and that would've given us a cushion. We want to win every competition we're in, but tonight we just weren't good enough and the away goal killed us. We have to regroup now."

From MaloneGod on 606: "People will say that we can concentrate on the league, but what can we achieve? Nothing. That's ruined our season and probably dissuaded more players from joining our club."

Full time
2151: Full-time Crystal Palace 0-2 Manchester City
The Championship side more than played their part in a really entertaining game, but these days City just have too much quality. They are an intriguing lot right now, aren't they?

Full time
2149: Full-time Aston Villa 2-1 Rapid Vienna (agg: 2-2, Rapid go through on away goal)
Villa's European struggles continue - will Martin O'Neill be a touch relieved, or is that a hammer blow to their season?

2147: Big handball shout at Palace too, as the ball brushes the hand of Wayne Bridge inside the Man City area.

2145: Villa are furious - especially Nicky Shorey, who thinks his cross from the left hits a Rapid player's hand. He might just have a point, too.

2144: Into the last minute at Villa, and they don't especially look like getting themselves out of jail here. Three left at Selhurst, where that one's done and dusted.

2139: Unbelievable scenes at Villa, Rapid should have wrapped it up there. Twice Nikica Jelavic is denied by Brad Guzan from point-blank range when he should score, before Stefan Hoffmann blazes over from six yards. Lifeline for Villa, four minutes left and Fabian Delph is replaced by Marc Albrighton.

2137: Curtis Davies signals to the Villa bench - he's off with that pesky shoulder injury of his. Shane Lowry comes on.

2135: Roma went one better than Villarreal in the end, beating MFK Kosice 7-1 (10-4 on aggregate), with captain fantastic Francesco Totti completing his hat-trick towards the end.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Rapid goal: Like love, that goal changes everything. Rapid get a crucial away goal and as it stands, they are going through. A shot is parried by Brad Guzan into the path of Nikica Jelavic and he makes no mistake this time around. There are 12 minutes left for Villa.

2131: GOAL Aston Villa 2-1 Rapid Vienna (agg: 2-2)

2130: Oh my lord, Nikica Jelavic prods wide from two yards for Rapid and that would've sent Villa out.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Man City goal: A corner is swung in from the Man City left and it appears to flick off a Palace defender's head before Carlos Tevez, who does not need to move, heads in from three yards for his first Man City goal.

2128: GOAL Crystal Palace 0-2 Manchester City

Full time
2125: Full-time Hearts 2-0 Dinamo Zagreb (agg: 2-4)
What a brilliant effort from Hearts - their boss Csaba Laszlo wanted them to restore some pride tonight, and they have comfortably done that at Tynecastle. Could so easily have got even more from their evening.

2124: Ashley Young's shot is saved and James Milner slides the rebound into the side-netting for Aston Villa.

2123: It's down to two minutes and Hearts waste another great chance. The rain is belting down and sadly it's not raining goals. Michael Stewart causes havoc with a dangerous cross from the left and the ball falls to Jose Goncalves who shoots about 40 yards wide - the ball doesn't even reach the touchline! Not looking good now... great effort though.

From VillaFour on 606: "The Rapid Vienna fans are showing the Villa support how it should be done. They haven't stopped singing since the start."

2119: Some of Europe's big guns have laid down Europa League markers tonight - Villarreal spanked six past NAC, while John Arne Riise has just slammed in Roma's sixth against poor MFK Kosice.

2116: David Obua slams a left-foot shot over from 15 yards for Hearts - that would have set up a nail-biting last few minutes. Remember, they need two goals to take Dinamo Zagreb to extra-time, but time running out.

2114: Champions League fixtures, Wednesday 16 September:
Liverpool v Debrecen, Lyon v Fiorentina, Inter Milan v Barcelona, Dinamo Kiev v Rubin Kazan, Stuttgart v Rangers, Sevilla v Unirea, Olympiakos v AZ Alkmaar, Standard Liege v Arsenal.

2112: There are a dozen minutes left in Edinburgh and Hearts are rampant. Second-half sub Andy Driver is a real nuisance and after his mazy run and the resultant free-kick, Craig Thomson heads straight into the keeper's arms. Two goals still needed but hats off to them. They are giving it a right go.

2110: City are looking rampant now and Emmanuel Adebayor is played clean through, Julian Speroni rushing off his line to make another terrific save. The former Arsenal striker should have scored - he misses too many of those. Moments later, it's carve open o'clock and Shaun Wright-Phillips clips against the crossbar.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Villa goal: John Carew, making his first appearance of the season, doubles the Aston Villa lead. The Norway striker breaks down the right and cuts inside before drilling the ball home with a low finish.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Man City goal: It looks like a millionaires' playground as City knock it around in majestic fashion, with Stephen Ireland playing the last brilliant pass to tee up Shaun Wright-Phillips inside the box on the right - and the little winger rifles his shot past Julian Speroni.

2107: GOAL Aston Villa 2-0 Rapid Vienna (agg: 2-1)

2107: GOAL Crystal Palace 0-1 Manchester City

2105: John Carew backheels a cross from the Villa right just wide of goal, nice bit of invention from the giant Norwegian striker. If you were cliché-hunting, you might say good feet for a big man. Ahem.

2103: Champions League fixtures, Tuesday 15 September:
Juventus v Bordeaux, Maccabi Haifa v Bayern Munich, VfL Wolfsburg v CSKA Moscow, Besiktas v Manchester United, FC Zurich v Real Madrid, Marseille v AC Milan, Chelsea v Porto, Atletico Madrid v APOEL Nicosia.

2102: Rapid go close, with Stefan Hoffmann's shot taking a deflection across goal and is brilliantly headed off the line by Carlos Cuellar.

2100: They are back under way at Aston Villa, where it's 1-1 on aggregate between Martin O'Neill's side and Austrians Rapid Vienna.

2057: There are 25 minutes plus stoppages left at Tynecastle for Hearts to pull off a European miracle. They are 2-0 up against Dinamo Zagreb, but need another two to get to extra-time.

From Sam, via text on 81111: "I am a neutral and they were both stonewall pens. The second one was more of a rugby tackle. How can you say there was no contact?"

From Harry, via text on 81111: "Thank you for having the guts to say that diving isn't just a foreign disease. Young seems to go down very easily and yet people don't demand that he be banned. I wonder why that is?"

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Hearts goal: No-one will believe this if it happens, but no-one. Hearts are half-way there. They get their second goal after another shocker from the Dinamo Zagreb defence. An inswinging corner is headed out and Marius Zaliukas takes advantage of the dawdling defenders, hooking the ball in from the edge of the box. Game. On.

2047: Half-time Crystal Palace 0-0 Manchester City

2046: GOAL Hearts 2-0 Dinamo Zagreb (agg: 2-4)

Half time
2045: Half-time Aston Villa 1-0 Rapid Vienna (agg: 1-1)
So, James Milner's penalty means we are all-square at Villa Park. Lots to play for after the break.

2043: They might have spent £678m (ish), but Man City will need a bit of time to get their defensive house in order. The livewire Freddie Sears breaks away again, but Shay Given is off his line quick as a flash to stop the danger. Top drawer goalkeeping. They're back under way at Hearts, by the way.

From Robsoninho on 606: "I don't think it was a dive there from Young, but I do think it was a harsh penalty decision."

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Villa goal: Sorry to say this, but if Eduardo's a cheat, then Ashley Young's not far behind him - let's not pretend diving isn't a disease caught by English players too. Young goes down so easily in the Rapid box once more, and once more it's a spot kick. James Milner takes over duties and comfortably dispatches it. Extra-time is on.

2037: GOAL Aston Villa 1-0 Rapid Vienna (agg: 1-1)

Someone has won a penalty
2036: PENALTY TO ASTON VILLA

2033: Emmanuel Adebayor creates a chance out of nothing, showing some silky footwork before clipping a shot goalwards from 20 yards, Julian Speroni tipping it over.

2030: PENALTY SAVED Ashley Young picks himself up, dusts himself down and promptly hits the penalty to Helge Payer's right - he dives the correct way and makes the save. Markus Heikkinen was booked for the initial foul. At Palace, Darren Ambrose smashes narrowly over.

Someone has won a penalty
PENALTY TO ASTON VILLA
Ashley Young is fouled outside the area but gets up, surges into the box and goes down again, this time it didn't look like much contact.

2028: Roma have eased off and Jan Novak has pulled one back for MK Kosice, so it's 8-4 to the Italians on aggregate. Shame only 16,145 could be bothered to attent.

2025: Freddie Sears times a run across the Man City back four to perfection, but the angle is tight and his shot cannons into the chest of Shay Given. Villa are slowly upping the tempo against Rapid Vienna.

From 4-5-none on 606: "Given Villa's disastrous capitulation last season and the relatively small size of their squad, might it actually be in their best interests NOT to qualify for this Europa League nonsense?"

2021: It's half-time at Hearts where the Scots need three more goals to force an unlikely period of extra-time.

2019: Rapid go close to an opener at Villa - and an away goal would give the hosts some problems. Stefan Hoffmann curls a free-kick narrowly wide from 22 yards.

2016: Robinho is flagged offside from a long ball from the back - rubbish decision, because he was in his own half when the ball was played. He clips impudently over the keeper and into the net regardless - and finish of stunning flamboyance.

2014: Victor Moses does really well down the left and his poke across goal is diverted away from danger by Shay Given. Great stuff from the Eagles.

2011: Haha. Bit of confusion - at 2001, I didn't mean there couldn't be extra-time. There definitely can, in both games. I just don't particularly want the evening to go that way. I'll pipe down now.

Yellow card
2009: Micah Richards is booked for a clumsy foul on Victor Moses at Selhurst Park. Palace are suddenly causing a few problems for the millionaires.

2007: Close for Villa, as James Milner races on to a John Carew flick-on and crosses, but it just avoids an onrushing Emile Heskey. Meanwhile, Palace have upped the tempo at Selhurst, and Roma have scored a fifth in the first 18 minutes, this time Jeremy Menez bagging.

2005: Alessio Cerci makes it 4-0 for Roma. They're running up a cricket score in the Eternal city, not that anyone inside the Stadio Olimpico would even know how to spell that particular sport.

Someone has struck the woodwork
2003: Hearts go so close to doubling their lead, the ball played into the box and headed back to Gary Glen, who sweetly volleys against the crossbar from 10 yards. At Palace, Carlos Tevez spins his man before blazing wide from eight yards. It's all Man City.

2001: Under way at Villa Park and Selhurst Park. No extra-time tonight remember, boys.

From Tom, Manchester, but currently in Spain, via text on 81111: "Walk in the Selhurst for City tonight. 5-0."

1956: Jeepers. Having been held 3-3 by MFK Kosice in the first leg, Roma aren't playing games tonight. They've taken a 3-0 lead after eight minutes of the second leg, with Francesco Totti bagging twice.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Hearts goal: They can't, can they? Or can they... The Scots get off to the perfect start and it's a shocking blunder by Dinamo Zagreb's keeper. After saving from David Obua he chucks the ball out to Michael Stewart who buries it low into the bottom left corner. Nice start. The crowd are mad for it. One down, three to go.

1952: GOAL Hearts 1-0 Dinamo Zagreb (agg: 1-4)

1952: New Aston Villa signing Stephen Warnock is unveiled to the crowd after joining from Blackburn.

1950: Crystal Palace v Manchester City line-ups:
Crystal Palace: Speroni, Clyne, Fonte, McCarthy, Hill, Ambrose, Derry, Danns, N'Diaye, Moses, Sears.
Subs: Flahavan, Carle, Scannell, Lawrence, Lee, Butterfield, Ryan Smith.
Man City: Given, Richards, Lescott, Toure, Bridge, Wright-Phillips, Ireland, Barry, Robinho, Adebayor, Tevez.
Subs: Taylor, Onuoha, Zabaleta, Petrov, De Jong, Bellamy, Weiss.
Referee: Darren Deadman (Cambridgeshire).

From Stuart_MCFC on 606: "Where are the 'Uefa hate us' conspiracy theorists tonight?"

1944: Everton boss David Moyes: "We were under a lot of pressure at the start because they wanted an early goal, but we held them off and managed to get one ourselves."

1942: So, Joleon Lescott is handed an immediate Man City debut in their Carling Cup second-round clash at Crystal Palace. City boss Mark Hughes names his strongest side with Emmanuel Adebayor, Carlos Tevez, Gareth Barry, Robinho and Stephen Ireland also involved. Palace's new signing, former Millwall winger Ryan Smith, is only on the bench.

1939: Hearts, of course, are under way as they try to climb Dinara (the highest mountain in Croatia - see what I've done there?).

David, Birmingham, via text on 81111: "Reo-Coker, Sidwell and Friedel, our three best performers against Liverpool, have been dropped tonight. Strange."

1936: There was drama at Tynecastle Stadium in Edinburgh earlier, due to a fire in the power box of the floodlights. The Hearts and Dinamo Zagreb clash was in doubt with the German referee Knut Kircher in discussions with the organisers.

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill: "I've been here three seasons now and the fans for the most part have been fantastic. At the start of the season, we didn't play particularly well and they are entitled to say what they think at full-time, I just didn't think they should at half-time. But that's over with now."

1933: Manchester City want to win the Carling Cup. They've picked pretty much a full-strength team to face Crystal Palace in the second round tonight.

1931: Hey punters, fancy watching some live football? You do? Oh, marvellous. Then manually refresh away and at the top of this page, Hearts v Dinamo Zagreb should magically appear.

1926: Striker John Carew makes his first start of the season as Aston Villa try to overturn after a 1-0 first-leg deficit against Rapid Vienna. Carew, who has recovered from a foot injury and a virus, partners Emile Heskey, while Ashley Young has shaken off a knee injury he picked up against Liverpool.

1922: Aston Villa v Rapid Vienna line-ups
Aston Villa: Guzan, Beye, Cuellar, Davies, Shorey, Milner, Petrov, Delph, Ashley Young, Heskey, Carew.
Subs: Friedel, Sidwell, Agbonlahor, Albrighton, Reo-Coker, Gardner, Lowry.
Rapid Vienna: Payer, Soma, Katzer, Dober, Patocka, Heikkinen, Pehlivan, Hoffmann, Drazan, Trimmel, Jelavic.
Subs: Hedl, Thonhofer, Kulovits, Maierhofer, Eder, Boskovic, Konrad.
Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo (Spain).

1919: Hearts v Dinamo Zagreb line-ups:
Hearts: Balogh, Craig Thomson, Bouzid, Zaliukas, Goncalves, Santana, Palazuelos, Michael Stewart, Obua, Glen, Nade.
Subs: Kello, Kucharski, Black, Driver, Novikovas, Jason Thomson, Smith.
Dinamo Zagreb: Butina, Lovren, Barbaric, Biscan, Carlos, Morales, Vrdoljak, Badelj, Sammir, Mandzukic, Papadopoulos.
Subs: Loncaric, Tomecak, Calello, Kramaric, Glavina, Slepicka, Sivonjic.
Referee: Knut Kircher (Germany).

From Murtini on 606: "A word on Bayern - yes, attacking wise they seem to be powerful, but they can't defend to save their lives. Mainz made absolute mincemeat of them at the weekend, and I expect Wolfsburg to do the same to them on Saturday."

1913: News coming in that Joleon Lescott is set to make his Manchester City debut tonight against Crystal Palace in the Carling Cup.

1913: Barcelona president Joan Laporta, who just over a year ago was under serious pressure at the club, must have been grinning like a Cheshire cat all summer long: "It was our destiny to play Inter Milan, after we exchanged two players! It will be very interesting, very nice for football, it will be a good sensation to have Samuel Eto'o at the Camp Nou again. I think ours is the toughest group."

1909: The story is building that Bayern Munich are set to sign Dutch flier Arjen Robben from Real Madrid. Crikey - with him cutting in from one wing and Franck Ribery off the other, they'll be a dangerous side this season.

1904: Some Champs League chat: "I think it will be a beautiful Champions League, but this is just the beginning," says Barca coach Pep Guardiola. Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson: "These are difficult ties, especially the trips to Russia and Turkey."

1858: So, just Hearts and Aston Villa left. The Scottish side are 4-0 down from the first leg against Dinamo Zagreb, so maybe only pride to play for there. Villa, meanwhile, are 1-0 down against Rapid Vienna, so an awful lot at stake in the Midlands.

Full time
1853: Full-time Sigma Olomouc 1-1 Everton (agg: 1-5)
It was never under threat, not today anyway, and in the Czech Republic, Everton have booked their place in the group stage of the Uefa Europa League with minimum fuss. The draw is at 1200 BST on Friday, don't forget.

1848: There are two minutes left plus stoppages and Everton are just playing out time.

From Dav, via text on 81111: "Villa have announced that we have signed Warnock. He will be paraded before the game!"

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Sigma goal: Leighton Baines concedes a free-kick and, rather than crossing, Rudolf Otepka rolls his set-piece to Pavel Sultes, the striker sweeping a low finish into Tim Howard's bottom right-hand corner. It makes no difference to anything whatsoever.

1840: GOAL Sigma Olomouc 1-1 Everton (agg: 1-5)

1835: A welcome return for Everton striker Yakubu, who's been out for 10 months with an Achilles injury and comes on as a substitute in place of fellow striker Jo.

From Spitfire on 606: "Another season of torture for Monsieur Platini, looking forward to all the British teams going through."

1827: Everton are absolutely cruising through. They are 1-0 up over Sigma Olomouc, 5-0 on aggregate, despite being down to 10 men when Tony Hibbert was red carded early doors. David Moyes takes off Steven Pienaar and Leon Osman and brings on Jose Baxter and 17-year-old James Wallace. Painfully thin squad, isn't it?

1823: Now then - feel free to keep whacking over Champs League missives, but I'm gonna turn the focus slightly towards the Uefa Europa League too. There's an ever-expanding draw news story to get involved in right here, so fill your boots and then pop back.

From John G, via text on 81111: "Man United will have to fly out to play two far eastern European teams plus the German champions. It won't be straightforward."

1815: Unsurprisingly, brilliant Barcelona forward Lionel Messi was also named 2008/09 European Club Player of the Year in Monaco. If he doesn't clean up at the end of year awards too, then I'm a Dutchman.

1810: Remember, the Champions League final this season takes place at Real Madrid's Bernabeu stadium next May. Anyone fancy a third Clasico of the campaign?

1806: They are back under way in Everton's Uefa Europa League qualifying game, with the 10-man Toffees 1-0 up over Sigma Olomouc on the night, 5-0 on aggregate. Keep you posted, but safe to say that one's done and dusted.

1805: Oh by the way, the first matchday of this season is Tuesday 15 September, so not long to wait until the real action gets under way. I wonder if Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Samuel Eto'o are looking forward to facing their former employers so soon?

1802: What a fabulous draw that is for the British clubs - and no-one will be more delighted than Scottish champions Rangers, who have been given a massive helping hand in their bid to reach the knockout stage.

From Uninventivename on 606: "My thoughts are that the English clubs will be laughing all the way to the quarter-finals."

From Hanna, via text on 81111: "Group of Life: Man Utd, CSKA Moscow, Besiktas, Wolfsburg. Group of Death: Chelsea, Porto, Atletico Madrid, APOEL Nicosia. Shocking."

1755: So, any thoughts?

1754: Full Champions League Groups:
Group A: Bayern Munich, Juventus, Bordeaux, Maccabi Haifa
Group B: MANCHESTER UNITED, CSKA Moscow, Besiktas, Wolfsburg
Group C: AC Milan, Real Madrid, Marseille, FC Zurich
Group D: CHELSEA, FC Porto, Atletico Madrid, APOEL
Group E: LIVERPOOL, Lyon, Fiorentina, Debrecen
Group F: FC Barcelona, Inter Milan, Dinamo Kiev, FC Rubin Kazan
Group G: Sevilla, RANGERS, Stuttgart, Unirea
Group H: ARSENAL, AZ Alkmaar, Olympiakos, Standard

1753: Last team: Maccabi Haifa are in Group A with Bayern Munich, Juventus and Bordeaux.

1753: FC Rubin Kazan, the Russian champs, are in Group F, with Barca, Inter and Dinamo Kiev.

1752: Swiss champions FC Zurich get lumbered with Group C, with AC Milan, Real Madrid and Marseille.

1751: APOEL are in Group D, with Chelsea, FC Porto and Atletico Madrid.

1750: Manchester United get Wolfsburg in their group, so it might not all be plain sailing.

1749: Liverpool, Lyon, Fiorentina, Debrecen is Group E.

1748: Rangers - you'll never get a better chance. Completing their group are newcomers Unirea Urziceni.

1747: Standard Liege complete Group H, with Arsenal, Alkmaar and Olympiakos.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Everton goal: Leon Osman makes fine progress on the right and his cross picks out Steven Pienaar, who controls the ball brilliantly with his left foot and lashes a right-footed finish into the net.

1745: It's time for the 2008/09 Forward of the Year, and there's not much debate about this one, as Denis Law announces the name of the genius Lionel Messi.

1744: GOAL Sigma Olomouc 0-1 Everton (agg: 0-5)

1744: Champions League Groups:
Group A: Bayern Munich, Juventus, Bordeaux
Group B: MANCHESTER UNITED, CSKA Moscow, Besiktas
Group C: AC Milan, Real Madrid, Marseille
Group D: CHELSEA, FC Porto, Atletico Madrid
Group E: LIVERPOOL, Lyon, Fiorentina
Group F: FC Barcelona, Inter Milan, Dinamo Kiev
Group G: Sevilla, RANGERS, Stuttgart
Group H: ARSENAL, AZ Alkmaar, Olympiakos

1742: Olympiakos are in Group H, with AZ Alkmaar and Arsenal. Marseille are in Group C with AC Milan and Real Madrid.

1741: Dinamo Kiev are in Group F with FC Barcelona and Inter Milan. Atletico Madrid are shoved into Group D, with Chelsea and FC Porto.

1740: In it for a second season, Italians Fiorentina will play in Group E with Liverpool and Lyon.

1739: Turkey's Besiktas are pulled out, and they are whacked into Group B, where they will meet Manchester United and CSKA Moscow. Sitting comfortably, Fergie?

1739: French champions Bordeaux are slotted into Group A where they will play Bayern Munich and Juventus. Tasty.

1738: Stuttgart are in Group G, along with Sevilla and Rangers.

1736: Time for the 2008/09 Midfielder of the Year award, and Uefa might have wanted to reconsider getting Luis Figo to present this award as he hands it over to Barcelona's Xavi. The duo promptly hug. That told me.

1734: Champions League Groups:
Group A: Bayern Munich, Juventus
Group B: MANCHESTER UNITED, CSKA Moscow
Group C: AC Milan, Real Madrid
Group D: CHELSEA, FC Porto
Group E: LIVERPOOL, Lyon
Group F: FC Barcelona, Inter Milan
Group G: Sevilla, RANGERS
Group H: ARSENAL, AZ Alkmaar

1733: AZ Alkmaar, the newcomers from Netherlands, are drawn in Group H with Arsenal, while Juventus are in Group A with Bayern, which leaves CSKA Moscow in Group B, with Manchester United.

1731: Scottish champions Rangers will play in Group G with Sevilla.

1731: Jose Mourinho's Inter Milan are drawn in Group F, to play FC Barcelona. Two groups of death already.

1730: There will be no Cristiano Ronaldo-Man Utd meeting - the Spanish giants are drawn in Group C, with AC Milan. French club Lyon are in Group E, with Liverpool.

1728: FC Porto have been drawn in Group D with Chelsea, a Jose Mourinho derby.

1727: Paolo Maldini sticks around for long enough to hand out the award for 2008/09 Defender of the Year to John Terry, who once again expresses how motivated he is to win the trophy.

1725: "You can't imagine that this player played against me, can you?" asks gushing Uefa president Michel Platini, before asking the audience to give Maldini Junior a standing ovation.

1723: Painfully long, isn't it? Edwin van der Sar indeed does win the 2008/09 Goalkeeper of the Year award. Uefa also hands a special prize to the great, great Paolo Maldini, who won this tournament five times in his stellar career at AC Milan.

1721: Champions League Groups:
Group A: Bayern Munich
Group B: MANCHESTER UNITED
Group C: AC Milan
Group D: CHELSEA
Group E: LIVERPOOL
Group F: FC Barcelona
Group G: Sevilla
Group H: ARSENAL

1717: The Pot One teams are gonna be drawn out. I won't bother doing them team-by-team, but I'll post at the end.

1714: Don't leave work. Don't even think about it. Maybe you could put in for overtime?

1712: Melanie graciously hands over to David Taylor, who promptly congratulates Edwin van der Sar on some sort of award. We missed it, but I presume that was for 2008/09 Goalkeeper of the Season.

Red card
1708: I know Everton are 4-0 up from the first leg against Sigma Olomouc, but that might just have breathed new live into the tie. Tony Hibbert is sent off for a professional foul on Jakub Petr. From the resulting free-kick, Tim Howard tips a shot on to the crossbar.

1707: Please bear in mind that in this (relatively) new world of auto refresh, we aren't able to have the eight groups on this page and just fill them in team-by-team. So, you're gonna have to pay attention. There might be a lot of updates, but we'll try to make it as crystal clear as possible.

1705: Pedro Pinto and Melanie Winiger, a former Miss Switzerland, are the genial hosts of proceedings in Monaco, with the slightly less exotic David Taylor to conduct the draw part of the ceremony.

From Harry, via text on 81111: "See 1625 - I take it you made up Cristiano Ronaldo?"
Haha.

From Fizmo1337 on 606: "For the people desperately talking about the 'real' European Cup with only the champions in it, this time there are 18 different countries represented in the Champions League. It almost feels like the good old European Cup!"

1656: Very much time to focus on the Champions League group stage draw. We've got eight debutants this season: Standard Liege (Belgium), Unirea Urziceni (Romania), FC Zurich (Switzerland), AZ Alkmaar (Holland), Rubin Kazan (Russia), Wolfsburg (Germany), APOEL (Cyprus) and Debreceni VSC (Hungary).

1653: There are more Uefa Europa League qualifiers later - don't forget that particular group stage draw takes place on Friday at 1200 BST. Everton face Sigma Olomouc at 1700, 4-0 up, Hearts host Dinamo Zagreb at 1935, 4-0 down and Aston Villa entertain Rapid Vienna at 2000, 1-0 behind. Oh, and there's a Carling Cup second round tie too, as Crystal Palace and Manchester City meet at Selhurst Park at 2000. That enough action for you?

1649: Full-time Amkar Perm 1-0 Fulham (agg: 2-3)
Fulham progress to the group stage of the Uefa Europa League.

1647: Would you believe it? Amkar Perm have only gone and bagged in the dying moments, through Martin Kushev. Is there any time for them to get another, a goal which would dump Fulham out of Europe?

From Dan, via text on 81111: "What?? A Champions League draw where there is NO chance of Chelsea vs Liverpool? What is going on?"

1643: Nothing going on in the furthermost reaches of Russia right now, with Fulham easing through to the group stage of the Uefa Europa League.

1641: Incidentally, it's gone transfer crazy. Middlesbrough duo Robert Huth and Tuncay are set for an £11m switch to Stoke City, while Watford's Tommy Smith has signed for Portsmouth for about £1.3m and Manchester City captain Richard Dunne is set to leave after Aston Villa agreed a fee for his services. Finally (for now), Everton are set to snap up Portsmouth's want-away centre-back Sylvain Distin. Ooh, deadline day should be a hoot.

1637: Everton team to play Sigma Olomouc: Howard, Hibbert, Neville, Yobo, Baines, Osman, Rodwell, Pienaar, Fellaini, Gosling, Jo.

1633: Let's play a game called the Group of Life and the Group of Death. Here's a Group of Life for a British team: Manchester United, AZ Alkmaar, Besiktas, Unirea Urziceni. Here's a Group of Death too: Arsenal, Inter Milan, Atletico Madrid, Wolfsburg. Your turn.

From Azeem, via text on 81111: "What are the odds on Ronaldo facing Man Utd? Would love it if we could knock Madrid out!"
Tell me Azeem, do you believe in fate? I bet Cristiano does.

1625: The nominees for the 2008/09 Uefa club football awards:
Goalkeeper: Petr Cech, Victor Valdes, Edwin van der Sar.
Defender: Gerard Pique, John Terry, Nemanja Vidic.
Midfielder: Steven Gerrard, Xavi, Andres Iniesta.
Forward: Samuel Eto'o, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo.
There will also be an overall award for the Uefa Club Lionel Messi Footballer of the Year 2009. I made two of those words up, actually.

From biziclop on 606: "Here's a bit of tetrapyloctomy for you: even though the Hungarian team's full name is Debreceni VSC, using Debreceni as a short form is wrong. It should be either Debrecen (the name of the city they're from) or DVSC."

1618: Fulham are edging closer to the group stage of the Uefa Europa League. They have half an hour to survive a Russian onslaught from Amkar Perm, who are trying to overturn a 3-1 deficit from the first leg. Bit drab at the moment but Bemvindo Jean Carlos almost caused a stir with a long-range effort pushed away by the hands of Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer.

1617: Please feel free to enter the mixer today, in the usual fashion, with texts to 81111 and via the debate on 606. But please don't ask about these things: clubs from the same association cannot be drawn together, so no Chelsea/Arsenal in the same group, etc; and clubs from the same pot cannot be drawn together, so no Man Utd/Barcelona, etc. Capiche?

1613: But first, desperate to find out which pot your beloved boys are in? Ponder no longer, amigos:
Pot One: Barcelona, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man Utd, AC Milan, Arsenal, Sevilla, Bayern Munich
Pot Two: Lyon, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, CSKA Moscow, Porto, AZ Alkmaar, Juventus, Rangers
Pot Three: Olympiakos, Marseille, Dinamo Kiev, Stuttgart, Fiorentina, Atletico Madrid, Bordeaux, Besiktas
Pot Four: Wolfsburg, Standard Liege, Maccabi Haifa, FC Zurich, Rubin Kazan, Unirea Urziceni, APOEL Nicosia, Debreceni

1609: So, here's a run down of proceedings, though let's be honest, Uefa's timekeeping is never 100% reliable. The Champs Lge group stage draw is due at 1700 BST, when Uefa will also reveal their players of the season for the 2008/09 season. The nominees, as if you couldn't guess most of them, are coming up.

1605: Firstly, a cupdate: Fulham are in Uefa Europa League qualifying action, 3-1 ahead after the first leg against the wonderfully-named Amkar Perm of Russia. As I haven't got a visual on events from the Zvezda Stadium, I thought it pointless to attempt to provide regular chat. But the Cottagers are level at 0-0, and you can find out just what is happening on the plastic pitch in the shadows of the Ural Mountains right here.

1600: There's some important live football going on today, you know. But I'd bet good money most of you are more interested in a bunch of balls being drawn out of some oversized glass bowls in the billionaires playground of Monaco, aren't you? (Me too)



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Football on the BBC
11 Aug 10 |  Football


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