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Page last updated at 21:09 GMT, Tuesday, 20 October 2009 22:09 UK

Tuesday football as it happened



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

By Jonathan Stevenson

2207: Well that's about all for tonight, a real shocker for our boys in the Champions League. Same place tomorrow, but different time - Manchester United kick off in Moscow at 1730 BST, so we'll be up and running early doors. Catch me when you can.

Liverpool's Jamie Carragher: "We're going through a tough patch and we will come through that again now, we always do. The crowd will get behind us and we'll go again, you've got to move on. Sunday will be a great game and hopefully if we can win it'll give everyone a massive lift."

From trickapro at Twitter: "A 3.875 goal average in Champs League tonight. Mad!"

2159: Check out the Championship table. Isn't it astonishing? Seven clubs separated by only two points, it's shaping up to be an absolute cracker. I might just stare at it all night.

From James, Liverpool, via text on 81111: "Stevo, you speak as if Liverpool have only two world-class players. Do the likes of Reina and Mascherano not count?"
Would they get into a World XI squad? No. So no, they don't.

2153: It's all over at Loftus Road, with QPR thrashing Reading 4-1. It's also finished at West Brom, with Swansea claiming a famous 1-0 victory against the high-flying Baggies.

From Kihiro87 on 606: "Is it just me or would a defeat for Liverpool against Man Utd at the weekend be a blessing in disguise? How much longer do we really want Benitez puzzling us with ridiculous decisions week in, week out with nothing but disappointment to show for it? We're simply fading away and Benitez doesn't seem to care."

2149: Liverpool have now lost four games in a row for the first time since 1987. On Sunday, they welcome champions Manchester United to Anfield, and there must be major doubts over their two world-class players, Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres.

2147: Other full-times: Inter Milan 2-2 Dynamo Kiev. Debrecen 3-4 Fiorentina. Olympiakos 2-1 Standard Liege. Stuttgart 1-3 Sevilla.

2144: They will be dancing in the streets of the capital city of the Republic of Tatarstan tonight, I can assure you of that. Unbelievably, Barcelona have lost 2-1 at home to Rubin Kazan. Predictable? The Champions League? Hmm.

2142: Championship Macca, I could kiss you: "Roy Keane may need an arm around the shoulder tonight. Anyone fancy it? Ipswich concede in the dying minutes after leading most of the game. Their search for a first win goes on. Another late goal at the City Ground and Forest are 1-0 up against Barnsley thanks to Guy Moussi, who is promptly sent off. Scunthorpe have beaten Newcastle. West Brom still have another 15 minutes to play."

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield: "A surreal mixture of jeers and silence greeted the final whistle at Anfield. Dreadful night for Liverpool with a late defeat and an injury to captain Steven Gerrard. And Rafael Benitez also came under serious question from large sections of the Anfield support, with genuine anger greeting his puzzling late decision to replace the lively Yossi Benayoun with the tried and failed Andriy Voronin. The meeting with Manchester United on Sunday now assumes even greater significance for Liverpool and Benitez."

2138: Full-time AZ Alkmaar 1-1 Arsenal

2137: Full-time Liverpool 1-2 Lyon

AZ goal: It's a rubbish night in the Champions League for British clubs, that's a fact. Graziano Pelle gets his head on to a ball into the Arsenal box and there is David Mendes Da Silva to thump a sizzling volley into the roof of the Gunners net.

2136: GOAL AZ Alkmaar 1-1 Arsenal

2135: Full-time Rangers 1-4 Unirea

Lyon goal: That goal just silenced Anfield. Miralem Pjanic feeds Sidney Govou down the Lyon right after they get a two-on-one situation and his cross is turned in at the far post by Cesar Delgado. Poor defending, and this is a nightmare for Rafa Benitez.

2133: GOAL Liverpool 1-2 Lyon

2132: What a game in Hungary, where it's now Debrecen 3-4 Fiorentina. Javier Mascherano hits one from 30 yards at Liverpool that flies into the midriff of the exceptional Hugo Lloris.

From Paul (and Liam), bored-stiff, Formby, via text on 81111: "Reina played his heart out and Kelly was trying to keep it out but our other three "defenders" just stood there and watched. Pathetic. Last season Carragher would have sorted that out in a second and I wish I knew why he's suddenly turned into possibly the worst defender we have. Shocking. Absolutely shocking."

2130: About three minutes left on the normal time clocks in the Champions League. Can Barca get an equaliser? Can Liverpool bag a winner? Can Rangers net a second consolation? Poor Rangers.

From madnutter0102 at Twitter: "This is a horrible performance by Rangers, we're sinking to new depths."

2127: Yossi Benayoun is surprisingly taken off to some boos from the home faithful at Anfield, with Andriy Voronin coming on in his place.

2125: More Championship Macca: "It's turning out to be a fine night for Martyn Woolford as he has put Scunthorpe back in front against Newcastle. With the top two both trailing, it could be tighter than tight at the top tonight as Blackpool are now 2-0 up through Jason Euell, likewise for Middlesbrough after Adam Johnson's second goal and Bristol City lead 3-1 after four goals in five ludicrous minutes. Blimey."

From LFCfan128 on 606: "You would expect Liverpool to bring on an attacking player now - Babel?"

2121: Glorious chance for AZ to level, but Hector Moreno heads wide from six yards after meeting a free-kick unmarked. Sloppy from Arsenal, that.

2120: Just over 10 minutes left plus stoppages in tonight's Champions League games. It's AZ 0-1 Arsenal, Liverpool 1-1 Lyon and Rangers 1-4 Unirea.

2117: Martin Skrtel comes on for injured right-back Martin Kelly at Anfield. And at the Camp Nou, a massive shock could be on the cards after all as Gokdeniz Karadeniz makes it Barcelona 1-2 Rubin Kazan.

2116: Alkmaar go close to an undeserved equaliser when a cross strikes Arsenal defender Abou Diaby on the chest and skims the crossbar with Vito Mannone beaten.

Lyon goal: Carnage inside the Liverpool box and eventually the French team get the goal they deserve. Jeremy Toulalan has a shot saved by Pepe Reina, Jean Makoun has another saved by the Spaniard and then Maxime Gonalons heads in the third attempt. Still a long way to go at Anfield.

2114: GOAL Liverpool 1-1 Lyon

2113: And yet more Championship Macca: "High-flying Blackpool lead Sheff Utd thanks to Marcel Siep's goal on the hour. Newcastle are flying again as Kevin Nolan has equalised for them at Scunthorpe. They are heading to the top of the league, as it stands, after Swansea's ex-West Brom striker Craig Beattie bags against the Baggies. The leaders trail 1-0."

2111: It's getting a bit tense at Anfield. Lyon's Miralem Pjanic curls in a free-kick which is headed into the side-netting by the Reds defence.

From Didier Drogba's Bald Patch on 606: "This year was Rangers' chance to progress given the pretty level playing field in their group, bar Sevilla. Embarrassing night for Scottish football."

2109: Championship Macca: "Mixed news for the Midlands - Leicester lead Palace 1-0 but Coventry are now 2-0 down at Cardiff. Still nothing to report from Nottingham Forest though. Jon Parkin has put Preston 2-1 in front, while Reading's one-man advantage is no more as Ivar Ingimarsson has been dismissed."

Unirea goal: I don't know what to say. It's just an absolute nightmare. This time Pablo Brandan lashes in a left-foot free-kick and - guess what? - it takes another heavy deflection before flying in past a helpless Allan McGregor.

2107: GOAL Rangers 1-4 Unirea

2105: Hugo Lloris pulls off another fine save for Lyon at Anfield. He gets down low to his right to scramble a Dirk Kuyt header round the post.

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield: "Liverpool co-owner George Gillett is in attendance at Anfield, fresh from his trip to Saudi Arabia to woo would-be investors. He will surely be satisfied with the spirit shown by Liverpool in the absence of their two stellar stars Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres. Lyon have disappointed after their early promise and Martin Kelly has once again showed his potential with an excellent cross to set up David Ngog. Let's just say the cross did not get the finish it deserved."

2104: Lyon take off Ederson and bring on Bafetimbi Gomis.

2103: Championship Macca: "Thirteen years ago to this very day Newcastle were beating Man Utd 5-0. You probably remember it, Phillipe Albert chipping the ball over Peter Schmeichel to crown the victory. I wonder what Martyn Woolford was doing that day. Tonight he's put Scunthorpe 1-0 up against the Magpies."

2103: Liverpool right-back Martin Kelly finds striker David Ngog with a cross and the Frenchman chests the ball down but shins his first-time shot wide.

Unirea goal: This is becoming a disaster of the highest order. Rangers now trail by two goals as Lee McCulloch heads a free-kick into his own net from 14 yards, leading some home fans to leave Ibrox in disgust.

2101: GOAL Rangers 1-3 Unirea

2100: Have some of this from the Champions League: Bruno Fernandes is the first ever player from Guinea-Bissau to score in the competition. Players of 89 different nationalities have now scored in the Champions League.

2059: Arsenal's Robin van Persie curls a 20-yard free-kick around the AZ wall and Sergio Romero flies through the air to push it away from his left-hand corner.

2058: Lyon started well in the second half, but Liverpool have dealt well with their pressure and Yossi Benayoun heads a cross from the right wide as they get the ball up the other end.

From Luke, Wirral, via text on 81111: "Stevo, I reckon that Liverpool won't even be in the Champions League next year. I can't see them winning it this year, given their current form and I can see them finishing outside the top four on the last game of the season. What do you think?"

2053: Zlatan Ibrahimovic bags his first Champions League goal as Barcelona draw level at 1-1 with Rubin Kazan, while Walter Samuel makes it Inter Milan 2-2 Dynamo Kiev.

Unirea goal: Well that wasn't in anyone's script. Disaster for Rangers as Unirea play a corner short to Iulian Apostol, he swings over a cross from the right and after Bruno Fernandes flicks it on, it deflects off poor Kyle Lafferty and flies into the Rangers net. Double uh-oh.

2050: GOAL Rangers 1-2 Unirea

2048: Back under way at Anfield, where Liverpool lead Lyon 1-0, in Alkmaar, where Arsenal lead AZ 1-0, and at Ibrox where Rangers and Unirea are 1-1.

2047: Rangers make a change at half-time, with forward Kyle Lafferty coming on for Pedro Mendes. It appears that the Portuguese midfielder has not recovered fully from the knock he received after only seven minutes at Ibrox.

2046: More Championship Macca, who is yet to bring me a home goal from the City Ground tonight. Poor stuff that, fella: "They're still playing at Loftus Road - they just love football too much to stop down there. Oh, Jay Simpson has only gone and grabbed a second goal for QPR as well and they lead Reading 2-0."

From ElSquirrel on 606: "Liverpool are not the same since Xabi Alonso left. It's a rebuilding year, no doubt about it."

From Matt, via text on 81111: "I can't be the only one who thinks this will be Arsenal's year. I can see this young side dominating over the next few years."

2040: Championship Macca: "Bit of drama at Loftus Road where QPR are ahead against Reading through an Akos Buzsaky free-kick but Rangers, who are unbeaten at home this season, will play the rest of the game with 10 men as Ben Watson has been sent off. Half-times going around the country as we speak.

2038: So as things stand, Sevilla will become the first team to qualify from the group stage of the Champions League after three games, winning as they are 1-0 at Stuttgart while Rangers and Unirea are drawing. Elsewhere in Europe it's Debrecen 2-4 Fiorentina, Inter 1-2 Dynamo Kiev, Barcelona 0-1 Rubin Kazan and Olympiakos 1-1 Standard Liege.

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty: "Yossi Benayoun's goal is the perfect response from Liverpool to the blow of losing Steven Gerrard so early. Not sure why Benayoun chose to run and celebrate with Liverpool doctor Mark Waller. Liverpool's young right-back Martin Kelly shows real promise and Fabio Aurelio should have headed a second from his superb cross. First half ended on a high note for Liverpool."

2033: Half-time Liverpool 1-0 Lyon

2032: Half-time AZ Alkmaar 0-1 Arsenal

2032: Half-time Rangers 1-1 Unirea

2032: AZ keeper Sergio Romero almost makes a complete hash of a 20-yard shot from Robin van Persie. Romero, the Argentine national team stopper, tries to punch the ball clear but it swerves in the air and he is lucky to see the ball skim off his gloves and wide of goal.

2031: Championship Macca: "Middlesbrough have had a shocking run at home recently, losing their last three without a managing a goal. They're ahead tonight though, with Adam Johnson putting them 1-0 up against Derby from the spot after he was fouled by Shaun Barker. Peterborough have pulled one back through Aaron Mclean, but they trail Doncaster 2-1. Michael Gray has equalised for Sheff Wed at home to Preston."

2030: Stunning move from Liverpool and they so nearly go 2-0 up, Martin Kelly whipping over a brilliant cross from the right and Fabio Aurelio's goalbound header being quite magnificently tipped over via the left hand of Hugo Lloris. What a save.

2028: Rangers' penalty was awarded, by the way, after George Galamaz was ruled to have controlled a Davie Weir header with his arm. Elsewhere in Europe, Dynamo have now gone 2-1 up at Inter thanks to a Lucio own goal, Olympiakos and Standard are locked at 1-1

Liverpool goal: Yossi Benayoun starts the move in his own half and it ends with Fabio Aurelio's cross missing everyone in the Lyon box, eventually falling to Benayoun at the far post, the Israeli knocking in a massive goal for his manager.

2025: GOAL Liverpool 1-0 Lyon

2024: More bad news for Rangers Steven Davis sees his spot-kick pushed away by Daniel Tudor at Ibrox.


Arsenal goal: Niklas Moisander foolishly gifts possession to Arsenal in his own half and from then on, there's only one result. Andrey Arshavin finds Robin van Persie and he sets up Cesc Fabregas to roll home. Too easy.

2022: GOAL AZ Alkmaar 0-1 Arsenal

2020: Carnage in the Lyon box and it seems Dirk Kuyt must score, but the ball doesn't sit for him and Aly Cissokho gets in a block, before David Ngog's shot is straight at keeper Hugo Lloris.

Unirea goal: Dan Petrescu must be a football genius, because the Romanians are back on level terms. They slice Rangers open and after Pablo Brandan crosses from the left, Marius Bilasco taps in from close range. Uh-oh.

2018: GOAL Rangers 1-1 Unirea

2017: Barcelona are still losing 1-0 to Rubin Kazan, thanks to Alexander Ryazantsev's early strike. I'm in a state of shock.

2015: Championship Macca: "Doncaster have only one league win to their name this season but they look good value for another one after two goals in four minutes has put them 2-0 up at home to Peterborough. Billy Sharp and Dean Shiels were the scorers. Preston, who lost 4-0 to QPR at the weekend, have made the right response as they are in front away to Sheff Wed - thanks to Neil Mellor's goal."

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield: "The departure of Steven Gerrard is a desperate blow for Liverpool, but a previously subdued Anfield crowd responds with a burst of noise. Gerrard has been carrying this injury for some time and the scale of the setback is increased by the prospect of Liverpool's captain missing Sunday's game against Manchester United. Uphill battle for Rafael Benitez's team now."

2014: Very low-key stuff in Alkmaar, as Mounir El Hamdaoui fires a right-foot shot over the Arsenal crossbar from 16 yards.

From ComeBackWhenYouWon18 on 606: "He obviously wants Steven Gerrard more for Sunday."

2011: Unirea coach Dan Petrescu makes a switch, bringing on striker Marius Onofras for right-back Epaminonda Nicu as the Romanians move to a more offensive formation and start to put a bit more pressure on the Rangers rearguard.

2009: Horror news for Liverpool as captain Steven Gerrard is taken off after 25 minutes, Fabio Aurelio coming on in his place.

2006: Crikey, we've only gone and got another Champions League record: Debrecen and Fiorentina scored three goals in the first 10 minutes of their match. This is a new record for the Champions League. There were three goals in the first 11 minutes of Boavista-Dynamo Kyiv in September 2001.

From Scott, Ayr, via text on 81111: "Rangers are looking the part in these first few minutes despite playing one man up front. Really flown out of the blocks."

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield: "Liverpool have had the warning. Goalkeeper Pepe Reina did superbly to stop Lisandro Lopez's header - although he should have done better - from a wonderful cross from the talented Aly Cissokho. It has brought a response from Liverpool and The Kop. Lucas and Javier Mascherano need to find some midfield creativity from somewhere."

2003: The ball falls to Lyon's gifted Swedish midfielder Kim Kallstrom 30 yards out at Anfield and he hits a sweeping volley that flies a few yards wide of Pepe Reina's right-hand post.

2002: Debrecen scorer Peter Czvitkovics is the first Hungarian player for nearly three years to score a Champions League goal. The last Hungarian to score in the CL was Roland Juhasz for Anderlecht in November 2006. We also have a Champions League record today: Five goals were scored in the first six minutes of this evening's matches. There had never been so many goals scored in the first six minutes of a single day's matches in the Champions League.

2000: Debatable, that one, but it doesn't count. Dirk Kuyt heads in a Steven Gerrard cross at the far post but he is adjudged to have pushed over Jeremy Toulalan.

1958: A completely unmarked Robin van Persie collects a cross from Abou Diaby, cuts inside Stijn Schaars and shoots at goal from eight yards. He really should put Arsenal in front but is denied by a save from AZ keeper Sergio Romero.

1958: Champo Macca is in the house: "Looks like we're set for an absolute champion evening in Euroland ladies and gents, but don't forget about the Championship. All 24 sides are in action and nobody needs a win like Roy Keane's Ipswich. He'll be a happy man at the moment as they are 1-0 ahead through Gareth McAuley, while Anthony Gerrard has put Cardiff in front at home to Coventry."

1957: Shocks in store in the Champions League, with holders Barcelona losing 1-0 at home to Rubin Kazan and Inter Milan trailing 1-0 at home to Dynamo Kiev. Debrecen were leading 1-0 against Fiorentina, too, but the Italian side have scored twice in double quick time and lead 2-1.

1954: Golden chance for Lyon and Lisandro Lopez should score. Aly Cissokho sends over a stunning cross from the left and Lopez gets ahead of Emiliano Insua only to head straight at Pepe Reina from five yards. Good positioning from the keeper, too.

1952: Nightmare start for Unirea goalkeeper Daniel Tudor, one of eight Romanians in the starting line-up. The 35-year-old has come in for Giedrius Arlauskis, the Lithuanian international who has been struggling with a back injury and was deemed only fit enough for the bench. By the way, there are seven Scots in Rangers' starting line-up.

1951: Promising start for Liverpool for Anfield, but only a deflected Steven Gerrard shot flying wide to show for it so far. Lyon don't look too shabby, either.

Rangers goal: Cracking start for the Scottish side - oh ye of little faith. A training ground routine ends with a shot by Pedro Mendes and the ball takes a deflection before flying past Daniel Tudor in the visitors' goal.

1947: GOAL Rangers 1-0 Unirea

1945: Let's go. We're under way across Europe, and in most of the Championship matches too.

1943: More stats, and this is a bone fide belter: the next Champions League goal scored by a substitute will be the 500th by a player from the bench since the competition began in 1992. Brilliantly, in some European countries they call these "joker goals". The first joker was Rangers' Gary McSwegan, the most prolific Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with seven.

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield: "Former Liverpool - and of course Lyon - manager Gerard Houllier has just arrived in the Anfield directors' box to a very warm reception from supporters nearby. A foot in both camps for the man who won three trophies in a single season for Liverpool in 2001 - the Worthington Cup, the FA Cup and the Uefa Cup.

From acmilandrew at Twitter: "Are you trying to tell me we won't get to see Jean-Alain Boumsong in all his clumsy glory? Gutted!"

1936: Danny the Stat isn't here, but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy stats, does it? Hell no. Feast on this: Thus far in the Champions League this season, 32 matches have yielded 72 goals, for a paltry average of 2.25 goals per game. The competition average is 2.61 and last season it was 2.63. Raise it, boys.

From Sam, Bristol, via text on 81111: "One up front for Rangers again? Why does Walter persist on doing this? We create nothing using this system. Guaranteed draw or loss."

1930: Hey, web users - if you refresh your screen, you'll see our midweek Final Score appear at the top.

1927: If you're on your way to the West Brom v Swansea game in the Championship, kick-off has been delayed until 2000 BST due to crowd congestion.

1924: If they want to get the three points, Liverpool will have to shackle precocious Lyon playmaker Miralem Pjanic effectively. He's scored in both their Champions League games so far and has filled the void left by club legend Juninho, who departed in the summer. Oh, and they might want to keep an eye out for Argentine striker Lisandro Lopez, too. Apparently, he's even better than Wayne Rooney. Watch this space.

From Henry on 606: "What do you Liverpool fans think of Ngog anyway? I'm really not a fan of his."

1917: Arsenal keeper Vito Mannone keeps his place in goal despite his mistake against Birmingham, with fit-again Manuel Almunia on the bench. With Tomas Rosicky and Theo Walcott out injured, Bacary Sagna and Andrey Arshavin come into the side, while Gael Clichy replaces Kieran Gibbs at left-back.

1915: Some away team news from Anfield: Lyon centre-backs Anderson and Jean-Alain Boumsong are out so midfielder Jeremy Toulalan continues in central defence alongside Cristiano Gomes. Lisandro Lopez plays up front and will be out to add to his growing reputation.

1913: Rangers need a result, and badly. They are winless in their last seven European ties and last six Champions League games and are bottom of Group G. They come face-to-face with an old friend of the British game tonight as Chelsea legend Dan Petrescu brings his Romanian side to town. He's clearly been involved in management for long enough to like a mind game or two: "All the pressure is on Rangers. If they don't win I think it's going to be a big disaster for the club."

From Paul, Formby, via text on 81111: "Martin Kelly does start and I'm delighted for him, he's a real star of the future. Having Gerrard back will be more of a hindrance for us than help as his form is worse than pathetic. I sadly can't see past three more defeats and, possibly, a sacking in the next eight days."

From Paul_Seaton at Twitter: "I can see Liverpool conceding tonight. It's not just Lisandro Lopez, either. Lyon have got goals in their team."

1905: AZ v Arsenal line-ups:
Romero, Moisander, Jaliens, Moreno, Poulsen, Holman, Mendes Da Silva, Schaars, Martens, El Hamdaoui, Dembele.
Subs: Didulica, Lens, Klavan, Wernbloom, Van der Velden, Swerts, Pelle.
Arsenal: Mannone, Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Clichy, Song Billong, Eboue, Fabregas, Diaby, Arshavin, van Persie.
Subs: Almunia, Vela, Ramsey, Silvestre, Wilshere, Gibbs, Merida.
Referee: Martin Hansson (Sweden).

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield: "Liverpool are forced into a late change as Martin Kelly comes in at right-back for Glen Johnson, who is understood to have a groin problem. Steven Gerrard, as expected, returns in midfield after missing the defeat at Sunderland while David Ngog gets his chance in attack with Fernando Torres still sidelined by injury. An unfamiliar look about this Liverpool side on a big night for Rafael Benitez's team."

1902: Liverpool v Lyon line-ups:
Reina, Kelly, Carragher, Agger, Insua, Mascherano, Lucas, Kuyt, Gerrard, Benayoun, Ngog.
Subs: Cavalieri, Voronin, Aurelio, Babel, Spearing, Plessis, Skrtel.
Lyon: Lloris, Reveillere, Cris, Toulalan, Cissokho, Pjanic, Makoun, Kallstrom, Govou, Lopez, Ederson.
Subs: Vercoutre, Clerc, Michel Bastos, Gomis, Delgado, Belfodil, Gonalons.
Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (Spain).

1900: Stevo's Predos (but let's never forget what happened yesterday at 1930 BST, whatever happens today):
AZ 1-2 Arsenal
Barcelona 3-0 Rubin Kazan
Debrecen 1-2 Fiorentina
Inter Milan 1-0 Dynamo Kiev
Liverpool 2-2 Lyon
Olympiakos 2-1 Standard Liege
Rangers 2-1 Unirea Urziceni
Stuttgart 2-2 Sevilla

From kinsang on 606: "Rangers - playing one up front at home against the weakest team in the group? Some ambition from a team wanting to join the EPL!"

1856: Rangers make three changes from the side that returned to the top of the SPL on Saturday with a 2-1 win over St Johnstone. Pedro Mendes has been passed fit and returns to the starting line-up along with Stevie Naismith and Kenny Miller, who is expected to be the lone striker in a 4-1-4-1 formation. Stevie Smith, Kyle Lafferty and Kris Boyd drop out, while Lee McCulloch continues in the heart of defence after Madjid Bougherra picked up an injury in training.

1853: Rangers v Unirea line-ups:
McGregor, Whittaker, McCulloch, Weir, Papac, Naismith, Mendes, Davis, Thomson, Rothen, Miller.
Subs: Alexander, Boyd, Novo, Beasley, Smith, Lafferty, Fleck.
Unirea Urziceni: Tudor, Galamaz, Maftei, Bruno Fernandes, Nicu, Gomes, Apostol, Brandan, Balan, Bilasco, Varga.
Subs: Arlauskis, Mehmedovic, Paduretu, Onofras, Semedo, Bordeanu, Frunza.
Referee: Eric Braamhaar (Holland).

1851: There are unconfirmed reports that Glen Johnson misses out for Liverpool tonight, with 19-year-old Martin Kelly starting at right-back. More on that soon.

1848: Arsenal have never met AZ in Europe before, but they were the first ever visitors to Alkmaar's brand spanking new DSB Stadion in August 2006, winning a friendly 3-0. AZ coach Ronald Koeman, who won this trophy twice as a player, has now managed five clubs in the Champions League, a record - and he knows Thomas Vermaelen only too well as they were both at Ajax last season.

1845: Lots can happen tonight. In fact, Sevilla can break a Champions League record by becoming the first team to qualify from the group stage after only three matches. But we don't want that to happen, because as well as the Rojiblancos needing to beat Stuttgart, Rangers would have to draw at home to Unirea as well. Oh, and Russian minnows Rubin Kazan face champions Barcelona at the Camp Nou. With their coach Kurban Berdyev dubbed the 'Russian Brian Clough', that's good enough for me.

1841: I'm sure Liverpool fans will want to get involved tonight on an important evening for their club, but there is plenty going on outside Anfield too. Arsenal travel to Netherlands to take on AZ Alkmaar, Rangers host Unirea Urziceni and there are five other Champions League games, not to mention a full programme from the Championship. Text to 81111, Twitter me up right here and join the debate on 606 too.

1837: There hasn't been much attempt to play down the return of Liverpool's captain fantastic within Anfield. Check these quotes out:

Rafa Benitez: "With Steven around, it has an effect on the other players. He is an inspiration to them. He is a winner with the right mentality."

Defender Daniel Agger: "The results have not been right. But having Steven Gerrard back from injury will be a real inspiration.

1833: Liverpool have lost their last three games. They haven't lost four in a row since March 1987, when Tottenham, Wimbledon and Norwich beat them in the league and Arsenal triumphed in the League Cup final. But fear not, Reds fans - Steven Gerrard is back.

1830: Nearly five years ago, Liverpool legend and BBC Sport pundit Alan Hansen warned his former club they risked becoming a "relic" if they did not find new investment and get back to challenging for the major trophies. Today, Rafael Benitez's side lies eighth in the Premier League, having lost four of their nine games, and third in Champions League Group E, having lost 2-0 to Fiorentina last time around. Tonight, they welcome French league leaders Lyon to Anfield, with Manchester United to follow five days later. It's make-or-break time.

Print Sponsor

Champions League results

20 Oct 2009 23:59 UK

Home Team Score Away Team Time
AZ 1-1 Arsenal R
Barcelona 1-2 Rubin Kazan R
Debrecen 3-4 Fiorentina R
Inter Milan 2-2 Dynamo Kiev R
Liverpool 1-2 Lyon R
Olympiakos 2-1 Standard Liege R
Rangers 1-4 Unirea Urziceni R
VfB Stuttgart 1-3 Sevilla R

see also
Liverpool 1-2 Lyon
20 Oct 09 |  Europe
Rangers 1-4 Unirea Urziceni
20 Oct 09 |  Europe
AZ Alkmaar 1-1 Arsenal
20 Oct 09 |  Europe
Champions League photos
20 Oct 09 |  Europe
Football on the BBC
11 Aug 10 |  Football

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