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Page last updated at 22:05 GMT, Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Tuesday football as it happened


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By Chris Bevan

2200: And that brings an eventful night to a close. Let's hope for as many goals and as much excitement tomorrow (although hopefully not all in the space of five minutes, for the sake of my fingers and brain if nothing else) when Manchester United take on David Beckham (at least I think that's what's happening?), Real Madrid face Lyon and, in the Premier League, Burnley host Stoke. Enjoy, and see you then.

2156: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger on his side's 5-0 win over Porto, to seal a 6-2 aggregate victory: "It is never perfect but it was a very good, very strong performance. Our first half was excellent and then after a bit of a struggle at the start of the second half, Samir Nasri's brilliant goal settled us down and we were comfortable winners."

2155: Bolton manager Owen Coyle after his side's 4-0 defeat by Sunderland: [Black Cats boss] Steve Bruce will be delighted with the points. I think he's had his Christmas presents early. Were not begrudging Sunderland the win but I think the scoreline flattered them tonight."

2153: Hmmm. I wonder what odds you could have got tonight on Darren Bent and Nicklas Bendtner both bagging hat-tricks? If anyone backed them, could you text me to let me know (before you buy a helicopter and fly off to your new Caribbean island).

2151: For long periods tonight it looked like Fiorentina would be joining Arsenal in the last eight but Arjen Robben's spectacular goal sends the German giants through on away goals, which kind of rubs salt into the Italians' wounds after Miroslav Klose's controversial winner in the first leg.

From Drew, a Helsinki Gooner, via text on 81111: "Let's be honest Chris, Bendtner scored two sitters and a penalty, he's not really answered the critics yet. But a huge night for the Arsenal: No Cesc, no bother."

2145: Arsenal's Nicklas Bendtner after scoring his first senior hat-trick to help his side brush Porto aside and reach the Champions League quarter-finals: "It's fantastic - it's been a long time waiting to get a hat-trick so I'm very pleased. It didn't happen for me on Saturday but I put that behind me and today I put it right. As a club, we are desperate to win the Champions League and we will do all we can to do that this year."

2143: Sunderland's crushing win over Bolton takes them above Wanderers and leaves them six points clear of the Premier League relegation zone. Birmingham's win over rock-bottom Portsmouth takes them up to eighth in the table.

From hamishjcameron on Twitter: "I retract my previous comment (at 2036). Arsenal have been rampant."

2141: BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at The Emirates: "Emirates elation as Nicklas Bendtner celebrates a hat-trick with his Arsenal team-mates. What a difference a few days make to the striker who conjured up a succession of candidates for miss of the season against Burnley. Superb Arsenal display that made short work of Porto's first leg advantage and deservedly puts them in the last eight of the Champions League."

2141: FULL-TIME Sunderland 4-0 Bolton

2140: FULL-TIME Portsmouth 1-2 Birmingham

2139: FULL-TIME Arsenal 5-0 (agg 6-2) Porto

2139: FULL-TIME Fiorentina 3-2 (agg 4-4) Bayern Munich (Bayern win on away goals)

Arsenal goal: Emmanuel Eboue is bundled over inside the area and the man of the moment Nicklas Bendtner steps up to roll his penalty into the bottom corner and complete his hat-trick. That's the way to answer your critics.

Portsmouth goal: Jamie O'Hara, who has again been impressive tonight, crosses for Pompey substitute Kanu to nod home at the far post. The home side have got two minutes to find an equaliser.

2136: GOALFLASH Arsenal 5-0 (agg 6-2) Porto (Bendtner hat-trick)

2135: GOALFLASH Portsmouth 1-2 Birmingham (Kanu)

2135: PENALTY to Arsenal

Sunderland goal: Sunderland are rampant now and Fraizer Campbell crosses from the right for Darren Bent to find the bottom corner of the net with a first-time finish to complete his hat-trick. There are under three minutes left at the Stadium of Light and Bolton cannot wait for the final whistle.

2132: GOALFLASH Sunderland 4-0 Bolton (Bent hat-trick)

From Jason in Bushmills, via text on 81111: "Arsenal appear to be finding form at just the right point in the season. Don't write them off just yet."

2129: Here's Football League Danny again, with big, big news: "Huge, huge goal in the Championship. West Brom lead Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 thanks to Robert Koren. That'll put the Baggies back in second place - and pile the relegation woe on to the Owls."

2128: Not surprisingly, Porto are looking deflated after that flurry of Arsenal goals. Nicklas Bendtner should really have just bagged himself a hat-trick for the Gunners to complete their misery but he heads wide when Bacary Sagna finds him unmarked in front of goal.

2126: I admit I haven't been bringing you much news from Fratton Park. Sorry about that. Portsmouth and Birmingham are still playing, just not creating much. Scott Dann blasted over for Birmingham a few minutes ago but Alex McLeish's side seem happy to just sit back and attack on the break. They're dealing with everything Pompey can throw at the them, which isn't an awful lot.

2125: Er, have you got your breath back yet after that little lot? I haven't. Luckily for us, Football League Danny is staying cool, calm and collected: "Action at Portman Road as Daryl Murphy's second of the game puts Ipswich 2-0 up on Cardiff. Incredibly tight near the foot of the Championship by the way - this could be a hugely significant win for the Tractor Boys. Meanwhile, Leeds are 4-1 up at Tranmere thanks to Jermaine Beckford. The points are safe."

2122: BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at The Emirates: "Arsenal have produced two special moments to put themselves in the Champions League quarter-final. Samir Nasri's swift slalom curtailed Porto's best period of pressure with a magical goal. And Arsenal, who have been caught from corners themselves in recent weeks, swept the length of the field from Porto's corner for Emmanuel Eboue to add a fourth. The Emirates is revelling in this and Arsene Wenger even allowed himself a little dance of delight. Why not?"

Red card
Sunderland goal: The points are in the bag now for Sunderland, after a 14-game winless run. Darren Bent runs clear but Sam Ricketts shoulder-charges him off the ball right on the edge of the box. The Welshman is shown his second yellow card of the night and referee Steve Bennett points to the spot, allowing Bent to step up and slot into the bottom right-hand corner.

Arsenal 4-0: Arsenal counter-attack at speed from a Porto corner and Andrey Arshavin feeds Emmanuel Eboue, who rounds Helton and slots home.

2119: GOALFLASH Sunderland 3-0 Bolton (Bent penalty)

2118: Bolton red card (Sam Ricketts)


Sunderland goal: Sunderland are now looking very good for their first win of 2010. Lee Cattermole collected in the Bolton half before feeding Darren Bent and the striker checks in the area before finishing with aplomb.

Bayern Munich goal: Remember Arjen Robben when he was at Chelsea? He scored some corking goals, didn't he? He's just scored another one to put Bayern ahead on away goals, smashing a 30-yard shot into the top corner. The Fiorentina fans were still celebrating Stevan Jovetic's goal when that went in.

Fiorentina goal: Alberto Gilardino heads down a cross into the path of Stevan Jovetic, who fires the ball through the legs of Hans-Joerg Butt and into the net to put Fiorentina ahead on aggregate.

Arsenal 3-0: A magnificent solo effort by Samir Nasri gives Arsenal the third goal they needed. Nasri dances past what appears to be the entire Porto defence before beating Helton from a tight angle. A superb run, and finish.

2111: Er, bear with me a bit here folks...

2110: GOALFLASH Arsenal 4-0 (agg 5-2) Porto (Eboue)

2109: GOALFLASH Fiorentina 3-2 (agg 4-4) Bayern Munich (Robben)

2108: GOALFLASH Sunderland 2-0 Bolton (Bent)

2108: GOALFLASH Arsenal 3-0 (agg 4-2) Porto (Nasri)

2107: GOALFLASH Fiorentina 3-1 (agg 4-3) Bayern Munich (Jovetic)

2105: It's opened up at the Emirates too, where Porto have just gone close again. Cristian Rodriguez leaps to meet a Ruben Micael corner and his powerful header is cleared off the line by Samir Nasri, who was wisely stationed at the far post.

Bayern Munich goal: Franck Ribery sends a low ball across the edge of the Fiorentina area and Mark van Bommel meets it with a clinical first-time finish into the bottom corner. This one is back in the balance, and extra-time will be needed if the scoreline stays the same.

2104: GOALFLASH Fiorentina 2-1 (agg 3-3) Bayern Munich (Van Bommel)

2103: A first change by the Gunners. Emmanuel Eboue is on for Tomas Rosicky, who has a knee injury.

2102: Arsenal are still keeping Helton busy, mind. The Porto keeper spills Andrey Arshavin's drive but Thomas Vermaelen is offside as he tries to follow up.

2059: Danger for Arsenal. Hulk crosses from the left and Falcao fires in a first-time shot that flies straight at Manuel Almunia. The Gunners are not hitting the heights they reached before the break and Porto have come into this one a lot more.

2057: Alex Song has a pot-shot from the edge of the area but it is easily saved by Porto keeper Helton.

Fiorentina goal: Alberto Gilardino makes amend for his earlier miss with a clever backheel to replace Stevan Jovetic, who finds the net from 12 yards out.

2056: GOALFLASH Fiorentina 2-0 (agg 3-2) Bayern Munich (Jovetic)

2055: A great chance for Fiorentina to go ahead on aggregate after Bayern fail to deal with a low cross across the face of goal. It falls to Alberto Gilardino but he cannot dig the ball out from underneath his feet and his eventual poked shot is easily saved.

2053: It doesn't take long for Arsenal to get going again. First Tomas Rosicky bends in a dangerous free-kick which is headed behind by a Porto defender. Samir Nasri takes the ensuing corner, which is acrobatically punched clear by Helton.

2050: Porto have made a change at the break, with striker Cristian Rodriguez on for Nuno Coelho. Rodriguez is playing in midfield for now though.

2049: And we've just got the second half started in Florence and Sunderland... and, finally, at the Emirates.

2048: We're back under way at Fratton Park, where the Portsmouth fans are still making a huge din despite their side trailing 2-0 against Birmingham.

FromThe Macedonian Marvel on 606: "Arsenal have played well, but haven't closed out the tie yet. I predict the Gunners to come out strong again, but if they slip, they'll fall hard. Interestingly poised tie."

2045: As it stands, Bayern Munich are heading out of the Champions League but there is still hope for the German side's fans - they have scored in 17 of their last 18 away games in the Champions League, while Fiorentina have conceded a goal in each of their last 17 games. Oh, and Bayern have got the wind behind them in the second half, which always made a big difference when I played Sunday League football.

2044: BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at The Emirates: "Arsenal's only complaint about the first 45 minutes is that this tie could have been put to bed already. Andrey Arshavin has tormented Porto and Nicklas Bendtner has justified all Arsene Wenger's faith in him. Some superb attacking variety from Arsenal - but just enough of a hint of a threat from Porto to make them aware nothing can be taken for granted."

2041: Blimey, Football League Danny is earning his corn tonight - it's impossible to keep him quiet (I think that's a good thing?): "Two 2000 GMT kick-offs in the Championship tonight, so not even at half-time in those matches. It's currently Crystal Palace 0-0 Bristol City, while QPR have just gone 1-0 up on Plymouth thanks to Adel Taarabt's penalty. Honeymoon o'clock for new R's boss Neil Warnock right now."

From Sam in the Peak District, via text on 81111: "Nic may have scored the Arsenal goals but Andre Arshavin is running the show!"

2039: Hmmm. I've just seen some replays of Arsenal's first goal, and it appears Andrey Arshavin was offside when he headed Manuel Almunia's long clearance back to Samir Nasri, before running on to the return ball. Your thoughts? Still, no doubt that the Gunners are well on top, at the moment anyway.

From hamishjcameron on Twitter: "Arsenal may be 2-0 up but I still predict a self implosion, one goal from Porto and the whole game changes."

2036: Our friends at Infostrada Sports reckon that Fraizer Campbell has just scored the fastest Premier League goal of the season. Campbell netted on 41 seconds - quicker than Jermain Defoe who scored after 52 seconds for Tottenham against Manchester United. These two goals are the only PL goals within a minute this season.

2035: HALF-TIME Arsenal 2-0 (agg 3-2) Porto)

2035: Another chance for Arsenal and another save by Helton, who dives to his left to push Samir Nasri's low shot around the post.

2033: HALF-TIME Sunderland 1-0 Bolton

2033: If you like goals, Football League Danny is your man.: "Fans of the top part of the League One table might be interested to learn it's now MK Dons 2-0 Swindon. That's six goals conceded without reply for the Robins, who lost 4-0 at home to Bristol Rovers on Saturday. Leeds, meanwhile, are now 3-1 up at Tranmere."

2032: HALF-TIME Portsmouth 0-2 Birmingham

2031: HALF-TIME Fiorentina 1-0 (agg 2-2) Bayern Munich

2031: BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at The Emirates: "Arsenal need to keep an eye on things at the back. Supreme going forward but just one or two moments of carelessness, including a wayward kick by keeper Manuel Almunia, in defence. Arsene Wenger is animated despite his side's advantage, and you suspect it is those moments that are causing his discomfort."

2029: Arsenal could easily be three or four nil-up here - the chances keep coming. First Niklas Bendtner's curling effort from outside the area is tipped round the post by Helton, who then scrambles across his goal to keep out Abou Diaby's header from the resulting corner. Porto's keeper is keeping them in this tie.

Birmingham goal: Chucho makes up for his shocking miss by setting up his side's second goal with a delightful backheel which sends Cameron Jerome clear to power his shot under David James and into the net. Quality.

2027: GOALFLASH Portsmouth 0-2 Birmingham (Jerome)

2024: A quite incredible miss by Chucho at Fratton Park sees the Birmingham striker latch on to Cameron Jerome's shot in acres of space on the edge of the box... but the Ecuadorian hesitates for too long and by the time he tries to round David James, the Pompey defence have recovered to crowd him out of it.

2023: A long ball over to the right wing catches out Gael Clichy, who handles the ball to try to stop it reaching Hulk - but fails. The Porto striker makes for goal, running into the area before prodding a shot straight at Manuel Almunia.

2022: More from Football League Danny, who is full of chat at the moment: "Doncaster, fresh from a 5-2 win at Bristol City at the weekend, seem full of confidence, and James Hayter has put them 1-0 up at Preston. Meanwhile, in League Two, high-flying Bury trail 1-0 at home to Darlington, while Notts County lead Chesterfield 1-0."

2021: A decent spell by Porto, who have forced a succession of corners. Well, it's a start.

2020: Sunderland miss a great chance to make it 2-0. Breaking away following a Bolton corner, Fraizer Campbell finds Darren Bent in space on the left-hand side of the penalty area but he checks inside and his eventual shot bobbles harmlessly past the far post.

2018: Another Arsenal goal would leave Porto an awful lot to do and they have just gone very close to scoring it. Superb wing-play by Samir Nasri sees him get to the bye-line before pulling the ball back for Andrey Arshavin. The goal is gaping for the Russian but he lifts his shot over the bar. A real waste.

2016: Porto look a bit shellshocked after this early Arsenal onslaught and they are struggling to keep hold of the ball at the moment. Hulk has just tried his luck from 35 yards out, after spotting Manuel Almunia off his line, but his effort curled well wide.

From Paul in London, via text on 81111: "Bendtner hat-trick incoming!"

Fiorentina goal: Bayern Munich keeper Hans-Joerg Butt makes a right old mess of a long-range shot by Marco Marchionni and spills the ball in the path of Juan Vargas, who smashes his shot into the roof of the net from a tight angle. A decent finish that.

2012: GOALFLASH Fiorentina 1-0 (agg 2-2) Bayern Munich (Juan Vargas)

Arsenal goal: Erm, guess who? More brilliant play by Andrey Arshavin, sees him weave past three defenders on the left-hand side of the area before crossing for Nicklas Bendtner to tap in from close range.

2010: GOALFLASH Arsenal 2-0 (agg 3-2) Porto (Bendtner)

2010: Here's Football League Danny with some news of goals elsewhere: "Mixed fortunes for the Welsh teams chasing promotion from the Championship. Latest scores - Watford 0-1 Swansea and Ipswich 1-0 Cardiff. In the north-west, Tranmere have pulled one back and they trail Leeds 2-1."

2008: Some great work by Andrey Arshavin down the left ends when he drives the ball across the face of goal... a touch might have taken it in, but it evaded everybody.

From dumincube on Twitter: "It seems Nicklas is hell Bendt-ner on proving his critics wrong."

2005: Porto look dangerous on the break at the Emirates but it's Arsenal who have gone closest to scoring again. A corner is cleared as far as Abou Diaby and his shot from the edge of the box flashes inches over the bar.

Birmingham goal: Not the most fluid of build-ups by Birmingham but it matters not, the Blues are ahead. The ball breaks to Cameron Jerome on the edge of the area, and he runs in to beat David James with a low shot into the bottom corner.

2001: GOALFLASH Portsmouth 0-1 Birmingham (Jerome)

2000: BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at The Emirates: "Nicklas Bendtner makes amends for all those squandered chances against Burnley by giving Arsenal a priceless - and very well deserved - early lead. Porto have been shaken up by Arsenal's super-charged start, as has goalkeeper Helton, who needed lengthy treatment after the goal."

1957: We had a bit of a delay after the goal because Helton was injured before Bendtner put the ball in the net. By the way, now seems a good idea to tell you that away goals count at the end of 90 minutes in the Champions League tonight - so the only way we get extra time (and it's the same for both games) is if it finishes 2-1 to the home team, Arsenal or Fiorentina.

Arsenal goal: It had to be him, didn't it? With his first chance of the night, Nicklas Bendtner levels the tie on aggregate. Samir Nasri's cutting through ball is a whisker away from setting Andrei Arshavin free but the saving tackle by Nuno Coelho takes the ball away from goalkeeper Helton and into the path of the Dane, who makes no mistake with the goal gaping.

1955: GOALFLASH Arsenal 1-0 (agg 2-2) Porto (Bendtner)

1953: Another Arsenal attack. Samir Nasri curls over a cross from the right and Andrey Arshavin meets it at the back post with a header that is brilliantly pushed away by Helton.

1952: Back under way at Arsenal and Porto are defending again. Thomas Rosicky's pull-back finds Samir Nasri but Nuno Coelho is in the right place to block his shot.

1950: A bright start from Arsenal, who are taking the game to Porto in the first few minutes. We're going to have a bit of a delay at the Emirates, however, because Bacary Sagna took a knock and is receiving treatment.

Sunderland goal: They are without a win in 14 games but it has taken the Black Cats just 41 seconds to find the net tonight. Lorik Cana loops a cross to the back post, where Fraizer Campbell runs in to slot home the bouncing ball.

1947: GOALFLASH Sunderland 1-0 Bolton (Campbell)

1946: And at the Stadium of Light as well.

1945: We are under way at the Emirates, Fratton Park and in Florence too.

1942: I'm told there was a blizzard a few minutes ago in Florence. And I was just about to complain about how cold it is in London too...

From Im_Partial on Twitter: "Surely this very strong Bayern side should easily pop in a few against the enigmatic Florentines and carry the day?"

1938: Arsene Wenger on Nicklas Bendtner's poor finishing in the Gunners' 3-1 win over Burnley on Saturday: "Nicklas is really improving at the moment. That was just an isolated game. He has a good mental strength and, even if he was disappointed with the chances he missed, it will not diminish his desire and confidence to going to the next game. He missed some big chances on Saturday, but that is needed for any young striker at some stage."

1936: Oh, and if you think Portsmouth v Birmingham sounds familiar, that's because it is. Just three days ago, Pompey defied the odds (those odds being their financial plight and terrible league form) to beat the Blues and reach the FA Cup semi-finals. Don't mention Liam Ridgewell's goal that never was to Birmingham boss Alex McLeish either. I'm pretty sure he is still livid about it.

From Dean_machine on 606: "I still fancy Arsenal to progress today. I can see them winning 3-1 with Bendtner getting on the scoresheet."

From avenkat10 on Twitter: "Porto have come a long way since that 4-0 battering v Arsenal in 2008. They drew 2-2 vs Manchester United last year with a good display."

1931: Portsmouth first team coach Paul Groves on how the possibility of his side being docked nine points for going into administration will affect their battle against relegation from Premier League: "We'll just do what we can on the pitch. That's why this game is so important to us. It's a game we can get three points from and one where we can get ourselves very close to the pack."

1928: TEAM NEWS Portsmouth v Birmingham:
Portsmouth make one enforced change from the side that beat the Blues on Saturday with Aruna Dindane replacing the injured John Utaka. As expected, Birmingham boss Alex McLeish shuffles his pack and January transfer signing Michel makes his first start for the club as one of four changes from the weekend. Stuart Parnaby comes in at right-back for Stephen Carr while Chucho Benitez returns up front as James McFadden drops to bench. Seb Larsson is also rested so Craig Gardner starts in midfield.

1927: Sunderland boss Steve Bruce on Bolton striker Kevin Davies: "He is very clever and very, very good at what he does. I tried to sign him on a couple of occasions, unsuccessfully, but I like everything that goes with him as a footballer. He is big, uncompromising, gets on with it, tough as they come. He is a handful, that's for sure."

1925: TEAM NEWS Sunderland v Bolton:
Lee Cattermole retains his place in midfield for Sunderland after passing a late fitness test on a hamstring injury. The only change for the Black Cats from their 0-0 draw with Fulham last Sunday sees Steed Malbranque take the place of Kieran Richardson. Bolton make only one change themselves from the side which beat West Ham last Saturday. It is an enforced one, with Ricardo Gardner replacing the suspended Tamir Cohen in midfield.

1923: Porto coach Jesualdo Ferreira on his side's hopes of progressing to the last eight of the Champions League: "We know their away goal puts them in a very good position. For that reason we need to fight, be positive, get a good result and qualify. Last year we reached the quarter-finals and our objective is to do that again. I want to put right the fact that Porto have not won in England before - there's always a first time for everything."

1921: TEAM NEWS Fiorentina v Bayern Munich:
Fiorentina defender Massimo Gobbi is suspended so loan signing Da Silva Dalbelo Felipe comes in. Centre-back Martin Demichelis is missing for Bayern Munich after breaking his jaw on international duty with Argentina last week. David Alaba comes in to make his first-team debut and ease the German side's defensive problems.

From redandblackT-The legend of Herbert Kilpin on 606: "Ties hanging in the balance... teams with away goals will go through I think!"

1920: Here's a fact for you. Sunderland are the only Premier League team without a win in 2010, which might just be a reason why they are sliding towards the relegation zone at an alarming rate. Bolton are still in the battle at the bottom of the table too, but things are looking up for Owen Coyle's men after back-to-back wins over Wolves and West Ham... another victory for Wanderers tonight would put them eight points clear of the bottom three.

1918: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger on his side's task against Porto: "I do not think anyone will be complacent. We know it will be a tricky game, but we believe we can do it. We have good confidence, we are in a good position, so let's go for it. We have scored away from home which is still a massive advantage, and that is why were are confident we can do it.

1917: I need some help from you lot tonight as well, obviously. It's easy to get involved too: Tweet me gently on Twitter, text me on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide) or join the chat on 606. I know you want to.

1915: Speaking of the Football League (see 1911), here's the aptly named Football League Danny with more about what's in store for us tonight: "Some highlights for you - West Brom return to second in the Championship if they at least draw at home against struggling Sheffield Wednesday. Play-off hopefuls Swansea and Cardiff visit Watford and Ipswich respectively. In League One, Leeds can boost their top-two credentials with a win at Tranmere, while MK Dons will breathe new life into their play-off campaign if they can beat fifth-placed Swindon. In League Two, Chesterfield (3rd) host Notts County - two places and three points beneath them."

1915: TEAMS Sunderland v Bolton:
Sunderland: Gordon, Ferdinand, Turner, Mensah, Hutton, Malbranque, Cana, Cattermole, Campbell, Jones, Bent. Subs: Carson, Bardsley, McCartney, Zenden, Da Silva, Kilgallon, Mwaruwari.
Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Robinson, Ricketts, Knight, Steinsson, Gardner, Wilshere, Muamba, Lee, Kevin Davies, Elmander. Subs: Al Habsi, Samuel, Taylor, Riga, Klasnic, Andrew O'Brien, Weiss.
Referee: Steve Bennett (Kent)

1913: BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at The Emirates: "Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has launched an emphatic defence of Theo Walcott in his programme notes, describing the criticism he received after his disappointing display for England against Egypt as "unbelievable." It does not mean Walcott starts tonight though. He is on the bench, while Nicklas Bendtner gets the opportunity to make amends for his succession of awful misses against Burnley - which really were unbelievable."

From stattylegend on 606: "I'm sick of this constant Pro-Arsenal coverage!!! BRING BACK STEVO."

1911: There is plenty else going on too. Oh yes. In the Premier League, Portsmouth host Birmingham and Sunderland take on Bolton and, if that's still not enough for you, there is a fullish programme in the Championship and a sprinkling of League One and League Two games too. You could almost call it a feast of football. Almost.

1909: Tonight's other Champions League tie sees Fiorentina attempt to turnaround an identical 2-1 first-leg deficit against Bayern Munich. The German side were extremely lucky to edge their first meeting through Miroslav Klose's late (not to mention blatantly offside) header but will probably be encouraged by Fiorentina's poor recent form, and inability to keep a clean sheet in any of their last 17 games.

1908: TEAMS Portsmouth v Birmingham:
Portsmouth: James, Finnan, Ben-Haim, Hreidarsson, Belhadj, Brown, Wilson, O'Hara, Webber, Piquionne, Dindane. Subs: Ashdown, Mokoena, Mullins, Diop, Owusu-Abeyie, Kanu, Basinas.
Birmingham: Hart, Parnaby, Johnson, Dann, Ridgewell, Gardner, Ferguson, Michel, Fahey, Jerome, Benitez. Subs: Taylor, Murphy, Larsson, McFadden, Queudrue, Tainio, Jervis.
Referee: Michael Jones (Cheshire)

1907: Oh, and despite that impressive stat (see 1901), don't go thinking Porto are somehow invulnerable either. Far from it actually, especially when it comes to playing on these shores. They have never won a match in England and have lost on their last six visits to London, including a 4-0 tonking by Arsene Wenger's mob in September 2008.

1906: TEAMS Fiorentina v Bayern Munich:
Fiorentina: Frey, Felipe, Kroldrup, Natali, De Silvestri, Zanetti, Montolivo, Vargas, Jovetic, Marchionni, Gilardino. Subs: Avramov, Donadel, Pasqual, Santana, Comotto, Bolatti, Keirrison.
Bayern Munich: Butt, Alaba, Badstuber, Van Buyten, Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Van Bommel, Ribery, Robben, Gomez, Muller. Subs: Rensing, Altintop, Olic, Gorlitz, Klose, Pranjic, Tymoschuk.
Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (Spain)

1905: Still, just the one goal will do for the Gunners tonight as they look to overturn the 2-1 deficit from the first leg of their Champions League last 16 clash with the Portuguese champions. If you've forgotten what happened in that game, I will remind you using just two words: Horror story. Or, alternatively: Lukasz Fabianski.

1904: TEAMS Arsenal v Porto:
Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Campbell, Vermaelen, Clichy, Nasri, Song, Diaby, Rosicky, Bendtner, Arshavin. Subs: Fabianski, Eduardo, Walcott, Denilson, Silvestre, Eboue, Traore.
FC Porto: Helton, Fucile, Rolando, Bruno Alves, Pereira, Ruben Micael, Coelho, Raul Meireles, Varela, Falcao, Hulk. Subs: Nuno, Guarin, Belluschi, Rodriguez, Gonzalez, Maicon, Miguel Lopes.
Referee: Frank De Bleeckere (Belgium)

1902: ...Sorry. I'm only joking about Bendtner, of course. And I do think the gag doing the rounds that his shirt number (52) also shows the number of chances he needs to find the net is a bit cruel, even if it was accurate on Saturday...

1901: Greetings. I will begin with some bad news for Arsenal fans. Porto have not lost a European tie on any of the 24 previous occasions they have won the first leg at home. It gets worse too; Gunners talisman Cesc Fabregas is out with a hamstring strain, and Nicklas Bendtner is fully fit...

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Champions League results

9 Mar 2010 23:59 UK

Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 9 Mar 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Man Utd 29 43 63
2 Chelsea 28 39 61
3 Arsenal 29 37 61
4 Tottenham 28 23 49
5 Man City 27 17 49
6 Liverpool 29 16 48
7 Aston Villa 26 16 45
8 Birmingham 28 -1 43
9 Everton 28 4 41
10 Fulham 28 3 38
11 Stoke 27 -5 34
12 Blackburn 28 -15 34
13 Sunderland 28 -8 30
14 Bolton 29 -22 29
15 Wigan 28 -26 28
16 West Ham 28 -9 27
17 Wolves 28 -25 24
18 Hull 28 -33 24
19 Burnley 28 -31 23
20 Portsmouth 28 -23 19

see also
Football on the BBC
11 Aug 10 |  Football

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