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Page last updated at 21:17 GMT, Thursday, 22 April 2010 22:17 UK

Europa League as it happened


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By Sam Lyon

2215: And that's that, then, folks - thanks for your company. Shame we didn't get a couple more goals and a bit more in the way of incident, but few could argue both ties aren't perfectly poised going into next week's second leg - and Jonathan Stevenson is back in the text commentator's chair on Saturday, so we're absolutely guaranteed more goals then. Make sure you join him for that, bye.

optajoe on Twitter: "The six Uefa Cup/Europa League semi-final first leg games over the past three seasons have produced a total of only six goals. Tight."

2210: Rafael Benitez: "We conceded a strange goal and scored a good goal that was ruled out but, OK, it's half-time. There was a lot I was not happy about tonight, but I don't think we were too tired. We go back to Anfield which will be packed with our great fans and we are not out of the match, definitely not."

Matt, Essex via text: "Liverpool's 17th defeat of the season. How can that be acceptable for a team like them?"

brooklynrivera on 606: "Great news that Fulham and Liverpool can fly home but in all fairness shouldn't Hamburg and Atletico be made to take the train or coach on the away leg?"

Fulham midfielder Danny Murphy: "We've put ourselves in a great position now and we're chuffed with that. We knew we had to be organised and, bar a couple of late saves, we've been relatively comfortable. We'll take 0-0, definitely."

RyanGoldingay on Twitter: "Man of the Match in Madrid? The French Referee. Sums up the standard of the Liverpool match."

2200: And, by the way, we understand that both Liverpool and Fulham will be flying home from Madrid and Hamburg so their recovery ahead of Sunday's Premier League games at Burnley and Everton respectively should be a lot more comfortable. Which is nice.

2157: A hugely creditable draw for Fulham in Germany, then, and they take Hamburg back to Craven Cottage - where they have never lost a European game - on level terms. The news not so great for Liverpool, who have it all to do at Anfield as they trail by one and having failed to notch a potentially crucial away goal. Not sure how badly either side were affected by their horror journeys, but two games that probably won't make the 'Best of' DVD come the end of the season either way, let's be honest.

Full time
2155: FULL-TIME Hamburg 0-0 Fulham

2154: FULL-TIME Atletico Madrid 1-0 Liverpool

Yellow card
2153: Cynical, that, from Piotr Trochowski as he wipes out Damien Duff with the Fulham winger attempting to counter attack. That rules the Hamburg star out of the second leg and that's a big loss for the Germans.

2151: Three minutes injury-time in both matches, the Fulham fans far happier than their Liverpool counterparts I'd imagine.

2150: Hamburg substitute Mladen Petric fires in a shot from an acute angle but, once again, Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer is up to the task and he pushes the shot round the post. The Australian has had a fine game.

Sea Hoke Drama on 606: "Puz-Zhar-ling substitution by Rafa. I hope he knows something about Nabil that I don't!"

2146: Best chance of the game for Liverpool as Steven Gerrard's low cross arrows its way towards an unmarked Ryan Babel at the back post, but an Atletico defender gets a crucial touch on the ball to clear the opportunity. Still, a glimmer of hope for the Reds.

2144: Diego Forlan might have scored one of the ugliest goals, erm, ever, but he's a hero to these Atletico fans and they show their appreciation as he makes his way from the field to be substituted. Just over five minutes left for Liverpool to snatch something.

2143: And Nabil El Zhar is on for Yossi Benayoun. Is he the man to break the shackles for Liverpool?

2141: Nabil El Zhar is warming up for Liverpool.

LewDaney on Twitter: "Never been a fan of the away goal rule. It makes a 1-0 home victory a massive result."

2136: Pepe Reina to Liverpool's rescue again - Tomas Ujfalusi's long-ranger beaten away on the stretch by the Spanish keeper, Jamie Carragher doing well to clear the rebound from inside the six-yard area.

BBC Sport's European football blogger Phil Minshull in Madrid: "To be honest, I thought half the stadium had dropped off in the last 10 minutes. Everything went rather quiet as both teams just ambled around the midfield but a Liverpool attack has just woken up the Atletico fans. Even Atletico coach Quique Flores had a sit down for a while, perhaps to contemplate what his team should do next, but he's up and on his feet again. Rafa, by contrast, is permanently pacing around close to the touchline and has just been warned by the fourth match official not to go out of his area."

2135: Traditionally Hamburg's main hope of a goal Mladen Petric comes on - but it is David Jarolim who stings Mark Schwarzer's palms for the third time in a couple of minutes with a snap-shot 16 yards out that the Fulham keeper saves smartly.

2133: It's testimony to Fulham's defence that that is a rare chance for Hamburg, but Mark Schwarzer has to be alert to tip Jonathan Pitroipa's shot over from the angle. And only moments later Piotr Trochowski brings another flying save out of the Australian from range. Hamburg starting to up the ante with 20 minutes remaining.

Yellow card
2128: Gorgeous ball over the top from Danny Murphy and Zoltan Gera thinks he's onside - the Hungarian handles deliberately to control, though, and he goes into the book. Silly.

2126: Half-hearted penalty appeal as Zoltan Gera goes over Jerome Boateng's challenge but the referee waves them away. Better period this for Fulham, though.

2125: The times has come for Rafael Benitez to mix it up and he brings on Liverpool substitute Ryan Babel in place of David Ngog. Dirk Kuyt will push up into a more central attacking role as a result.

2124: Steven Gerrard tries his luck from the halfway line - and it flies over. Are Liverpool running out of ideas?

2121: Better from Fulham in Hamburg as Zoltan Gera paces down the left, but the Hungarian's attempted cross to the unmarked Clint Dempsey is crucially cut out by the home defence.

2120: The latest comparison on Quique Sanchez Flores-lookalike-watch is Phil Brown. Yes, the football could do with stepping it up a notch.

2118: Cracking save! Pepe Reina keeps Liverpool in it with a stunning stop from point-blank range as Simao gets on the end of Tomas Ujfalusi's cross and sends his volley towards the top corner - only for the Spanish keeper to stick out a right hand and beat the ball over the bar.

Yellow card
2116: Booking for Chris Baird for a foul on Jonathan Pitroipa and that rules the Northern Irish full-back out of the second leg.

2114: More than half an opening for Diego Forlan in Madrid, the Uruguyan receiving the ball on the edge of the 18-yard box behind the Liverpool defence but succeeding only in flapping a leg at it and pushing the ball straight into keeper Pepe Reina's hands. Wasteful.

BBC Sport's European football blogger Phil Minshull in Madrid: "Ryan Babel came sprinting out of the tunnel as the rest of the Liverpool players came back after halftime and started warming up very vigorously on his own. Is Rafa going make some changes very soon if Ngog and Kuyt don't start making headway against Atletico's well-organised back four?"

2112: Yep, Fulham's Clint Dempsey comes on for Bobby Zamora, who has barely looked fit all game to be fair.

2011: Liverpool have made a better start to this half than they did the first in Madrid, but it's still pretty uneventful stuff. For now. Clint Dempsey is apparently preparing to replace Bobby Zamora for Fulham over in Hamburg.

2108: Early pressure again from the hosts in Hamburg, but again they come up against the defensive wall of Brede Hangeland. That's the good news. The bad news is that Bobby Zamora is clearly struggling. He forges on, though.

2106: Back under way in Madrid and Hamburg.

2105: The players are back out and about in Hamburg and Bobby Zamora continues.

2102: In other news, according to you folks the Atletico manager Quique Sanchez Flores looks like Ben Stiller, Hugh Grant and/or Hugh Laurie. I can't see it myself - with any of them. Still, keep them coming won't you?

optajoe on Twitter: "Fulham have now gone 371 minutes without conceding a goal (all comps)."

2057: Pick the bones out of those, then, why don't you? Fulham resilient but unthreatening, Liverpool uninspired but still well in it. Fair?

Chris, Bath via text: "Ngog's movement is awful, he gives Liverpool nothing."

BBC Sport's European football blogger Phil Minshull in Madrid: "Continuing the musical theme, the Atletico fans are extending their repertoire and predictably giving 'Y Viva Espana' an airing. We are not hearing any sounds of You'll Never Walk Alone or Ferry Across The Mersey yet, despite around 3,000 Liverpool fans being inside the stadium."

hedonistic_me on Twitter: "Ngog gets a lot of stick for simply not being Torres, but you have to commend his tireless efforts in an unenviable task."

2052: Slight worry for Fulham fans at the break, there, with striker Bobby Zamora clearly limping as he leaves the field. The doubts over his fitness following that pre-match stretching routine (see 1955) continue.

Half time
2051: HALF-TIME Atletico Madrid 1-0 Liverpool

2050: HALF-TIME Hamburg 0-0 Fulham

2049: Fulham still to get to grips with proceedings in Hamburg, so I'm sure they will be delighted to enter the break with the score goalless. Ruud van Nistelrooy, meanwhile, tries his luck from range, but it limps tamely into Mark Schwarzer's grateful arms.

2046: Tomas Ujfalusi bustles his way into the Liverpool box from the right-hand side but the full-back's shot slams into the side-netting.

BBC Sport's European football blogger Phil Minshull in Madrid: "Rafa has sent three of the Liverpool subs out of the dug out to warm up, or that could be just to keep warm as the temperature has dropped about five degrees in the last 15 minutes as the sun has gone down. I can see quite a few misguided Liverpool fans shivering in their shirt sleeves as well. This isn't Benidorm or Torremolinos, Madrid is at 670 metres altitude and it's still April!"

2041: Excellent run from inside his own half and into the Fulham box by Hamburg's Jonathan Pitroipa, but he goes down far too easily within breathing distance of Aaron Hughes and the referee waves away his lame appeals for a penalty. Correct decision.

2039: Liverpool starting to ask some questions now, but one of them appears to be "who taught us to shoot?" as David Ngog, Lucas and Yossi Benayoun make poor attempts at efforts inside the box as the ball bounces around the 18-yard area before Atletico clear.

Derekm323f on Twitter: "Better from Liverpool but no way near their expected level...some players look lost!"

Yellow card
2036: Ouch. Joris Mathijsen goes into the book for a heavy, to say the least, challenge on Zoltan Gera - fortunately for Fulham, the Hungarian appears not too badly hurt and will carry on.

2034: Hamburg continuing to impress, with Dennis Aogo enjoying plenty of space down the left-hand side. Aaron Hughes and the impressive Brede Hangeland mopping up everything that comes into the Fulham box so far, though. I wonder how happy Roy Hodgson would be with a 0-0 from this match?

2030: Lung-busting run across the Atletico box from Steven Gerrard, but he can't get the right shooting angle and eventually the defence clears. Better from Liverpool - but still not great.

BBC Sport's European football blogger Phil Minshull in Madrid: "Atletico fans are in good voice after the Forlan goal, clearly sensing that they are going to have a good night. We've already had a couple of raucous renditions, mainly from the Ultras in the east stand of the Vicente Calderon, of the unofficial club anthem which bizarrely is to the tune of Mike Oldfield's 80s hit Moonlight Shadow. They don't normally start this early! The tune was a big success here in Spain but how it got adopted and adapted by the Atleti hard core is rather shrouded in mystery. "

Luke in Hamburg via text: "At the Fulham game. That stat about couple of hundred fans, there is not a spare seat here, so don't know where you got that from. Fans standing in the aisles. Come on you whites."

2026: Bobby Zamora is struggling to hold things up for Fulham in Hamburg at the moment, and as a result the hosts are dominating possession and are pretty much camped in the Cottagers' half.

2024: Better from Liverpool, now, Steven Gerrard racing on to Lucas's ball over the top only to send his left-foot effort into the side netting.

2023: I tell you what - Liverpool have every reason to feel aggreived there. Dirk Kuyt's sliced through ball finds Yossi Benayoun clear of the defence and the Israeli clips home, only for the 'goal' to be ruled out for offside - replays show, though, that the midfielder was well on. Ouch.

2021: Liverpool have barely got going in Madrid just yet - post-journey fatigue perhaps? In Germany, meanwhile, Jonathan Pitroipa bursts into the Fulham box but his attempted cross is easily collected by Mark Schwarzer in the visitors' goal.

2018: Close from Fulham and by far their best attack of the game so far. Bobby Zamora lays off Paul Konchesky's pass to Zoltan Gera, but the Hungarian's effort is deflected narrowly wide.

genghis26 on 606: "All that Atletico goal seemed to lack was Benny Hill music...and maybe a little bald fella to slap on the head."

2015: Almost an immediate response from Liverpool, Yossi Benayoun heading Glen Johnson's fine cross wide at the far post.

Atletico goal: It won't make goal of the season - but Atletico care not. Jose Manuel Jurado's cross is begging to be headed in by Diego Forlan but the Uruguayan's header is lame. Fortunately for the home striker, though, the ball falls to his feet and he prods into the net with Jose Reina stranded. First blood to the hosts.

2013: GOALFLASH Atletico Madrid 1-0 Liverpool (Forlan)

2010: Fulham looking a little more settled now - at least before Jerome Boateng gets away with an apparent backpass to keeper Frank Rost. Bobby Zamora - showing no ill effects after his pre-match stretching routine - is mystified.

2008: It's a right ol' frantic start in Madrid, with both sets of players flying into tackles and the like. No chances as yet, but a lively opening.

2007: Piotr Trochowski is the next Hamburg player to have a pop at goal, his shot from range flying to the left of Mark Schwarzer's goal.

2006: Just one minute in and Hamburg could already be ahead. Dennis Aogo sets Ruud van Nistelrooy through on goal but the Dutchman dallies a touch too long and his tame effort from close range is easily saved. Early warning for Fulham.

2005: ...and now in Spain as well.

2005: Under way in Germany.

2003: A minute's silence at the Vicente Calderon as a mark of respect to former International Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch who died on Wednesday. Immaculately observed.

2001: Liverpool, resplendent in their black kit, make their way out at the Vicente Calderon stadium - but captain Steven Gerrard has left his mascot behind, the little scamp. Fulham, backed up by a couple of hundred fans (as opposed to the 2,500 that hoped to be there), are also out and about - and Bobby Zamora is among them looking comfortable enough. Phew.

redandblackT on 606: "The referee tonight has his younger brother running the line. Nice."

1957: Roy Hodgson: "The players realise this is a great occasion and they've got a great opportunity. We'll be ready when the whistle goes. It's boring to say it but if you play well and do what you do well you have a good chance."

1956: Rafa on Atletico Madrid: "Atletico have real quality in attack and are very good on the counter attack. They are also dangerous at set pieces so we have to be wary and we have to try and score an away goal if possible."

1955: Worrying scenes for Fulham, with star striker Bobby Zamora going through some painful-looking stretches on the sidelines with just minutes to go until kick-off. He looks in some pain, the frontman, despite manager Roy Hodgson just insisting the Cottagers squad is fine after their long coach journey. Hhmm.

Safc-CanaChameleon on 606: "Atletico Madrid's nickname "Los Colchoneros", loosely means the "mattresses" in English. With Aguero missing for Atletico, though, I think Liverpool will be sleeping the easier tonight."

1950: With 10 minutes until kick-off - have you sent us a photo of yourself with a World Cup star of 2010? If so, you could appear in our BBC Sport's World Cup Photo Album very soon! If you haven't pinged us a pic yet and you're at one of the matches tonight - we want your mug shots with a player heading to South Africa this summer. Email them to, or send them to us via Flickr (where there are some examples of what we mean) but for goodness sake, check the BBC terms and conditions first. Ta.

BBC Sport's European football blogger Phil Minshull in Madrid: "Atletico Madrid and Liverpool continue to be a big draw despite both teams' dodgy domestic campaigns. Atletico reckon that up to eight million people will be watching the game in Spain alone. Apparently, 56 countries will be able to see the match live on TV and there are commentators from eight different countries actually in the stadium. There are 124 written journalists accredited so the Press box is a lot cosier than it was a week ago for Atletico v Xerez!"

Barties on 606: "I am far more excited about this evening's matches than I have been for years about the so-called Champion's League. Good luck to both Liverpool and Fulham."

Jamieroser on Twitter: "I agree with Rafa that Liverpool need an away goal, but without Torres where does it come from? A question too often asked."

1942: Opposition brief: Atletico Madrid Los Colchoneros will be targeting a first major European final since 1986 over the two legs against Liverpool, but will have to do so tonight without suspended star striker Sergio Aguero. Former Manchester United frontman Diego Forlan will be a familiar face in the Atletico attack, but the Spaniards are not in the best of form having lost four of their last five La Liga matches. They do have a Copa del Rey final to look forward to, mind. Jose Paolo Guerrero plays tonight, by the way, despite the fact he is serving a domestic ban for attacking a fan - worth bearing in mind Fulham fans.

Baron_CiderHead on 606: "Mickey Mouse Cup? Minor consolation? I think not... it's the Uefa Cup with a revamped format that's all.Nothing trivial about lifting the Uefa Cup."

TorreSamK9 on Twitter: "Interesting to see how the travel has affected both sides. Barca and Lyon were shocking. Not good signs."

1937: Opposition brief: Hamburg Ruud van Nistelrooy will far and away be the star name in the German line-up this evening, the 33-year-old former Manchester United striker boasting a CV that brags five league titles in Holland, England and Spain and six other domestic trophies. The Dutchman's record against Fulham, by the way, is 10 goals in nine games. Ouch. However, Hamburg - like Atletico - are not enjoying their finest season, with Bruno Labbadia's side now struggling to qualify again for Europe next season following a poor run of form. Ex-Spur Martin Jol led them to European qualification last season having at one point led the Bundesliga. Oh - and the final will be staged at their HSH Nordbank Arena. Incentive.

Pedro, Glastonbury via text: "Re Thegingerninja: Well you would have to say Bobby Robson was the most likeable, but Roy Hodgson a close second. Fulham to go down 2-1. Bobby to get the all important away goal."

Fluorescent_Imp on 606: "When I look at those line-ups, I can't help but feel Atletico look stronger all over the pitch except in the centre of midfield. Hopefully Gerrard can produce one of his much overdue world-class performances in Europe."

1932: Now then, a reminder how this pair got here... Liverpool overcame a 2-1 first-leg deficit to trounce Benfica 4-1 at Anfield and storm into the last four, while Fulham - fresh from their staggering win over Juventus in the previous round - saw off Wolfsburg 3-1 on aggregate, thanks in the main to a couple of goals from England World Cup prospect Bobby Zamora. Anyone fancy an all-English final?

Jingles_123 on Twitter: "To thegingerninja: surely that's Ray Wilkins?"

1928: Hamburg v Fulham team news
boss Roy Hodgson makes one change to his starting line-up as the influential Brede Hangeland returns to central defence in place of Chris Smalling, while forward Clint Dempsey is fit enough to take a place on the bench. Hamburg make two changes from Saturday's home defeat by Mainz, with Jonathan Pitroipa and Jose Paolo Guerrero in for Robert Tesche and Marcus Berg. Former Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy leads the line.

1926: Atletico Madrid v Liverpool team news
, already without the injured Fernando Torres, make only one change to the side that cruised past West ham on Monday, Javier Mascherano replacing Maxi Rodriguez, who is ineligible to face his former club. Atletico are also without their star striker, Sergio Aguero's suspension allowing Jose Manuel Jurado to partner Diego Forlan up front.

LFCfan128 on 606: "Predictable line-up from Liverpool, playing for a draw and maybe to sneak in an away goal."

Thegingerninja via text: "I'm praying Fulham win tonight - purely because of Roy Hodgson. Was there ever a more likeable man in football?"

S_Hips on Twitter: "No Torres, yes, but no Aguero either so Liverpool to win. Zamora and Hangeland to help Fulham win too (yes I have money on this!)."

redevilmatth on 606: "Shame that Smalling is on the Fulham bench tonight, I thought he had a good game against Wolves on Saturday."

1921: Atletico Madrid v Liverpool line-ups:
Atletico Madrid:
De Gea, Ujfalusi, Perea, Dominguez, Antonio Lopez, Paulo Assuncao, Simao, Raul Garcia, Reyes, Jurado, Forlan. Subs: Sergio Asenjo, Valera, Camacho, Salvio, Juanito, Cabrera, Borja.
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Kyrgiakos, Agger, Kuyt, Lucas, Mascherano, Benayoun, Gerrard, Ngog. Subs: Cavalieri, Aquilani, Babel, Degen, El Zhar, Ayala, Pacheco.
Referee: Laurent Duhamel (France)

1918: Liverpool fans be comforted - Rafael Benitez is putting a brave face on his team's arduous journey to Madrid, despite admitting the trip was "tortuous", saying: "The important thing is that we are here and we're in a good mood. Everybody has a positive mentality." Fulham boss Roy Hodgson is a little more realistic, saying: "We were on the road for 17 hours, three of which was standing in a queue thanks to a traffic accident on the Autobahn. It will be a little bit harder for us and is hardly ideal preparation for a big game." Brave face or not, the journey has to have an impact, no? Barcelona hardly looked fresh as a daisy the other night against Inter Milan did they?

spiritualwolf on 606: "Have the BBC not yet worked out that the vast majority of people don't think a luxury train and plane trip to Spain is the equivalent of Captain Scott's epic and ultimately tragic trip to the South Pole? Come on, Beeb, get real!!!"

jainpiyushjain on Twitter: "Liverpool can go all the way to lift the trophy."

1914: Hamburg v Fulham line-ups:
Rost, Demel, Boateng, Mathijsen, Aogo, Pitroipa, Jarolim, Ze Roberto, Trochowski, Guerrero, van Nistelrooy. Subs: Hesl, Rozehnal, Petric, Tesche, Berg, Rincon, Torun.
Fulham: Schwarzer, Baird, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky, Duff, Etuhu, Murphy, Davies, Zamora, Gera. Subs: Zuberbuhler, Kelly, Nevland, Dempsey, Smalling, Greening, Dikgacoi.
Referee: Claus Bo Larsen (Denmark)

Steve, Maidenhead, via text: "I'm a Liverpool fan. This has been the toughest season I've had to endure since Souness. We've got a chance to redeem some self respect tonight and win some silver for the first time in 4 years. It's not great consolation but consolation none the less. Please don't blow it - and pick our strongest 11 Rafa."

1910: No team news in just yet by the way folks, but we already know that Fernando Torres will be missing for Liverpool following the knee surgery he had that will keep him out of action for the rest of the season. The news is better for Fulham, with Clint Dempsey fit again after a thigh injury, though John Pantsil, Nicky Shorey and Stefano Okaka ineligible. The line-ups when I get them folks.

collie21 on 606: "Liverpool to draw tonight and Fulham to lose 2-1 but go through eventually to meet Atletico Madrid in the final."

1907: Of course, as always, I'd love for you to get involved tonight, so why not share your thoughts on 606, via my Twitter page, or text me on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide). Nice.

1904: So, the volcanic ash spouting out of Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull glacier may have grounded literally thousands of planes, but Liverpool and Fulham are still very much flying in Europe (see what I did there?). It was a case of planes, trains and automobiles for Liverpool as they were forced into a 24-hour, 1,200-mile journey to Madrid, while Fulham had to endure a gruelling 17-hour, 600-mile coach and train journey to Hamburg following Uefa's decision to go ahead with the semi-final ties despite the travel chaos across the globe. But record books do not detail excuses and tonight Liverpool and Fulham have it all to play for in their first-leg clashes. Where's ya money?

1900: After a combined travel time of 41 hours, 1,800 miles covered, a light workout on the hard shoulder of the autobahn, a press briefing in the buffet car of a TGV train and the unlikely marriage of former 5 Live's Ian Dennis, Kevin Gallacher and an assortment of wine gums, we are here. It's Atletico Madrid v Liverpool, it's Hamburg v Fulham, it's the Europa League semi-finals. What a pa- lava huh?

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Europa League results

22 Apr 2010 23:59 UK

see also
Europa League photos
22 Apr 10 |  Football
Europa semis get Uefa green light
19 Apr 10 |  Europe
Football on the BBC
11 Aug 10 |  Football

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