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By Chris Bevan
2204: So, just the 44 goals in week one of the Champions League. Not a bad effort that. Can the Europa League match its big brother for thrills and spills? Join
the legendary Jonathan Stevenson
tomorrow night to find out, when Liverpool and Manchester City are both in action. Thanks for keeping me company over the last few hours, and I will see you all very soon.
From Matt, Chelsea fan in London via text: "It's a written script: Chelsea to win the Champions League in London and Arsenal play the best football but get out classed against the likes of Manchester United and Barcelona... Come on Chelsea!"
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger on Cesc Fabregas: "It wasn't easy for him in the summer, he was under a lot of pressure of course, but I never had any doubt that he loves the club and he wants to do well for us. He's a leader and he shows that in his attitude on and off the pitch."
2153: Carlo Ancelotti is also hopeful that Frank Lampard will be fit enough to face Blackpool on Sunday after recovering from his hernia operation.
Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti on his side's impressive win over MSK Zilina: "I was very happy with the way we started the game, we knew the opposition would attack so we used the speed of our strikers on the counter-attack. It was a very important win for us. We are doing very well at the moment - we have started well in the Premier League and the Champions League."
From Arfa the bear on 606:
"Is it me, or does Wilshere not play like an English player? more like a Spaniard, but I'm very happy that he has a English passport."
Champions League Macca: "So wins for all the big guns tonight: an Ibra-inspired AC Milan (over Auxerre), Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid (v Ajax) and Bayern Munich (v Roma) all got off to victorious starts. Cluj beat Basel, Spartak Moscow won at Marseille and Shakhtar Donetsk beat Partizan Belgrade. Can't wait to do it all again."
From anon via text: "I know it's said every year but Arsenal look to have come a long way. The maturity of Wilshere tonight has epitomised that, great performances from Chamakh and Koscielny, and of course, Cesc. Could this be the year?"
2142: We had 22 goals in eight Champions League matches last night... and 22 more in eight games this evening. Yes, some of these group games are predictable but dull? Not this week (apart from Man Utd v Rangers anyhow).
2139: Er, pretty much a walk in the park for Arsenal and Chelsea, who scored early goals... and kept on scoring too. Bigger tests to come for both teams, but they can be very pleased with their night's work.
BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at stadium:mk: "Southampton fans make for the exit as Peter Leven doubles MK Dons' advantage after his initial strike is blocked by Kelvin Davis close to the final whistle. Nigel Adkins tastes defeat in his first game in charge of Saints and now has a clearer idea of the task facing him." MK Dons 2-0 Southampton
2134: FULL-TIME Arsenal 6-0 Braga
2133: A rare attack from Braga ends when Helder Barbosa leaps to lift a header high over the bar. They haven't come much closer than that all night.
2133: FULL-TIME MSK Zilina 1-4 Chelsea
2132: There will be two minutes of added time at the Emirates too. Not long until the nightmare is over for Braga, who have been chasing shadows all night.
2131: It's all gone a bit flat in Zilina, where we will have two minutes of injury time. Chelsea have shut up shop and don't seem too bothered about adding to their tally. You can't blame them either, they wrapped up their win before the half-hour mark.
Champions League Macca: "Bayern Munich are 1-0 up now at home to Roma. It's been scored by Thomas Muller and it's so good it should be worth two. Forget about Arsenal's goals - that was the best of the night. Hang on, they're not finished yet either. Miroslav Klose adds a second for the German side and that's game over. Bayern never let leads slip late on. Spartak Moscow have broken the deadlock at Marseille through an Cesar Azpilicueta own goal."
Arsenal goal: You know how this works by now. Jack Wilshere finds Cesc Fabregas, who could go for goal himself, but instead plays in Carlos Vela to slot the ball between Felipe and his near post. Glorious stuff, but maybe the Gunners could throw in a long-range screamer to mix these goals up a bit (I'm joking).
2126: GOALFLASH Arsenal 6-0 Braga (Vela)
2125: We've already had a text about Josh McEachran - here's a stat as well. According to
McEachran, who was born on 1 March 1993, is the first player born after the Champions League started on 25 Nov 1992, to take part in the competition. All we need now is a goal from him to complete the set.
Champions League Macca: "Finally we have goals. AC Milan lead Auxerre 1-0 in their Group G clash and it's gone to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has now scored in the Champs Lge for five different clubs, matching Hernan Crespo's record (thanks Infstrada). Shakhtar Donetsk lead Partizan Belgrade 1-0 and Real Madrid have a second against Ajax, Gonzalo Higuain again. Do we have a London buses graphic? Ibra has another one and it's AC Milan 2-0 Ajax now."
2122: Josh McEachran, who is just 17, comes on to replace Yossi Benayoun for Chelsea. I had a anonymous text about this young man earlier, which read: "Would be nice if you mentioned the fact that Josh McEachran, a player who was instrumental in helping the England U17s win the Euro Championship this summer, is on the bench for Chelsea. A very promising youngster who destroyed Aston Villa in the FA Youth Cup final last year, and could be one to look out for!!" I wonder if it was Josh who sent me that, while he was on the bench? Let's see what he is made of...
BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at stadium:mk: "MK Dons have been the better side in the second half and have now opened the scoring with a superbly crafted goal. Luke Chadwick picked out Dean Lewington with a raking pass and the skipper then played a cracking through ball to Angelo Balanta, whose shot went in off the post. MK Dons 1-0 Southampton"
From Norwich fan Luke in London, via text: "This Arsenal performance has been magnificent. Even all those who consistently slate them must concede that this has been a joy to watch."
AClayton89 on Twitter:
"Chamakh showed tonight what a good signing he is for Arsenal, a target-man but also very intelligent with a great work rate."
2116: A sniff of a second goal for Zilina, where Lubomir Guldan has just headed wide for the Slovakian side. They have got around 15 minutes left to try to salvage something from their first Champions League group game but Chelsea still look mighty comfortable to me.
2114: Here's a stat for you.
tell me that Arsenal have now scored 16 goals and conceded none in four home matches against Portuguese clubs in the Champions League.
Arsenal goal: These Arsenal goals are all pretty similar you know. Once again, the Gunners rip Braga's defence apart with a succession of crisp passes and this time it is Andrey Arshavin who plays in substitute Carlos Vela to lift the ball over Felipe - who is probably feeling like I do when I play in goal for our office 5-a-side team on Monday nights... hopelessly exposed.
2109: GOALFLASH Arsenal 5-0 Braga (Vela)
2109: So close to a fifth goal for the Gunners. Cesc Fabregas (again) feeds Andrey Arshavin on the left and, from a tight angle, he thumps a stinging shot against the foot of the far post. Felipe was beaten all ends up.
2108: Chelsea have taken their foot off the pedal a bit too. Zilina are seeing more of the ball now, but are not doing much with it at the moment - the Blues are strolling through this one.
2105: Bacary Sagna goes in the book after catching Paulo Cesar with a late challenge. Arsenal have lost their rhythm a bit since making those changes, and they are about to make another one. Emmanuel Eboue is coming on any minute now.
2104: It's change o'clock. Gael Kakuta is on for Chelsea, replacing one of their goalscorers Daniel Sturridge. And Arsenal have made a double substitution - Denilson and Carlos Vela are on for Marouane Chamakh and Alex Song.
savethealbum on Twitter:
"Stuck in Paris tonight where the only televised games are Marseille, Auxerre and Bayern. All goalless. Oh to be in Blighty."
2102: It's still goalless at the Allianz Arena, but the only reason Bayern Munich aren't ahead is Roma keeper Julio Sergio's heroics. He has just made a superb one-handed save from Thomas Mueller.
2101: I know I keep saying this, but this really is stunning stuff from Arsenal. Cesc Fabregas plays a brilliant one-two with Andrey Arshavin and he is only denied a hat-trick by Felipe's left hand and then Alberto Rodriguez booting the ball off the line.
MSK Zilina goal: A bit of confusion over who scored this, but I'm going to give it to Tomas Oravec. Petr Cech misses a cross from the left, the ball bounces off Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic and Oravec bundles it over the line. The Slovakian champions have a consolation goal on what has been a fairly forgettable evening for them.
Arsenal goal: Braga are hardly helping their cause by switching off completely when it matters in defence. After a long period of pretty passing patterns from Arsenal, Andrey Arshavin sends over a cross from the left and Cesc Fabregas is completely unmarked as he runs in to head downwards into the bottom corner.
2055: GOALFLASH MSK Zilina 1-4 Chelsea (Oravec)
2054: GOALFLASH Arsenal 4-0 Braga (Fabregas)
2053: Chelsea are moving closer and closer to matching their biggest away win in the Champions League, which
tell me was a 5-0 triumph in Turkey against Galatasaray on 20 October 1999.
2051: Not many reasons for Zilina to be positive tonight but Admir Vladavic has been one of them. He has a pop from long range again and gets plenty of power behind his shot, but it's effortlessly plucked out of the air by Petr Cech.
Chelsea goal: The answer to my question is about 25 seconds. Yossi Benayoun, who has been top-drawer tonight, sets Daniel Sturridge free and he buries his low shot before celebrating with a nice little jig.
2047: GOALFLASH MSK Zilina 0-4 Chelsea (Sturridge)
2046: And at the Emirates too. How long do you think it will be before the goals start flooding in again?
2045: We are back under way at the Pod Dubnom Stadium. Norwich, er, I mean Zilina have got a lot of work to do here.
From Greig in Aberdeen, via text: "I am much impressed with Arsenal tonight, they're destroying a team that's knocked Celtic and Sevilla out. Wilshire magnificent. He's only 18? Really?! Magnificent."
Champions League Macca: Basel pulled a goal back on the stroke of half-time through Valentin Stocker. Cluj still lead 2-1 though. Elsewhere it is as you were with Real Madrid leading Ajax 1-0 and the other four games still goalless.
xcroker on Twitter:
"(ignoring risk of jinxing it) Chelsea have never played this well in Europe."
2037: Arsenal have been fantastic to watch tonight, but Chelsea have also made a potentially tricky tie look easy. Two hugely impressive displays so far.
BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at stadium:mk: "No goals to report at the break in the match between MK Dons and Southampton but no shortage of drama and excitement. Both keepers have made world class saves - MK Dons stopper David Martin tipping over a dipping effort from Rickie Lambert, while Kelvin Davies somehow stopped a powerful 12-yard strike from Lewis Guy. Saints have probably just about had the best of it."
2034: Step forward
(see 1941). You are half-way to getting a remarkable prediction spot-on.
2028: Credit to MSK Zilina, they are still giving this a go. Admir Vladavic lets fly from the edge of the area, but Petr Cech dives to his left to push the ball round the post.
Champions League Macca: "Real Madrid have been knocking on the door for a while and it's finally opened up for them. It's not the prettiest but Jose Mourinho won't care as Xabi Alonso's cross is bundled in unwittingly by some part of Gonzalo Higuain. Real Madrid 1-0 Ajax."
2023: Another chance for Chelsea. Nicolas Anelka finds Florent Malouda unmarked in the box but his goalbound shot is blocked by Lubomir Guldan.
Arsenal goal: The goals keep going too. Another neat passing move ends with a lovely flick from Jack Wilshere on the edge of the area to complete a one-two with Marouane Chamakh... who plants his first-time shot into the bottom corner of the net. I know we've seen a couple of comebacks in the last few days, but I reckon this one is done and dusted - just like Chelsea against Zilina.
2019: GOALFLASH Arsenal 3-0 Braga (Chamakh)
2018: Goals, goals and more goals for the English sides then. England coach Fabio Capello hasn't seen any of them, though, because he is at the San Siro tonight for AC Milan v Auxerre. That one is still goalless.
Arsenal goal: Well, Andrey Arshavin scores it, but it was Cesc Fabregas who made it - beating two players with a mazy run before sliding his team-mate clear for a cool finish. The Gunners have a second goal to reflect their early dominance.
2016: GOALFLASH Arsenal 2-0 Braga (Arshavin)
Chelsea goal: This is turning into a rout. Half an hour played and the Slovakian champions are in all sorts of trouble because this Chelsea team just keep on scoring goals. John Terry heads a Florent Malouda corner against the bar and Nicolas Anelka is in the right place to tap in the rebound from point-blank range.
2012: GOALFLASH MSK Zilina 0-3 Chelsea (Anelka)
Chelsea goal: The Blues look home and dry already to be honest. Florent Malouda's clipped pass releases Nicolas Anelka, who runs into the area and easily beats Zilina keeper Martin Dubravka with a low finish. A bit of a soft one that - not much power on the shot and it went under Dubravka too.
2009: GOALFLASH MSK Zilina 0-2 Chelsea (Anelka)
2008: Half a chance for Zilina. Former Chelsea youth player Momodou Ceesay crosses for Babatounde Bello but he cannot get any power behind his header and it's a simple save for Petr Cech.
2007: Marouane Chamakh runs across Luis Aguia... and falls over. That's a free-kick to Arsenal and a yellow card for the Braga defender. Cesc Fabregas curls it in but Felipe punches clear.
2006: Here's your first and last Jose Mourinho fashion update of the night: he's sporting a very natty pair of suede shoes at the Bernabeu. The Real Madrid coach has just shown a quick pair of feet too when Marcelo tumbled into the technical area after being upended by a bruising challenge from Demy de Zeeuw. It's still 0-0 between Real and Ajax.
Champions League Macca: "Super start for Romanian side Cluj, who find themselves 2-0 up at home to Basle in Group E after goals from defender Ionut Rada and giant striker Lacina Traore."
2002: A spot of bother for Chelsea keeper Petr Cech, who fumbles Robert Jez's low free-kick and has to sprawl to recover the ball as it spins towards his left-hand post. That's the best Zilina have managed in front of goal so far.
2000: Paulo Cesar has just had a pop from the edge of the area for Braga but it takes a big deflection on its way to goal and floats into the grasp of Manuel Almunia. It's still Arsenal are still doing most of the attacking though, and Jack Wilshere is having a great game so far.
Chelsea goal: That's more like it by the Blues. Yossi Benayoun releases Nicolas Anelka with a lovely pass and his pull-back from the left eludes Florent Malouda before being swept into the net by Michael Essien. A nice finish, that.
1957: GOALFLASH MSK Zilina 0-1 Chelsea (Essien)
1957: Chelsea are slowly waking up in Slovakia but no chances there to tell you about yet. Meanwhile, Arsenal are after more goals at the Emirates, where Jack Wilshere has just brought a decent stop out of Felipe. That one is a bit one-sided at the moment.
Arsenal goal: The Gunners take the lead after eight minutes. Cesc Fabregas releases Marouane Chamakh, who is sent tumbling by Braga keeper Felipe. Referee Alain Hamer points to the spot, and Fabregas steps up to fire home his first goal of the season.
1954: GOALFLASH Arsenal 1-0 Braga (Fabregas pen)
1954: PENALTY to Arsenal
1953: Jack Wilshere runs clear to finish off a neat move by dinking the ball into the net... but he's already been flagged (marginally) offside.
mUtEl0_PR on Twitter:
"Braga have 6 Brazilians in their starting XI, non of whom have ever played for Brazil, says a lot."
1950: More good work by Arsenal, and Cesc Fabregas goes to ground on the edge of the area again as he runs clear. No penalty shout this time, but he was caught in a Braga sandwich.
1949: A decent start by Zilina, who have had all the early pressure. Arsenal have looked threatened too, and have just had a decent penalty shout turned down when Cesc Fabregas was clumsily tackled by Paulo Cesar on the edge of the box. Not even a foul given.
1947: And Arsenal get started too. Braga don't look like Norwich but they have got a natty diagonal stripe down their grey shirts - very smart.
1945: We're under way in Slovakia. MSK Zilina play in yellow and green, so look a bit like Norwich City.
BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at stadium:mk: "Nigel Adkins will preside over his first game as manager of Southampton this evening after leaving Scunthorpe for his new club on Sunday. MK Dons boss Karl Robinson turned 30 on Monday (yes 30) and is hoping to celebrate with his team's third straight home win in League One. A cracking looking stadium, just a shame there are so many empty seats."
1944: Not long to go now. We've had the Champions League anthem at MSK Zilina and Chelsea, while the teams are just coming out at the Emirates.
1941: Some good news if you were not one of the 550 Chelsea fans to get hold of a ticket for tonight's game at the 11,000-capacity Pod Dubnom Stadium, which is on the banks of the Vah River in Slovakia. Give this page a manual refresh and, if you're in the UK, you can listen to BBC Radio 5 live's commentary of that game.
From Farslayer on 606:
"The only question tonight is whether Arsenal will outscore Chelsea tonight. The two form teams of the strongest league in Europe are going to stroll to large victories tonight. I don't think that two 6-0 scores are likely though I would be happy to eat my words at the end of the evening!"
1936: There's certainly no shortage of goals in the Champions League so far this season. We had 22 goals in eight matches last night... so am I being greedy asking for even more than that in the next few hours? And, if Manchester United v Rangers is the worst game of the week then we will all be happy.
From James in Sidmouth, via text: "Really surprised to see Jack Wilshere starting this one... but also delighted. Not underestimating Braga at all... but I think we'll win 4-1."
1930: There is one other game going on tonight you know. In League One, new Southampton boss Nigel Adkins travels to MK Dons in his first game in charge of the Saints. Between me and
BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher,
we will keep you across everything that happens at Stadium:MK tonight. Is that OK? Good.
SisuBlog on Twitter:
"Evening Chris. Never mind the English teams tonight, Real Madrid vs Ajax is the game to watch. 13 European Cups between them!"
Yep, a lot of history there. It's just a shame Ajax aren't the team they once were.
Arsenal v Braga team news Jonathan Stevenson reports:
"Arsene Wenger makes three changes from the 4-1 thumping of Bolton on Saturday, with full-backs Bacary Sagna and Gael Clichy recalled and French midfielder Samir Nasri back from a knee injury. Portuguese debutants Braga have six Brazilians in their starting line-up, along with former Newcastle midfielder Hugo Viana."
Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs says the Gunners will be taking nothing for granted in Group H, where they are up against Shakhtar Donetsk and Partizan Belgrade as well as tonight's opponents Braga: "It is the Champions League, so there is no easy group. The games are going to be hard, home and away, so it is important to get off to a strong start."
Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti on Roman Abramovich's quest to win the Champions League: "Maybe this year is the year it happens. This year is very important because the final is at Wembley and no London team has won. Maybe that can be a good motivation."
MSK Zilina v Chelsea team news Mandeep Sanghera reports:
"Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti sticks with the side he named on Tuesday. Yossi Benayoun makes his first start for the club as he replaces midfielder Ramires, while centre-back Alex, left-back Yury Zhirkov, winger Florent Malouda and striker Daniel Sturridge come in for Paulo Ferreira, Ashley Cole, Salomon Kalou and the suspended Didier Drogba. MSK Zilina make two changes from their weekend win over Tatran Presov as keeper Martin Dubravka and right-back Lubomir Guldan replace Martin Krnac and Stanislav Angelovic."
MSK Zilina v Chelsea Mandeep Sanghera reports:
"Here Chelsea go again. On the trail of their Holy Grail in the form of the Champions League. They've come agonisingly close but it's the one major trophy that has eluded them since Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003 and even the 'Special One' Jose Mourinho could not win it for them in his time as manager at the club. They start their quest this time around against Slovakian champions MSK Zilina with hopes high that current manager Carlo Ancelotti can end their jinx."
1911: Real Madrid, AC Milan, Ajax and Bayern Munich are some of the other famous names beginning their bids for Champions League glory tonight. Oh, and CFR Cluj too. The only thing missing so far is you. Put that right by
tweeting me on twitter.com/chrisbevan_bbc
texting me via 81111, or joining the chat on
Arsenal v Braga line-ups Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Koscielny, Squillaci, Clichy, Nasri, Song, Fabregas, Wilshere, Arshavin, Chamakh. Subs: Fabianski, Rosicky, Vela, Denilson, Djourou, Eboue, Gibbs. Braga: Felipe, Miguel Garcia, Moises, Rodriguez, Silvio, Vandinho, Aguiar, Hugo Viana, Alan, Matheus, Paulo Cesar. Subs: Artur Moraes, Paulao, Mossoro, Helder Barbosa, Lima, Madrid, Elton. Referee: Alain Hamer (Luxembourg)
Arsenal v Braga Jonathan Stevenson reports:
"Another year, another crack at the Champions League for Arsenal and Arsene Wenger as they prepare to meet Portuguese debutants Braga. Only Man United can match the Gunners' feat of qualifying for the group stage in each of Wenger's full seasons since his arrival in 1996 and only Real Madrid have also reached the last 16 every time for a decade. But can Arsenal reach Wembley in May and the trophy they desire most at the Emirates? The journey starts here."
1905: John Terry is the only member of the Chelsea side (which was managed by Claudio Ranieri) that beat Zilina in 2003 to be in their line-up tonight. I would call this 'breaking news' but we've known for 24 hours because boss Carlo Ancelotti named his side last night.
1904: Chelsea are back where they began life under Roman Abramovich tonight, which is MSK Zilina's tiny Pod Dubnom Stadium. Seven years ago, days after the Russian oligarch completed his takeover, they beat the Slovakian side 2-0 in a Champions League qualifying-round tie. A lot has changed (and a lot has been won) at Stamford Bridge since then, but they have still not fulfilled Abramovich's dream of seeing his side become European champions.
1900: Here's one of life's recurring questions: Will a London team ever win the Champions League? Three of them are having a pop this season - and, after Tottenham's (almost splendid but still pretty good)
debut draw with Werder Bremen last night,
two old stagers in Arsenal and Chelsea start out this evening on what is officially 'The (Euro) road to Wembley'. The Gunners and the Blues would both love to be in the final in their home city next May, but is more capital punishment in store for their fans? We shall see...
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