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By Chris Bevan
2209: And that is all I've got time for folks. It's been a blast and, like most of you, I can't wait to watch the highlights of Ajax-Auxerre to find out exactly what happens when a substitute gets sent off. Thanks for keeping me company, whether you were wondering what is happening in Wayne's world, or enjoying seeing Chelsea and Arsenal maintain their impressive European form. Be sure to join
tomorrow night to see how Tottenham fare against Inter Milan at the San Siro, how Manchester United cope without Wayne Rooney against Bursapor (no, he hasn't left yet - he's injured) and if Rangers can get a victory against Valencia. Enjoy yourselves, and see you soon.
2202: Here's Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger giving his reaction to the news about Wayne Rooney (and summing up the thoughts of most people too, I think): "It came to me as a complete surprise, in this period of the season. But it is very difficult to talk about it because we don't really know what has happened."
2156: Marseille's win over MSK Zilina means they are off the mark in Group F, which Chelsea are dominating. In Group G, Real Madrid's comfortable win over AC Milan means they are in command too, leading with nine points. Ajax join the Rossoneri on four points after beating Auxerre 2-1 in a game of three red cards.
2153: Bayern Munich also have a 100% record in Group E, but only after a ding-dong battle against CFR Cluj that saw the Romanians score two own goals and lose 3-2. Basle picked up their first points with a stunning 3-1 win over Roma in the Italian capital, and those two and Cluj are level on three points from three games.
2151: So, the Gunners, like Chelsea, have three wins out of three so far in this season's Champions League and have scored a record 14 goals in the process. The previous record was the 12 that Real Madrid managed in 2002/03. Shakhtar stay second, and Braga get off the mark thanks to their 2-0 win over Partizan Belgrade. One more win will make absolutely sure of Arsenal's progress to the knockout stages.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on his side's crushing 5-1 win over Shakhtar Donetsk to maintain their 100% record in Group H: "I still believe we played against a good team. We were sharp, played technically at a good level and I think our goals were down to them becoming fatigues from running after the ball. Let's deduce not too much from the number of goals we have scored - it is just the start of the competition and we need to continue to improve."
BBC Sport's David Dulin at the Liberty Stadium: "Finished 0-0 but could have gone either way. QPR keep their unbeaten start, while Swansea remain unbeaten at home. Everyone's happy."
Championship Macca: "Late drama at Coventry as Jay Bothroyd grabs a winner for Cardiff. That, combined with a goalless draw at Swansea, means QPR's lead is now just two points. Watford have moved up to third and Burnley to fourth with wins, while Norwich slip up at home to Palace. It's tight at the top and tight at the bottom where Leicester move out of the drop zone by beating Leeds. Reports on all the games will be with you soon."
2142: Oops, it seems I travelled back in time to put those full-time scores in. Give this page a manual refresh and we will be back in the present, rather than an hour into the past.
2140: FULL-TIME Roma 1-3 Basle
2140: FULL-TIME Marseille 1-0 MSK Zilina
2139: FULL-TIME Braga 2-0 Partizan Belgrade
2139: FULL-TIME Bayern Munich 3-2 CFR Cluj
2139: FULL-TIME Ajax 2-1 Auxerre
RED CARD Auxerre's Jean Pascal Mignot (he was sent off for his reaction to being shown yellow - he was warming up as a substitute at the time)
2133: Almost a sixth goal for the Gunners. Jack Wilshere releases Theo Walcott, but Andriy Pyatov is off his line in time to slide the ball clear and Denilson cannot find the target with his follow-up from long range. It doesn't really matter to be honest.
BBC Sport's David Dulin at the Liberty Stadium: "Anyone got any goals going spare? This game needs one and Swansea have come closest with Darren Pratley having an effort cleared off the line by Hogan Ephraim. Rangers could count themselves fortunate not to have captain Adel Taarabt sent off for a late challenge on Joe Allen."
Championship Macca: "Sir Sven-Goran of Leicestershire? Maybe a tad early, but he's having a good night as his Leicester lead 2-0 at Leeds through Steve Howard. Oh, definitely too early. Luciano Becchio pulls one back for Leeds. Meanwhile, Pompey's resurgence continues as they go in front at Millwall through Liam Lawrence's penalty. Burnley lead 3-0 now against Barnsley and Scunny have edged in front at Preston. Sounds like a cracker."
2130: We are into the final minute of the 90 at the Emirates. Time for another goal or two, surely?
Shakhtar goal: Dave (below) won't be happy but a good few other Arsenal fans are. Jadson's hooked cross is met by Eduardo, who steams into the area before prodding the ball into the bottom corner of the net. The stadium announcer treats it like a Gunners goal, as do most of the home fans - giving their former striker warm applause. A nice touch.
2123: GOALFLASH Arsenal 5-1 Shakhtar Donetsk (Eduardo)
From Dave in Dublin, via text: "Re 2113. As an Arsenal fan it would be nice to see us keep a clean sheet for once too."
2120: Theo Walcott clearly fancies getting his name on the scoresheet for Arsenal too. He cuts in from the left before letting fly with a real rasper. Shakhtar keeper Andriy Pyatov has not had the greatest game of his life so far tonight but he does well to get across his goal and get both hands on it.
Championship Macca: "Here comes the goal rush. Palace have turned things around at Carrow Road and lead 2-1 now. Leicester go in front at Leeds through recent signing Kyle Naughton. Sven showing the magic touch already? Three goals in seven minutes at Deepdale and it's now Preston 2-2 Scunny. Doncaster had fought back to 2-2 at home to Derby - Dean Shiels scoring twice in three mins - but Derby are back in front again. Burnley now 2-0 up against Barnsley. Middlesbrough have dropped into the relegation zone, Leicester have jumped out. Ipswich have scored but still trail Watford 2-1."
2117: It's all gone a little bit quiet in the Bernabeu - but then it was over early on. Real have had plenty of chances to extend their 2-0 lead over Milan but have been a bit wasteful. The subdued Ronaldinho has just been taken off, with ex-Real mischief maker Robinho now on in his place.
Champions League Saj: "In Group G, things are getting a little bit tense for Ajax after they have Andre Ooijer sent off and see Auxerre's Valter Birsa score from the resulting free-kick. It's now 2-1. In Group E, it's still 2-1 to Bayern Munich against Cluj thanks to two first-half own goals. In the other game, Basle are holding on to their 2-1 lead in Rome against Serie A royalty Roma. In Group F, after dominating the first half, Marseille finally broke the deadlock courtesy of Souleymane Diawara's header against Zilina, while it remains 1-0 to Braga against Partizan Belgrade."
From Andy, via text: "As an Arsenal fan, it would be nice to see Eduardo get a goal too."
2113: Time for a couple of changes by Arsene Wenger. Andrey Arshavin and Theo Walcott are on for Marouane Chamakh and Samir Nasri. The Gunners have got around 20 minutes left to add to their tally of 14 goals in their first three Champions League games. That is already a record, by the way.
Arsenal goal: Even Marouane Chamakh cannot believe he is onside when he runs on to Samir Nasri's chipped pass. So much so that he takes a long look at the linesman before eventually beating Andriy Pyatov from much closer range than if he had shot at the first opportunity. This is now a total rout.
2110: GOALFLASH Arsenal 5-0 Shakhtar Donetsk (Chamakh)
Arsenal goal: No Cesc, but another goal to savour for the Gunners. Marouane Chamakh's clever flick releases Jack Wilshere and, after a neat one-two with Tomas Rosicky, the 18-year-old dinks the ball past the onrushing Andriy Pyatov. That's his first Champions League goal for the Gunners. I've got a feeling it won't be his last...
2106: GOALFLASH Arsenal 4-0 Shakhtar Donetsk (Wilshere)
BBC Sport's David Dulin at the Liberty Stadium: "Still awaiting a goal here. Swansea are enjoying more of the possession so far in the second half but are finding it hard to break down a well organised QPR defence. More urgency is needed from the home side. Rangers still look dangerous going forward though."
OptaJoe on Twitter:
"8 - Arsenal have won eight penalties this season - one more than in the whole of 2009-10. Spot."
2104: That's the Cesc Fabregas show over for the evening folks. Denilson is on instead. Cesc gets a standing ovation from the Arsenal fans, as does Eduardo, who comes on for Luiz Adriano as Shakhtar make a change at the same time.
Arsenal goal: A silly penalty to concede from Shakhtar's point of view, with Luiz Adriano penalised for holding Johan Djouru at a free-kick. Cesc Fabregas blasts home from the spot and lifts his shirt to reveal a message wishing his mum 'happy birthday'. What a nice young man he is. Oh, and that should make the points safe for Arsene Wenger's men, barring a massive turnaround.
Championship Macca: "A couple very decent efforts to mark the second half. Mark Yeates finished off after a fine run to put Sheff Utd in front against Hull, while Chris Eagles has edged Burnley ahead against Barnsley. And the deadlock has been broken at Forest, who have added to Boro's misery as Lewis McGugan scores from a cross/shot. Oh and Palace are level at Norwich through Julian Bennett."
2101: GOALFLASH Arsenal 3-0 Shakhtar Donetsk (Fabregas pen)
2100: GOALFLASH Ajax 2-1 Auxerre (Valter Birsa)
2059: PENALTY to Arsenal
2058: Former Arsenal striker Eduardo is about to come on for Shakhtar - and he will be guaranteed a warm welcome by the Emirates crowd. Meanwhile, on the pitch Tomas Hubschmann (which I'm told means pretty man in English) is booked for holding.
2057: RED CARD Ajax's Andre Ooijer
2056: Hmmm. Arsenal haven't really got going since the restart. Shakhtar are enjoying all the possession at the moment, but have not really built on that Luiz Adriano chance.
OptaJoe on Twitter:
"2 - Arsenal have only once failed to win in the Champions League after taking a two-goal lead (2-2 with Bayern Munich in Dec 2000). Coast."
2052: Another test for Arsenal. Shakhtar have a free-kick on the right, about 35 yards out... but the delivery is poor and Gael Clichy clears with ease.
2047: A chance for Shakhtar - and it's a good one too. Alex Song loses possesion and Henrik Mkhitaryan feeds Luiz Adriano, who fires in a first-time shot after sprinting into the area. It's straight at Lukasz Fabianski, but the Gunners keeper had to come off his line very quickly there. If the Ukrainians carry on like this, the second half might be a whole lot more interesting than I thought.
2045: A change for Shakhtar at the break. Willian is off, and Douglas Costa is on. The second half has just started too.
From LeftofCentre on 606:
"That goal by Nasri is a vindication of how important the first touch is in football. Without that very deft first touch, he doesn't create that goal scoring opportunity. BRILLIANT."
2038: By the way, how Real Madrid aren't more than 2-0 up on AC Milan is a bit of a mystery. Angel di Maria's wastefulness accounts for some of it, while Milan's debutant keeper Marco Amelia has made some super saves. Only one team in it so far at the Bernabeu.
BBC Sport's David Dulin at the Liberty Stadium: "No score at the break between Swansea and QPR, but referee Simon Hooper has been busy dealing with a host of tasty challenges and dishing out four bookings. He also gave the Swans a penalty, but Paddy Kenny saved David Cotterill's effort."
Championship Macca: "Movement at the top. Coventry have levelled at home to Cardiff through Gary McSheffrey. Meanwhile, third-place Norwich are in front at home to Palace through a 43rd-minute Grant Holt effort. Good news for Canaries fans all round as rivals Ipswich slip 2-0 behind through a couple of quick pre-HT goals. A quiet half for the Championship finally livens a little."
InfostradaLive on Twitter:
"Cadu of Cluj becomes the first player since Michael Ciani on 21 October 2009 to score a goal and an own goal in a single Champions League match."
2034: So, Arsenal are in complete control thanks to that Samir Nasri strike. Surely Shakhtar will do more attacking after the break, but they can hardly do any less. The Gunners were not exactly stretched during a very one-sided first half.
BBC Sport's David Dulin at the Liberty Stadium: "Swansea have missed a golden opportunity to take the lead. Darren Pratley was bundled over in the box by Clint Hill and David Cotterill saw his spot-kick saved by Paddy Kenny."
2032: HALF-TIME Real Madrid 2-0 AC Milan
2032: HALF-TIME Arsenal 2-0 Shakhtar Donetsk
2031: GOALFLASH Roma 1-2 Basle (Samuel Inkoom)
2030: GOALFLASH Ajax 2-0 Auxerre (Luis Suarez)
Arsenal goal: Emmanuel Eboue feeds Alex Song down the right, and his deflected cross falls for Samir Nasri. Shakhtar skipper Darijo Srna makes a mess of his attempted challenge and Nasri has space to smash home his sixth goal in his last six games for the Gunners. Breathing space for Arsene Wenger's men, not that they really needed it.
2027: GOALFLASH Arsenal 2-0 Shakhtar Donetsk (Nasri)
2026: And a shot! Make that two actually. That corner is cleared as far as Henrik Mkhitaryan, who sees his effort take a deflection and loop over the bar. That means another corner, and the ball drops to Razvan Rat, who rifles it a mile wide.
2025: It's taken them 41 minutes, but Shakhtar have a corner...
Championship Macca: "Bristol City have taken only one point at home all season, but have turned the formbook on its head as they lead Reading 1-0 through Danny Haynes. Derby are in front against Doncaster through a Luke Moore close ranger. Unusually quiet elsewhere. Sorry."
2020: Er, Shakhtar have not exactly poured forward since falling behind. In fact they have barely come forward at all. Arsenal are still playing those pretty passing patterns of theirs, and are still looking very dangerous.
Champions League Saj: "We all know Real are in control against AC Milan, but in the other game in Group G (aka The Group of Death), Ajax took an early lead against Auxerre thanks to an absolute cracker from Demy de Zeuuw. An Ajax win would move them to four points along with Milan, although the Italians have a superior goal difference, as things stand. In Group E, a shock result is on the cards after Cadu gave Romanian minnows Cluj the lead at Bayern Munich. In the other game, it's 1-1 after Roma's Marco Borriello cancelled out the opener scored by Basle's Alexander Frei. In Group F, Marseille have dominated but are 0-0 with Zilina while in Group H Braga are being held at home by Partizan Belgrade.
InfostradaLive on Twitter:
"Arsenal have now scored in last 11 Champions League home matches, their second best run ever, one behind their record of 12 set in 2000-2002."
2016: Sir Alex Ferguson reckons 2-0 is a dangerous score to lead by, and Real Madrid have a sniff of why as Andrea Pirlo's stunning 25-yard free-kick from the right forces Iker Casillas to make a superb one-handed save, tipping the ball on to the bar. That apart, it's all Real. Milan are chasing shadows - and not chasing too hard right now.
BBC Sport's David Dulin at the Liberty Stadium: "Swansea's defence is really being tested by QPR. Hogan Ephraim and Heidar Helguson have both had chances saved by keeper Dorus de Vries, but still no score."
From Kris, Chelsea fan in Moscow, via text: "We're still not being let out of the stadium in Moscow. The orgnisation isn't the best and the cold is quite uncomfortable now."
2013: Svein Oddvar Moen has another decision to make when Tomas Rosicky goes down in the box after coming together with Razvan Rat. Never a penalty, and the referee gets it right.
2010: That was quite a hefty challenge by Jack Wilshere on Tomas Hubschman - he missed the ball and got the man. Referee Svein Oddvar Moen has a lengthy word with the Arsenal teenager, but decides against showing his first yellow card of the night.
2009: GOALFLASH Roma 1-1 Basle (Marco Borriello)
2007: Almost a second goal for Arsenal. Marouane Chamakh nods the ball down for Samir Nasri, who fires in a stinging shot that arrows straight at Andriy Pyatov - either side and he would have been beaten.
2005: GOALFLASH Roma 0-1 Basle (Alexander Frei)
freddielj_ on Twitter:
"Nice to see the see a keeper at the Emirates making a mistake that's not playing for Arsenal."
Arsenal goal: Erm, only one way to describe this - a howler by Shakhtar keeper Andriy Pyatov. He is unchallenged at the back post but drops Samir Nasri's corner, allowing Johan Djourou to knock it goalwards and Alex Song, with a deft flick, is able to bundle it over the line.
2003: GOALFLASH Arsenal 1-0 Shakhtar Donetsk (Song)
Real Madrid goals: Two goals in two minutes for Real in the battle of the European giants at the Bernabeu, but Milan have not helped themselves. Firstly Alex Pato concedes a needless free-kick 20 yards out, the wall parts like the Red Sea and Cristiano Ronaldo fires home, before Ronaldo's cross from the left is diverted goalwards by Mesut Ozil, the ball taking a huge deflection off Daniele Bonera before looping in.
Championship Macca: "Cardiff have poked their noses in front early doors through a Peter Whittingham penalty after Michael Chopra was fouled by by Ben Turner. Preston have won only one league game at home this season and they have already found themselves behind, with Chris Dagnall giving Scunthorpe an early advantage."
2000: If you are of a certain vintage (over 30 probably), you will remember a stunning long-range strike by Vasiliy Rats for the USSR at the Mexico '86 World Cup. I will never forget it. Anyway, I don't think Shakhtar's Razvan Rat is related, and he certainly hasn't got the same shooting skills on this evidence - he lets fly from 30 yards or so, but the ball rolls harmlessly wide.
1957: GOALFLASH Real Madrid 2-0 AC Milan (Mesut Ozil)
1957: GOALFLASH Real Madrid 1-0 AC Milan (Cristiano Ronaldo)
1954: More possession by Arsenal, and it ends with their first sniff of goal. Cesc Fabregas floats over a cross from the left and it is only a fraction too high for Marouane Chamakh.
1952: GOALFLASH Ajax 1-0 Auxerre (Demy De Zeeuw)
1951: Here's a stat to warm the hearts of Arsenal fans:
tell me that the Gunners have never lost a match at the Emirates Stadium (in all competitions) against a club from outside England. Their only Champions League defeat there was the 3-1 loss against Manchester United in the 2008/2009 semi-final. I think that makes it a fortress, doesn't it?
1948: It's nothing like as exciting as that at the Emirates so far, but Shakhtar have passed it around nicely in the opening minutes... before giving it away as soon as I write that. Arsenal are also playing keep-ball, so no chances yet.
1946: A devastating display of pace at the Bernabeu, and a cynical foul. None of the players are involved though - instead, a fan gets on the pitch, runs around a bit and is then booted into the air by a steward. Surely a yellow card?
1945: And we are under way in Madrid too.
1945: Arsenal get us started in north London.
1944: Right, we've had the stirring Champions League anthem at the Emirates. You know what comes next, right?
From Riquelminho on 606:
"Re 1929. Although on paper Real versus Milan looks like an exciting match, it will only go one way. Milan have an ageing squad, and their only saving grace is their attack."
Former Arsenal striker Eduardo on Shakhtar's style of play: "They call us 'Little Arsenal' in this part of Europe you know," says Eduardo. "We are not Arsenal - Arsenal is one of the best clubs in Europe, after Barcelona or Manchester United. But we have a very good team and we are trying to play like Arsenal. We put the ball on the ground and play nice football."
1940: The players are in the tunnel at the Emirates.
1938: Arsenal are the top scorers in this season's Champions League with nine goals, but Shakhtar Donetsk are likely to put up more resistance than SC Braga managed when they came to the Emirates a few weeks ago (which, to be fair, isn't exactly difficult). The Ukrainian side are yet to concede a goal in Europe during the current campaign and, like the Gunners, have maximum points from their first two games.
From JackHughesByZola on 606:
"An excellent win for Chelsea and two great goals. This was the game I was most worried about when the groups draw was made."
BBC Sport's David Dulin at the Liberty Stadium: "Neil Warnock has previously said he likes visiting Wales. He'll like it even more if his Championship leaders Queens Park Rangers maintain their unbeaten start at Swansea. But the fourth-placed Swans are unbeaten at home and in the sort of form to make this a difficult trip for Rangers."
1929: As well as the action at the Emirates, there are six other Champions League games to come tonight, including the small matter of Real Madrid versus AC Milan. Those two have got history, most of it involving collecting lots of silverware. Between them, they have been champions of Europe 16 times - Madrid have nine continental titles, to seven for the Rossoneri. So I can call that one 'a clash of the titans' without feeling (too) guilty.
Arsenal v Shakhtar Donetsk team news Arsenal make two changes from Saturday's victory over Birmingham as captain Cesc Fabregas returns from a month out with a hamstring injury to replace Abou Diaby and Tomas Rosicky is preferred Andrey Arshavin. There is no place in Shakhtar's starting XI for ex-Arsenal striker Eduardo - the Croatian is forced to settle for a place among the substitutes in a team captained by his international team-mate Darijo Srna.
1919: So, job done for Chelsea... who now have nine points out of nine and are sitting pretty at the top of Group F. A win for Arsenal against Shakhtar Donetsk would leave them in exactly the same position in Group H. That one kicks off in about 25 minutes or so.
1918: FULL-TIME Spartak Moscow 0-2 Chelsea
1916: Just the two minutes of added time to be played.
1915: We are into the final minute of the 90 at the Luzhniki Stadium. This has been a highly-professional performance by Chelsea, and it looks like they are going to be rewarded with the three points.
1912: That's his last contribution to the game too. Off comes Ashley Cole, to be replaced by Patrick van Aanholt.
1911: That would have made the last five minutes interesting. Ashley Cole's under-hit back-pass almost lets Welliton in, but Petr Cech is able to clear. Just.
1910: Spartak's turn to bring on a promising youngster. Jano Ananidze, reportedly coveted by Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, is on for Ari. This is a Champions League debut for the 18-year-old Georgian.
From Guntbuster on 606:
"McGeady is the same old predictable player he was at Celtic. Couple of step-overs then cut inside. He scored good goals against the likes of Aberdeen but this is a whole new level. He'll struggle because he's not good enough to play at this level."
1907: Another Chelsea change. Florent Malouda is off, and Gael Kakuta is on.
1906: The ball is whizzing around the Chelsea area at 100mph but no Spartak player can make meaningful contact and some hopeful calls for handball against John Terry are turned down. Ari decides to have a go from much further out, but his daisy-cutter of a shot trundles towards Petr Cech. You have to do much better than that to beat the Blues keeper.
1903: Here's a bit of Arsenal team news for you. Cesc Fabregas starts for the Gunners tonight.
From big yin1987, via text: "McGeady was a class act in Scotland for Celtic. However he was never really rated highly by the English media - he is showing his true potential tonight "
1900: Here comes one of Chelsea's young subsitutes. Josh McEachran is on for Salomon Kalou. We have got around 15 minutes left at the Luzhniki Stadium for him to make an impact.
1858: That really would have been game over. Salomon Kalou launches a raid down the right and pulls the ball back for Nicolas Anelka. Anelka lets the ball run past him, and into the path of Michael Essien... who sends his first time shot an inch wide of the far post. Unlucky.
1857: This is Carlo Ancelotti's 100th Champions League game as a manager and it's going very smoothly so far. Even the decisions are going his side's way - Branislav Ivanovic just tangled with Welliton on the edge of the area but referee Carlos Velasco Carballo decides the Brazilian committed the foul.
1855: Aiden McGeady has been a real threat for Spartak since the interval, and he's involved again here - bending an inviting cross over from the right after Chelsea give the ball away. Fortunately for the Blues, none of his team-mates can get on the end of it.
@Dj__23 on Twitter:
"Re 1832. McGeady wears 64 for Spartak because he wore 46 for Celtic! Your way of thinking is far better though!"
1850: Blimey. More work to do for Petr Cech. Lots more actually. First, a flowing Spartak move ends with a sweet first-time strike by Ibson that Cech tips over. Then, from the resulting corner Ibson smashes in another shot from the left-hand side of the area. Again, Cech is equal to it.
1848: The Blues threaten for the first time in the second half. Petr Cech's long clearance almost plays in Salomon Kalou, who then fails to find Nicolas Anelka on the opposite side of the area. Spartak were a bit lucky to get away with that.
1845: Chelsea have just been trying to take the sting out of things since the restart, and it had been working. But Spartak are being urged forward by the home crowd and Evgeni Makeev has just forced a good stop from Petr Cech with a dipping shot from the edge of the box. That bounced right in front of the keeper, and could have been tricky. It wasn't.
1840: More pressure by Spartak, and Aiden McGeady is at the heart of it again. The ball comes out to Sergei Parshivlyuk on the right flank but I'm not sure whether that was a shot or a cross by the full-back. Either way, Petr Cech collected it comfortably.
Championship Macca: "There's a bumper night of Championship football tonight with all 24 sides in action. Leaders QPR face a stern test when they take their unbeaten record to fourth-place Swansea, who have not lost at home this season. Cardiff, in second, travel to play-off place pushing Coventry and it's fifth v sixth as Watford host Ipswich. Sven-Goran Eriksson takes his Leicester side to Leeds and managerless Middlesbrough go to Forest."
From blue4ever7 on 606:
"Everything points to this being our year. Pick up the demons in Moscow, crush them... end up in Wembley...CHAMPIONS!!"
1836: Welliton, who is very much the man of the moment in Russia after scoring 16 goals in 18 games this season - and nine in his last eight outings - is the next Spartak man to try his luck, but his 25-yard shot whistles wide. This is a testing time for Chelsea.
1833: Here's Aiden McGeady again, running at the Chelsea defence after a Blues attack breaks down because Nicolas Anelka cannot find a team-mate with his pull-back in the box. McGeady pulls the trigger himself, and his shot takes a wicked deflection before Petr Cech tips it over the bar.
1832: It's the Russians who are first to threaten. Aiden McGeady gets down the right, and Welliton touches his ball on to Dmitri Kombarov... who blasts over. McGeady's shirt number is 64, I'm not sure if that is because he is a big Beatles fan?
1830: Spartak get the second half started. No changes yet, but Chelsea are 45 minutes away from making it three wins out of three in Group F.
1828: John Terry was in the wars anyway even before this game, what with that sore back of his, but I don't think we are going to see any tears from him tonight. He's already taken a boot in the face, without complaining, and Welliton ran into him at full pelt just before Yuri Zhirkov's wonder goal. I wonder if he's had a quick word with 'that' penalty spot yet though?
InfostradaLive on Twitter:
"This marks Anelka's first season with at least four CL goals since 2000/2001, when scored five for Paris Saint-Germain."
1821: Fair to say that most Chelsea fans will be very happy with the first 45 minutes in Moscow. They should be anyway. Spartak have had a couple of sniffs but for the most part the Chelsea defence, led by John Terry, has kept them very quiet and at the other end, the Blues have scored two super goals.
1815: HALF-TIME Spartak Moscow 0-2 Chelsea
Chelsea goal: The perfect way to end the first half for Carlo Ancelotti's side. Michael Essien strides forward and feeds Nicolas Anelka on the left-hand side of the area. The Frenchman has to check inside to evade a Spartak challenge but keeps his composure and slots the ball calmly into the bottom corner of the net. A cracking finish.
1812: GOALFLASH Spartak Moscow 0-2 Chelsea (Anelka)
1810: It was also Yuri Zhirkov's first Chelsea goal in a competitive game. Not a bad way to open your account, either.
1808: Talking of which, it really should be 2-0 to Chelsea. A terrible back-pass sets Nicolas Anelka free, but he takes a heavy touch and Andriy Dykan is off his line quickly to smother the ball.
1804: Chelsea are looking very dangerous when they break forward and Nicolas Anelka is certainly keeping the Spartak defenders on their toes... he's caught them in possession a couple of times now.
1802: Here's a stat for you: That Zhirkov goal was the first one Spartak have conceded in this year's Champions League. Like Chelsea, they won both their opening games. Mind you, the Blues are knocking on the door for a second... Evgeni Makeev just got a vital touch to send a dangerous Michael Essien cross wide.
1757: For the first time tonight, the crowd at the Luzhniki Stadium are silenced... well for a moment or two anyway. They are back to making an incredible din already, probably just to try to keep warm as much as anything else - it is close to freezing in Moscow.
Chelsea goal: You just don't save those. Never. A loose Spartak header drops nicely for Chelsea's resident Russian Yuri Zhirkov on the edge of the area, and he slams a sensational first-time shot past Andriy Dykan and into the top corner of the net. Dykan barely saw it, let alone got near it.
1752: GOALFLASH Spartak Moscow 0-1 Chelsea (Zhirkov)
From simoncfc on 606:
"Hope you didn't expect some kind of classic. Can't see more than one goal being scored in Moscow."
1745: This game has officially just got going. Chelsea's turn to attack sees Florent Malouda advance to the edge of the area before sending a powerful drive a yard or two wide.
1744: Another chance for Spartak, and this time they force Petr Cech into his first save. Dmitri Kombarov crosses from the left and finds Welliton at the near post. The Brazilian makes a decent connection with his shot, but Cech keeps it out... with his boot, obviously.
1742: Better from Spartak. Much better. Sergei Parshivlyuk bursts into the box and the tackle that takes the ball away from him only succeeds in setting up Dmitri Kombarov, who is in space and should really find the target... but instead fires a rasping shot over the bar. Kombarov is wearing the number 99 on the back of his shirt, which is quite ridiculous.
1738: Hmmm. It's all quite cagey so far. We haven't really seen Spartak come forward yet, apart from a cross into the box that was easily cleared. Chelsea? Still probing, and Nicolas Anelka is looking lively, but no more chances to tell you about.
1735: Our first shot on goal of the night, and it comes from Chelsea. Salomon Kalou has a pop when he meets a bouncing ball on the edge of the area but lifts the ball high over the bar.
1732: Ouch. Nicolas Anelka catches Sergei Parshivlyuk with a high boot, right in the chops. Neither team are doing much with the actual ball at the moment.
1730: We are under way in Russia.
1729: Looks like a cracking atmosphere at the Luzhniki Stadium, which is close to its 80,000 capacity. We've just had a blast of the anthem you know and love too.
1727: Right then, let's go to Moscow (not literally). The Chelsea and Spartak players are on their way out of the tunnel, and kick-off is moments away.
1724: Like most neutrals, I've got a soft-spot for old Eduardo because of the way he fought back from serious injury. It meant even more to me that he did because I'd suffered a similar double fracture, ironically enough in the last game ever to take place at Highbury. The challenge that crocked him (by Birmingham's Martin Taylor) brought loads of criticism at the time but, if you watch it again (perhaps on a popular video-sharing website), is it just me who thinks it doesn't appear too bad compared to the 100mph-style challenges to have been highlighted in the Premier League in recent weeks? Clumsy, rather than wild. And certainly not malicious.
This strikes me as a bit different. Well, a lot different actually.
1722: JT is not the only one back on familiar territory tonight, either. Former Arsenal striker Eduardo will make an emotional return to the Emirates in their Group H encounter, only a few weeks after leaving north London for the Ukraine. The Brazilian-born Croatian
spoke to my colleague Sam Sheringham last week,
and told him: "Three months ago, I was training with the Arsenal players, my friends, and now I'm on the other side. For me it will be very, very strange to play against them, but I'm a professional."
1720: 'The pitch' that Terry refers to below is the artificial surface in Moscow, FieldTurf, that has replaced the grass he lost his footing on two-and-a-half years ago. You might remember the less-than-fantastic plastic being blamed for
England's 2-1 defeat by Russia
in 2007 or
Aston Villa's exit from the Uefa Cup
in 2008. But it didn't stop
United beating CSKA Moscow
almost exactly 12 months ago, did it? To be honest, Terry seems more bothered about the effect it will have on his dodgy back, after he
picked up a knee injury
while training on it three years ago ahead of that doomed Euro 2008 qualifier.
Chelsea captain John Terry on his return to the Luzhniki Stadium for the first time since missing a penalty that would have won the 2008 Champions League: "I feel as though I have got it out of my system now. I just want to win the competition. Going back, people are going to bring things up, but we are going back there to pick up three points. It is a tough place to go. Other teams in the past have found it difficult to go there with the pitch."
1719: By the way, I'm banging on about Chelsea because their early kick-off is the reason for mine - Carlo Ancelotti's men get going in a few minutes time at 1730 BST - but there are other games going on tonight as well you know? Seven other Champions League games, including Arsenal v Shakhtar Donetsk and Real Madrid v AC Milan, plus a full programme of fixtures in the Championship. That little lot starts at 1945 BST.
From I want to see Iniesta on a rugby field on 606:
"Chris I hate you for rubbing the memories of 2008 in. I still have involuntary flash backs that make me shudder. On a different note, wow our bench looks weaker than it has for a decade. We seriously need to buy some midfield backup in January. Even if it's one guy."
1712: So, where next for Wayne Rooney? It's not so long ago that Chelsea would have been first in the queue to sign him... now, I'm not so sure. You can see why Manchester City are favourites to sign him, but I'd bet my last quid that Sir Alex Ferguson will not want to sell Roo to any of his Premier League rivals. The question is, will Manchester United's debts mean they have to sell him to the highest bidder, whoever that might be?
1707: Sticking with Scooby for a second, if it wasn't for you pesky kids, I'd be all alone here in BBC Towers - with only Euro Macca to keep me company. Where are you?
Tweet me at chrisbevan_bbc on Twitter,
get involved on
or text me via 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide). Zoinks!
1705: Oh, and let's not let Nicolas Anelka off the hook here either. After Terry's miss, his was the decisive spot-kick which was saved by Edwin van der Sar to give United victory... and
it still haunts him too.
Basically, the Blues are facing more ghosts in Moscow tonight than you would find in an average episode of Scooby Doo.
Spartak Moscow v Chelsea team news Chelsea make two changes to the team which drew 0-0 with Aston Villa on Saturday. Yuri Zhirvov replaces Ramires in midfield while Saloman Kalou comes in for Gael Kakuta in attack. Still no Didier Drogba, nor Frank Lampard. Ashley Cole starts af left back despite on-going ankle troubles. Former Celtic star Aiden McGeady starts on the right of midfield for Spartak Moscow.
1655: Speaking of John Terry, and his penalty woes, I doubt he has seen any of the
that filled the nations' inboxes after the Moscow final. It's probably for the best - they are not exactly
InfostradaLive on Twitter:
"Rooney wants out of Man Utd. Since his arrival at club, 1 Sep 2004, he scored 92 Premier League goals, the most of any player in this era. Drogba has 89."
OptaJoe on Twitter:
"65 - Man Utd won 65% of their Premier League games without Ronaldo starting, compared to just 56% without Rooney starting. Reeling."
1649: Apparently, Chelsea captain John Terry has never even watched his
that would have won his side the 2008 Champions League. He says he is not yet ready to revisit the biggest disappointment of his career but he will return to the scene of the crime this evening when the Blues play Spartak Moscow at the Luzhniki Stadium. The last time he played there, Terry left in tears after his costly slip in the Russian rain... I can't see him being in too much of a hurry to take a spot-kick tonight, can you?
1641: There is some ACTUAL football going on tonight too by the way. It starts in less than an hour as well, with Chelsea playing Spartak Moscow in Moscow at 1730 BST.
1639: The world and his wife are currently trying to work out why Rooney wants to leave Old Trafford, and where he might be going. Our chief football writer Phil McNulty is holding a Q&A about that very subject
on Twitter right now...
so, what do you lot think?
1635 BST: Afternoon folks. It's not often I'd describe a press conference as 'must-see' (especially one of Sir Alex Ferguson's) but, if you haven't already checked out his admission that
Wayne Rooney wants to leave Manchester United,
and that he doesn't know why, then you should do so
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