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Page last updated at 22:10 GMT, Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Tuesday's football as it happened


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By Sam Lyon

2210: Well, what started out as a bit of a quiet Champions League evening turned into a stormer. We had 23 goals, a couple of controversial Real Madrid red cards, a come-from-behind win for Chelsea and a surprise defeat in Portugal for Arsenal. Shall we do it all again tomorrow? We have the battle of Britain as Rangers host Manchester United and Tottenham's home match against Werder Bremen to look forward to. Exactly. Don't miss it. See you then.

Gavin, a Spurs fan, via text: "I don't believe this. Arsene Wenger has been brilliant for Arsenal and he's a top-class manager. The team that has hit a rough patch, not him."

GlennCampion on Twitter: "Hold on now... Two losses and calling for Wenger's head are people losing the plot? Its November, see in May who's right."

Anon via text: "Wenger has been incubating mediocrity for too long now. The manager has gone stale time for a fresh start!"

D-Gooner on 606: "I'm against the idea of sacking Arsene Wenger - yes it has been a bad few couple of weeks but I do not see anybody coming in and fill in the gap he would leave behind. He has brought in stability to the club no other manager could."

Jonathan Stevenson reports:
"It's a safe bet everyone connected with Arsenal will loathe Matheus after that late hammer double blow. Still fancy them to go through, but it'll be nervy in two weeks' time."

Mandeep Sanghera reports:
"Chelsea deserved to win and their youngsters showed plenty of encouraging signs as they came back from a goal down to beat Slovakian league leaders MSK Zilina."

Football League Macca: "With Brighton held at Southampton and Charlton drawing at home to Bristol Rovers, things have got a bit squeezed at the top of L1 with wins for Bournemouth, Sheff Wed and Huddersfield below them. Shock of the night saw Brentford win 2-0 at Colchester. In L2, Oxford climb up three places to 18th by winning at leaders Chesterfield and there were big wins for Port Vale (5-0 at Stockport), Bury (5-0 at Lincoln) and Shrewsbury (4-0 against Hereford)."

2155: A couple of nuggets from Infostrada Sports, by the way. Group H could end with all three clubs on 12 points if Arsenal and Sporting Braga both win their final matches. No team has ever been knocked out on more than 10 points. Chelsea, meanwhile, are the first team to win five out of the first five Champions League group stage matches since Man Utd in 2007/2008, the winners that year.

2153: Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti: "We deserved to win. It was important at this moment and we have to look forward to our next game against Newcastle."

Medieval-Evil on 606: "I have never uttered the words "Wenger out" before, and intend to keep it that way. But nights like tonight make it awfully tempting and I just can't see what he hopes to achieve with some of these players."

2150: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: "It is a disappointing result because we played a team that camped in their own half and we've somehow lost. Eboue has been kicked off the park without any punishment and we have been denied a certain penalty. What is the fifth official doing if he can't see that? It's an absolutely useless system. Other than that, it was a difficult game against a team that used all the tricks to slow the game down. We made a mistake, a lack of concentration and communication, and were punished for it. As for Cesc - it's a hamstring injury on the other leg, and it's hard to say how long he'll be out for. He'll definitely miss the weekend game. Eboue has a medial ligament strain, so he's out for a few weeks."

JRAsh1 on Twitter: "All good things come to an end. Sadly the ending has been ongoing for 5 years. Wenger out, along with a few players, please."
I can't believe it, but I'm getting a lot of these texts. Seriously.

2140: So Chelsea come from behind to win five straight Champions League group matches for the first time in their history and ensure top spot in their group, but Arsenal's night could barely have gone worse. Injuries to Cesc Fabregas and Emmanuel Eboue and a defeat that leaves their hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages in the balance. A win over Partizan Belgrade at home on matchday six will surely see them through - but anything less and a Braga win over Shakhtar Donetsk and it's a very different story. Hold on to your hats Gunners fans.

bennyt1310 on Twitter: "That has rounded up Arsenal's night, losing 2-0, looking to grind out a result and then losing their captain to injury."

Chamakhs_centre_of_gravity on 606: "Meh. You win some, you lose some. No biggie."

Champions League Macca: "Real Madrid are wiping the floor with Ajax now as Cristiano Ronaldo slots home a cool-as-you-like penalty straight down the middle. The cocky so-and-so. It's 4-0. Real have blotted their copybook by going down to 10 men as Xabi Alonso gets two quick yellows. Roma have restored their lead at home to Bayern after two goals in three mins - a Daniele de Rossi effort and a Franny Totti penalty making it 3-2."

Full time
2134: FULL-TIME Braga 2-0 Arsenal

2134: FULL-TIME Chelsea 2-1 MSK Zilina

Braga goal: Stunning. Matheus gets through again three minutes into stoppage time but there's plenty more to do this time. He does it in superb style, dancing round a couple of Arsenal defenders and then smashing into the top corner off the underside of the bar from 18 yards out. Arsenal shell-shocked.

2133: GOALFLASH Braga 2-0 Arsenal (Matheus)

2133: Auxerre 0-2 AC Milan (Ronaldinho)

Football League Macca: "Bristol Rovers's lead didn't last long as Charlton's Paul Benson makes it 1-1. Leaders Brighton have missed a penalty at Southampton. Sheff Wed are headed for a fifth win on the trot and fourth place in the table as they grab a third against poor old Walsall, who look set to slip six points adrift of safety, while Hartlepool are in front at Tranmere courtesy of an own goal."

2131: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on the touchlines of the Braga match is doing his best impression of... Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on the touchlines of the Tottenham match. Not happy. And the Gunners aren't looking especially capable of launching a late rally.

Ashen on 606: "That ref at the Arsenal game has had a shocker."

Chelsea goal: Huge sighs of relief all round Stamford Bridge as Chelsea deservedly go in front. Nicolas Anelka's chip is nodded down by Didier Drogba and Florent Malouda is on hand to tap home from close range.

2125: GOALFLASH Roma 3-2 Bayern Munich (Totti pen)

2125: GOALFLASH Ajax 0-4 Real Madrid (Ronaldo pen)

2125: GOALFLASH Chelsea 2-1 MSK Zilina (Malouda)

Braga goal: We wondered how costly that ridiculous denial of a cast-iron penalty might be for Arsenal - and we might have just got our answer. Matheus is set clean through on goal with Arsenal playing far too high a defensive line and he crashes into the top corner to give Braga the lead. If it stays like this, the Portuguese side go level on points with the Gunners.

2122: GOALFLASH Roma 2-2 Bayern Munich (De Rossi)

2122: GOALFLASH Braga 1-0 Arsenal (Matheus)

Football League Macca: "Wayne Brown, come on down. Bristol Rovers, fresh from holding leaders Brighton at the weekend, have gone in front at second-place Charlton through Brown's goal. Carlisle are down to 10 men and have lost their lead at home to Rochdale and Peterborough are back in front against Leyton Orient. In L2, Port Vale have a third at Stockport. Oh and Oxford have only gone and got a second at Chesterfield and now lead 2-1. Bury are 4-0 at Lincoln."

Champions League Macca: "Crucial goal from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has scored for the fourth time in five Champs League games, as AC Milan lead at Auxerre. That will be enough to put the seven-times champs through, providing things stay the same at Real, which looks very likely as Cristiano Ronaldo fires low and into the bottom corner. Shakhtar Donetsk look like taking a grip on Group H as ex-Arsenal man Eduardo makes it 3-0 to the visitors at Partizan, who look like remaining pointless."

2117: My word, what's the referee doing there? Carlos Vela, who has just come on for Arsenal, is sent flying in the box by a reckless Alberto Rodriguez lunge and it looks a stonewall penalty all day long. Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai has other ideas, though, and books Vela for diving. Not much has gone Arsenal's way from the officials tonight, that's for sure.

eric the mighty on 606: "Wenger was right to play Fabregas, a win tonight will yield a top position in the group, and therefore the chance of avoiding the big names in the first knock-out stage. Makes sense to me to set out to win it."

2115: GOALFLASH P Belgrade 0-3 Shakhtar D (Eduardo)

2114: Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge comes off to warm applause to be replaced by Nicolas Anelka. He's done well tonight the young frontman.

2113: GOALFLASH Ajax 0-3 Real Madrid (Ronaldo)

Someone has struck the woodwork
2111: Kaboom! Martin Dubravka's upright is still shaking after Patrick van Aarnholt's brutal drive from Florent Malouda's backheel spanks off the MSK Zilina keeper's post. Crashing effort, deserved better.

2110: Chelsea still piling the pressure on at Stamford Bridge and a Daniel Sturridge effort flies wide. Chelsea have had 12 shots on goal this half - Zilina? Zero.

2108: Samir Nasri comes on to replace Cesc Fabgreas. How does Arsene Wenger justify Fabregas's selection now?

2108: GOALFLASH Auxerre 0-1 AC Milan (Ibrahimovic)

2107: Oh dear, this doesn't look good. Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabgreas - whose selection tonight was a real surprise - has pulled up with what looks like a hamstring injury. Deary me.

Football League Macca: "Big goals in L2 as Oxford level at leaders Chesterfield, who now lead Port Vale on goal difference. Torquay now lead at Wycombe, turning things around after trailing 1-0. They've also nudged ahead of Wycombe into sixth in the table. Huddersfield got a third goal at home to MK Dons but the visitors just pulled one back."

2105: GOALFLASH P Belgrade 0-2 Shakhtar D (Jadson)

Someone has struck the woodwork
2101: Chelsea so close to a second, and it takes a super save from Zilina keeper Martin Dubravska to push Didier Drogba's whipped free-kick on to the post on the stretch to his left. Branislav Ivanovic heads over from the follow-up cross.

2100: Best chance of the night in Portugal as Sebastien Squillaci's header falls to Luis Aguiar 18 yards out in front of goal, but the Braga forward's snap-shot flies wide. A waste.

2058: GOALFLASH P Belgrade 0-1 Shakhtar D (Stepanenko)

2057: It's starting to reflect a training game in Braga, with Arsenal so comfortable they might as well stick the ol Christmas slippers on, put their feet up and tug on a pipe in front of the fire. Do they really want to win it, though? Not on this evidence. A point sees them through to the knockout stages, remember.

2056: Chelsea starting to ramp it up against Zilina now and Didier Drogba goes close with a header from Ramires's centre, visiting keeper Martin Dubravka getting his body behind it well. Moments later, Ramires crashes a swerver in from 25 yards that just bends past the post at a fierce rate.

2053: Over in Portugal, meanwhile, it's as you were as far as Braga-Arsenal goes. I get the distinct impression both sides would be happy with a goalless draw.

Chelsea goal: Chelsea back in it and it's been coming. Salomon Kalou's cross somehow finds its way across the Zilina box and Daniel Sturridge's gamble run is rewarded as he is left with a fairly simple tap-in at the back post. There for Chelsea to push on and win this now.

2051: GOALFLASH Roma 1-2 Bayern Munich (Borriello)

2050: GOALFLASH Chelsea 1-1 MSK Zilina (Sturridge)

Football League Macca: "After a weekend when goalless draws were rarer than a lion's breakfast, we are still awaiting goals in four L1 games. Two of those games involve leaders Brighton and nearest challengers Charlton. Oldham have grabbed three goals all by themselves at home to Exeter and have moved up to fifth. In L2 we have goals across the board, with Port Vale doubling their lead at Stockport just before HT. The game at Shrewsbury was delayed by 15 minutes. Sounds like there was an accident on the roads around the ground. Will let you know more when we hear. The home side lead bottom club Hereford coming up to the interval."

2047: And Salomon Kalou is almost in again thanks to some more dire Zilina defending, but his snap-shot is blocked on the stretch by a visiting defender. Zilina looking nervy in these opening stages to the half.

2046: Chance for Salomon Kalou to make an immediate impact from Staislav Angelovic's woeful clearance, but the Chelsea substitute spoons his left-foot effort well over from 18 yards out.

2045: Back under way in the games involving Arsenal and Chelsea.

2043: About to get back under way at Stamford Bridge - where Salomon Kalou has replaced Gael Kakuta for Chelsea.

rrengland3 on Twitter: "Mario Gomez, by the way, has had six of his seven Champions League shots this season find the back of the net."

Express sports writer Matt Law on Twitter: "Josh McEachran was Chelsea's best passer in that first half - 86 per cent completion rate."

Champions League Macca: "Those two goals in six minutes for Mario Gomez look like sealing Bayern's claim on top spot in Group E. In contrast it leaves Roma's position looking a bit dodgy, with Basel leading Cluj in the other match. Basel and Roma currently tied on six points. Karim Benzema and a wonder strike from Alvaro Arbeloa has put red-hot Real Madrid in control at Ajax and, with the other game still 0-0 between Auxerre and AC Milan, it means it is super tight in the battle for second spot in Group G. In Group H it is 0-0 between Partizan Belgrade and second-placed Shakhtar Donetsk. All to play for still in Arsenal's group."

RoshanShetty on Twitter: "Chelsea will regret selling the likes of Ballack and Carvalho, they would never have been in such a hole with them in their ranks."

Anon via text: "Oldham have scored three in 42 minutes. The fans are going mental!"

mduchezeau on 606: "Chelsea were much better in the final 15 minutes. A much higher intensity. The roll of the ball just isn't there again. Never mind, keep the faith. Atmosphere is pretty good too."

Half time
2033 GMT: HALF-TIME Chelsea 0-1 MSK Zilina
Mandeep Sanghera's HT snap-shot:
"It took Chelsea going 1-0 down to spark them to life but, despite an increasing threat on goal, they haven't been able to find a way through."

Half time
2032: HALF-TIME Braga 0-0 Arsenal
Jonathan Stevenson's HT snap-shot:
"It's half-hearted, it's fractured, it's hugely disappointing. Are Arsenal trying to learn how to win (very) ugly?"

2030: The half-time whistles go in London and Braga. Room for improvement by both Arsenal and Chelsea, it's fair to say.

2029: Free-kick, 25 yards out, centre of goal... tamely skewed wide by Cesc Fabregas. Ho hum.

2029: GOALFLASH Ajax 0-2 Real Madrid (Arbeloa)

Asif_football on Twitter: "Bayern Munich main man Gomez is developing into a star player for them. Premier League bound soon?"

2026: Couple of half chances to tell you about. At Stamford Bridge, Daniel Sturridge picks up on a poor defensive clearance inside the box before lashing just over from the angle 12 yards out, while Theo Walcott slides wide of the far post in Braga after being set through by Nicklas Bendtner's scooped pass.

2025: GOALFLASH Roma 0-2 Bayern Munich (Gomez)

Football League Macca: "If you think the scoreline at Chelsea is mad, what about this? Rotherham 2-2 Northampton. Crazy, I know. After 24 minutes as well. Colchester started the day in third but have dropped to eighth in the as it stands after going behind at home to Brentford. Huddersfield are beating MK Dons 2-0, but no goals at Charlton or at Southampton. In L2 Bury are 3-0 up at Lincoln and Port Vale are in front at Stockport. The top three are all winning."

unbiased on 606: "Fair point, but Arsenal haven't really got anything to Braga 'bout at the moment."

2022: GOALFLASH Ajax 0-1 Real Madrid (Benzema)

2021: GOALFLASH Roma 0-1 Bayern Munich (Gomez)

2020: Didier Drogba's cross finds Florent Malouda at the near post, but the Frenchman's header is straight at the keeper. Should have done a whole lot better there, Malouda.

2019: Very decent chance for Arsenal out in Braga as Cesc Fabregas sets Theo Walcott through, but home keeper Felipe is out brilliantly to save at the winger's feet. Braga bounce forward and Lima pings a fine effort inches past Lukasz Fabiasnki's right-hand post from 25 yards out. Livening up a touch in Portugal. We hope. It's been a bit Danny Dyer so far.

2017: As Daniel Sturridge brings a fine save out of Martin Dubravka at Stamford Bridge with a wicked curler from 25 yards, Cesc Fabregas forces a rather simpler save out of Braga keeper Felipe with a 20-yard free-kick.

2015: Fabulous burst into the box by Tomas Majtan and the Zilina frontman forces a smart stop at his near post by Chelsea keeper Ross Turnbull. Carlo Ancelotti's side being got at far too easily by the Slovakian side so far.

SoccerDotTel on Twitter: "Chelsea are a bit 'Bello' expectations so far aren't they?"

2013: Didier Drogba lays it off to his Chelsea strike partner Daniel Sturridge, but the youngster's snap-shot from just inside the area flies wide.

2012: I won't lie, it's not very entertaining in Braga. Not very entertaining at all.

2010: Better from Chelsea as Daniel Sturridge looks to spin and shoot in the box, but his effort is blocked behind for a corner. Didier Drogba gets on the end of the resulting set-piece but fails to get his header on target.

Football League Macca: "No shortage of goals in the Football League. Sheff Wed continue their good form despite the off-the-field worries as they lead at home to basement boys Walsall. Oldham are beating Exeter 2-0 after 17 minutes, Peterborough are ahead at home to Leyton O, Carlisle are beating Rochdale and Bournemouth are 1-0 up against Yeovil. In L2 the leaders Chesterfield have broken the deadlock at home to lowly Oxford."

2007: It's super scrappy over in Portugal at the moment, and Arsenal are just struggling to string their passes together. Braga looking vulnerable but in the mix at the moment.

MSK Zilina goal: Yes I'm being serious, and it's a cracker too. Robert Jez and Babatounde Bello exchange a number of passes working their way towards the Chelsea area before the former releases Bello in the box, the midfielder poking into the far corner. Stamford Bridge stunned into silence.

2003: GOALFLASH Chelsea 0-1 MSK Zilina (Bello)

2002: Decent work on the right from Gael Kakuta and the Chelsea winger swings a decent cross over, but it just beats Daniel Sturridge at the back post and goes out for a goal kick. Worringly for Blues fans, Didier Drobga is already hobbling.

2001: GOALFLASH FC Basel 1-0 CFR Cluj (Almerares)

1958: We're approaching 15 minutes in and there has not been a single goal in the 1945 Champions League kick-offs. Did I exhaust my quota at the weekend?

1955: First hint of Zilina as an attacking force as Tomas Majtan blasts at goal from the edge of the area - a deflection takes the sting out of it, though, and home keeper Ross Turnbull does well to prevent the corner.

1953: Very quiet in terms of goalmouth action in the games involving Arsenal and Chelsea so far, though Moises has just headed Luis Aguiar's free-kick over from about 10 yards out for Braga against the former.

1951: Daniel Sturridge is looking lively for the Blues, too, and he earns Chelsea a corner with a run and shot from 20 yards that is deflected behind for a corner. The set piece comes to nothing, though.

1948: Chelsea's youngsters are also enjoying a whole heap of possession early doors at the Bridge, with Josh McEachran settling well. Positive stuff from both London clubs so far.

1946: Arsenal quickly into their stride at the Estadio Municipal and Kieran Gibbs gets in behind the Braga defence by the left touchline, his cross towards Nicklas Bendtner just cut out by Moises, though.

1945: The whistle blows and we're under way in London and Braga.

1944: Right then, we're about to get under way. Let the games begin.

1941: Here come the players at Stamford Bridge... and now at the Estadio Municipal de Braga too. Ready?

SisuBlog on Twitter: "One to watch: Luis Suarez (of Uruguay handball infamy), captaining Ajax vs R Madrid despite biting an opponent on Saturday!"

1938: What does the Euro Club Index say about tonight's fixtures then? Get your calculators out and your brains into gear, folks...
Club's ECI ranking in brackets
Chelsea (4) 92% win chance v MSK Zilina (140) 2%
Ajax (32) 14% v Real Madrid (3) 63%
AJ Auxerre (39) 32% v AC Milan (10) 39%
Sporting Braga (47) 22% v Arsenal (7) 50%
Partizan Belgrade (89) 21% v Shakhtar Donetsk (14) 52%
AS Roma (13) 37% v Bayern Munich (8) 33%
FC Basel (49) 62% v CFR Cluj (115) 14%

Champions League Macca: "All over in Russia and Didier Deschamps's merry Marseille men are through courtesy of a 3-0 win over Spartak Moscow. Mathieu Valbuena, Loic Remy and Brandao were the scorers. Spartak's Brazilian Welliton was sent off midway through the second half for a spot of naughtiness on Marseille keeper Steve Mandanda."

1930: A cheeky refresh of this page, people, will see Final Score appear at the top. Lovely.

Anon via text: "Anon (1915) is my brother, and I am a nervous Silkman fan...a lot of sibling rivalry tonight!"

Football League Macca: "I hope you're not forgetting the 23 of your English Football League games going on tonight. The pick of the bunch? You'd have to say L1 leaders Brighton's trip round the coast to Southampton (wonder if they've gone by boat). Saints have won six on the bounce at home (conceding just once), while Brighton have gone four without winning. The four teams in between those two all have what look very winnable home games. Plenty of room for some manoeuvring at the top."

Jonathan Stevenson reports:
"Just a point required for Arsenal to progress, then, as they seek to put the horror of Saturday's catastrophic derby collapse at the hands of Tottenham behind them at Portuguese side Braga. The Gunners won the first tie between the teams 6-0, but three points would give Braga a great chance of reaching the last 16, so Arsenal's much-changed XI could be in for a tricky evening at the Estadio Municipal."

PaulJ123 on Twitter: "Even with the young squad Chelsea have put out i can still see a backlash for Zelina! Drogba to get three, Kakuta and Ramires one each."

Mandeep Sanghera reports:
Chelsea are already assured of a last 16 spot in the Champions League and, needing a point to secure top spot in Group F, manager Carlo Ancelotti gives youth its chance against MSK Zilina. Midfielder Josh McEachran, 17, and centre-back Jeffrey Bruma, 19, are two of the club's promising stars and they start as the youngsters look to give their senior stars some release from the pressure three league defeats in four games has created. A loss to MSK Zilina would be unthinkable at Stamford Bridge, especially considering the Slovakian side have lost their four group games and, in the process, have scored just once and conceded 15 goals."

AndySzpuk on Twitter: "Watch Arsenal fans get the jitters once they've gone 2-0 up! The Gunners most dangerous scoreline."

Anon via text: "I'm off to see Cheltenham v Macclesfield, being a Robins fan living in Macc... Both teams doing surprisingly well in league two, this has got all the makings of a good game, believe me."

southeastblue on 606: "Although Chelsea have progressed to the knockout stages already, tonight's game is very important in getting some much needed confidence back."

Group E: Bayern
are already through and a draw in Rome will see them win the group. If Roma win, they only qualify if Basle and Cluj draw; they cannot qualify if either team wins because they are behind in the head-to-head with Basle and still have to play Cluj.
Group F: Chelsea are through and will win the group if they draw following Marseille's defeat of Spartak Moscow.
Group G: A draw is enough for Real Madrid to qualify. AC Milan will qualify if they win in Auxerre and Ajax lose. Wins for Ajax and Milan would mean Auxerre cannot make the Europa League.
Group H: Arsenal still need a draw to qualify - officially - but even if they lose in Braga, they are probably still safe as long as they don't take a hammering. If Shakhtar beat Partizan, they need Arsenal to get a draw in Braga to send them and the Gunners through.

Mandeep Sanghera reports:
Injuries and the desire to rest players sees Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti give starts to youngsters Josh McEachran, Jeffrey Bruma, Gael Kakuta, Patrick van Aanholt and Daniel Sturridge, while Ross Turnbull is in goal. The Blues also have plenty of experience in their side to guide the youngsters through but Nicolas Anelka and Salomon Kalou are on the bench as back up. MSK Zilina include dangerman Tomas Oravec in their line-up as they pick the same side which lost their last league outing.

Jonathan Stevenson reports:
"Arsene Wenger rings the changes - but there's a surprise as captain Cesc Fabregas starts despite hamstring problems. Otherwise Tomas Rosicky, Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere, Johan Djourou, Emmanuel Eboue, Kieran Gibbs and Nicklas Bendtner all come into the Arsenal team. Braga show three changes to the side that lost 6-0 at Arsenal in September, with Lima, Elderson and Leandro Salino involved this time around."

Danshi on 606: "Thank goodness Sam and football is back... two days without football was like life without food for me..."
You didn't catch the Sunderland-Everton match, then, mate? Haha.

Champions League Macca: "Over in Moscow, the early game has seen three goals. They've all gone to Marseille, who lead Spartak 3-0 and the French side look set to secure their place in the knockout stages. The hosts, who are down to 10 men, need three goals in 15 minutes to keep their Champs League hopes alive. I'm going to stick my neck out and say that aint happening. What that does mean is Chelsea need a point to be sure of top spot in Group F. A draw in Moscow would have put the Blues through."

HenryWhitfield on Twitter: "A youth push is exactly what Chelsea needs to pressure on their veterans to get going in the league, should be a great match!"

1904: I'm reliably informed by Infostrada Sports, by the way, that Chelsea's starting line-up averages 24 years and 164 days old, their youngest ever in the Champions League. It beats their line-up at CSKA Moscow six years ago, the only other time they have started with a team averaging under 25 years old in the competition. Nice.

Felipe, Miguel Garcia, Moises, Rodriguez, Echiejile, Vandinho, Leandro Salino, Alan, Aguiar, Matheus, Lima. Subs: Artur Moraes, Mossoro, Madrid, Silvio, Hugo Viana, Anibal, Elton.
Arsenal: Fabianski, Eboue, Squillaci, Djourou, Gibbs, Walcott, Denilson, Wilshere, Rosicky, Fabregas, Bendtner. Subs: Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Nasri, Vela, Song, Chamakh.
Referee: Viktor Kassai (Hungary)

Cesc Van Nasri on 606: "Arsenal to be back to their usual best tonight!"

Turnbull, Ferreira, Ivanovic, Bruma, Van Aanholt, Ramires, McEachran, Malouda, Sturridge, Drogba, Kakuta. Subs: Hilario, Mikel, Kalou, Anelka, Clifford, Mellis, Sala.
MSK Zilina: Dubravka, Angelovic, Pecalka, Piacek, Gergel, Jez, Guldan, Babatounde, Vladavic, Majtan, Oravec. Subs: Krnac, Leitner, Rilke, Ceesay, Poliacek, Sourek, Zosak.
Referee: Robert Schorgenhofer (Austria)

alexlekzaw on Twitter: "I have the feeling young Jeffery Bruma will be a catastrophe tonight. Chelsea needs to begin investing in fringe players."

Moon on 606: "I fear for my Slovak side tonight!"

1857: And on that bombshell, let's get the chat going yeah? Tweet me @sampatricklyon, text me via 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide) or join the chat over on her majesty's 606.

1855: So, in short, I reckon we can all keep our powder dry on the crisis-talk front for the moment. I'll give you all a wave when you can launch yourselves back into it should things go against Arsenal or Chelsea tonight, though, for sure. Frankly, it'll take something spectacular for either side to upstage the news that Cliff Richard has the biggest-selling male celebrity calendar leading up to Christmas anyway. The man's 70, posing topless, and he's still beating the likes of JLS and Michael Buble into submission. Hats off Sir Cliff, hats off.

Jeffrey Bruma, Patrick van Aanholt, Josh McEachran, Daniel Sturride and Gael Kakuta all start for Chelsea against MSK Zilina.

Cesc Fabregas and Nicklas Bendtner both start for Arsenal at Braga.

1851: And what about Arsenal? Reeling on the back of a shock turnaround defeat to fierce rivals Tottenham, some Gunners fans are quietly brooding on the possibility of another faulty title push. They too, however, are bang in the mix still. Just two points off leaders Chelsea in the Premier League, Arsene Wenger's side can secure their progression to the Champions League for the 11th successive season with just a draw against Braga this evening. Yep... some crisis.

1847: Yes, all right, they have lost three out of their last four, have seen assistant boss Ray Wilkins leave the club and are dealing with an injury list longer than your arm - but come on, it's all got a bit out of control hasn't it? The Blues could even get away with fielding a weakened team in tonight's Champions League match against MSK Zilina and still win Group F (full permutations to follow). Still... saying all that... with games against Newcastle (a), Everton (h), Tottenham (a), Man United (h), Arsenal (a) next on their agenda, Ancelotti's men might want to get back to winning ways sooner rather than later. Hhmm, upon reflection, maybe the pressure is building at the Bridge?

1845: Top of the Premier League, through to the knockout stages of the Champions League and managed by a man in Carlo Ancelotti "in love with the club" ... anyone else think suggestions Chelsea are a club in crisis have been greatly exaggerated?

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Champions League results

23 Nov 2010 23:59 UK

  • Ajax0-4Real Madrid
  • Auxerre0-2AC Milan
  • Basle1-0CFR Cluj-Napoca
  • Braga2-0ArsenalFT
  • Chelsea2-1MSK ZilinaFT
  • Partizan Belgrade0-3S. Donetsk
  • Roma3-2Bayern Munich
  • Spartak Moscow0-3Marseille

Champ Lge Group A table snapshot

As it stood on 23 Nov 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Tottenham 4 4 7
2 Inter Milan 4 3 7
3 FC Twente 4 -1 5
4 Werder Bremen 4 -6 2

Champ Lge Group B table snapshot

As it stood on 23 Nov 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Lyon 4 4 9
2 Schalke 04 4 3 7
3 Benfica 4 -1 6
4 Hapoel Tel-Aviv 4 -6 1

Champ Lge Group C table snapshot

As it stood on 23 Nov 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Man Utd 4 5 10
2 Valencia 4 6 7
3 Rangers 4 -2 5
4 Bursaspor 4 -9 0

Champ Lge Group D table snapshot

As it stood on 23 Nov 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Barcelona 4 6 8
2 FC Copenhagen 4 1 7
3 Rubin Kazan 4 -1 3
4 Panathinaikos 4 -6 2

Champ Lge Group E table snapshot

As it stood on 23 Nov 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Bayern Munich 5 7 12
2 Roma 5 -1 9
3 Basle 5 0 6
4 CFR Cluj-Napoca 5 -6 3

Champ Lge Group F table snapshot

As it stood on 23 Nov 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 5 11 15
2 Marseille 5 8 9
3 Spartak Moscow 5 -4 6
4 MSK Zilina 5 -15 0

Champ Lge Group G table snapshot

As it stood on 23 Nov 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Real Madrid 5 9 13
2 AC Milan 5 2 8
3 Ajax 5 -6 4
4 Auxerre 5 -5 3

Champ Lge Group H table snapshot

As it stood on 23 Nov 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 S. Donetsk 5 4 12
2 Arsenal 5 9 9
3 Braga 5 -4 9
4 Partizan Belgrade 5 -9 0

see also
Tuesday football photos
23 Nov 10 |  Football

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