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Page last updated at 18:45 GMT, Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Wednesday's Champions League as it happened


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By Sam Lyon

2300: Before all that, though, it's Ashes time baby! Ben Dirs is awaiting your chat so make sure you get involved. You won't want to miss it. England v Australia, first test, Brisbane. I should coco.

2255: Right, it's almost time for me to bid you all adieu. Congratulations to Manchester United and Tottenham, then, for their progression into the final 16 - with Chelsea already through, it only leaves Arsenal to complete the quartet of English clubs getting through the group stages. It's the Europa League for Rangers, but with the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City in that, that's no small consolation I reckon. Jonathan Stevenson is your host this weekend by the way, make sure you join him then won't you?

2252: I tell you this, having run both the Matt Prior and Graeme Swann columns on this website over the years, they will have been tuning in to me tonight. They never miss a Sam Lyon commentary. Honest. Ahem.

Voyporustedes on 606: "In response to the request for Howzat in Spanish, Como esta? would go pretty close. They don't have a direct translation. Funny that with cricket being so big on the Iberian peninsular!!"

2249: I wonder if the England cricket boys kept across any of tonight's football? I mean, yes, skipper Andrew Strauss claims he is focusing on the Brisbane Test and all that, but come on - it doesn't get much better than Champions League footy on a Tuesday and a Wednesday night does it? I imagine he spent all morning (Australian time) knocking in his bat while keeping across this very commentary, in fact. Hi Andrew!

HenryWhitfield on Twitter: "Don't complain you lot, I've got to find somewhere to watch the boys down under, but over here in Canada. Mission impossible."

2241: So what're our Ashes plans tonight, I hear you ask? Well Benjamin Dirs will kick off his commentary at around 2300 GMT, with the toss due around 2330 and play at midnight.

BBC Sport's Honest Frank on Twitter: "Ermmm, due in the office in 7 hours. They won't mind if I turn up a little sleepy-eyed, will they? #Ashes"

Matt, Crewe, via text: "Great night of football! I watched Messi and co and they look unstoppable! Getting ready for the Ashes now - off work this week and started sleeping patterns on Sunday to be ready for this!"

2235: Do you want to know my plans for this evening? Well I'm going to tell you anyway. I've only gone and set the Ashes to record so that I don't miss the first ball while I'm travelling home at the end of my shift around midnight. I'm then going to watch it 'as live' when I get home. Genius no? In the meantime all I've got to do is avoid Ben Dirs' commentary, Facebook, Twitter...

Dave, tired but determined, Gloucester, via text: "Sam - booked the rest of the week off work, stocked up on milk and sugar for hot drinks, and have the (post) midnight snacks sorted. Now, just got the next hour and a half to get through. Charades, anyone?"

AndySzpuk on Twitter: "Valencia were the only team to rack up anything like a cricket score tonight - anyone know the Spanish for howzat?"

2227: Remiss of me, by the way, not to point out earlier that Lionel Messi's goal tonight was the 150th of his Barcelona career. I'm telling you, he's got a future that boy. It was also his 31st European goal for Barca, joining Rivaldo at the head of the club's top scorer list. Wayne Rooney' strike, meanwhile, was his 22nd European goal - the same number that Bobby Charlton achieved in his career. Nice.

Former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan on Twitter: "Partly cloudy in Brisbane - tricky decision for the captains today. Good toss to lose."

Bolton striker Kevin Davies on Twitter: "Hope our boys make a good start in The Ashes, night all."

2220: Of course, we now all know that Harry Redknapp will be celebrating leading Tottenham into the knockout stages of Europe's premier cup competition... by dashing back home to Poole and sticking the first Ashes Test on the TV. And who can blame him? Anyone else out there stretching your evening's sport out with a bit of Ashes action?

Chief football writer Phil McNulty reports:
"Great night for Spurs and confirmation of their growing maturity in the Champions League as they reach the knockout phase with a game to spare."

Colin Moffat reports:
"Wayne Rooney marks his return to the United starting with a late penalty to seal the win and a place in the last 16. It's the Europa League now for Walter Smith's men."

SuperBale on 606: "Great result Spurs, well done boys! This Champions league lark is alright."

toweringsix on 606: "That was a shock about the Confederation of South American Football saying it will support Spain and Portugal's bid for the World Cup. Latin Americans supporting a Latin bid for the World Cup? Well I never."

2206: Champions League Macca: "So Tottenham and Man Utd are through and they are joined by Inter Milan, Schalke, Lyon, Valencia and Barcelona. It's bye bye to Bremen, FC Twente, Benfica, Hapoel, Rangers, Bursaspor and Panathinaikos. Rubin Kazan and Copenhagen will battle it out for the other qualifying place in Group D, plus there's still top spot to play for in groups A, B and C."

2204: Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp: "It's fantastic for us (to get into the knockout stages). It was a difficult group when drawn. Overall, I think we have done great and played ever so well. We came in at half-time two-up without really having clicked into gear. We could have had four or five but I'm delighted with the lads. We want to win the last game - you want that top spot if you can get it. It looks like most of the big teams are going to finish top of their groups and it's important so we have to go to Twente and give it a go."

Keith, Enniskillen via text: "There were 23 goals last night, 22 tonight - don't you just love the Champions League!"
Just call me the goal king, fella haha.

2200: Rangers boss Walter Smith: "I don't think there was any great intent in Steven Naismith's challenge for the penalty... United had a couple of chances after half-time and if they'd gone in then we wouldn't have felt as bad. It's disappointing to get so close to a result. The Europa League is not a consolation in any way, but staying in Europe after Christmas is what we would have looked at."

2155: Bit of breaking news coming in from Reuters on the bid to host the World Cup 2018. England are going for that, of course, but South America's general secretary Eduardo Deluca says Conmebol's vote will be going to the Spain-Portugal bid. The vote for that takes place next week on 2 December.

stum on 606: "It would be such a great record to hold if United could go through all six group games without conceding a goal."

2148: Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric: "It was our aim to qualify, we did it and we are happy. It was a good night for us. We scored three and could have had more against (Werder Bremen). I think we showed we can compete in the Champions League and Premier League. We put in a great performance again." And Spurs striker Peter Crouch: "It's our first Champions League and the fans are loving it. It's great achievement (to reach the knockout stages) but we don't want to rest on that and want to give a good account of ourselves in the next round. It's been a great team performance in the Champions League this season."

2145: Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson: "It took courage for Wayne Rooney to take the penalty, it wasn't the easiest night for him having missed couple of chances. There's still some rustiness in his game. We deserved to win tonight and I think we want to go on and win the group. We have Valencia at home and maybe we'll make one or two changes."

2143: Here's a titbit from Infostrada Sports - Manchester United are the second club to keep a clean sheet in their first five CL group matches following Juventus in 2004-2005. No team has had six clean sheets in all six group matches.

2141: So Tottenham and Manchester United are both safely through to the knockout stages, and both go into the final group game top of their group. Happy days.

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand on Twitter: "Well done the boys nice result-business like! Now roll on the Ashes!! Come on Swanny, KP and the rest of ya, do your thing!"

Neil, Tottenham via text: "Tottenham haven't put a foot wrong tonight. Another sublime Champions league performance a White Heart Lane. I'm so proud to be a Spurs fan."

bringthemonjpn on 606: "Really good effort by Rangers. Just ran out of legs towards the end."

Full time
2135: FULL-TIME Rangers 0-1 Man Utd

2135: FULL-TIME Tottenham 3-0 Werder Bremen

2133: Rangers looking to launch one last rally at Ibrox, but for all their neat passing around the box they can find no breakthrough and this is United's all day long now, surely.

2132: GOALFLASH Hapoel Tel-Aviv 3-0 Benfica (Zahavi)

2132: GOALFLASH Valencia 6-1 Bursaspor (Dominguez)

2132: GOALFLASH Schalke 04 3-0 Lyon (Huntelaar)

2131: Steven Naismith seeks redemption with a shot from 18 yards out, but it is blocked.

2130: Wayne Rooney celebrated that like a man possessed by the way - he wanted that goal after all his off-field issues at Old Trafford of late and no mistake.

Man Utd goal: Steven Naismith is apoplectic with referee Massimo Busacca, but he can't have too many complaints when he watches this back surely. Fabio da Silva looks to get on the end of a ball into the box but he is taken out by Naismith's wild high kick into his face, Wayne Rooney - who else? - stepping up to smash home the penalty.

2127: GOALFLASH Rangers 0-1 Man Utd (Rooney pen)


2124: Slap shot from Wayne Rooney after creating space for himself on the edge of the Rangers area, but it's deflected over. Who wants to win this? Anyone?

2123: It's a cracking atmosphere at Spurs, with the home fans lapping up what looks certain to be their team's first ever progression into the Champions League knockout stages.

2121: At Ibrox, Rangers' Vladimir Weiss is replaced by John Fleck, while at White Hart Lane Niko Kranjcar comes on in place of Gareth Bale, who leaves to a deserved standing ovation.

Champions League Macca: "Goals from Leo Messi and Pedro have made it 3-0 to Barcelona in Panathinaikos. Looks like the Catalans are on their way to wrapping up Group D. It's now 2-0 to Hapoel thanks to Da Silva's effort at home to Benfica. But with Schalke leading Lyon it will not be enough for the Israelis. Valencia are leading Bursaspor 5-1. At least Rangers will be guaranteed a Europa League place if they fail to get a winner at Ibrox."

Tottenham goal: No less than Spurs deserve and this match could hardly have been more processional. Aaron Lennon does brilliantly to nut-meg his marker at the far post and lay if back to Peter Crouch to slam in from six yards.

2119: GOALFLASH Tottenham 3-0 Werder Bremen (Crouch)

2118: Fine effort from Gareth Bale at Tottenham, who are utterly comfortable, the left winger drilling Jermain Defoe's lay-off a coat-of-paint's width wide of the far post from the angle.

2117: Double Man Utd substitution, Gabriel Obertan and Javier Hernandez on for Nani and Dimitar Berbatov.

2116: And now at Ibrox Wayne Rooney can only slice harmless at goal after being laid in by a clever lofted pass from Dimiter Berbatov. He's not set the world alight tonight Rooney, that's for sure.

2115: GOALFLASH Hapoel Tel-Aviv 2-0 Benfica (Douglas)

2115: Good defensive work from David Weir as his header cuts out Ryan Giggs' cross with Dimitar Berbatov. And then moments later the Bulgarian's goalbound snap-shot is well blocked by Steven Davis. Rangers holding firm.

2114: GOALFLASH Panathinaikos 0-3 Barcelona (Pedro)

2113: Miss of the night? It might be for Spurs' Group A rivals Inter Milan. Take a bow Dejan Stankovic, who skies the ball with the goal gaping. Rafa Benitez can't believe his side are not 2-0 up.

2112: GOALFLASH Valencia 5-1 Bursaspor (Batalla)

2111: Twenty minutes remaining at Ibrox, but the goalmouth action has once again taken a back seat to a keenly-fought midfield contest.

Chief football writer Phil McNulty at White Hart Lane: "Benoit Assou-Ekotto in the process of getting a long-overdue coating from Harry Redknapp. Given the ball away constantly this half."

2108: GOALFLASH Panathinaikos 0-2 Barcelona (Messi)

2107: Time for a Manchester United change at Rangers, Anderson coming on to replace Paul Scholes.

2105: More on that Inter Milan goal, by the way - and Rafa Benitez will be a hugely relieved man. Inter go ahead with a whopping dollop of luck as the ball is deflected off a Twente player into the path of Esteban Cambiasso. Nothing lucky about the finish though as the Argentine wallops the ball into the back of the net.

2103: Jermain Defoe has only taken a few minutes to show he's lost none of his sharpness since that injury, the Spurs man looking up 20 yards out and powering a shot at goal that Werder keeper Tim Weise does well to beat away.

2102: United knocking on the door again at Ibrox as Nani cuts in from the right by the goalline but his cross is well cut out by Gers keeper Allan McGregor with Wayne Rooney lurking behind him ominously.

2100: Chances at both ends at Ibrox now. First Richard Foster dinks into the Man Utd area and it is poorly defended, allowing Steven Naismith to be able to poke in a shot that Edwin van der Sar saves instinctively. United bounce and Dimitar Berbatov gets a sniff in the Rangers box, his low shot from 16 yards kept out low by Allan McGregor. This match starting to open up finally.

2058: Jermain Defoe comes on for Tottenham, replacing Roman Pavlyuchenko.

2058: Couple of Man Utd chances to catch you up on. Ryan Giggs delivers from the left but Dimitar Berbatov judges his volley horribly, as the ball spins off his foot and back down to the spot where he was standing. Moments later, it's great inter-play between Dimitar Berbatov and Wayne Rooney, who finds Michael Carrick on the edge of the area. The midfielder unleashes a low shot from 18 yards which is smartly saved low by Allan McGregor.

2057: GOALFLASH Valencia 5-0 Bursaspor (Soldado)

2057: GOALFLASH Inter Milan 1-0 FC Twente (Cambiasso)

Someone has won a penalty
Missed penalty, Tottenham: It's a stick-on spot-kick when Felix Kroos trips Luka Modric dashing into the box but Gareth Bale's spot-kick is too close to the keeper and Werder Bremen's Tim Weise is able to push it away. Bale is human after all.

2055: PENALTY MISSED (Bale, Tottenham)


2053: Tottenham cutting through Werder at will right now, and Gareth Bale is again at the centre of it, his cross headed goalwards by Peter Crouch and just deflected wide.

Someone has struck the woodwork
2051: And it's agonisingly close to a third, Gareth Bale curling over the wall and against the bar with Werder keeper Tim Weise long since having given up the ghost.

Yellow card
2050: Tottenham back on the front foot in the second half at Tottenham, and Aaron Lennon earns them a free-kick 20 yards out to the right, Sebastian Prodl booked for his troubles...

2048: ...and it's not a bad effort either, Wayne Rooney curling over the wall right-footed but just past the post with Rangers keeper Allan McGregor struggling to get across.

2047: Early chance for a shot on goal in this second half for Manchester United, a free-kick 30 yards out centre of goal...

2046: For now, though, it's all about the footy - back under way at the Lane and Ibrox.

2045: Just over three hours now until the 2010-11 Ashes kicks off by the way, and if that's your bag there's only one thing to and that's head over to Tom Fordyce's Twitter for all the latest. I'll be bringing you some warm-up chat once the football's done and dusted, of course, but here's Mr Fordyce's view of things at the Gabba, Brisbane: "Early weather update: some clouds, but mainly Crouchesque - thin and high. Cloud to blue sky ratio of 1:4."

Champions League Macca: "So, it looks like Valencia will be collecting three points, being 4-0 up at half-time. That means Rangers need a win to make it all very interesting in the final group games (when they travel to already out Bursaspor and Man Utd host Valencia). Spurs are going through and Werder out, leaving Inter and FC Twente to fight it out for the other place in Group A. Schalke and Lyon are in the Group B box seat, while Barcelona look like topping D."

bringthemonjpn on 606: "Weir, McCulloch and Davis have been magnificent for Rangers so far."

Robbie via text: "It seems as if Valencia are "Cook"ing on gas!"

richardingoldby on Twitter: "Just like any other European night at the lane...Tottenham in complete control."

Half time
2035: HALF-TIME: Rangers 0-0 Man Utd
Colin Moffat's HT snap-shot:
"A drab 45 minutes livened up late on, with Wayne Rooney's header crashing off the crossbar and Kenny Miller spurning a one-on-one chance. As it stands, Man Utd are cruising through and it's the Europa League for Rangers."

Half time
2034: HALF-TIME Tottenham 2-0 Werder Bremen
Chief football writer Phil McNulty's HT snap-shot:
"Luka Modric has put Spurs well in sight of the last 16 with that second goal right on half-time. Perfect timing and Werder look demoralised as they go off. No doubt Harry Redknapp will be reminding his players of the perils of a two-goal lead at the interval."

2032: And that's half-time at both Ibrox and White Hart Lane.

Tottenham goal: It's a tactic that has worked so often in Europe for Spurs this year and it does so again, Peter Crouch nodding Alan Hutton's centre down for Luka Modric to turn inside Sevastian Prodl and finish expertly.

2030: GOALFLASH Tottenham 2-0 Werder Bremen (Modric)

2029: Younes Kaboul rises to meet a Tottenham corner but this time he can only head wide.

2027: Great chance for Rangers, now, Kenny Miller getting himself some space bursting into the United box from the right but, with Vladimir Weiss well placed on the far post six yards out, the Scot attempts to beat Edwin van der Sar at his near post and the visiting keeper is able to save with his feet. Rangers have to win because of Valencia's impending win over Bursaspor lest we forget.

2026: Clemens Fritz doesn't know how to deal with Gareth Bale at the Lane and another foul sees the right-back earn himself a yellow card.

Someone has struck the woodwork
2024: Better from Manchester United. Fabio da Silva gets clear on the left and pings in a wonderful cross that is met by Wayne Rooney ahead of Kirk Broadfoot, but the striker's header comes back off the bar.

2023: GOALFLASH Valencia 4-0 Bursaspor (Joaquin)

2022: Nice move from Manchester United in and around the area, ending with Michael Carrick playing in Nani - whose shot is high, wide and not very handsome.

2021: It should be 2-0 to Tottenham, Alan Hutton picking out the run of Aaron Lennon who in turn finds Roman Pavlyuchenko unmarked in the box, but the Russian takes a touch when he could have hit it first time and Per Mertesacker gets back to block the striker's shot.

Champions League Macca: "The goals flooding in now, particularly at Valencia. They took the lead against Bursaspor just after the quarter hour mark through a Juan Mata penalty, Roberto Soldado doubled their lead and Aritz Aduriz has just made it 3-0. All of which spells bad news for Rangers fans. If results stay the way they are then the boys from Glasgow are going out of the Champions League. In the battle of the top two in Group B, Schalke are 2-0 up at home to Lyon and going top of the standings if that remains the same. All of which means Benfica really need a win to keep their hopes alive. Unfortunately for them they are trailing at lowly Hapoel. Barcelona are now in front at Panathinaikos, Rodriguez Pedro the scorer and they will top the group with a win."

2017: GOALFLASH Valencia 3-0 Bursaspor (Aduriz)

2016: GOALFLASH Panathinaikos 0-1 Barcelona (Pedro)

2015: Spurs have definitely eased off at White Hart Lane, and Bremen are being encouraged to get forward whenever possible. Aaron Hunt slices wide when well placed on the edge of the area but a definite air of complacency surrouding the hosts at the moment.

2012: The Dimitar Berbatov-Wayne Rooney partnership has yet to click at Ibrox, that's for sure. As a result, Rangers have battled their way back into this and it's a lot more even in the last 10 minutes.

2010: GOALFLASH Hapoel Tel-Aviv 1-0 Benfica (Zahavi)

2007: Decent chance for Tottenham as Peter Crouch lays off Gareth Bale's cross to Roman Pavlyuchenko eight yards out, but the Spurs striker gets his finish on the volley all wrong and it's way off target.

Chief football writer Phil McNulty at White Hart Lane: "Perfect start this for Tottenham, although Jermaine Jenas' injury is a blow. Werder posing little threat as yet, apart from the gifted Marko Marin, whose tiny stature and rolling gait give him the look of Arsenal's Andrey Arshavin. Harry Redknapp still is out exhorting his team though - he doesn't want any signs of complacency creeping in."

2006: GOALFLASH Valencia 2-0 Bursaspor (Soldado)

2006: GOALFLASH Schalke 04 2-0 Lyon (Huntelaar)

2004: BBC Radio Scotland's trackside reporter Chick Young has been chatting to Gary McAllister. Is the Aston Villa assistant manager simply up in Glasgow to cheer on his boyhood heroes or does he have his eye on any of the players in blue? He's not saying...

2003: Early substitution for Tottenham as Jermaine Jenas limps off for the hosts, Wilson Palacios the man coming on to replace him in midfield. Blow for the hosts, that.

2002: GOALFLASH Valencia 1-0 Bursaspor (Mata pen)

gardz86 on Twitter: "What's the point of having all these officials all around the pitch in Champions League ties if they still miss things like that Manchester United pen! And Vela's one for Arsenal yesterday!"

2001: That early penalty shout still the closest Manchester United have come to creating anything clear-cut at Ibrox, but they're still dominating possession. That said, David Weir's flick on from a deep free-kick finds Kenny Miller eight yards out but the Gers striker can only tamely head wide. A moment of hope for the hosts.

1959: GOALFLASH Schalke 04 1-0 Lyon (Farfan)

1957: First real sustained spell of possession for Bremen at White Hart Lane and Tottenham don't want to be taking their foot off the pedal here. Still looking dangerous going forward, though, the hosts.

1954: Wayne Rooney is getting booed at Ibrox, by the way, but he is showing some nice touches nonetheless. Man Utd just about bossing the early exchanges.

1953: Marko Marin is certainly a dangerman for Bremen and he is picked out in space on the left-hand touchline, his cross well defended by William Gallas who heads clear.

1952: Could have done better, there, Dimitar Berbatov, the Bulgarian picked out by Fabio da Silva's cross but heading straight at the keeper eight yards out.

Tottenham goal: Simple. A Spurs corner is only half cleared and Aaron Lennon has all the time in the world to pick out a fine cross for Younes Kaboul to volley into the turf and home from eight yards out. Great start.

1950: GOALFLASH Tottenham 1-0 Werder Bremen (Kaboul)

1949: First glimpse of Spurs flyer Gareth Bale and he has the beating of Clemens Fritz down the right immediately, forcing a corner with a typically direct run.

1948: At White Hart Lane, it's fairly even steven so far. Neither side has really clicked their passing game into gear really yet.

1947: Early penalty shout at Ibrox - and Rangers are very lucky to have got away with it if you ask me. Steven Davis goes in clumsily through the back of Dimitar Berbatov inside the home box, but referee Massimo Busacca waves play on. Looked a clear foul to me.

1945: Tottenham kick off at White Hart Lane, Man Utd do likewise at Ibrox.

1944: Just time for me to give you a touch of background, then. Bremen arrive at White Hart Lane on a dreadful run of form, having conceded 10 goals in their last two away games and losing five of their last six matches in all competitions. In contrast, Spurs have won all three of their Champions League home games this season, scoring 11 goals along the way. Rangers, meanwhile, are on form in the Scottish Premier League and, faced with a make-or-break Battle of Britain tie against a Man Utd side resting Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, might fancy their chances? It's game on.

1943: Here come the players at White Hart Lane and Ibrox.

1942: It's Euro Club Index time. What do the big mathematical brains of Infostrada Sports think about tonight's ties? Let's see...
Club's ECI ranking in brackets
Inter Milan (5) 68% v FC Twente (312) 11%
Tottenham (16) 56% v Werder Bremen (36) 18%
Hapoel Tel-Aviv (63) 28% v Benfica (19) 42%
Schalke 04 (34) 32% v Lyon (9) 38%
Rangers (61) 9% v Man United (2) 72%
Valencia (15) 74% v Bursaspor (96) 8%
Panathinaikos (44) 8% v Barcelona (1) 74%

PaulJ123 on Twitter: "Interesting team from Man Utd, resting there CBs and playing full force up front. I'm expecting a replay of the Old Trafford game."

1941: Rangers boss Walter Smith: "I don't think there's a fear factor tonight. It's a challenge we have to face up to. There is no doubt that Manchester United are a terrific side and we know that. They have used somewhere in the region of 27 players in the Champions League so far so they have a huge squad of players to choose from. It's not a fear aspect, it's a challenge for us. Any footballer, or any manager, would look forward to it."

1939: Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson: "There is no question that Wayne [Rooney] should use this as a fresh start. His fitness is good and maybe it will take two or three games but they will help to get him back as quick as we can. But this is a high profile match, on a terrific pitch, in a great stadium with a terrific atmosphere. All the signs are plus ones, particularly for a player of Wayne's ability."

Chief football writer Phil McNulty reports:
"Rafael van der Vaart is out for Spurs after taking kicks on the shin and ankle at Arsenal, although the feeling is he would have played had this been a make-or-break game. Jermain Defoe stays on the bench despite his decisive contribution to the win at The Emirates and Gareth Bale has been passed fit. Peter Crouch partners Roman Pavlyuchenko up front and William Gallas retains the captaincy. Injury-ravaged Bremen hand debuts to attacking midfielder Felix Kroos and defender Dominik Schmidt, as well as recalling Sandro Wagner and and Daniel Jensen."

bill40 on 606: "So "Broad-ly speaking if Rangers don't win tonight they are "Finn"ished. Ask not for whom the "Bell" tolls..."

1933: Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp: "Van der Vaart wasn't close to being available. He went for a scan and then knew he wouldn't be available. We're starting Crouchy and Pav - there's good firepower. We miss Rafa but we've got plenty of good players. There's no risk playing Bale, he had a problem with shoulder but he feels fine. We'll play at a high tempo, we have to get after them and work them. We'll try to cause them problems down the flanks."

Anon via text: "Just showed the Bremen line-up to some Germans on the train to Tottenham... White flag, was their response. They aren't happy."

Tomst7 on Twitter: "RE: 1917 - No protests because the majority of us Spurs fans put our trust in [chairman Daniel] Levy. If we move we move. Whatever makes financial sense."

Chief football writer Phil McNulty reports:
"The success of Tottenham's Champions League campaign - highlighted by the wonderful win against holders Inter Milan at White Hart Lane - is emphasised by the fact that victory against Werder Bremen tonight will send them into the last 16 from what was regarded as a difficult group with a game to spare. Werder Bremen's team is weakened, but no side from the Bundesliga should ever be under-estimated. Spurs boss Harry Redknapp will hope for another match-winning performance from Gareth Bale to ensure a smooth passage to qualification."

Ibrox_Via_Bristol_1985 on 606: "Steven Davis at right back? Crazy. The only way i can see Rangers doing damage is giving the ball to Weiss and letting him run at the defence which isn't the usual United back line but will still be strong."

Dean via text: "Could be a hard game for Rangers, Man Utd are unbeaten this season 'Prior' to tonights game."

Champions League Macca: "It's full-time in the early kick off between Rubin Kazan and FC Copenhagen - a game played with an orange ball. The good news for you Rubin fans out there is they have won 1-0 through Cristian Noboa's penalty just before half-time. That means Barcelona will qualify top if they win in Panathinaikos tonight. If the Greeks were to win then it is all to play for. Rubin are a point behind Copenhagen with a game to go. The bad news for the Russians is their final game is a trip to Camp Nou."

rrengland3 on Twitter: "Re 1913: Bremen have a 5.8% goal to shot rate in the Champions League this season compared to Tottenham's 30%."

Colin Moffat reports:
"Rangers stick with a tried a tested 5-4-1 European formation but the team-sheet looks a little odd, with full-backs Steven Whittaker and Kirk Broadfoot drafted in as centre-backs, along with David Weir. Influential midfielder Steven Davis moves to right-back, while teenager Kyle Hutton makes his European bow in the heart of midfield. Lone striker Kenny Miller is supported by wide men Steven Naismith and Vladimir Weiss, who is, of course, on loan from Manchester City. Up against that makeshift home defence, Wayne Rooney makes his first start for Manchester United since the beginning of October, partnered by Dimitar Berbatov, while Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans make up the United central defence."

1917: There were suggestions by the way, that Tottenham fans were planning a mass protest against a possible move by the club from their White Hart Lane home of 111 years to the London Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games tonight. Reports in so far suggest that is well wide of the mark and that all is pretty much as normal in north London. Anyone know any different?

redandblackT on 606: "Thanks to the BBC sports page David Weir actually looks like the oldest man in the world. If Rooney could magically regain his form from a year ago it could be an almighty mis-match."

1913: Here's a worrying stat for Tottenham from the boys at Infostrada Sports, by the way. Rafael van der Vaart misses the match at White Hart Lane: the Dutchman has missed 19 previous Champions League matches for his various clubs, who have won just four of them in his absence. In fact, his clubs have only taken 0.9 points per match in fixtures which he has missed compared to 1.41 in those that he has played. A bad omen for Spurs tonight perhaps?

Colin Moffat reports:
"It's a bitterly cold night in Glasgow as Rangers and Manchester United go head-to-head at Ibrox. The hosts have to win to have any chance of progressing, while the Red Devils require a point to reach the last 16. A daunting task for Rangers is made all the harder by the absence of key defensive personnel. And adding to the problems of a makeshift home defence is the return of a certain Wayne Rooney for United…"

U14347584 on 606: "Hernandez must be wondering what he's got to do to stay in the United team. Scored on the weekend, and has been playing decently whilst Berbatov has been playing poorly and whilst Rooney has been injured."

Luke, Boro via text: "Re: lloyd91 Tottenham only need a win to 'Trott' into the next round... (cricket DOES matter!)"

Group A: Mathematically, each team can still qualify, but Tottenham progress into the last 16 with a win from one of their last two games.
Group B: Only Lyon, Schalke win and Benfica have a chance of making the knockout stages, with Hapoel Tel-Aviv out of the running.
Group C: Man Utd need only a draw in Glasgow to qualify. If that happens, Valencia need a win to also qualify. If Rangers win, a win at Bursaspor would almost certainly see them through.
Group D: If Kazan lose to Copenhagen, Barca and the Danes head into the last 16. If Kazan draw with Copenhagen, the Danes get through if Panathinaikos don't beat Barcelona. If Kazan do beat Copenhagen, a draw is not enough for Barcelona to qualify.

rampantlionblog on Twitter: "Seven reserves in the Werder travelling party. Poor league form as well, but Spurs never do anything the 'easy' way do they?"

lock,stock on 606: "I'm already sick of hearing about the Ashes. when are the English and Australians going to realise, CRICKET DOESN'T MATTER."

McGregor, Davis, Whittaker, Broadfoot, Weir, Foster, Naismith, McCulloch, Hutton, Weiss, Miller. Subs: Alexander, Fleck, Beattie, Loy, Perry, Wylde.
Man Utd: Van der Sar, O'Shea, Evans, Smalling, Fabio Da Silva, Nani, Carrick, Scholes, Giggs, Berbatov, Rooney. Subs: Amos, Evra, Brown, Anderson, Hernandez, Obertan, Macheda.
Referee: Massimo Busacca (Switzerland)

Gomes, Hutton, Gallas, Kaboul, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Jenas, Modric, Bale, Pavlyuchenko, Crouch. Subs: Cudicini, Keane, Palacios, Defoe, Bassong, Kranjcar, Corluka.
Werder Bremen: Wiese, Fritz, Mertesacker, Prodl, Schmidt, Kroos, Jensen, Bargfrede, Marin, Hunt, Wagner. Subs: Mielitz, Pasanen, Huseinovic, Andersen, Thy, Testroet, Ayik.
Referee: Olegario Benquerenca (Portugal)

Lloyd91 on Twitter: "It's likely that Manchester United fans will be in for a difficult game tonight, but it's nothing to get Straussed out about."

It_was_Defoe_a_Goal on 606: "Three points tonight and we (Spurs) qualify - before Arsenal. Who said we had a tough group?!"

1857: So let's have a look at what we have in store tonight...
Inter Milan v FC Twente, Gp A, 1945
Tottenham v Werder Bremen, Gp A, 1945
Hapoel Tel-Aviv v Benfica, Gp B, 1945
Schalke 04 v Lyon, Gp B, 1945
Rangers v Man United, Gp C, 1945
Valencia v Bursaspor, Gp C, 1945
Panathinaikos v Barcelona, Gp D, 1945
Rubin Kazan v FC Copenhagen, Gp D, 1730

Andy Connor on 606: "What a night, Champions league followed by the Ashes - then coffee all day tomorrow for work!!"

1853: Anyway, I've no doubt you can far out-do me on the rubbish Ashes-puns tonight, and if not still get in touch with your biggest and best chat won't you? This place would be awfully lonely without you. Usual drill folks, Tweet me @sampatricklyon, text me via 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide) or get on 606. Easy.

There is no Rafael van der Vaart (ankle) in the Tottenham , but Gareth Bale (shoulder) is fit to start against Werder Bremen.

Wayne Rooney starts for Manchester United, with Kyle Hutton in for Rangers in place of the injured Kyle Lafferty.

1849: Before that, though, it's very much all things Champions League. We've got a couple of crackers involving three of Britain's finest and some delights involving the cream of the rest of Europe elsewhere. Let's hope we're bowled over by some six-y football and that I don't get stumped by the qualifying permutations hey? Sorry.

1847: Yep, even with his team on the verge of qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions League for the first time in their history, still Harry Redknapp can't help but look forward to the massive and eagerly-anticipated Ashes series between England and Australia. That kicks off tonight at midnight and, if it's of any interest, I'll be bringing you a bit of warm-up chat towards the end of the evening before Ben Dirs takes over commentary duties for the first Test in Brisbane. It's like a two-for-the-price-of-one thing.

1845: "I can't wait, I really am looking forward to it. It'll be a great series and we're certainly going in there with a great chance to bring the Ashes back home. Ours is a good team, we're bang in form, and I'll be watching every ball bowled that I can, and I want to wish the England lads out there all the best of luck, we're all pulling for you. The Ryder Cup? The Ashes? We win them all, don't we?! Bring it on!"
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp

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Champions League results

24 Nov 2010 23:59 UK

Champ Lge Group A table snapshot

As it stood on 24 Nov 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Tottenham 5 7 10
2 Inter Milan 5 4 10
3 FC Twente 5 -2 5
4 Werder Bremen 5 -9 2

Champ Lge Group B table snapshot

As it stood on 24 Nov 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Schalke 04 5 6 10
2 Lyon 5 1 9
3 Benfica 5 -4 6
4 Hapoel Tel-Aviv 5 -3 4

Champ Lge Group C table snapshot

As it stood on 24 Nov 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Man Utd 5 6 13
2 Valencia 5 11 10
3 Rangers 5 -3 5
4 Bursaspor 5 -14 0

Champ Lge Group D table snapshot

As it stood on 24 Nov 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Barcelona 5 9 11
2 FC Copenhagen 5 0 7
3 Rubin Kazan 5 0 6
4 Panathinaikos 5 -9 2

Champ Lge Group E table snapshot

As it stood on 24 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 24 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 24 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 24 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
Wednesday football photos
24 Nov 10 |  Football

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