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Page last updated at 22:33 GMT, Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Tuesday football as it happened


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By Sam Lyon

2230: I've said it before and I'll say it again - I am the goal king aren't I? We've had 26 goals in the Champions League and 15 - yes 15 - in two FA Cup ties tonight. Wowzers. Might I suggest, then, that you join me for what will clearly be a series of 0-0 stalemates in tomorrow's Champions League fixtures and FA Cup replay between FC United of Manchester and Brighton? Either way, it promises to be a night full of intrigue and suspense - especially for Arsenal fans. Adios.

Full time
2225: FULL-TIME Leyton Orient 8-2 Droylsden

2225: FULL-TIME Swindon 2-3 Crawley

2222: With our FA Cup second-round replays reaching a stunning conclusion, let me hit you with a couple of Man Utd stats from tonight from Infostrada Sports - United have now won their CL group a record equalling ninth time, while Ryan Giggs made his 121st CL appearance, overtaking Roberto Carlos for sole possession of second place in the all-time list behind Raul's 136.

2221: GOALFLASH Swindon 2-3 Crawley (Smith)

2219: GOALFLASH Leyton Orient 8-2 Droylsden (McGleish)

FA Cup Al: "Leyton Orient have ended Droylsden's dreams of a place in the third round of the FA Cup with a devastating spell in extra-time. They have scored five times against the Conference North side and lead 7-2, with the final minutes being played out at Brisbane Road with both sides down to nine men. Crawley, on the other hand, are still in with a chance of going through - as it stands. They are still 2-2 with Swindon with penalties looming fast."

Spamburger on 606: "RE: ivaneustace - Y'know, I wouldn't be surprised if that turned out to be Benitez's saving grace. He's done it to Mourinho before. And Mourinho has just proved he's far from infallible."

madsfred on Twitter: "Man Utd/Tottenham really need to fear Copenhagen. They won against them a few years ago and they have improved a lot, as seen this season against Barca."

2212: Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp: "At the start of this I said this was a tough group - we've got a team near the top of the Dutch league, Werder Bremen, who are a good side with lots of good players, and we've got the holders, Inter Milan. I think it was the toughest group and to top it is brilliant. We've gone for it every game. We've come in thinking we could win and that's how we play. We got goals and we conceded them, that's how it is. We tend to score plenty and seem to give them away too. You want to win all your games so we wanted to win here but it's important to finish top of the group and we've done that so I'm proud of the boys."

2210: GOALFLASH Leyton Orient 7-2 Droylsden (McGleish)

2207: GOALFLASH Leyton Orient 6-2 Droylsden (Tehoue)

2205: So, from tonight's matches, we know eight of our last 16 - Tottenham, Schalke, Man Utd and Barcelona through as group winners, Inter Milan, Lyon, Valencia and FC Copenhagen (the first Danish side to ever do so) through as runners-up. We know five of the others - Bayern, Chelsea, Marseille, Real Madrid and AC Milan - the final places up for grabs between Roma, Basle, Shakhtar, Arsenal and Braga. What a night tomorrow promises to be huh?

James, Watford via text: "I'd love to see Spurs beat both Milan sides this tournament."

The Adventures on 606: "RE: ivaneustace on Twitter - I doubt Rafa will be manager of Inter by the time the draw is made, never mind when the match is played!"

GOALFLASH Leyton Orient 5-2 Droylsden (Tehoue)

GOALFLASH Leyton Orient 4-2 Droylsden (McGleish)

GOALFLASH Leyton Orient 3-2 Droylsden (M'Poku)

2156: Meanwhile, the goals have been rolling in at Brisbane Road... for the hosts...

2155: Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson: "We played some good football and missed some chances - and our young defence showed their inexperience at times - but their keeper had a golden day. We should have scored a few tonight. Michael Carrick should've done better on the goal but otherwise he was fantastic, and Wayne Rooney certainly showed tonight he is getting back to his best - his movement was first class, his work-rate, his passing... As for the next round, you get what you get."

ivaneustace on Twitter: "Man I hope that Rafael Benitez's Inter draw Real Madrid. It would be Jose Mourinho at his best."

2145: The draw for the last 16, by the way, is on 17 December. Barring a strange result or two tomorrow, the likely teams that could be paired with Man Utd or Tottenham are Lyon, FC Copenhagen, Roma, Marseille, AC Milan - and Inter or Valencia. Anything catch your eye there folks?

FA Cup Al: "Crawley fight back to equalise and take League One side Swindon to extra time in their FA Cup second-round replay, while non-league Droylsden are also into extra-time against 10-man Leyton Orient after the league side equalised in the second half to wipe out a 2-0 lead. You can follow the Swindon v Crawley match on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra."

2143: Manager reaction hopefully coming up, by the way - it'll be interesting to hear if Harry Redknapp critiques referee Carlos Carballo's performance in the FC Twente-Tottenham match. Some of the Spaniard's decisions this evening were nothing short of downright bizarre. Not that Spurs care too much now, I'd wager.

aldershot_ali on 606: "Extraordinary team selection from [Inter Milan boss Rafael] Benitez. You pick an under-strength team when you still legitimately have claims to win the group? Absolute madness."

2140: It wasn't plain sailing, then, but both Manchester United and Tottenham get the results they need to secure top spot and progress to the knockout stages as group winners. A terrific night for those two. Rangers, meanwhile, emerge from their match with Bursaspor with a draw - a fair result given the hosts' late rally.

2138: GOALFLASH FC Copenhagen 3-1 P'naikos (Kante)

2136: GOALFLASH Leyton Orient 2-2 Droylsden (Tehoue)

Full time
2136: FULL-TIME Man Utd 1-1 Valencia

2135: It's not exactly a rally from Valencia at Old Trafford, but they do have possession deep in the United half. Surely there's not time for a shock winner...?

Full time
2135: FULL-TIME FC Twente 3-3 Tottenham

2134: FULL-TIME Bursaspor 1-1 Rangers

2132: We'll have three minutes stoppage time in each of the matches involving Man Utd, Rangers and Tottenham.

2131: GOALFLASH Lyon 2-2 Hapoel Tel-Aviv (Lazazette)

2130: GOALFLASH Benfica 1-2 Schalke (Luisao)

2130: GOALFLASH Werder 3-0 Inter (Pizarro)

petetongismydad on Twitter: "RE alexlekzaw (below)- sour Grapes? We'll just score more than the other team, its not like we can't."

2128: Another injury for Tottenham - their treatment room is busier than a rush-hour tube at the moment - as Niko Kranjcar limps off to be replaced by Peter Crouch.

2127: GOALFLASH Barcelona 2-0 Rubin Kazan (Vazquez)

2126: So close to a Bursaspor second, Sercan Yildirim dancing around two players into the box but then - inexplicably with just the keeper to beat - he scuffs it and Gers keeper Allan McGregor gratefully collects.

2125: Into the last 10 minutes at Old Trafford and Valencia are starting to press for what could be an all-important second. Still nice and open, but United would surely settle for a draw right now?

2124: GOALFLASH Benfica 0-2 Schalke (Howedes)

2123: GOALFLASH Leyton Orient 1-2 Droylsden (Chorley pen)

2122: Tottenham almost retake the lead when Twente defender Douglas diverts Gareth's Bale's left-wing cross towards his own goal, but Sander Boschker reacts brilliantly to keep his side on level terms.

2121: GOALFLASH Swindon 2-2 Crawley (Smith og)

Bursaspor goal: It's been coming. Rangers lose the ball in attack and the hosts break, and when the cross comes in from the left it beats both David Weir and Steven Whittaker, allowing Sercan Yildirim to control and finish.

2119: GOALFLASH Bursaspor 1-1 Rangers (Yildirim)

2119: GOALFLASH FC Copenhagen 3-0 P'naikos (Cisse og)

2118: Bursaspor threaten again in Turkey and Rangers are grateful to Steven Whittaker's fine goalline clearance after a goalmouth scramble.

alexlekzaw on Twitter: "Tottenham are too leaky at the back to progress past the last 16, it will cost them over the two-legged games."

2115: Decent effort for Bursaspor against Rangers, Federico Insua curling a 20-yard free-kick inches past the post with Gers keeper Allan McGregor stood motionless.

2113: GOALFLASH Lyon 1-2 Hapoel Tel-Aviv (Zahavi)

2112: Apparently, Tottenham have set a new Champions League record tonight of scoring two or more goals in every match of the group stages. In an effort to add to their tally tonight, Robbie Keane is going to get a run-out in place of Roman Pavlyuchenko.

2110: FC Twente so close to a fourth, but Tottenham keeper Heurelho Gomes pulls a save out of the very top drawer to tip Wout Brama's 22-yard curler around the post.

2109: Another chance comes for Man Utd and another chance is wasted, Dimitar Berbatov seeing his side-footed effort from 16 yards out palmed away after the Bulgarian forced his way in behind the Valencia defence.

2109: In the Bursaspor-Rangers match, James Beattie has returned from a troublesome hip injury to take the place of Rangers goalscorer Kenny Miller - and within a few minutes is booked for a tame challenge on Bekir Has.

2108: GOALFLASH Lyon 1-1 Hapoel Tel-Aviv (Sahar)

2106: GOALFLASH Lyon 1-0 Hapoel Tel-Aviv (Lopez)

FC Twente goal: Referee Carlos Carballo, who has been making odd decisions all night, gives Twente a questionable free-kick 25 yards out - and Nacer Chadli takes the opportunity to whip it into the corner. What a game.

2105: GOALFLASH FC Twente 3-3 Tottenham (Chadli)

Man Utd goal: And score - finally - they do. Anderson is the goalscorer, the Brazilian on hand to prod in after keeper Vicente Guaita can only parry Ji-Sung Park's stinging long-ranger. Man Utd back on top of Group C.

2104: GOALFLASH Man Utd 1-1 Valencia (Anderson)

2103: Man Utd continue to knock on the door at Old Trafford and Wayne Rooney has just fired wide on the turn. They have to score, lest we forget.

2102: GOALFLASH Leyton Orient 0-2 Droylsden (Brown)

2101: This is the fifth Champions League match on the trot that Tottenham have scored three or more goals, by the way. Blimey.

Tottenham goal: Tottenham - Europe's great entertainers - are back in front. Wilson Palacios robs Theo Janssen and bursts through on goal and when his shot is saved, Jermain Defoe is on hand to prod home.

2100: GOALFLASH FC Twente 2-3 Tottenham (Defoe)

2058: The ball is in the net at Old Trafford, Dimitar Berbatov volleying in from 12 yards - but the Bulgarian was narrowly offside and the 'goal' won't stand. That FC Twente goal below, by the way, was actually scored by Roberto Rosales, not Marc Janko. Refresh and all will be in order.

FC Twente goal: We're back all square in Holland, Theo Janssen's pin-point cross met with a bullet header from Roberto Rosales that flies into the corner.

2056: GOALFLASH FC Twente 2-2 Tottenham (Rosales)

2055: GOALFLASH Barcelona 1-0 Rubin Kazan (Fontas)

2054: GOALFLASH FC Copenhagen 2-0 P'naikos (Gronkjaer pen)

2054: As Keir Murray reports on the Bursaspor-Rangers match, the hosts have failed to truly test keeper Allan McGregor yet for all their slick passing. What will Smith have told his players in the changing room at the Ataturk Stadium? Do it for the co-efficient or win it for the lovely stash of Euros that would cut the club debts? Either way, the visitors still in control.

2052: Man Utd are once again on top at Old Trafford - but they still haven't slipped their shooting boots on, Dimitar Berbatov heading a Wayne Rooney cross wide when well-placed. Meanwhile, Rio Ferdinand is forced off with a slight knock, Chris Smalling coming on to replace him.

2051: What a couple of minutes for Spurs. They are cruising into the knockout stages as group winners as it stands.

2051: GOALFLASH Werder 2-0 Inter (Arnautovic)

2049: By the way, that was Jermain Defoe's first goal since August - but it was all down to that cracking lay-off by ickle Aaron Lennon. Can Spurs hold on this time?

Tottenham goal: Perfect start to the half for Tottenham and a super goal. FC Twente fail to clear Gareth Bale's cross and Aaron Lennon's sublime reverse pass finds Jermain Defoe unmarked in the box and the striker lashes in from 10 yards out.

2048: GOALFLASH FC Twente 1-2 Tottenham (Defoe)

2047: And now at Old Trafford as well.

2046: Back up and running in the matches involved Rangers and Tottenham.

Littlejimashes on Twitter: "RE: Hippo on toast - What are you talking about?? I would love the chance to take on the big boys!! Bring it on!"

FA Cup Al: "Half-time now at Swindon and the League One side are still leading Crawley 2-1 but are down to 10 men after Jonathan Douglas was sent off for serious foul play in injury time."

2041: Staying with Tottenham, by the way, opinion seems to be split over that penalty decision given against Benoit Assou-Ekotto. I'm sticking with my feeling that it was harsh with the Cameroon defender protecting his face, but by the letter of the law I guess it had to be given. He should've just worn it in the mush at the end of the day.

jokerman1968 on Twitter: "Reckon the Twente penalty was retaken for encroachment, although the run-up was dodgy both times."
Good shout that mate, looks like you're right looking at the replays.

Half time
2037: HALF-TIME FC Twente 1-1 Tottenham
David Ornstein's HT snap-shot:
"Honours even at a freezing De Grolsch Veste after a topsy-turvy half, but the more important goal this half might actually have come from Werder..."

Half time
2036: HALF-TIME Bursaspor 0-1 Rangers
Keir Murray's HT snap-shot:
"It could scarcely have gone MORE according to plan for wily Walter Smith and Rangers, could it?"

Half time
2035: HALF-TIME Man Utd 0-1 Valencia
Mandeep Sanghera's HT snap-shot:
"Man Utd have created plenty of chances but, after being caught out at the back, they go into the break a goal down. Valencia lead Group C..."

FA Cup Al: "Conference North side Droylsden are on course for an FA Cup upset and a place in the third round. The Bloods, yes the Bloods, are leading Leyton Orient thanks to Ciaran Kilheeney's sixth-minute goal, while their League One hosts are down to 10 men after Terrell Forbes was sent off. Swindon are 2-1 up on Crawley thanks to goals from Jon-Paul McGovern and the prolific Charlie Austin after Crawley had taken a shock lead."

hippo on toast on 606: "If United lose here that is the Champions League season as good as over. This is a terrible situation at the moment."

2032: GOALFLASH Swindon 2-1 Crawley (Austin)

2031: And that's the last action of the half in Holland. Half-time at Old Trafford, too.

2031: Great movement from Jermain Defoe, the Tottenham striker getting ahead of his defender well to volley Gareth Bale's cross at goal but it flies over the upright.

2030: There's the half-time whistle at Bursaspor.

2028: Lovely break down the left for Spurs by Gareth Bale and the Welshman's cross looks to be heading towards the unmarked Jermain Defoe, only for Twente keeper Sander Boschker to get out and punch away.

2027: In Turkey, Rangers continue to look nice and comfortable, Walter Smith's side defending well when they need to and always looking a threat on the break. Bursaspor not really threatening.

2026: That could prove a massive goal for Tottenham, of course, with the Londoners needing to match or better Inter Milan's result to win Group A. As it stands, Harry Redknapp's men go through as group winners.

2025: GOALFLASH Werder 1-0 Inter (Prodl)


Someone has struck the woodwork
2020: Is it going to be one of those nights for Man Utd? Wayne Rooney curls in a fabulous effort from 22 yards that beats keeper Vicente Guaita all ends up only to crash back off the crossbar and Nani swipes the rebound wide.

2019: Not only is that the first goal Manchester United have conceded in this season's Champions League, the goal also means Valencia will win the group as it stands. Massive.

Valencia goal: Man Utd made to pay for their wastefulness. Moments after Ji-Sung Park has a steered volley saved at point-blank range, Michael Carrick loses possession cheaply and the visitors burst forward on the break, Alejandro Dominguez sliding in Pablo Hernandez to side-foot past keeper Ben Amos.

2017: GOALFLASH Man Utd 0-1 Valencia (Hernandez)

Yellow card
2016: Looks like Jermaine Jenas - risked tonight with a calf injury - is going to be forced off, Aaron Lennon to replace him. Bizarrely, the referee books him for time-wasting, and that means he is ruled out of Tottenham's next Champions League match.

2013: GOALFLASH FC Copenhagen 1-0 P'naikos (Vingaard)

2012: An element of redemption for FC Twente keeper Sander Boschker as he throws himself to his left to tip Roman Pavlyuchenko's curling long-ranger around the post.

2011: GOALFLASH Swindon 1-1 Crawley (McGovern)

2009: Anderson slides Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov through on goal and he tries to round Valencia keeper Vicente Guaita but has the ball palmed away from his feet by the visitors' stopper. Plenty of chances for Man Utd so far, but none taken yet.

Rangers goal: Steven Whittaker goes on a mazy run and crosses from the left for Kenny Miller to drill home an unstoppable shot home from 15 yards with his left foot high into the net. Great finish, but the 16th goal Bursaspor have conceded in the Champions League this season.

FC Twente goal: It's harsh if you ask me, handball given against Benoit Assou-Ekotto as he raises his arm to elbow Roberto Rosales's fierce drive. By the letter of the law it's correct, but the Spurs man was merely protecting his face. Still, Denny Landzaat steps up to convert - twice, after his first was ruled out for a stuttered run-up.

2007: GOALFLASH Swindon 0-1 Crawley (Smith)

2006: GOALFLASH Benfica 0-1 Schalke (Jurado)

2006: GOALFLASH FC Twente 1-1 Tottenham (Landzaat pen)


2004: GOALFLASH Bursaspor 0-1 Rangers (Miller)

Someone has struck the woodwork
2002: Even closer for Valencia, Alejandro Dominguez popping up on the other side of the pitch this time and pinging in a shot that crashes back off the foot of Ben Amos's near post. Open stuff at Old Trafford.

2001: And there's a settler for United keeper Ben Amos, the youngster saving well at his near post from Alejandro Dominguez's dipping right-foot long-ranger.

1959: Neat inter-play between Wayne Rooney and Anderson, exchanging passes to set the latter through on goal, but Anderson's shot is far too tame and Valencia keeper Vicente Guaita saves. Should have done better.

SoccerDotTel on Twitter: "Unbelievable. Absolutely unbelievable."

Tottenham goal: Stick that on your Christmas Blooper DVD. It's simply awful. Peter Wisgerhof's backpass is tamer than tame but FC Twente keeper Sander Boschker, on his Champions League debut in his 21st season at the club, swipes recklessly at it, misses, and watches on in agony as it trickles in.

1956: GOALFLASH FC Twente 0-1 Tottenham (Wisgerhof og)

1955: Valencia looking dangerous on the counter-attack in these opening stages, though, and Ricardo Costa heads wide at the back post when perhaps he could have done better.

1953: Early free-kick chance for FC Twente's set-piece specialist Theo Janssen, but he drills it over from 25 yards. Spurs won't want to give him too many opportunities, I tell you.

1952: GOALFLASH Leyton Orient 0-1 Droylsden (Kilheeney)

1950: An early chance for Man Utd, too, Nani firing in a snap-shot from just outside the area narrowly wide. It's been a decent start for United at Old Trafford.

1949: But it takes a fine save on the stretch to keep Tottenham level as Luuk de Jong heads down for Wout Brama to snap in a shot from 18 yards, Heurelho Gomes getting across well to save.

1948: Competitive start in Enschede, with both FC Twente and Tottenham flying into tackles and looking to set a high tempo early doors. Good energy about the visitors, in particular.

1946: Bursaspor, by the way, are wearing their green and white hooped jerseys. And they enjoyed a pre-match Celtic-like huddle too. Hhmm, tactics designed to distract the Rangers players?

1945: And we're up and running.

1944: Not Ibrox, of course, Bursaspor.

1943: The players are out and about at Old Trafford, Bursaspor and Enschede and we're moments away.

Football_UK on 606: "It's a statement of the Premier League's quality when all four English teams end the round top in their groups. Let's hope it's the start tonight."

1939: Man Utd Sir Alex Ferguson: "Patrice Evra has an injury and we decided last week that (keeper) Ben Amos would play in this match. It's a big responsibility and onus on the boy, but he has got decent composure and is a calm lad. We want to see the players enjoy themselves."

1937: Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp: "Luka Modric has had the flu - he travelled but couldn't train yesterday and has been feeling rough. And Aaron Lennon got a kick on his Achilles yesterday so I wasn't going to take a risk on him. I've changed it around, freshened things up a little bit. We've got a busy time coming up with lots of games and good players who need games."

TascheyDelBosque on 606: "Wally Smith is not gonna be outdone by Fergie on giving youth it's chance. Great to see Hutton again in the Champions League and Darren Cole will be interesting to see. Seems Smith is going to leave some strong foundations for his successor."

Anon via text: "How strong is the Spurs squad now? No King, Woodgate, Modric, Van der Vaart or Huddlestone (all first XI starters when fit) but the bench still looks very very strong!"

Moobabe on 606: "Valencia showed no ambition against Madrid at the weekend, even before they were a man down. If they play like that again tonight I can see United putting 3 or more passed them."

Mandeep Sanghera reports:
"Manchester United can become the first team to go through a Champions League group stage without conceding a goal if they keep out Valencia at Old Trafford. United's game against Blackpool was called off last Saturday meaning most of United's first-teamers have been out of action for 10 days - no surprise, then, Sir Alex Ferguson opts for a strong XI, even with the visit of Arsenal looming on Monday. Valencia need a win to top Group C but do they have the quality to earn the three points?"

Keir Murray reports:
"Rangers are looking to hand manager Walter Smith a win in his final Champions League match before he leaves the club at the end of the season. Third spot may already be guaranteed but there's still plenty to play for for the Ibrox side - a win in Turkey would help them to claim a seeded spot in the last 32 of the Europa League in the new year. And, of course, three points would boost Scotland's struggling Uefa co-efficient. Game on, then."

Dave on 606: "While Rangers' game in Turkey tonight seems fairly pointless, there are a few things at stake. Prize money, for example - 800.000 euros (or something like that) would certainly aid our financial plight - while a win is definitely needed for us to have any chance of being seeded for the last 32 of the Europa League. All in all, a fairly big night for us."
Couldn't have put it better myself, mate.

1928: And some interesting team news from elsewhere tonight - Lionel Messi, Carles Puyol, Andres Iniesta and Eric Abidal are all on the bench for Barcelona v Rubin Kazan. Best subs bench ever?

1927: By the way, tonight's match is the 150th in a row that Sir Alex Ferguson has changed his starting XI for Manchester United. Yep, seriously. And you all thought Claudio Ranieri was the tinkerman...

David Ornstein reports:
"When Tottenham were 3-0 down after 28 minutes of their Champions League play-off against Young Boys in August, who could have predicted that less than four months later they'd be celebrating their passage to the knockout stage with a match to spare? Hoping to round off an unforgettable Group A campaign with a first away win at this level since 1961, Spurs face an FC Twente side flying high in the Dutch league and hungry to avenge their 4-1 defeat in the reverse fixture with a maiden victory against English opposition."

Zippy_George and Bungle on 606: "Delighted that the Brazilian twins are starting, as well as Anderson. United are clearly going for an attacking approach against Valencia's rugged but slow back line."

Mandeep Sanghera reports:
"It's a big night for 20-year-old keeper Ben Amos as he takes his place in the Manchester United goal with Edwin van der Sar missing out and Tomasz Kuszczak on the bench. Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov start in United's attack, while Fabio Da Silva replaces Patrice Evra at left-back. Midfielder Paul Scholes remains sidelined with a groin problem. Valencia make seven changes from the defeat by Real Madrid last Saturday."

Keir Murray reports:
"So Walter Smith hands 18-year-old defender Darren Cole his debut for Rangers' match against Bursaspor in the Scots' final Champions League Group C match - he will start at right-back, with David Weir, Steven Whittaker and Madjid Bougherra in central defence and Ricky Foster at left-back. Another youngster, Kyle Hutton, will partner Lee McCulloch in midfield, with Steven Davis and Steven Naismith out wide. Kenny Miller is the lone striker."

halcyonmind9 on Twitter: "Hey Sam, my octopus (named Manas) has just predicted that Valencia will win tonight... You heard it here first..."

Ozkan, Keceli, Aziz, Stepanov, Wederson, Has, Cimsir, Yildirim, Insua, Ipek, Nunez. Subs: Ivankov, Erdogan, Kirita, Batalla, Bahadir, Ergic, Odabasi.
Rangers: McGregor, Foster, Bougherra, Weir, Whittaker, Cole, Naismith, Hutton, McCulloch, Davis, Miller. Subs: Alexander, Fleck, Beattie, Weiss, McMillan, Perry, Wylde.
Referee: Tony Chapron (France)

1914: As an add-on to that, let me highlight this nugget from Infostrada Sports ... Twente keeper Sander Boschker becomes the second oldest debutant ever in the Champions League, making his bow aged 40 years and 48 days. The oldest debutant is Tasos Mitropoulos, who represented Olympiakos in his only CL appearance on 10 December 1997 at the age of 40 years and 109 days old.

David Ornstein reports:
"With qualification to the knockout stage already in the bag and a crucial meeting against Chelsea to come on Sunday, Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp makes four changes to the side that drew at Birmingham last weekend. Vedran Corluka plays his first club match since September in place of Alan Hutton at right-back, Niko Kranjcar is given a rare start ahead of Aaron Lennon, a fit-again Jermaine Jenas replaces the unwell Luka Modric in central midfield and Roman Pavlyuchenko is preferred to Peter Crouch up front. FC Twente coach Michel Preud'homme hands a group-stage debut to 40-year-old keeper Sander Boschker while Theo Janssen, who scored both goals in the Dutch champions' 2-0 victory over De Graafschap on Saturday, starts on the left of a three-man midfield."

Evered7 on 606: "Can't really do anything when Sir Alex decides to play a third-choice goalie on a 'must draw/win' Champions league night like this. I have finished off the nails on one hand and saving the rest for the game to start!!!"

1908: By the way, don't just take my word for the fact both Man Utd and Tottenham will be desperate to ensure they finish top of their groups tonight, here it is from the horses' mouths... "It's [teams like] Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or Barcelona otherwise, so you want to finish top and avoid them," said Spurs boss Harry Redknapp. "You would certainly have a better chance of getting someone [less difficult] and progressing. Inter will want to win; Twente will want to beat us, for sure, and we want to finish top if we can, so there is a lot to play for. And Man Utd manager Sir Alex Ferguson admitted: "The sensible approach is to avoid the bigger hitters like Real Madrid and Barcelona and Bayern Munich, they are the teams that are number one in their groups at the moment. We can only do that if we finish top of our group and that's what we want to do."

alexedwards07 on Twitter: "Blimey! Fergie really isn't holding back is he? Glad to see Amos in - hope United can wrap it up nice and early tonight!"

FA Cup Al: "It's two FA Cup second round replays tonight, with non-league sides Crawley and Droylsden seeking to upset League One opposition. Crawley, league leaders in the Blue Square Bet Premier, travel to Swindon with a home third-round tie against Derby the prize for the winners. Conference North side Droylsden take on Leyton Orient for the right to play Norwich at Carrow Road. The Swindon v Crawley match is live on Radio 5 live sports extra by the way."

1904: As well as the Champions League tonight, of course, there's also a couple of FA Cup ties going on. Our man Al will bring you the latest from those. Starting with this...

Man Utd:
Amos, Rafael Da Silva, Ferdinand, Vidic, Fabio Da Silva, Nani, Carrick, Anderson, Park, Berbatov, Rooney. Subs: Kuszczak, Giggs, Smalling, Hernandez, Fletcher, Obertan, Macheda.
Valencia: Guaita, Miguel, Ricardo Costa, Dealbert, Mathieu, Pablo, Banega, Albelda, Jordi Alba, Dominguez, Aduriz. Subs: Cesar, Maduro, Soldado, Mata, Feghouli, Costa, Isco.
Referee: Pedro Proenca (Portugal)

Ian, Macclesfield via text: "Great to see that Amos is getting his first European game. I used to sit next to him in History back at school!"

BigEggo on 606: "Hopefully the English teams can finish up top of their groups tonight - save Barca, Madrid and Bayern for later in the competition. Delish!"

FC Twente:
Boschker, Rosales, Wisgerhof, Franco, Tiendalli, Brama, Landzaat, Janssen, de Jong, Janko, Chadli. Subs: Mihailov, Bengtsson, Parker, Buysse, Vujicevic, Leugers, John.
Tottenham: Gomes, Corluka, Gallas, Bassong, Assou-Ekotto, Kranjcar, Jenas, Palacios, Bale, Pavlyuchenko, Defoe. Subs: Cudicini, Hutton, Lennon, Keane, Crouch, Giovani, Dawson.
Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo (Spain)

skguy7 on Twitter: "Just leaving the pub with the lads heading to Old Trafford - damn it's cold! Come on you Reds!"

Moon on 606: "People said Spurs would be embarrassed in this competition by now... guess we won't be hearing anymore from those fools."

1855: So, basically, it could be a big one. And that is why I humbly request your company. Tweet me @sampatricklyon, text me via 81111 or get on 606 and lend me your thoughts on all things footy.

Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov start in a strong Man Utd starting XI against Valencia, with youngster Ben Amos in for keeper Edwin van der Sar.

Group A:
and Inter Milan are already through. Spurs, away at Twente, need to match or better Inter Milan's result at home to Werder Bremen to top the group. FC Twente are guaranteed third.
Group B: Schalke and Lyon are through, while Hapoel and Benfica are left to battle it out for third and the Europa League place.
Group C: Man Utd and Valencia are already through, and a point sees United seal top spot. Rangers are guaranteed third.
Group D: Barcelona are through as group winners. Rubin, away at Barca, need to better Copenhagen's result at home to Panathinaikos to go through, otherwise it's the Europa League for them.

Vedran Corluka, Niko Kranjcar and Jermaine Jenas start for Tottenham against FC Twente in Enschede, with Aaron Lennon benched and Luka Modric ruled out because of flu.

1848: Yep, Manchester United and Tottenham may have already guaranteed their qualification from the group stages, but in many ways the hard work is only just beginning for them. While neither would be able to draw Premier League rivals Chelsea - the other team to have already won their group - in the next round on grounds of nationality, a slip-up tonight could mean the difference between a potentially winnable last-16 tie and a potentially Herculean one. No danger of either side letting their foot off the pedal tonight... surely?

1845: Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid. Three teams already through to the knockout stages of the Champions League as group winners - and three teams any side in the world would surely rather avoid in the draw for the last 16. Plenty, then, hangings on tonight's matches for Manchester United and Tottenham.

Print Sponsor

Champions League results

7 Dec 2010 23:59 UK

Champ Lge Group A table snapshot

As it stood on 7 Dec 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Tottenham 6 7 11
2 Inter Milan 6 1 10
3 FC Twente 6 -2 6
4 Werder Bremen 6 -6 5

Champ Lge Group B table snapshot

As it stood on 7 Dec 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Schalke 04 6 7 13
2 Lyon 6 1 10
3 Benfica 6 -5 6
4 Hapoel Tel-Aviv 6 -3 5

Champ Lge Group C table snapshot

As it stood on 7 Dec 2010 23:59 UK

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

Champ Lge Group D table snapshot

As it stood on 7 Dec 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Barcelona 6 11 14
2 FC Copenhagen 6 2 10
3 Rubin Kazan 6 -2 6
4 Panathinaikos 6 -11 2

Champ Lge Group E table snapshot

As it stood on 7 Dec 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 7 Dec 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 7 Dec 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 7 Dec 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's football photos
07 Dec 10 |  Cricket

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