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Page last updated at 22:38 GMT, Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Wednesday football as it happened


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By Chris Bevan

2238: And that's all I've got time for I'm afraid. Congratulations to Spurs, and to Schalke, and thanks to you lot for your banter too. Still more European football to come this week, though, so remember to join Jonathan Stevenson on Thursday for Europa League ties including Braga versus Liverpool and Dynamo Kiev against Manchester City. Enjoy, and see you on Saturday. Cheerio.

2233: Hmmm, I'm sure Tottenham fans will be reminding their Arsenal counterparts of that date over the next week or so... I think the only time the Gunners might start piping up is if Spurs draw Barca - which would be one heck of a game by the way!

2230: By the way, the draw for the Champions League quarter-finals is on Friday 18 March, after those remaining last-16 matches are played of course.

2228: Everton also had a key player go off injured early in their game tonight but, as with David Bentley, there is not much news on Mikel Arteta yet. Toffees boss David Moyes says: "You could see it was a hamstring injury, but I haven't spoken to the medical team so I don't know how serious it is."

FULL-TIME Everton 1-1 Birmingham
Saj Chowdhury reports: "It's fair to say that those who witnessed this game won't be seeking a DVD copy, but at least they saw a wonderful goal and referee Peter Walton brandish an invisible card. That was worth the entry money alone."

FULL-TIME Schalke 04 3-1 Valencia (agg 4-2)
Dan Warren reports: "Valencia looked set fair to reach the last eight until Jefferson Farfan's fab free-kick levelled the game just before the break. After that it was even, but Schalke took their chances, Valencia didn't and the German side - far from safe from Bundesliga relegation - are in the last eight of the Champions League."

FULL-TIME Tottenham 0-0 AC Milan (agg 1-0)
Chief football writer Phil McNulty reports from White Hart Lane: "White Hart Lane is awash with jubilation as Tottenham overcome AC Milan to reach the Champions League quarter-finals. It was tense, nervous but ultimately triumphant as Harry Redknapp's side succeed where Arsenal failed. Chants of "Are You Watching Arsenal?" inevitably ring out."

2226: We know what Spurs fans made of it, but here's how our reporters saw the night's action...

JamesDuffin1 on Twitter: "Hardly a glory glory night but itll do. Whisper it quietly, the year ends in a 1. Sandro was easily Man of the Match, but brilliant all round."

Hmmm, I wonder what, just for example, Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola would say if someone told him Spurs' chances of winning the Champions League are increased because the year ends in a one!?!

From Steve in Milton Keynes, via text: "Re 2215. Schalke04 if that's ok with you!?"

From Shabbar in Croydon, via text: "Re 2215. Spurs v Marseille in the quarter finals! Heard it here first! Come on you Spurs!"

Superspursman on Twitter: "How about a Neu Campers v Newcomers final. The Champions League deserves it. One name tonight - Sandro!!"

JoshTumbridge on Twitter: "As a Spurs fan who lives in Spain with an Italian family who support AC Milan, the glee is almost to handle! Bring on Barca!"

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish on the injury David Bentley sustained early on in his side's draw at Goodison Park: "Bentley seemed to pick up a strain but I'm not sure how long he'll be out for."

2215: Further to 2144, either Chelsea or Copenhagen, Manchester United or Marseille, Inter Milan or Bayern Munich and Real Madrid or Lyon will make up the rest of the Champions League quarter-final line-up. Who do you fancy, Spurs fans?

From Alex in Edgware, via text: "Sandro was the best player on the pitch. Superb defending, joined the attack when he had to. Brazilian beauty! Man of the match for me this evening."

BBC Radio 5 live pundit David Pleat at White Hart Lane: "Sandro really came of age for Tottenham tonight - he looks likely to succeed Wilson Palacios in that midfield enforcer's role. He protected the back four very well, particularly from the trickery of Zlatan Ibrahimovic around the box."

2208: The point that Birmingham picked up tonight is enough to lift them out of the Premier League relegation zone, with the Blues climbing above West Ham on goal difference. It remains too tight to call at the bottom, though - Everton are ninth, still just six points above them.

simon_little on Twitter: "Come On You Spurs! Welcome to the quarter-finals lads, I'm sure your neighbours are delighted for you!"

To be fair to Arsenal fans, the ones who have got in touch have actually been congratulating Spurs for succeeding where they failed, and reaching the last eight. That might be because they are expecting quite a lot of goading over the next few weeks, though...

MHasanSikder on Twitter: "it wouldn't surprise me if Tottenham got to the final of the Champions League. The confidence and conviction they are playing with is amazing"

From Mark, via text: "I live in Milan I just want to run into the city centre in my Spurs shirt! Can't wait to see the Milan fans at school tomorrow! Can't believe it! Come On You Spurs!"

Hmmm, I wouldn't advise doing that Mark - maybe just run around your living room for a bit instead.

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp, the first English manager to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League, on his side's win over AC Milan: "It's a great night for everybody. I'm delighted. It was hard work as they are a good side. We worked our socks off and stayed with them - we got outnumbered in the middle of the park. I enjoyed the occasion but I can't say I enjoyed the 90 minutes. You are looking at the clock and just wanting the 90 minutes to be up. Who do they want next? Barcelona are the team you don't want to play at the moment but it's just great to be in the last eight."

Full time
2154: FULL-TIME Everton 1-1 Birmingham

2151: Everton do have a free-kick now, but it is in their own half. Leighton Baines hoists it forward but Roger Johnson clears. Everton are quickly back on the attack and it is Baines, again, who sends in the cross... but it is far too deep.

2150: Leon Osman goes down under a challenge from Lee Bowyer on the edge of the Birmingham box but Peter Walton gives nothing. Looked a foul to me, but Bowyer signalled it was a dive.

2150: There will be three minutes of stoppage time at Goodison Park. David Moyes is on his feet and waving his players forward.

2149: Leighton Baines stands over a free-kick for Everton... but blasts it straight into the Birmingham wall.

andyradier on Twitter: "Congratulations to Spurs. Even though Milan aren't as potent as they once were, that was top class defending."

2146: It's still all Everton, and they are camped in the Birmingham half. Blues keeper Ben Foster is taking his time over every clearance... because the ball keeps heading straight back in his direction. Time is running out for the Toffees to find a winner, though.

From anon via text: "I hope Sandro gets the recognition he deserves for tonight, he's been outstanding."

2144: It was tough, tight and tense... but Tottenham go through, showing (as they did at the San Siro) that they can defend as well as they attack when they want to. Sandro was absolutely top-drawer too. They join Barcelona, Schalke and Shakhtar Donetsk as the teams to have progressed to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

BBC Radio 5 live pundit David Pleat at White Hart Lane: "Tottenham resisted with determination, discipline and they stretched Milan in the second half. Milan were very good in first half, but they just couldn't find the extra yard around Gomes's goal. Spurs have now played Milan twice, the probable champions of Italy, and it says everything about Harry Redknapp and his group of players that they have not been beaten."

2140: About 10 minutes left at Goodison Park, where Birmingham are under a LOT of pressure. Still 1-1 in that one though.

2139: FULL-TIME Schalke 04 3-1 Valencia (agg 4-2)

Schalke goal: Game over. With Valencia pushing forward for the goal they needed, huge gaps open up in the defence. Jefferson Farfan runs clear and produces a cheeky chip into the net to seal the win.

2137: GOALFLASH Schalke 04 3-1 Valencia (Farfan) (agg 4-2)

Tottenham striker Peter Crouch on his side's win over AC Milan: "It's a huge night for us. We defended magnificently - we had to dig in and defend from the front and I think we deserved it over the two legs."


Full time
2134: FULL-TIME Tottenham 0-0 AC Milan (agg 1-0)

2133: To the relief of every Spurs fan, referee Frank De Bleeckere awards Tottenham a free-kick when the ball comes over from the resulting corner. Just seconds left now. Sixty to be precise. And Spurs have a corner.

2132: But here come Milan. Clarence Seedorf, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho link up on the edge of the area and the Brazilian's shot is deflected inches over the bar. That was close.

2131: There will be three minutes of stoppage time at White Hart Lane. Aaron Lennon is playing keep-ball in the right-hand corner and has just won a throw-in.

2130: Everton continue to press. Jermaine Beckford twists and turns on the right side of the area but his shot from six yards fails to trouble Birmingham keeper Ben Foster.

2129: Pato tries his luck from long range for Milan but his shot curls high and wide. We are into the final minute of the 90.

2128: Here is Milan's final change too. Mathieu Flamini jogs off (predictably to a chorus of boos) and is replaced by Rodney Strasser. Not enough footballers are called Rodney for my liking.

2127: The ball is at the right end of the pitch from Tottenham's point of view - they have a corner - but wisely they are leaving men back. Milan clear but Tottenham win back possession and play keep-ball for a vital few seconds over by the left touchline.

2126: And a golden chance at Goodison too. Roger Johnson falls over and Everton's Louis Saha runs in on goal from the left, but Jordon Mutch brilliantly blocks the striker's shot.

2125: Should be game over in Gelsenkirchen. Gavranovic takes advantage of a frankly useless tackle from Ricardo Costa and storms towards goal, but his shot is pushed behind.

2124: A chorus of "Come on you Spurs" rings round White Hart Lane as Tottenham's fans try to lift their side - who are being pressed back now. Harry Redknapp is making his final change of the night. Roman Pavlyuchenko is on for Peter Crouch, who has toiled all night for no reward.

Chief football writer Phil McNulty at White Hart Lane: "White Hart Lane is gripped by nerves as the clock keeps ticking. Joe Jordan is imploring the Spurs players to make more use of Gareth Bale as an attacking option and means of retaining possession."

2120: We are into the last 10 minutes of the 90 at White Hart Lane. Still goalless, and Spurs are still ahead on aggregate. This is going to be a very tense last 10 minutes, mind.

2119: My two players of the night so far? Sandro and Clarence Seedorf in midfield for Spurs and Milan. I would love to see a heat map of their movement tonight. Tireless work and lots of crucial tackles too.

2118: Phew, that was close. After a lovely little link-up with Alexander Merkel, Pato slams in a low shot that fizzes an inch wide of Heurelo Gomes's post. The Milan fans at the other end of the ground thought it was in... it very nearly was.

2117: Another Milan substitution. Alexander Merkel is on for Kevin-Prince Boateng. For the sake of my fingers, I hope Sokratis Papastathopoulos stays on their bench tonight.

2116: Claims for a penalty by Aaron Lennon when his cross hits Luca Antonini on the elbow. That would have been harsh, though, because the Milan left-back had it arm behind him and the ball was smashed at him from point-blank range.

2115: The Spurs fans want the ball to be given to Gareth Bale but, when it is, he gives it away - three times in a row. Not quite the impact Harry Redknapp was looking for, so far at least.

chrisscribbles on Twitter: "Not wanting to tempt fate, but is there a more overrated front three than Pato, Ibrahimovic & Robinho? Useless."

Yellow card
2113: Over at Goodison Park, the good news is that referee Peter Walton has remembered his cards for the second half. He has just shown a (real) yellow one to Birmingham's Liam Ridgewell.

2110: More changes at White Hart Lane. First Marek Jankulovski is replaced by Luca Antonini for Milan and now Jermaine Jenas is coming on for Steven Pienaar for Spurs.

2109: Tottenham's turn to attack but Aaron Lennon is forced infield and Luka Modric, who has been quiet tonight, is bundled off it.

2018: Gareth Bale is immediately clattered by you know who (Mathieu Flamini) as they chase a bouncing ball. About 30,000 Spurs fans bay for a second yellow card, but the Milan midfielder escapes another booking.

2107: Right, time for a Spurs change. Gareth Bale is finally coming in, replacing Rafael van der Vaart.

2106: Oh my life. Not sure how Spurs survived this. Rafael van der Vaart gives the ball away at a throw-in and Milan break forward. Pato feeds Robinho and Heurelho Gomes can only push away his low shot, with Spurs defence struggling to clear the loose ball. They eventually do.

2105: Pato also goes into referee Frank De Bleeckere's book when he charges down Rafael van der Vaart's cross from the resulting free-kick.

2105: We are back under way at Goodison Park.

Yellow card
2104: Mathieu Flamini has not exactly been shy with his challenges tonight - some of them pretty dangerous. This time he slides in on Benoit Assou-Ekotto in the left-hand corner and, although he gets a bit of the ball, he also gets enough of the man to earn a booking.

2103: What a chance for Valencia. Artiz Aduriz springs the offside trap and he runs clear on goal - but his effort is brilliantly turned over the bar by Schalke keeper Manuel Neuer.

2102: Right, an hour gone at White Hart Lane where it is still goalless. Spurs still lead 1-0 on aggregate and, as things stand, are in the last eight of the Champions League. Let's not count our chickens just yet, though, because this tie is still very much in the balance.

Chief football writer Phil McNulty at White Hart Lane: "Spurs showing a lot more early in this second half and the crowd inside White Hart Lane are responding. Aaron Lennon is starting to trouble Marek Jankulovski and Gareth Bale's warm-up suggests he could be introduced before too long."

Schalke goal: It's a scruffy goal, but Schalke won't care. Valencia keeper Vicente Guaita flaps at a high cross and Jefferson Farfan stabs it goalwards. It's blocked, but Mario Gavranovic pounces to send it in via the near post. Advantage Germany (it's 3-2 and not 3-1 on aggregate, that was down to my fat fingers) and remember, this one cannot now go to extra-time.

2057: Spurs threaten again, with an almost identical move. This time Aaron Lennon fires over the cross on the run and Clarence Seedorf has to react quickly to hack clear as Luka Modric runs in to meet another Peter Crouch knockdown.

From Luke G, via text: "It took him a while to get into the side, but Sandro really looks the part lately. Been very impressive tonight so far in the defensive midfield role."

2056: GOALFLASH Schalke 04 2-1 Valencia (Gavranovic) (agg 3-2)

2055: Peter Crouch is still the target for high balls by Tottenham but they are having a lot more joy with that tactic of late. This time Rafael van der Vaart lifts in a cross from the right and Crouch nods the ball down for the onrushing Sandro who, sadly for Spurs, fouls a defender as he tries unsuccessfully to reach it.

2053: Tottenham have come out for the second half with a lot more attacking purpose but they are going to have to be careful here. Ignazio Abate is still getting well forward down the right for Milan and his cross finds Mathieu Flamini, who sees his shot roll across the face of goal.

Half time
2051: HALF-TIME Everton 1-1 Birmingham
Saj Chowdhury's HT snapshot: "I could talk about the goals, I could discuss the injuries to Mikel Arteta and David Bentley, but the major talking point was referee Peter Walton showing Birmingham's Jordon Mutch an invisible yellow card. My highlight of the season so far."

Yellow card
2049: Milan respond by sweeping forward but Tottenham counter-attack quickly through Aaron Lennon, who is sent tumbling by Marek Jankulovski on the halfway line. That's a booking for referee Frank De Bleeckere to dish out, and a deserved one.

2048: The second half has started at the Veltins Arena too.

2047: Tottenham's best chance of the night. A lovely ball is floated in from the right by Aaron Lennon and it finds Peter Crouch who has peeled away from his marker at the back post. He should go for goal - and maybe he does - but his header flies back across the face of goal. A real waste, that.

2046: We are back under way at White Hart Lane.

Yellow card
2042: Er, what? Bizarre scenes at Goodsion Park where referee Peter Walton has just mimed the booking of Birmingham midfielder Jordan Mutch. He even went rummaging in his pocket. I think he might have forgotten his cards tonight - that just looked odd though. On the touchline, Everton boss David Moyes looked puzzled too.

craigywaigy85 on Twitter: "Milan have doubled up on Lennon very well. Maybe he would get more joy on the other wing (or maybe it's Bale-time?)."

2040: Everton were good value for their equaliser by the way - they responded well to going behind. David Moyes' men have just gone close again too, with Ben Foster having to dive to keep out a Seamus Coleman header from a delicious Leighton Baines cross.

From David in Devon, via text: "Hilarious Gomes is at it again tonight, his second half performance could be the difference between glory and misery tonight for a battling Spurs."

Everton goal: The Toffees are level, and in style. Leon Osman's corner is cleared as far as Johnny Heitinga on the edge of the box and he fires a rocket of right-foot that flies over a crowd of players (and Lee Bowyer on the line) and into the roof of the net. Unstoppable.

2036: GOALFLASH Everton 1-1 Birmingham (Heitinga)

thisthomas on Twitter: "haven't been used to seeing Spurs BE dominated on European night at White Hart Lane."

2032: HALF-TIME Schalke 04 1-1 Valencia (agg 2-2)
Dan Warren's HT snapshot: "Valencia were bossing things in Germany until Jefferson Farfan's crackerjack of a free-kick - a massive lift for the home crowd and this tie is suddenly totally in the balance."

Half time
2031: HALF-TIME Tottenham 0-0 AC Milan (agg 1-0)
Phil McNulty's HT snapshot from White Hart Lane: "Tottenham really suffered in spells as AC Milan controlled that first half with real intensity, but they still hold the advantage in the tie. Harry Redknapp needs to draw the sting and give the Italians something to think about - something called Gareth Bale maybe."

2030: Just one minute of stoppage time to be played at the end of the first half at White Hart Lane.

2029: Spurs just need to keep hold of the ball and see this half out but they are actually coming forward. Aaron Lennon is having absolutely no joy out on the right, though, because Kevin-Prince Boateng and Marek Jankulovski are doubling up on him out on that flank. I think they might have learned their lesson after what happened at the San Siro.

Schalke goal: Wow. Schalke equalise in spectacular fashion as Jefferson Farfan curls in a superb free-kick from 20 yards, right in the top corner. That was a scorcher of a strike. The crowd spring to life and the tie is all square.

2026: What is not helping Tottenham is the fact that their goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes is having one of those nights where he looks shaky. VERY shaky. He has just flapped at an Ignazio Abate cross, but got enough on the ball to clear his lines.

2025: GOALFLASH Schalke 04 1-1 Valencia (Farfan) (agg 2-2)

2025: Tottenham are not exactly hanging on here, but they are having to work very hard defensively. Five minutes left until the break, and I think Harry Redknapp will be glad to get his side in at the interval.

From Edward in London, via text: "Milan are coming forward as if it's the San Siro. Spurs have got to get hold of the ball and draw the sting out of them."

2023: Tottenham, when they do get forward, are still trying to find Peter Crouch with high balls into the box. No joy from that route so far. Rafael van der Vaart has just had a go at goal himself, from about 30 yards, and got plenty of power behind it... but it zipped into the waiting arms of Christian Abbiati. A routine save.

Birmingham goal: Jordon Mutch dinks the ball from the right to the edge of the Everton six-yard box, where Jean Beausejour beats Tony Hibbert to the header to score for Blues.

BBC Radio 5 live pundit David Pleat at White Hart Lane: "Tottenham have to tuck Steven Pienaar right in and equalise the midfield. At the moment Tottenham must keep the back four up against Milan's front three because of their threat, which means full-backs Vedran Corluka and Benoit Assou-Ekotto cannot attack down the flanks."

Chief football writer Phil McNulty at White Hart Lane: "Harry Redknapp and the Spurs backroom staff are very animated and concerned as they prowl the technical area. AC Milan on top and looking very threatening - and playing with real pace."

2020: No doubt who has had the better of things so far at White Hart Lane - the visitors. They are currently enjoying another long spell of possession, and Spurs have had to drop very deep.

2018: GOALFLASH Everton 0-1 Birmingham (Beausejour)

2017: A neat move by Milan opens up Tottenham, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic finding Pato bursting into the box. He gets a low shot away too but it is dealt with well by Heurelho Gomes.

2015: Better by Tottenham. Rafael van der Vaart bends a 25-yard free-kick over the Milan wall but it does not quite dip under the bar. Goalkeeper Christian Abbiati had it covered anyhow.

2014: Half-an-hour gone at White Hart Lane and still goalless. Only just though. Milan are looking very dangerous to me.

2012: Bad news for Everton, who have had a fair few injuries to contend with recently. Toffees midfielder Mikel Arteta pulls up with what looks to be a hamstring injury. He is replaced by Seamus Coleman. Meanwhile, Birmingham midfielder David Bentley goes off to be replaced by David Murphy. Not sure why.

2010: A MASSIVE let-off for Spurs. Heurelho Gomes comes dashing off his line, needlessly, to challenge Pato who rounds him easily on the left of the area and sends over a low cross into Robinho's path. The Brazilian does not make a clean contact with his shot and it loops off Benoit Assou-Ekotto's back before being hacked off the line by William Gallas when it was about to loop in.

2008: Here come Milan again. Ignazio Abate brings it forward and Spurs cannot clear. The Italian side are throwing their full-backs forward at every opportunity.

2007: A bit of confusion in the Spurs box when a cross comes over and Heurelho Gomes has to punch, unconvincingly, clear. This is a good spell by Milan and Michael Dawson has to block Pato's shot when the ball comes back into the danger zone moments later.

BBC Radio 5 live pundit David Pleat at White Hart Lane: "When Tottenham go forward Milan leave three upfield in Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Pato, and Robinho. They are calling Tottenham's bluff a bit but they have to be careful."

2005: A first chance for Birmingham. Cameron Jerome reaches Seb Larsson's cross from the right and Tim Howard does well to keep out his header with a one-handed save.

Valencia goal: Moments after Mario Gavranovic misses a sitter for Schalke with a free header, Valencia punish them. Mehmet Topal finds space down the left and fires in a cross which Ricardo Costa reacts to brilliantly, guiding it in at the near post from six yards. Advantage Spain.

Chief football writer Phil McNulty at White Hart Lane: "AC Milan have started at a high-tempo as they go in search of the goal they need but one or two signs of encouragement for Spurs at the other end. Milan have to press and Spurs may just have the pace to make them pay the price for that ambition."

2003: Peter Crouch gets on the end of another ball hoisted into the Milan box - the Italians don't seem to be able to do much to stop that do they? Crouch tries to find Rafael van der Vaart with his knockdown but gets too much on it and the ball flies behind.

2002: The night's only Premier League match has just started at Goodison Park.

2000: GOALFLASH Schalke 04 0-1 Valencia (Costa) (agg 1-2)

2000: ... Oof! Zlatan Ibrahimovic is behind it and smacks it goalwards. It is going in too, until Heurlho Gomes dives to his left to push it away. Milan's best effort so far.

1959: A couple of iffy clearances by Spurs keeper Heurelho Gomes are swiftly followed by a debatable free-kick when Sandro tangles (barely) with Kevin-Prince Boateng. That's another free-kick for Milan, about 30 yards out...

1958: Benoit Assou-Ekotto bundles Robinho over in the right-hand corner and Milan have a free-kick. Pato whips it in, and Sandro smashes it clear. After that frantic start, this game has got a bit scrappy. Which is good news for Tottenham.

1955: Schalke have made the better start in Gelsenkirchen, but it is Valencia who have fashioned the first opening. Joaquin's clever low corner finds Jeremy Mathieu, but his sidefooted shot goes through a crowd of players and just wide of the post.

1955: Milan midfielder Mathieu Flamini is being roundly booed every time he touches the ball. If you don't know why, see 1912. Clear now? Good.

From Steve K in Swindon, via text: "If this is goalless after 20 minutes I'll be gobsmacked. Spurs to win by the odd goal in five."

1951: High tempo stuff at the Lane and, at the moment, end to end too. Milan sweep forward and Pato sends over a lovely low cross. No other Milan player is there to get on the end of it though.

1949: We saw this at the San Siro. Aaron Lennon lifts over a cross for Peter Crouch and Milan keeper Christian Abbiati has to get off his line quickly to collect his knockdown before Rafael van der Vaart can reach it. He gets the Dutchman's boot in his chops for his troubles.

1948: A sniff for Milan too. Clarence Seedorf, who is sitting very deep in midfield tonight, clips a ball over the top of the Spurs defence and Michael Dawson has to get across quickly to challenge Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

1947: Spurs are passing it around quite nicely early on, and they have had a pop at goal too. Steven Pienaar finds Rafael van der Vaart on the edge of the area but his prodded shot flies wide.

1945: Here we go then. We are under way at White Hart Lane and the Veltins Arena too.

OptaJoe on Twitter: "15 - Since 1992/93, 15/16 teams who managed a 1-0 away win in the first leg of a CL knockout tie have qualified for the next round. Spur."

JackWTeague on Twitter: "Bale to come off the bench and get the goal that puts Spurs through. Think it'll probably be a draw on the night though."

1941: The players emerge from the tunnel. That tune (and kick-off) is not far away now.

1939: Lots of noise already at White Hart Lane, as you would expect. A few signs goading Arsenal too. Well, one little one anyway.

BBC Radio 5 live pundit David Pleat at White Hart Lane on AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic: "He is a bit of an enigma. They say he has pulled himself together in Milan this season but I remember from his early days in Sweden that he has that lazy, languid streak in him and he is a luxury player. But, if he decides that this is his night, then he can give Tottenham a problem."

From Frazer in Glasgow, via text: "Best of luck to Spurs tonight, fantastic attacking team who lit up Europe the last time they faced a team from Milan...Super Spurs!!!"

Denning52 on Twitter: "Hopefully Blues will get the win against Everton today, MUST WIN!"

maxkleinman on Twitter: "AC Milan playing Pato, Robinho and Ibrahimovic. Very attacking. Will be goals, mark my words."

1932: Good news: Tottenham versus AC Milan starts in, oooh, about 13 minutes. Good news part II: If you are in the UK, you will can listen to commentary from White Hart Lane on BBC Radio 5 live. Give this page a manual refresh now if you want the link.

From Rob 'the seal' Newton, via text: "Tonight's the night for Tottenham to prove they will win more than Arsenal in the next few years because they have what Arsenal don't - nerve."

Saj Chowdhury reports: "Everton bring in Johnny Heitinga to replace Phil Neville in the middle. He partners Jack Rodwell in central midfield. Victor Anichebe starts on the bench with Louis Saha and Jermaine Beckford leading the attack. Birmingham's Martin Jiranek takes the place of Curtis Davies in central defence, Seb Larsson comes in for Obafemi Martins while Jordon Mutch replaces the injured Keith Fahey."

Birmingham manager Alex McLeish on his side's fight for Premier League survival: "We know when you are down there, the pressure is going to intensify. We've got to deal with it. We've dealt with it quite well in the past. The players know the Carling Cup is gone. We watched some footage of it and they all said 'It's over, put the cup to bed'. They know they are in a battle."

Everton v Birmingham line-ups
Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Heitinga, Osman, Arteta, Rodwell, Saha, Beckford. Subs: Mucha, Bilyaletdinov, Coleman, Anichebe, Mustafi, Duffy, Baxter.
Birmingham: Foster, Carr, Ridgewell, Johnson, Jiranek, Bentley, Larsson, Bowyer, Mutch, Beausejour, Jerome. Subs: Doyle, Murphy, Phillips, Martins, Zigic, Parnaby, Davies.
Referee: Peter Walton (Northamptonshire)

1925: It is a bit early to be talking about Wembley just yet, but Tottenham were actually the first British club to lift a European trophy when they beat Atletico Madrid 5-1 in Rotterdam in 1963 with Spurs legend John White scoring one of the goals. But just a year later White was killed by lightning at the age of 27. His son Rob White has spoken to BBC Radio 4 about the book he has written about his father.

1923: A bit of managerial news for you now. It has been confirmed to BBC Radio Manchester that Ray Mathias will manage troubled Stockport County until the end of this season. The former Wigan boss will be assisted at Edgeley Park by Peter Ward and Alan Lord. The club have released a statement, saying every effort is being made to ensure stability and they're working tirelessly to ensure the future of the League Two club.

From Angus in Uppingham, via text: "Can't wait for kick off, nerves are jangling. Going to be a tight game, but hopefully Bale will come on and seal the deal for Spurs in the second half."

Chief football writer Phil McNulty at White Hart Lane: "Spurs
boss Harry Redknapp has decided against risking Gareth Bale, who has been struggling with a back problem. He is on the bench but there is still plenty of attacking intent in the starting line-up as Rafael van der Vaart is included to provide support for Peter Crouch. AC Milan need to score and the attacking big guns are on display as Pato, Robinho and the enigmatic Zlatan Ibrahimovic all start.

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp on his side's chances of reaching the Champions League final at Wembley in May: "It's there for someone to win it and we're still in it. We have to play Milan first and we know how hard that will be. But I'm sure all our players want to continue in this competition as I do, and all the staff. It's a fantastic competition. Once you have played in it you want more and we want to stay in as long as we can and it's a wide open competition this year again."

From Rhys Williams, via text: "At the Lane tonight, hope the boys can win this for us. I've been a Spurs fan all my life and I'm shaking! C'mon guys - do it for north London."

1912: So, who will get most attention from the Spurs boo-boys in Gattuso's absence? Step forwards Rossoneri midfielder Mathieu Flamini, who told my colleague David Ornstein that he does not regret his two-footed lunge at Tottenham defender Vedran Corluka in the first leg. "People can say what they want but I went for the ball," said the former Arsenal star (that's not going to help matters is it!), who added: "The atmosphere is going to be incredible and of course I'm expecting a hot reception, but I'm ready for anything." What, even 47,000 slaps?

OptaJoe on Twitter: "1 - Since Opta started analysing all Champions League games in 2003, Arsenal are the only team ever to record zero shots in a match. Blanks."

Tricky_C_COYS on Twitter: "Spurs to go through. Riding a wave of optimism, and its the biggest game at White Hart Lane since the '84 Uefa Cup final."

1908: One person who will not be at White Hart Lane tonight is Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso, who is suspended after his post-match clash with Tottenham assistant boss Joe Jordan at the San Siro. Gattuson was warned to stay away from tonight's game and said he feared he would get 47,000 slaps if he did turn up. A wise move, although surely I can't be the only person who would have liked to have seen Jordan vs Gattuson part II...

Tottenham v AC Milan line-ups
Tottenham: Gomes, Corluka, Dawson, Gallas, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Modric, Sandro, Pienaar, Van der Vaart, Crouch. Subs: Cudicini, Hutton, Bale, Jenas, Pavlyuchenko, Defoe, King.
AC Milan: Abbiati, Abate, Thiago Silva, Nesta, Jankulovski, Boateng, Flamini, Seedorf, Robinho, Ibrahimovic, Alexandre Pato. Subs: Amelia, Strasser, Papastathopoulos, Oddo, Merkel, Yepes, Antonini.
Referee: Frank De Bleeckere (Belgium)

From Jimmy, at the Lane in spirit, via text: "Nerves of jelly. Even the Chas and Dave songs haven't made me feel quite right. I know we'll score. But I think they will as well... "

1904: Spurs, as you will know if you have been paying attention, secured a famous (not to mention hot-tempered) 1-0 win at the San Siro in the first leg. How will Milan try to turn round that narrow deficit? By going on the attack, according to their veteran midfielder Clarence Seedorf. When I spoke to the Dutch star last week, he told me he knows that leaves his side susceptible to fast breaks from Spurs' "man on a motorbike" (Aaron Lennon) and possibly Gareth Bale too, but says "we know how to defend too".

Saj Chowdhury reports: "Ah, to be an Everton fan. Frustrating, because their club have the spending habits of Ebenezer Scrooge, and humbling, because their manager David Moyes has in true MacGyver-style created something workable with the bare essentials. A third successive win today would move the Toffees up to eighth. Birmingham had their Carling Cup grins wiped away by the defeat against West Brom which left them in the bottom three. So who'll be left feeling blue tonight?"

From Neil in Aylesbury, via text: "Not gonna lie. I'm a bit excited! Can't see Milan being as poor as in the San Siro though."

Schalke 04 v Valencia line-ups
Schalke 04: Neuer, Uchida, Howedes, Metzelder, Escudero, Farfan, Kluge, Matip, Jurado, Raul, Gavranovic. Subs: Schober, Sarpei, Edu, Papadopoulos, Charisteas, Karimi, Draxler.
Valencia: Guaita, Bruno, Navarro, Ricardo Costa, Mathieu, Banega, Topal, Joaquin, Pablo, Mata, Aduriz. Subs: Cesar, Albelda, Soldado, Vicente, Oliveira, Costa, Jordi Alba.
Referee: Jonas Eriksson (Sweden)

Leaver17 on Twitter: "Let's just hope the referee is not the main talking point at the end of the match."

I was just about to say the exact same thing. It would make a nice change not to have any controversial decisions tonight, wouldn't it? Wishful thinking, perhaps...

tom24hourmusic on Twitter: "This is the most nervous I've ever been before a game. Come on you Spurs!"

SCHALKE 04 v VALENCIA (1945 GMT, agg 1-1)
Dan Warren reports: "The omens are not great for Felix Magath's Schalke, whose iffy league form has left them just eight points off the bottom of the Bundesliga. They're also without injured striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. Unai Emery's Valencia, meanwhile, are away win specialists in La Liga - only Barcelona have more victories on the road. But with the tie poised at 1-1, it's all to play for - and while 'Los Che' might have the form, Schalke have the away goal and - perhaps more importantly - European football's all-time leading goalscorer, Raul."

1855: Now you know what is happening, this is how you get involved: Tweet the commentary via the hashtag #BBCFootball, ask me a question direct @chrisbevan_bbc or text me via 81111 (UK). Don't be shy.

1854: 'Outside of north London, is anything else going on tonight?' I hear you ask. Or at least I hope you ask. There is, as it happens. Schalke 04 take on Valencia in the evening's other Champions League clash (and that one is also finely poised), while, in the Premier League, Everton take on a Birmingham side who have already added a trophy to their not-exactly bulging cabinet this season but are also fighting relegation. Everton are not safe either though - they may be 10th but they are only six points clear of the drop-zone. It's been one of those seasons, hasn't it?

TOTTENHAM v AC MILAN (1945 GMT, agg 1-0)
Chief football writer Phil McNulty at White Hart Lane:
"Spurs fly the flag for north London after Arsenal's exit against Barcelona as they take on AC Milan at White Hart Lane for a place in the Champions League quarter-finals. Harry Redknapp's side have the security of Peter Crouch's away goal and a 1-0 win in the first leg in Milan, but the Italians have so much quality and experience that they will still harbour hopes of overturning the odds and going through."

Gareth Bale is on the bench for Spurs. Rafael van der Vaart starts and plays behind Peter Crouch up front. More to follow shortly.

1847: Yep, Tottenham 'only' have to manage a draw or better against AC Milan at White Hart Lane and they are into the last eight of Europe's premier club competition. We've already seen one London side fall by the wayside this week on the (Euro) road to Wembley but Spurs are looking to succeed where neighbours Arsenal failed (and I don't mean by having a shot on goal either).

1845: Spurs fans can smell it, see it and probably even taste it. Yes, a place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League is tantalisingly within reach tonight. Can they do it? We are about to find out...

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Champions League results

9 Mar 2011 23:59 UK

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Wednesday's football photos
09 Mar 11 |  Football

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