To get involved use
) or text us via 81111 with FOOTBALL before your message. (Not all contributions can be used. Messages will be charged at your standard operator rate.)
By Chris Bevan
2226: Right, time for me to call it a night. It has been a compelling evening of Champions League football and, despite Manchester United's triumph at Stamford Bridge, there is still plenty for Chelsea to play for at Old Trafford in the second leg of their quarter-final next week, although the same cannot be said for Shakhtar when they take Barca back to the Donbass Arena. I hope you enjoyed the action as much as me - thanks for your banter, and see you again on Saturday when there are seven Premier League games to look forward too, and a whole lot more besides. Cheerio for now.
From anon, via text: "Can't blame the referee tonight. Shocking decisions every year, and it will continue until video technology is introduced. it was cowardly management that cost Chelsea - Ancelotti needed to chose between Torres and Drogba, but took the easy route in 4-4-2."
From Jay in Llanfairfechan, via text: "Great shame about the penalty incident. It has taken the gloss off a superb United performance. United passed the ball with much more purpose than their opponents tonight and deservedly got the first goal, just like in the league game a month ago. Only this time the job was completed in the second half - albeit with a long-due slice of luck at Stamford Bridge. Sets up a tasty second leg!"
Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti on his remonstrations with the referee at the final whistle, and whether his side can still reach the Champions League semi-finals: "It was a clear penalty. That is what I told the referee at the end. In general the performance was good but it was difficult to come back from 1-0 down because they used the counter-attack very well. But we still had chances - we hit the post and Edwin van der Sar made a great save from Fernando Torres. Fortunately we have to play them again at Old Trafford - it will be difficult but we beat them last season when we had to."
2214: Ok, let's not allow the penalty furore to deflect all the attention away from that superbly-worked Wayne Rooney goal for United. Michael Carrick's sweeping crossfield ball to Ryan Giggs was superb - in front of the winger and over the shoulder of Jose Bosingwa. Then Giggs showed superb control to burst into the box before pulling the ball back for Rooney's delicate finish. Top class - if you haven't seen it, then you need to.
philbeck10 on Twitter:
"Fantastic performance by United but the only thing getting mentioned is the non-penalty. Swings and roundabouts indeed!"
2212: I should add that, although Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti waved his players away from referee Alberto Undiano Mallenco, he still had a pop at him himself about that penalty decision. Understandable too, seeing as this is the only competition the Blues can win this season and Ancelotti's job is on the line...
abhuiya on Twitter:
"RE 2158. I dunno.. 4 clasicos seems like a bit much! it's like having too much ice cream, it loses its appeal!"
FULL-TIME Chelsea 0-1 Man Utd Chief football writer Phil McNultyreports from Stamford Bridge: "Chelsea complaining bitterly about those two penalty claims at the end - but just about the perfect night for Manchester United, who will be firm favourites to progress into the Champions League semi-final. And after another faultless performance, will keeper Edwin van der Sar reconsider his decision to retire? He should."
2205: Yep, as per the stat below, we have seen plenty of goals in the first legs of these quarter-final ties, mostly scored by Spanish (or German) sides. Here's how our reporters saw tonight's action.
Infostrada Sports on Twitter:
"There have been 18 goals scored in the first legs of all four quarterfinals. That is a new CL record for first 4 QF matches."
OptaJoe on Twitter:
"5 - The team playing away first has progressed in five of the previous seven all-English Champions League knockout ties. Omen?"
From Ad in London, via text: "It remains to be seen which penalty decision will have the most impact - the one that shouldn't have been given in the league on 1 March, or the one that should have been given today. One bad decision apiece though... "
Slobberdan on Twitter:
"Nice to get some breaks from the ref at Stamford Bridge... United played well though, let's not forget that!"
2158: By the way if, as seems likely, Barcelona and Real Madrid go through to meet in the Champions League semi-finals following their emphatic first-leg wins over Shakhtar Donetsk and Tottenham, then there will be four El Clasicos in two weeks, between 16 April and 4 May, with the other two meetings coming in the Primera Liga and Copa del Rey. Should be spicy, no?
Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech, again on the penalty his side felt they should have had, and also on United's tactics: "Everyone saw what happened (for the penalty) - you can see it clearly on the TV - but the most important person (the referee) didnt see it. We have left ourselves a mountain to climb in Manchester but we have to believe we can do it. We had chances but the key was United scored from their first chance. They played a clever game on the counter-attack and they got their goal that changed the game."
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, firstly on the penalty, and then on Wayne Rooney and his side's first-leg lead to take back to Old Trafford: "It looked as if the boy (Ramires) had made the most of it. It was a break and the first we have had in seven years here. There is plenty to talk about apart from that. I thought our players were great. Keeping a clean sheet was important but counter-attack was also part of our play. Wayne was great. He got a lot of late tackles but got up and kept playing to show his courage. It is half way and we have got an advantage. The biggest advantage is the support at Old Trafford and we are banking on that."
From James in Warrington, via text: "Funny how John Terry wasn't so quick to ask why they were given an innocuous penalty 36 days ago... Finally one goes for us at Stamford Bridge!"
2147: Just to clear up my 'stat' from 2132, United have never lost a European tie after winning the first leg away from home. Not quite as impressive, but still not great news for Chelsea.
Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand on that late Chelsea penalty shout and his side's performance in their first win at Stamford Bridge since 2002: Was it a penalty? Maybe it was, maybe not - it is swings and roundabouts. Chelsea have ridden their luck a few times here over the years so it's about time we had some too. At places like this you have defend well and all our players did so with great intensity. The tie is still in the balance but it's not over. If we don't concede a goal we are through."
2144: The more I see that Patrice Evra foul and penalty appeal, the worse the decision gets. Both the referee, and his mate behind the goal have got a clear view of that. Did they both really think Evra got a touch of the ball?
philarundell on Twitter:
"Shocking decision not to give a penalty for the foul on Ramires. What's the point in the additional official behind the goal?"
2137: John Terry was keen to have a word with Mr Alberto Undiano Mallenco at the final whistle, no doubt to ask him how and why that Patrice Evra foul was not a penalty - it looked clear-cut to me. Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti is on the pitch too, but to usher his captain and the rest of his players away from the officials and down the tunnel.
2136: FULL-TIME Barcelona 5-1 Shakhtar Donetsk
2136: FULL-TIME Chelsea 0-1 Man Utd
2136: Chris Smalling is on for United, replacing Park Ji-sung with seconds left.
2134: Another Chelsea penalty appeal but this time Alberto Undiano Mallenco gets his decision right. Fernando Torres goes down too easily under a challenge from Antonio Valencia and is booked for diving.
2133: A big call for referee Alberto Undiano Mallenco. And I think he gets it wrong. Ramires is running into the box to meet a ball over the top and Patrice Evra tries to get there first... the United defender gets little if nothing of the ball and a lot of the man, and Chelsea demand a penalty... but no foul is given.
2132: We will have four minutes of stoppage time at Stamford Bridge. I'm told United have never lost a European tie when they have won the first leg of a tie away from home. This is far from over, but if the scoreline stays the same, they are definitely in pole position.
2130: Brilliant last-ditch defending by Patrice Evra, who does just enough from Florent Malouda's cross to put off Nicolas Anelka, and actually head the ball against him. Edwin van der Sar cannot take the resulting goal-kick, which is interesting given he missed Saturday's win at West Ham with a groin injury, and also that he was booked just now because he asked Nemanja Vidic to take another goal-kick for him.
Barca goal: No way back for Shakhtar now, surely, even with the return leg on home turf to come. Dani Alves teases the visitors' defence before rolling the ball into Xavi's path, and he tucks it away from near the penalty spot. Too easy.
2126: GOALFLASH Barcelona 5-1 Shakhtar Donetsk (Xavi)
2126: Great play by Branislav Ivanovic for Chelsea, as he bursts towards goal and rides a couple of challenges. He gets to the edge of the United box before shooting but rather scuffs his low effort and it is straight at Edwin van der Sar in any case.
BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson at Stamford Bridge on BBC Radio 5 live: "Chelsea have made their substitutions but they still haven't given their side any width."
2125: It's just not Shakhtar striker Luiz Adriano's night - the Brazilian, who has missed a few decent chances, has now slammed against the base of Victor Valdes's right-hand post with the keeper beaten. Barca still lead 4-1 and are still in total control of this tie.
2123: Frank Lampard is behind the free-kick, about 25 yards out, and fizzes it goalwards. Plenty of power behind it but it is straight down the throat of Edwin van der Sar.
2121: Edwin van der Sar is booked for taking too long over a goal-kick, then Rio Ferdinand concedes a free-kick for nearly taking Florent Malouda's head off with a high challenge. No card, though. I didn't think Alberto Undiano Mallenco needed much of an excuse to dish them out.
2120: Chelsea go close again. Frank Lampard lifts a free-kick into the box and Nicolas Anelka rises to glance a header goalwards... but it bounces a yard wide with Edwin van der Sar in the right place had it been on target.
2119: Time for a United change. Javier Hernandez is coming off, and on comes Dimitar Berbatov. Chelsea are making their final switch at the same time: John Mikel Obi is on for Jose Bosingwa. We have got just over 10 minutes left at the Bridge and the visitors still lead 1-0.
2117: Fernando Torres has not exactly shone for Chelsea tonight but only a top-drawer save from Edwin van der Sar has stopped him equalising. Torres meets a Nicolas Anelka cross from the right perfectly, and heads back across goal... but Van der Sar is at full stretch to claw the ball to safety. A superb stop from the veteran.
2115: It has been a busy old night for the Spanish ref with the very long name. Nemanja Vidic blocks Florent Malouda and up pops another yellow card courtesy of Alberto Undiano Mallenco.
2113: Another sniff for Chelsea. Ramires bends in a ball from deep but Fernando Torres is just unable to get on the end of it, stretching under pressure from Rio Ferdinand.
2112: Yep, change o'clock for Chelsea: Florent Malouda replaces Yuri Zhirkov and Nicolas Anelka is on too. He replaces Didier Drogba, which is a bit of a suprise to me and, by the look on his face, to the big Ivorian too. There are 20 minutes left for Chelsea to find a leveller.
2111: Florent Malouda is about to come on, but not before Michael Essien flashes a low shot a fraction wide when Yuri Zhirkov's cross is only half-cleared by Nemanja Vidic.
2109: All of a sudden, Chelsea look a bit ragged. Petr Cech saves them first time around when he gets a vital touch on Nani's cross with Javier Hernandez waiting at the back stick. Then Nani has space and time to cross again, but there is nobody to get on the end of it at the same post. Problems for Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti, who is about to make a change...
2108: Michael Essien dives in on Michael Carrick as United look to break forward. That means referee Alberto Undiano Mallenco can get his cards out again.
2107: While those goals were flying in at Camp Nou, United were busy taking the sting out of things at the Bridge. Plenty of possession for Chelsea but no sign they are going to do anything with it.
Barcelona goal: It was actually Seydou Keita who bagged, not Lionel Messi, but it was a goal the Argentine would be proud of. Messi rolls the ball to Keita who rifles the ball into the roof of the net from the edge of the box. Unstoppable.
Shakhtar goal: You already know what happened next, but for a few seconds at least Shakhtar's night got better when Yaroslav Ratkitskiy got his knee on to a free-kick at the near post and scored at the right end. Andres Iniesta picked up a booking when he conceded the foul that will keep him out of the second leg.
2102: GOALFLASH Barcelona 4-1 Shakhtar Donetsk (Keita)
2101: Another booking at the Bridge. Ramires catches Patrice Evra as he comes forward.
2101: GOALFLASH Barcelona 3-1 Shakhtar Donetsk (Rakitskiy)
2100: Didier Drogba has led the line superbly for Chelsea tonight, unlike a certain £50m footballer I could mention. He has just come within a yard or two of an equaliser too, getting on the end of Frank Lampard's cross and then leaping to fire in an overhead kick from his first touch. The ball flies wide of the far post. Unlucky.
2057: United's best attack of the second half sees Ashley Cole dispossess Javier Hernandez with a sliding tackle as he tries to reach a through-ball. It falls nicely for Wayne Rooney to fire home, but it won't count: the flag is up because Hernandez was offside in the first place.
Barca goal: A corner falls for Gerard Pique, who rather scuffs his shot, but the ball hits Yaroslav Rakitskiy on its way towards goal and the deflection takes it past Shakhtar keeper Andriy Pyatov. A long way back for the visitors now.
2054: GOALFLASH Barcelona 3-0 Shakhtar Donetsk (Pique)
From OJ46, via text: "Re 2046. Carrick looking like an England midfielder? Bit harsh, I thought he was having a good game!"
2053: Nope, Rafael cannot continue. He goes down again in real pain and is stretchered off. Nani is coming on. Antonio Valencia is going to fill in at right-back, with Nani in front of him on that wing.
2051: A great chance for Chelsea. Didier Drogba gets the better of Patrice Evra and sends in a wicked cross from the right, which Ramires gets on the end of in front of goal... but his header flashes wide. A real waste, that.
2050: And, as soon as I write that, Rafael promptly trots back on. Wincing slightly, and still limping a bit too.
2049: Rafael is off the pitch now, so play can continue. Antonio Valencia drops back to cover at right-back while Rafael gets treatment.
2048: Chelsea are first to threaten, with Yuri Zhirkov whipping in a dangerous cross from the left that Patrice Evra struggles to clear under pressure from Ramires. Play has stopped now, though, because Rafael was hurt in a clash with Didier Drogba in the build-up.
2047: Here's Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson, speaking at half-time: "It's a European tie so we'll try to keep possession of the ball for as long as we can. I hope there's more away goals in it, we'll be trying for one." He seemed pleased, understandably.
2046: ... And in Barcelona too.
2045: Right, here we go again. We are back under way in London...
peewee_7 on Twitter:
"To whoever's wearing number 16 for United tonight, who are you, and what have you done with Michael Carrick?!"
Carrick is having a great game so far - and looking more like an England midfielder than Frank Lampard to be honest.
2039: Just a reminder of how you can get in touch this evening.
I'm Chris Bevan,
and you can tweet me at
using the hashtag
please. Or you can text me via 81111 (UK) instead. Be nice, and no swearing or I will tell my mum (and the FA).
OptaJoe on Twitter:
"4 - The last four games between Chelsea and Man Utd have seen the away team 1-0 up at half-time. Pattern."
edfoster25 on Twitter:
"Chelsea to press for equaliser in the second half then get caught on the break by Rooney and co."
From anonymous United fan, via text: "Not often the case in recent years, but Carrick is bossing this midfield tonight, box-to-box. Hasn't got the credit for this performance though."
BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson at Stamford Bridge on BBC Radio 5 live: "In all, apart from that mad minute at the end of the half when Chelsea had two gilt-edged chances, after a slow, sluggish start Manchester United have been in complete control. Rooney at the moment is the difference between the two teams. Chelsea's front two of Drogba and Torres have not worked hard enough and have been too static."
HALF-TIME: Barcelona 2-0 Shakhtar Donetsk Jonathan Stevenson's
HT snapshot: "Andres Iniesta is putting on a midfield masterclass at the Camp Nou. One fine goal, one majestic assist and a range of passing that would make Glenn Hoddle blush. Sublime."
HALF-TIME Chelsea 0-1 Man Utd Phil McNulty'sHT snapshot from Stamford Bridge: "That first 45 minutes will do Manchester United very nicely indeed - that late alarm when Didier Drogba hits the post and Patrice Evra cleared off the line from Frank Lampard apart. They hold the lead courtesy of Wayne Rooney's crucial away goal, now Chelsea must repeat their feat from the recent Premier League game and turn things around."
2032: It is half-time in London and Barcelona. Phew, that was frantic stuff at the Bridge.
2030: Chelsea should be level - in fact I don't know how they aren't. Fernando Torres cannot get a touch on Didier Drogba's cross but the ball bounces through and hits the far post. Frank Lampard is there to follow up, but the ball rebounds slightly behind him and Patrice Evra does brilliantly to clear his shot off the line. Wow.
2029: A long spell of pressure by United ends with Wayne Rooney trying his luck from 30 yards out. Petr Cech saves.
BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson at Stamford Bridge on BBC Radio 5 live: "I think Ancelotti needs to rev his troops up. They are well short, well short in a lot of areas."
Lord_Tachyon on Twitter:
"Chelsea are hugely missing Ballack. His influence was so much more than Ramires and Zhirkov are offering."
Ballack IS at Stamford Bridge tonight... working for German TV.
2027: United break quickly when Didier Drogba's free-kick is cleared and another superb diagonal ball, this time from Antonio Valencia, frees Wayne Rooney out on the left. Rooney tries a shot, which is blocked, before crossing for Javier Hernandez... who is not far away from making it 2-0 with his head.
2024: Just over five minutes until the break at the Bridge. United have the lead but they are not in control of this game, which has started to get going since that Wayne Rooney goal.
BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson at Stamford Bridge on BBC Radio 5 live: "Manchester United look to have more time on the ball than Chelsea. Just looking at Chelsea's midfield players and Yuri Zhirkov and Ramires look like bit part players."
Barca goal: The Catalans double their advantage and it has been coming for a little while. The second goal is down to that man Andres Iniesta again, the midfield maestro clipping a stunning pass into the Shakhtar box for Dani Alves to take a touch round Andriy Pyatov and finish with the outside of his right foot. That all-Spanish semi-final is looking more and more likely.
2021: Our first booking at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea's Yuri Zhirkov is the man shown yellow, for a high boot.
2019: Fernando Torres picks up the ball on the right and makes for goal, but his touch is far too heavy and Nemanja Vidic is across to cover near the by-line. Torres then goes to ground, to the anger of the United defenders. If that was a dive, it was a desperate one.
2019: GOALFLASH Barcelona 2-0 Shakhtar Donetsk (Alves)
2017: Again, Chelsea come forward. First Jose Bosingwa fires another dangerous ball in from the right - he has the beating of Patrice Evra at the moment - and then Michael Essien has his effort blocked as he he looks to curl a shot into the top corner.
2015: Chelsea have just had their best spell of the match but sadly for Fernando Torres, he fluffed his lines at the vital moment. He got on the end of Yuri Zhirkov's cross, controlling it on his chest, but his attempt at an acrobatic finish sees him slice the ball and it does not even travel goalwards.
Chief football writer Phil McNulty at Stamford Bridge
"Slide-rule finish by Wayne Rooney but what a first touch and pass from Ryan Giggs. Genuine anxiety sweeping around Stamford Bridge from the Chelsea fans, but exactly what Sir Alex Ferguson demanded from Manchester United before the game - that crucial away goal. If ever Carlo Ancelotti needed the partnership of Fernando Torres and Didier Drogba to work it is now."
2012: Ramires catches Wayne Rooney slightly late, and he is down (and staying down). Chelsea, to the fury of United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, play on. Rooney is not badly hurt by the way - he is back on his feet now.
2011: So, United have the away goal they wanted. What have Chelsea got in response?
United goal: Who else was going to get this one? It's a glorious goal too, from a move started by Michael Carrick's raking pass out to the left. Ryan Giggs takes it down and beats Jose Bosingwa with the same movement as he surges into the box then pulls it back for Wayne Rooney to slot home, via the back post. Rooney runs towards a TV camera as he celebrates, but keeps his feelings to himself this time as he tumbles to the ground.
2008: GOALFLASH Chelsea 0-1 Man Utd (Rooney)
RobbieMathias on Twitter:
"It may be tight and cagey, but you cant beat the tension and drama of a Champions League knockout tie."
OptaJoe on Twitter:
"93% - Edwin Van der Sar has the best saves-to-shots % in the CL this season (93%), followed by Petr Cech (90%). Spidery."
2004: That's more like it from Chelsea, and the best effort of the match so far. A neat passing move sees the ball fed to Didier Drogba, who smashes in a shot that Edwin van der Sar is grateful to tip over the bar.
2002: The first 20 minutes at the Bridge have been extremely cagey and there have been too many misplaced passes in the final third of the pitch from both teams. Jose Bosingwa is the latest to waste possession, running at Patrice Evra and leaving him in his wake, but then firing his cross straight out of play.
2001: Shakhtar should be level. Luiz Adriano is sent clean through by Douglas Costa, but the striker can only wastefully toe-poke wide from 10 yards. Moments later Dani Alves's backpass is short and Victor Valdes has to race 30 yards off his line to deny Willian.
1959: Better by United. Antonio Valencia fires a cross into the Chelsea box and the home side, initially, struggle to clear. United maintain the pressure, and Michael Essien is caught in possession to concede a corner, from which Park Ji-sung fires in a shot that is deflected a few yards wide.
1958: Didier Drogba needs a bit of treatment after an accidental clash with Rio Ferdinand - who caught him with his arm. He is fine to continue though.
1956: We are yet to see much of United going forward but Ashley Cole has to mop up at the back for Chelsea with Javier Hernandez looking to get on the end of a ball dropping into the box. Cole clears the danger with a cool header back to his keeper.
1954: No more goals at the Camp Nou, but both teams are going for it. Shakhtar's turn to attack sees Willian shows a good turn of pace down their left and he forces Victor Valdes to tip over his cross-shot to the near post.
Chief football writer Phil McNulty at Stamford Bridge
"Chelsea fans were chanting "There's Only One England Captain" before kick-off in support of the reinstated John Terry. United fans responded with a banner reading "Viva John Terry" in a very obviously post-Moscow 2008 Champions League Final taunt."
BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson at Stamford Bridge on BBC Radio 5 live: "Watching William Gallas for Tottenham last night, it was clear he was not fully-fit. It'll be interesting to see if Rio Ferdinand is fit tonight. By the way he has started, it looks like he is."
1953: He might be badly out of form but Fernando Torres definitely looks up for this. He latches on to a sloppy pass by Patrice Evra and makes for goal. This is a chance, but he slips as he shoots on the edge of the area and his weakish effort is straight at Edwin van der Sar.
1950: It's a bit lively at the Bridge too, where there is an early decision for Spanish ref Alberto Undiano Mallenco, as Michael Essien catches Wayne Rooney with a late lunge. That was a bit wild, but Mallenco plays the advantage and does not show a card when play does stop.
Barcelona goal: Barca's first attack, and their first goal too. Leo Messi's pass is cut out on the edge of the area but the ball falls nicely for Andres Iniesta to collect it, and he has time and space to slot into the corner of the net.
1947: GOALFLASH Barcelona 1-0 Shakhtar Donetsk (Iniesta)
1946: Jose Bosingwa fires in a cross from the right in the direction of Fernando Torres, but Rio Ferdinand is first to it and clears. Still, Chelsea are seeing a lot more of the ball so far but it is very early indeed.
1945: We are under way at Stamford Bridge and the Camp Nou.
1944: Right, we've had that tune you know and love - now for the action.
1943: Cover your ears Rio... the PA announcer at the Bridge just introduced John Terry as "Chelsea captain. And England captain."
1942: And here they come. Wayne Rooney gives the travelling United fans a quick clap as he emerges on to the pitch.
1941: The players are in the tunnel at the Bridge. All looking very serious - no smiles there.
1939: A few banners mentioning John Terry at Stamford Bridge tonight. All in the United end, I think...
1936: By the way,
tell me that Frank Lampard is set to make his 500th appearance for Chelsea in all competitions tonight. Only Ron Harris (795), Peter Bonetti (729) and John Hollins (592) have previously reached this milestone for the Blues. Lampard has won a few pots in his time at the Bridge too, hasn't he?
Hmmmm, I wouldn't put it past Rio to actually tweet while he is playing tonight or, at the very least, at half-time.
From Gareth in Willesden Green, via text: "Re 1915. All Chelsea fans would kill for a situation where Nani develops a sore throat in next five minutes and pulls out, Vidic lets the ball through his legs in first five minutes for cheap goal and Rooney gets sent off after 14 minutes. Sigh, why can't we play Spurs..?"
1925: Of the 22 men starting at Stamford Bridge tonight, and the other 14 on the bench, only Chelsea substitute John Mikel Obi is carrying a booking into the game. A yellow card for anyone else won't see them miss the return leg at Old Trafford on Tuesday, but anyone doing a Peter Crouch (and seeing red) willl obviously miss out.
1922: So, what are we expecting tonight? Sir Alex Ferguson says he wants an away goal to take back to Old Trafford but that does not neccesarily mean we will see him take an open, attacking approach. I'm thinking something along the lines of
their win in Valencia in the group stages
would suit him down to the ground. Guess who got the winner that night? Clue: Hn_M (at 1915) thinks he might do the same tonight.
From Vic in London, via text: "Bit worried Rio might be off the pace today, a bit sloppy. Hopefully he'll bring his A game, but can't help feeling he might make some crucial mistakes today!"
Hn_M on Twitter:
"Guess Fergie is not looking for creativity tonight by leaving out both Nani & Berba. He wants to nick it with Chicharito!"
1915: Half-an-hour to go until kick-off at Stamford Bridge (and Camp Nou). If any Chelsea/United/Barca/Shakhtar players have got a sore throat, maybe they should let their managers know now. Thanks.
BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson at Stamford Bridge on BBC Radio 5 live: "On current form I don't think I would be picking Fernando Torres. He looks like he has lost half a yard of pace, and his confidence and belief. It's getting to the stage where you are wondering if he is going to get it back."
Chelsea v Man Utd line-ups Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Essien, Lampard, Zhirkov, Drogba, Torres. Subs: Turnbull, Benayoun, Mikel, Malouda, Ferreira, Kalou, Anelka. Man Utd: Van der Sar, Rafael Da Silva, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Giggs, Park, Hernandez, Rooney. Subs: Kuszczak, Berbatov, Smalling, Nani, Scholes, Evans, Gibson. Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (Spain)
Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti on his side's hopes of winning the Champions League, his side's only realistic hope of silverware this season: "We are stronger than last season because we are in the quarter-final and we have the possibility to move on. To beat United we have to be at our best. The moment is good. The players are fit, are in good condition and motivated. We have to take our chance. Are we a better team than last season? Yes. Compared to last season we have Torres, we have Ramires. I think we have learned from losing against Inter (in the last 16 in 2010). That was the worst moment in our season last year and we have to look forward."
1904: Here's something to give you a small idea of how popular Lionel Messi is around the world right now. The Barca wizard only signed up for Facebook this afternoon and already has
more than 7m followers.
Reminds me of when I joined a few years ago. Anyway, Messi writes: "I am so excited! From now on we will be more closely connected..." to which he got 7,000 replies. Not sure he will be answering each of those personally then.
From Ed in Manchester, via text: "The most important player on the park tonight will be, unsurprisingly... Park. Without Fletcher, he'll be responsible for setting the aggressive tempo that Fergie favours against big teams, pressing hard and restricting space for Essien. He's also got an important offensive part to play lurking behind Rooney, trying to feed the wings. If Park plays well, United will win."
Hmmm, looks like most United fans are pleased with Park, then? Will be a boost to have Rio Ferdinand back too, if he's fully fit obviously.
SlySwarup on Twitter:
"No Nani? Been our most creative player this season but good to have Park, big game calls for a big-game player."
BARCELONA v SHAKHTAR DONETSK TEAM NEWS Jonathan Stevenson
reports: "Sighs of relief at the Camp Nou with the news that Lionel Messi, who today signed up to Facebook, is fit enough to start for Barcelona against Shakhtar Donetsk. He is joined in the starting XI by midfield fulcrum Xavi, while Sergio Busquets again partners Gerard Pique at the back. Shakhtar must do without ex-Barca defender Dmytro Chygrynskiy and they make four changes from the 3-1 win at Illichivets on Friday, but there are only berths on the bench for returning midfielder Fernandinho and ex-Arsenal striker Eduardo."
dandelacour on Twitter:
"All the talk about Torres not scoring in ages is just asking for him to score. Won't be surprised to see him snatch a goal."
CHELSEA v MAN UTD TEAM NEWS Chief football writer Phil McNulty at Stamford Bridge: "Carlo Ancelotti and Sir Alex Ferguson have already caused a stir at Stamford Bridge - and that is just with their team selections. Rio Ferdinand returns for Manchester United for the first time since pulling out of the warm-up against Wolves in February with a calf injury after proving his fitness in training. Ferguson also shows his enduring faith in Park Ji-sung by giving him the nod ahead of Nani, who is on the bench. Chelsea boss Ancelotti has solved his big striker dilemma by picking both Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres. Was it simply too much of a gamble to leave his £50m record signing out of a game of this magnitude?"
From Steven in Northampton, via text: "Time for the Little Pea to show the supposed big-boys of Chelsea how to score important goals."
Yep, Javier Hernandez also starts for United at the Bridge, as does Park Ji-sung.
1844: In stark contrast to Fernando Torres, Barcelona star Lionel Messi just cannot stop finding the net. He has scored 45 goals for FC Barcelona this season, a figure that
tell me is two goals shy of the club record of 47. This mark was established by Ronaldo in 1996/1997 and equalled by Messi last season. The 47 goals are also tied for the record by a player representing a Spanish club. Real Madrid's Ferenc Puskás also scored 47 in 1959/1960.
OptaJoe on Twitter:
"696 - It is 11 hours and 36 minutes since Fernando Torres last scored a goal for club or country. Drought."
1843: BREAKING BARCA TEAM NEWS Lionel Messi starts for Barcelona. More on that one soon too.
1841: BREAKING CHELSEA-MAN UTD TEAM NEWS Rio Ferdinand is fit to start in central defence for United and Antonio Valencia gets the nod over Nani. Didier Drogba AND Fernando Torres both start for Chelsea. More details and full line-ups to follow very shortly.
From Chris in Newport, via text: "Would be the happiest man in the world if the Blues were to do the double over United at Stamford Bridge this year, and I could go into college and face a room of heartbroken United fans, anything better..? No."
From Liam C in Nottingham, via text: "Mark my words, if Shakhtar leave the Camp Nou with something to play for next week, there will be no all Spanish Semi Final!"
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson on his side's hopes of winning the Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup this season: "It is 14 games in two months if everything goes our way and, at United, we are used to this kind of thing, which is to our advantage. In the past I have said many times that to win just one trophy would be great. But we have to take the chance of winning all three now. We can repeat the treble of 1999."
1832: How many minutes has striker Fernando Torres played for Chelsea without scoring since his £50m move from Liverpool? Just the 527. No wonder Didier Drogba is favourite to get the nod from Carlo Ancelotti and start tonight's tie. But form is temporary (and you know the rest) so should Torres, who is certainly due a goal, start instead? Phil McNulty posed the question in his latest blog and
got some very different opinions from pundits and fans alike.
TheClapperBored on Twitter:
"I imagine Torres has forgotten what playing in the Champions League feels like. Seems like the perfect time to remember..."
BBC pundit Alan Hansen on the outcome of Chelsea-Man Utd:
"It is really a toss of the coin to decide the winner - it is that tight. I would not back either team to win with great confidence. I think the key to the destiny of this tie may well hinge on the strength of the defence Sir Alex Ferguson is able to field and the way they perform against Didier Drogba and company."
From Tom in Scarborough, via text: "Are you only going to talk about Moscow 08 tonight? I still think about it everyday and how glorious it was and how elated I was. Come on you Reds!"
This is just to balance things out from earlier. No more mentions of Moscow (probably) from now on unless JT misses a penalty and/or bursts into tears. Everyone happy with that?
1820: Whether you are red or blue (or neutral too), I want to hear from you. How? Simple:
I'm Chris Bevan,
and you can tweet me at
using the hashtag
please. Or feel free to text me via 81111 (UK) instead.
BARCELONA v SHAKHTAR DONETSK (1945 BST) Jonathan Stevenson
reports: "It won't have gone unnoticed in Barcelona that Real Madrid already have one foot in the semis - so it's up to the Catalans to set up a Champions League Clasico that will get the purists purring. Barca are eight points clear in La Liga but aren't at their best right now and have worries over the fitness of Lionel Messi, who has 14 goals in his last 11 CL starts. Shakhtar are dangerous, and the return of midfield livewire Fernandinho gives them a very timely boost."
CHELSEA v MAN UTD (1945 BST) Chief football writer Phil McNulty at Stamford Bridge: "Chelsea and Manchester United resume Champions League combat after Sir Alex Ferguson's side claimed the trophy on penalties in Moscow in 2008. Chelsea, under Carlo Ancelotti, are still on that quest to claim the trophy that has agonisingly eluded them while United are out to end a winless streak at Stamford Bridge stretching back nine years. Ancelotti will take any sort of advantage to Old Trafford for the second leg next Tuesday while Ferguson has targeted that crucial away goal."
1821: Worth revisiting Madrid-Spurs again briefly (sorry Tottenham fans, I know it must be painful). But the first of the many things that went wrong for Harry Redknapp's side last night was Aaron Lennon's last-minute withdrawal through illness, just minutes before the start of the game, after he had been named on the teamsheet an hour earlier. The England winger has had to put up with a lot of speculation about what actually happened but he has responded
to say: "Will not be made a scapegoat saying they only knew just before kick-off. I fell ill on Sunday morning where the medical team put me on antibiotics, but only got worse before Tuesday."
1816: Tonight's other quarter-final promises to be a bit of a corker too. At first glance you might think Barcelona are a shoe-in to reach the semis and (probably) set up a tantalising all-Spanish clash with Real, but it might not be so simple. Their opponents Shakhtar Donetsk have won nine of their last 10 Champions League matches and scored 26 goals in the processs. They have won at the Nou Camp before too, in a group game in 2008. Can they shock the favourites this evening? After seeing what happened to Inter last night, nothing will surprise me in the Champions League this season... well, not a lot anyway.
aidansweeney93 on Twitter:
"Are you only going to talk about Moscow 08 tonight? I still think about it everyday and how much it hurt so please leave it."
Blimey, so John Terry's not the only one then?
1811: Hopes of seeing another all-English final this season, and at Wembley too, were hit (a slight understatement there) by the
pummelling Real Madrid handed to Tottenham
at the Bernabeu on Tuesday. But of massive interest to Chelsea and United was
Schalke's stunning win at the San Siro
that saw them batter holders Inter Milan. One of the Premier League teams in action tonight will play the winner of that tie in the last four.
1805: Yep, three years ago, John Terry was left crying in the Russian rain after his penalty miss in Moscow cost Chelsea glory in their only Champions League final to date, as United went on to lift the famous trophy. This time a place in the semi-finals is up for grabs, rather than the sleekest bit of silverware in world football, but I can't see us being short of drama or desire at Stamford Bridge tonight, can you?
1801: Evening all. There may have been plenty of all-English encounters in the Champions League, but there has only been ONE previous meeting in Europe between Chelsea and Manchester United.
Do I really need to tell you how it ended?
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.