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By Chris Bevan
2224: Right then, time for me to call it a night. If you want more Champions League action, then join Tom Rostance on Wednesday evening, when
join the fray. I'm on match report duty at the Etihad Stadium but will be back on Thursday to take you through an evening of Europa League action. Thanks for keeping
company, cheerio for now.
FULL-TIME Chelsea 2-0 Bayer Leverkusen Alistair Magowanreports: "David Luiz returns to the Chelsea side and shows Fernando Torres how to score, but the Brazilian was first to salute his Spanish team-mate, who set up both goals. A decent European start for boss Andre Villas-Boas."
2215: Here's a very quick reminder of how Chelsea and Arsenal got on tonight...
OptaJoe on Twitter:
"17 - Arsenal have now failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 17 Champions League games away from home. Sieve."
More from Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas, asked if leaving out John Terry and Frank Lampard against Leverkusen was a gamble: "I don't see things like that. I think you are trying to look at the negative when there are so many positives. We have a very competitive squad."
Arsenal's assistant manager Pat Rice after his side's 1-1 draw with Borussia Dortmund in Germany: "We gave the ball away too much in the middle of the park which is unlike us." And on Dortmund's goal: "It was like Danny Rose's for Tottenham last year. The boy could hit it another 50 times and it wouldn't go in."
2203: Got to say I agree with the Arsenal fans whose glasses are half full tonight. People were just waiting for the Gunners to slip up again, but instead they were within a couple of minutes of what would have been an impresive victory. As at least one of you has said, they would have taken a point at the start of the night.
tdzaurov on Twitter:
"You can see how the new Arsenal squad is still getting to know each other. They improve from game to game. Good luck!"
SamuraisShadow on Twitter:
"Arsenal finally get a decent defence, and tonight the MIDFIELD is the weakness! Fix 1 problem, create another."
FOOTBALL LEAGUE/CARLING CUP LATEST: Championship has beaten Premier League, with Crystal Palace shocking Wigan to reach round three, where they will play Middlesbrough. Ben Watson pulled one back from distance late on for the Latics, but it was too little, too late. The Eagles have won 2-1.
From KT in Pinner, via text: "Juan Mata is class. He's like a hybrid of Zola and Robben."
Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas on his side's win over Bayer Leverkusen: "There are so many positives. It was a difficult game for us but we created numerous chances to win the game early. Petr Cech made a couple of great saves but it was our game to win and you would say it was a fair result. Excellent work-rate and excellent number of shots on target. We are very happy with everything."
FOOTBALL LEAGUE/CARLING CUP LATEST: A bad night for Wednesday is compounded as Jermaine Johnson is red-carded for violent conduct. Colchester's late equaliser, from Anthony Wordsworth, blows Brentford's hopes of going top.
abdullahchikh05 on Twitter:
"Genuinely believe Wojciech Szczesny will be one of the best keepers in the world in a couple of years. Think he's top drawer."
2145: So, a good night's work for Chelsea, and a winning start to Champions League football for their manager Andre Villas-Boas. Arsenal were so close to doing the same, but a draw in Dortmund is certainly not to be sniffed at.
2144: Sorry, looks like I wasn't the only one saying 'what the... !?' at 2133. That should have read: It almost gets even WORSE for Arsenal, and even BETTER for Dortmund. Manually refresh and all will be as it should be...
MikeDavey on Twitter:
"Are Barca losing their touch? I hope so for the sake of the rest of the sides in the Champions League!"
2139: It is full-time in every other Champions League tie too.
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE LATEST: Milan have left it late but they have an equaliser at the Nou Camp, in the 93rd minute. Thiago Silva rises to power home a thumping header.
2137: GOALFLASH Barcelona 2-2 AC Milan (Thiago Silva)
2136: FULL-TIME Borussia Dortmund 1-1 Arsenal
2135: Still playing in Dortmund. Here come the home side again... but referee Gianluca Rocchi spots a foul as they hoist the ball forward. Arsenal just want this game finished with.
2135: FULL-TIME Chelsea 2-0 Bayer Leverkusen
Chelsea goal: The points are signed, sealed and delivered to Stamford Bridge when the Blues rampage down the left, playing in Fernando Torres who skips clear and could shoot himself, but unselfishly elects to square for Juan Mata to slide home into an empty net. Game over.
2133: What the.... !? It almost gets even worse for Arsenal, and even better for Dortmund. Robert Lewandowski runs clear but is denied by Wojciech Szczesny, who comes to his side's rescue again.
2133: GOALFLASH Chelsea 2-0 Bayer Leverkusen (Juan Mata)
Dortmund goal: The Gunners' hopes of victory are dashed in the dying seconds. A free-kick is half-cleared by Kieran Gibbs, but falls for Ivan Perisic about 20 yards from goal who smashes home an absolute pearler of a volley. No chance for Wojciech Szczesny there.
2131: GOALFLASH Borussia Dortmund 1-1 Arsenal (Ivan Perisic)
FOOTBALL LEAGUE/CARLING CUP LATEST: Things just keep getting worse for cash-strapped Plymouth at the foot of League Two. They are 2-0 down now because of Daniel Leach's deflected strike for Barnet. Darius Charles scores again too, incredibly putting Stevenage 5-0 up against shell-shocked Sheffield Wednesday. Palace still on course for a surprise win against Wigan, leading 2-0 in their Carling Cup game and looking comfortable. Di Canio is going crazy with joy as, after his war of words with Crawley boss Steve Evans, his Swindon team are 3-0 up there.
2128: Jose Bosingwa keeps getting down the right for Chelsea, and keeps sending in decent crosses. The Blues have mainly been operating on the break for the last few minutes, and if Leverkusen commit more me forward to try to rescue a point they are going to leave some huge gaps at the back. Just one minute of the 90 left in London.
nealb121 on Twitter:
"Wojciech Szczesny defiantly the best keeper to wear the Arsenal shirt since David Seaman."
2125: Arsenal have got some work to do to see this one out. Mario Gotze has a pop for Dortmund this time, but sees his shot fizz wide. Six minutes left in Germany and the Gunners still lead 1-0.
CARLING CUP/FOOTBALL LEAGUE LATEST: Preston go further ahead as Danny Mayor's great finish gives them a deserved 2-0 lead at Charlton. Sheffield Wednesday score - about time too - through in-form Gary Madine but, trailing 5-1 at Stevenage, it's not likely to cheer Owls fans much. Wesley Thomas puts out-of-form Bournemouth 2-1 ahead at Orient. Ten-man Northampton on their way to a brilliant 3-0 win at AFC Wimbledon.
2124: A great chance for Dortmund... but they make a right mess of it. A corner falls for Neven Subotic, who is just four yards out an unmarked but toe-pokes straight at a grateful Wojciech Szczesny. What a waste that was.
2122: Chelsea are having to do a bit of defending themselves. They have left Fernando Torres up front on his own and are sitting pretty deep. Let's see what Leverkusen have got.
From Tom in Winchester, via text: "Very impressed with how good Bosingwa has performed recently under Andre Villas-Boas - one of the best things to see under the new Chelsea management."
2119: Emmanuel Frimpong is coming on for Theo Walcott. That should tell you all you need to know about what Arsenal's approach will be in the closing minutes in Germany. They have got a lead to protect, you see.
2118: GOALFLASH Apoel Nicosia 2-1 Zenit St Petersburg (Ailton Jose Almeida)
2117: Not THAT comfortable, though. Lukasz Piszczek breaks down the right on the counter-attack and whips over a fine cross that narrowly eludes the lunging Robert Lewandowski. Arsenal can breathe again.
2116: Another change for Chelsea. It's goalscorer David Luiz who is coming off, making way for Alex.
2215: Under 15 minutes left at Stamford Bridge, and only slightly more in Dortmund. Both English sides are ahead at the moment and, dare I say it, looking quite comfortable.
2115: GOALFLASH Apoel Nicosia 1-1 Zenit St Petersburg (Gustavo Manduca)
2114: Arsenal are looking in good shape by the way and have taken all the sting out of Dortmund's attacking play. That Gervinho effort remains the best chance of the second half.
2111: Leverkusen, so resilient for 70 minutes, are now at sixes and sevens. Nicolas Anelka tees up Juan Mata who brings an acrobatic stop from Bernd Leno. Andre Villas-Boas, who had only just stopped jumping around his technical area in celebration of Chelsea's goal, is briefly off bouncing again.
Chelsea goal: Some finish this. David Luiz surges forward and feeds Fernando Torres. He finds Ashley Cole, who plays the ball back to Luiz, who curls his low shot right into the bottom corner of the net from the edge of the box. A brilliant strike, and Chelsea have the breakthrough.
FOOTBALL LEAGUE LATEST: Tranmere improve after boos at half-time and Lucas Akins pulls one back for them as Carlisle's lead is cut to 2-1. Brentford are on their way to the top of League One as Clayton Donaldson's solo effort puts them 1-0 to the good against Colchester. Orient are down to 10 men against Bournemouth with Scott Cuthbert being dismissed for violent conduct.
2107: Dortmund continue to dominate in Germany but Arsenal have just created the best chance of the half, Gervino getting the better of Neven Subotic and then Mats Hummel to stumble through one-on-one, but Roman Weidenfeller is out well to save the Ivorian's effort.
2107: GOALFLASH Chelsea 1-0 Bayer Leverkusen (David Luiz)
2106: Raul Meireles and Daniel Sturridge are the men coming off, and Leverkusen are making a change too. Michael Ballack gets a superb send off from his old fans, replaced by Renato.
2105: GOALFLASH Apoel Nicosia 0-1 Zenit St Petersburg (Konstatin Zyryanov)
2105 GOALFLASH FC Porto 2-1 Shakhtar Donetsk (Pinheiro Kleber)
2103: Chelsea are ready for a change, with Frank Lampard and Nicolas Anelka ready to come on... but, before then, they are almost ahead. Ashley Cole bends in a wicked cross and Daniel Sturridge meets it with a shot that Bernd Leno has to tip on to his post.
2101: Ouch. Mikel Arteta comes out worse in a clash of heads with Mats Hummels and is bleeding. This is no Terry Butcher moment, though. He's able to carry on after the briefest of treatment. No bandage required.. just a hanky.
2100: David Luiz is booked for a pretty blatant hack on Andre Schurrle. Leverkusen are getting into this, and their fans are getting even louder. When the free-kick is taken, the visitors come forward again and Andre Schurrle forces Petr Cech into a decent low stop.
2058: Another chance for Chelsea, with Fernando Torres getting on the end of a Florent Malouda cross but heading straight at the keeper but, moments later, Leverkusen SHOULD be ahead. Former Blues favourite Michael Ballack, who has been given a great reception by the home fans tonight, is one-on-one with Petr Cech, but hesitates... and Cech is out smartly to block. Top save.
2056: Leverkusen's turn to threaten, twice in fact. Lars Bender cuts into the area but takes a heavy touch and Chelsea clear. Then Andre Schurrle shoots wide.
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE LATEST: Barcelona have dominated since falling behind in the opening minute against AC Milan. David Villa has put the Catalan side ahead with a sweet right-foot free-kick.
2055: Chelsea play a couple of dangerous balls into the Leverkusen box, one from either flank. Daniel Sturridge is on the end of the first, but cannot get enough power behind his header. Fernando Torres meets the second, but can only flick it on rather than divert it goalwards.
2053: GOALFLASH Barcelona 2-1 AC Milan (David Villa)
FOOTBALL LEAGUE LATEST: Sheffield United are looking almost as bad as Wednesday. They are 3-0 down at half-time as Oscar Gobern heads in for Huddersfield.
2051: Dortmund have started the second half on the front foot, knocking the ball about well. Arsenal seem happy to soak up the pressure at the moment, and look pretty solid.
2050: Credit to the Leverkusen fans, they are making a right old racket at the Bridge. Their team have not done much attacking, but then they would be happy with a point tonight, wouldn't they?
BFCPaddy on Twitter:
"This game, after what happened at Old Trafford, shows just how good Per Mertesacker is. A calm experienced head helping Arsenal' younger players through "
2048: And the second half has started in Dortmund too. A bit of a delay at the Bridge, by the way. David Luiz is down and needs treatment.
2045: Chelsea get us back under way at Stamford Bridge...
From Andre, via text: "Am I the only one impressed with Arsenal's back four? Some shots but no clear-cut Dortmund chances as of yet."
2038: I've just been watching those disallowed Chelsea/Leverkusen goals again. Not sure why the German side had that Omer Toprak header chalked off, no matter how many times I watch it. And the Blues are a bit unfortunate too - Raul Meireles is just offside but doesn't make contact with Fernando Torres' flick, despite trying to. You could argue Meireles is still interfering with play, though. Anyway, the end result is it's still 0-0.
wozthegooner on Twitter:
"Theo Walcott take a bow son. If Gotze had made that pass everyone would be shouting from the rooftops, No football brain eh?"
Former Arsenal defender Lee Dixon at Signal Iduna Park, on Radio 5 live: "The goal may have been against the run of play but Arsenal have had two jobs tonight - keep a clean sheet and keep the crowd quiet - and they've done them both. Pat Rice will be breathing a little easier ahead of his half-time team-talk now, I'm sure."
HALF-TIME Chelsea 0-0 Bayer Leverkusen Alistair Magowan's HT snapshot: "Chelsea look promising up front and while Fernando Torres could, arguably, have had a hat-trick, it is Daniel Sturridge who increasingly appears their most likely goal source."
HALF-TIME Borussia Dortmund 0-1 Arsenal Sam Lyon's
HT snap-shot: "Dortmund have been lively, industrious, at times brilliant - and yet have nothing to show for it. Quite Arsenal-esque in many ways. Robin van Persie the difference."
FOOTBALL LEAGUE LATEST: Sheffield Wednesday's back four continues to look a mess against Stevenage's physicality. Lawrie Wilson rolls in another goal for the home team, making it 4-0. Wednesday old boy Paolo Di Canio, meanwhile, oversees a 1-0 lead for his Swindon team at Crawley. Wednesday's city rivals United concede again to Lee Novak so it's 2-0 to Huddersfield. Carlisle are making matters worse for Tranmere, leading 2-0 due after James Berrett's penalty.
2031: And the first half has ended in Dortmund too.
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE LATEST: You cannot keep Cesc Fabregas out of the action, sort of. He comes on as a replacement for Barca after Andres Iniesta limps off.
2030: It is half-time at a goalless Stamford Bridge.
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE LATEST: Well, it has been coming. Lionel Messi shows great determination to force his way beyond two Milan defenders before drilling a low ball across the face of goal that Pedro taps home at the far post as Barca equalise against Milan.
Arsenal goal: Bang! Just what the Gunners needed a couple of minutes before the break. Robin van Persie intercepts a Sebastian Kehl pass, plays a lovely one-two with Theo Walcott and powers home a convincing finish from Walcott's precise return. Classy stuff.
2027: GOALFLASH Borussia Dortmund 0-1 Arsenal (Robin van Persie)
2025: A few Poles involved in Dortmund tonight, and three of them are involved here. The home side attack again, as Lukasz Piszczek crosses from the right and finds Robert Lewandowski, unmarked, in the area, but his header is too weak to trouble Gunners keeper Wojciech Szczesny.
2023: Bernd Leno is busy again, having to react quickly as Daniel Sturridge ghosts in at the near post to meet a low Jose Bosingwa cross. He does enough to put Sturridge off, although I am not sure who gets the final touch.
2022: GOALFLASH Barcelona 1-1 AC Milan (Pedro)
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE LATEST: We might be struggling for goals a touch in tonight's Champions League but it is not for the want of trying in Spain, where Barcelona are desperately pressing for an equaliser against AC Milan. Lionel Messi has shaved the outside of the post but the Milan defence has held firm so far in defence of their team's 1-0 lead.
2019: Arsenal have woken up a bit and have just created their best chance of the match. Good work by Yossi Benayoun, who plays in Robin van Persie behind the Dortmund defence, but his snapshot is tipped round the post by Roman Weidenfeller. It might have been going wide anyway, but he could not take any chances.
2017: A solid save, this. Daniel Sturridge, on the right-hand corner of the area, looks up and curls in a useful effort, that Leverkusen keeper Bernd Leno pushes away. Andre Villas-Boas, as animated as ever, bounces up... and then down in disappointment.
Football League/Carling Cup latest: Sheffield Wednesday collapse spectacularly at Stevenage. They are reeling after going 3-0 down in 17 minutes. Sheffield United also trail as Lee Novak puts Huddersfield 1-0 up. In the Carling Cup, Darel Russell snatches a 1-0 lead for Preston at Charlton. Leyton Orient come back from a goal down against Bournemouth, making it 1-1 in the battle at the bottom of League One.
2015: GOALFLASH FC Porto 1-1 Shakhtar Donetsk (Hulk)
2015: Mata does take it too... but scoops his shot over the bar as well as over the wall. Close to half-an-hour gone at the Bridge. Chelsea are seeing more of the ball than Leverkusen, but need to do more with it.
2015: This is a chance. Lars Bender hauls down Daniel Sturridge and Chelsea have a free-kick about 25 yards out. Juan Mata? Probably...
2014: Hot potato! Chelsea striker Fernando Torres never quite gets the ball under control on the edge of the area but still almost works a sight of goal as it bounces around. He tries to take on Stefan Reinartz, who slides in to dispossess him.
Former Arsenal defender Lee Dixon at Signal Iduna Park, on Radio 5 live: "The best thing about the Arsenal performance so far is the scoreline - and that's about it. Dortmund have had a few chances, dominated, and Arsenal could do with taking stock here. They need to start holding it up up front a bit more. The attackers need to take the pressure off the Gunners' back line."
2011: Dormund are still on top, mainly because Arsenal are looking far too porous in central midfield. No more chances to tell you about, though.
OptaJoe on Twitter:
"24 - Alexandre Pato has scored the fifth fastest goal in the Champions League era (24 seconds). Flash."
2008: A bit of a lull in play at Stamford Bridge. Not in the stands, though, because the Leverkusen fans are doing their version of the 'Poznan' and jumping around a lot.
2003: Another sniff for Chelsea, when Bernd Leno's punch falls for Florent Malouda, who tries to head the ball back goalwards. 'Tries' is the key word here, because he sees it fly well off target.
2002: Arsene Wenger's seat at Signal Iduna Park tonight: Block 27, Row 24, Seat 63. In other words, up in the gods...
2001: Michael Ballack does take it. And sees his shot blocked by the Chelsea wall, who leapt to get in the way.
2000: Better by Leverkusen. After a neat passing move, they have a free-kick on the edge of the box when Raul Meireles fells Stefan Kiessling. Michael Ballack is standing behind it...
FOOTBALL LEAGUE LATEST We've had surprise goals very quickly in both Leagues One and Two. League Two leaders Morecambe fell behind to Macclesfield as Ben Tomlinson finished well. Carlisle, in poor form, stunned Tranmere when Lee Miller forced in the opener. Back down in League Two, Plymouth's misery continues as they mess up an attempted clearance of a corner and Izale McLeod strikes.
1959: GOALFLASH FC Porto 0-1 Shakhtar Donetsk (Adriano)
1957: More pressure by Dortmund, and the closest yet to the breakthrough. Mario Gotze feeds Robert Lewandowski, who rounds Wojciech Szczesny but sees his shot cleared off the line by a desperate Bacary Sagna who did well to get back.
1955: Fernando Torres has been busy boy. He gets the first yellow card of the night at Stamford Bridge, for a late lunge on Simon Rolfes. Then he has another sniff of goal, cleverly delaying his shot inside the area to make space and forcing a decent save from Bernd Leno. Juan Mata was involved in the build-up, again.
1953: Mario Gotze is already showing his class for Dortmund by the way. The young playmaker is seeing a lot of the ball and floating dangerously in a free role behind Robert Lewandowski. Arsenal need to keep an eye on him...
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE LATEST First goal of the night? Pato puts AC Milan ahead with a brilliant goal inside 30 seconds against Barcelona at the Nou Camp. The Brazilian dances through the Barca defence before slotting the ball beyond Victor Valdes with his right foot from 14 yards.
1952: It's not quiet in Dortmund either. First, Arsenal threaten when Gervinho skips into the area but he is denied by a timely tackle by Mats Hummels as he shapes to shoot. Seconds later, the home side attack and Kevin Grosskreuts runs on to a Robert Lewandowski pass but fired wildly over from a tightish angle.
1950: Goals disallowed at Stamford Bridge - two in a minute in fact. First referee Stephane Lannoy decides Leverkusen did a bit too much pushing and shoving as Omer Toprak header creeps over the line from a corner. Then, at the other end, Raul Meireles gets on the end of a Fernando Torres flick after Juan Mata's cross... but is a few yards offside as he taps home.
1949: GOALFLASH Barcelona 0-1 AC Milan (Pato )
1948: Chelsea's first attack and, it is almost a successful one. Daniel Sturridge gets down the right and sends over a cross that Fernando Torres stretches for and ends up hooking just over the bar. Close to being a very special return to the starting line-up.
1945: We've had the tune. Now for the football. We are under way in Dortmund, and at Stamford Bridge too.
1939: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger on his touchline ban: "The players know me so well that they can detect very quickly, sometimes without me saying anything, what I want from them, so it will be difficult for me to be away from the sidelines - especially as I'm so far away in the stands that I won't even be able to see the actions of my staff. But I have complete faith in Pat Rice - I have no problem there. It's just my frustrations that I cannot be there myself."
1936: Danger men for the English clubs on European duty tonight include Dortmund's Mario Gotze,
who, as discussed below, is the 'German Messi'
"It is not possible to stop Mario," Germany legend Franz Beckenbauer said last month. We shall see. Meanwhile, Leverkusen's fans will have to save their love for their Brazilian midfielder Renato because he is on the bench. But watch out for Sidney Sam and Andre Schurrle who are two of the three attacking players in the middle of boss Robin Dutt's probable 4-2-3-1 formation.
davy2003t on Twitter:
"Arsene Wenger should be tunnelling into the dressing room for the half time team talk like in Escape to Victory."
He is more likely to be parachuting in, to be honest...
1933: By the way, Arsene Wenger's seat at Signal Iduna Park is a LONG way from the touchline. If he claims not to have seen a major incident tonight, he might not be fibbing.
1932: I liked Daniel Sturridge's finish against the Black Cats at the weekend. A lot. Looking forward to seeing him in action tonight. And good to see an English presence at the Nou Camp too, courtesy of referee Martin Atkinson.
From Freddie, via text: "Sturridge is at his best through the middle... The one time he drifted towards the middle against Sunderland, he scored. It's should be either Torres or Sturridge, not both... And I think I know who the majority of us Chelsea fans would pick at the moment."
Barcelona v AC Milan line-ups Barcelona: Valdes, Dani Alves, Mascherano, Busquets, Abidal, Keita, Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, Pedro, Villa. Subs: Pinto, Fabregas, Puyol, Thiago, Maxwell, Afellay, Adriano. AC Milan: Abbiati, Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta, Van Bommel, Nocerino, Seedorf, Boateng, Alexandre Pato, Cassano. Subs: Amelia, Aquilani, Ambrosini, Bonera, Emanuelson, Yepes, Antonini. Referee: Martin Atkinson (England)
1923: Sorry, I was a bit harsh on Plzen earlier... they actually play their Champions League games in Prague, and in front of a bigger crowd than 7,000 too.
OptaJoe on Twitter:
"14 - Arsenal are making their 14th consecutive appearance in the Champions League, only Man Utd & Real Madrid are on a longer run. Constant."
From anonymous Chelsea fan, via text: "What a great starting line up for us today against Leverkusen. This is the future front line I hope for Chelsea... Playing sturridge, mata and Torres is a great move from AVB."
CHELSEA v BAYER LEVERKUSEN (GROUP E, 1945 BST) Alistair Magowan reports:"Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas sees no reason why his team cannot make it all the way to the Champions League final, despite their past failures in the competition. "I don't think there's a mental block," he said. "There's some kind of unpredictability that can take you all the way to the final sometimes." Leverkusen's Michael Ballack disagrees. The 34-year-old said that losing the 2008 final to Manchester United on penalties will "haunt all of us for ever."
Football League update: It's a full programme tonight in both League One and League Two. There's a tasty third-tier fixture in Yorkshire, where leaders Sheffield United host fellow high-flyers Huddersfield. The bottom two teams Leyton Orient and Bournemouth face each other at Brisbane Road. A division below, crisis club Plymouth will hope to end their horrific slide - they have one point from seven matches - when they travel to struggling Barnet.
Carling Cup update: In the Carling Cup, Crystal Palace host Wigan. The Premier League club have signed plenty of Palace's former stars in recent years, such as Ben Watson and Victor Moses, which should add spice to the contest. The evening's other cup tie sees third-tier heavyweights Charlton and Preston clash in London. These are both second-round ties.
CHELSEA v BAYER LEVERKUSEN (GROUP E, 1945 BST) Alistair Magowan reports:
"Chelsea hand a start to Fernando Torres, despite his reported grumblings about his "slow" team-mates. He will have the pace of Daniel Sturridge and Juan Mata alongside him, while John Terry and Frank Lampard are rested ahead of Sunday's game against Manchester United. David Luiz also makes his first start of the season. For Leverkusen, Michael Ballack is in the first XI while forward Andre Schurrle is back in the side after their 4-1 win over Augsburg last Friday."
1915: BORUSSIA DORTMUND v ARSENAL TEAM NEWS Sam Lyon
reports: "Mixed team news for Dortmund with Lucas Barrios's absence (thigh) offset by the return after a domestic ban of one-to-watch Mario Gotze - a man
described by Franz Beckenbauer as Germany's answer to Lionel Messi,
no less. Arsenal, meanwhile, start with Yossi Benayoun for the first time, with fellow new-boys Per Mertesacker, Mikel Arteta and Gervinho also in the starting XI. Park Chu-Young and Andre Santos start on the bench. Revamped."
Borussia Dortmund v Arsenal line-ups Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller, Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer, Bender, Kehl, Gotze, Kagawa, Grosskreutz, Lewandowski. Subs: Langerak, Da Silva, Zidan, Blaszczykowski, Gundogan, Felipe Santana, Perisic. Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Song, Arteta, Walcott, Benayoun, Gervinho, van Persie. Subs: Fabianski, Park, Andre Santos, Djourou, Arshavin, Frimpong, Chamakh. Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (Italy)
1912: And if you don't know much about Dortmund,
why not check out Raphael Honigstein's blog
on Jurgen Klopp's dangerous young side and how it has taken the club almost a decade to regroup after they lost to Real Madrid in the 2002 Champions League final. We can expect an 65,000 sell-out Signal Iduna Park, and I'm guessing it will not be a quiet night.
garratt127 on Twitter:
"Torres to get back to his old ways with a brace tonight. Mata + Meireles are smart signings. Should create buckets of chances "
vandal187 on Twitter:
"Dortmund v Arsenal looks like a cracker tonight. The Gunners will have a torrid time taming Gotze and co. 3-1 Borussia."
1903: And this is where you lot come in. Tweet the commentary via the hashtag
or text in via 81111 (UK). Don't be shy.
1902: Plenty else to look forward to in the Champions League tonight too, including a clash between two giants of the European game in Group H. That's right, Plzen host BATE Borisov in a game that is guaranteed to get the 7,000-capacity Struncovy Sady Stadium rocking. Oh and,
Barcelona play AC Milan
too. It's not just about European football for the next few hours, either. There's a couple of Carling Cup ties and a full programme in Leagues One and Two to take in too. Happy days.
CHELSEA v BAYER LEVERKUSEN (GROUP E, 1945 BST) Alistair Magowan reports: "So Andre Villas-Boas is the latest Chelsea manager charged with delivering the Old Big Ears into the hands of owner Roman Abramovich. Leverkusen, meanwhile, have made a promising start to their Bundesliga season and could feature former Blues midfielder Michael Ballack, who has already played in the Champions League final for both clubs."
BORUSSIA DORTMUND v ARSENAL (GROUP F, 1945) Sam Lyon reports: "It's been three weeks since Arsenal battled through a play-off
to earn a 14th straight season in the Champions League group stages - but in many ways the hard work starts now. Tonight they open their Group F campaign against reigning Bundesliga champions Dortmund, the first German winners of this competition in 1997, and a side making real waves under Jurgen Klopp. With
Arsene Wenger again in the stands,
all eyes will be on how
his new-look side
gels in Germany's biggest and most intimidating arena without him."
BREAKING CHELSEA TEAM NEWS Daniel Sturridge and Fernando Torres start up front against Bayer Leverkusen. David Luiz makes his first appearance of the season and Frank Lampard and John Terry are both left out of the starting XI.
BREAKING ARSENAL TEAM NEWS Yossi Benayoun is handed his full Gunners debut, with Per Mertesacker and Mikel Arteta also in the starting line-up. Full details in a tick.
1856: Don't worry, I'm not neglecting the Gunners. Arsene Wenger's side begin their attempt to get out of Group F with a tricky old trip to a
resurgent Borrussia Dortmund,
who won this competition in 1997 but have had a few lean years since.
1853: Will this year be any different? We are about to find out.
The road to the 2012 final in Munich
starts here, for Chelsea and for Arsenal too, with the opening round of this seasons group games. Appropriate, then, that they are both playing German sides.
1851: In answer to the second question, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich certainly hopes so. This season is the ninth time he has tried to win the Champions League and, in case you are still wondering, those six men all tried and failed in their quest to deliver European club football's ultimate prize to Stamford Bridge. In case Villas Boas was wondering,
winning the Europa League again
will probably not keep Roman happy...
1848: Hello. Let's start with a quick quiz: What do Claudio Ranieri, Jose Mourinho, Avram Grant, Luiz Felipe Scolari, Guus Hiddink and Carlo Ancelotti have in common? And will Andre Villas-Boas be any different?
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