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Page last updated at 21:24 GMT, Wednesday, 28 September 2011 22:24 UK

Wednesday football as it happened


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Sam Lyon
By Sam Lyon
BBC Sport

2215: That's Matchday Two of the Champions League done and dusted, then - and the English boys are having things far from all their own way so far, aren't they? Work for all four of them to do and no mistake. The European bonanza continues tomorrow with the Europa League and Chris Bevan, so make sure you're back here to check that out, and I'll be back to see you all soon. Sam Lyon out.

grzegorz24 on Twitter: "Sam, I really don't have a Kalou what Salomon was doing for the penalty."

Ollie, Chelsea fan in Malmesbury, via text: "Draw in the group's hardest game, we'll take that."

Chriscanning on Twitter: "Arsenal. Corner. Turned. Olympiakos, Bolton and powerhouses Shrewsbury of League 2. All at home. Quadruple? I THINK SO!"

Jon Smith reports:
"Chelsea and Valencia share the spoils, which is probably a fair result - but the Blues looked like they were going to get a lot more after impressive Frank Lampard's opener. What on earth was Salomon Kalou thinking? Honours even."

Tom Rostance reports:
"Credit to Arsenal as they pick up the victory despite resting their big guns for the derby with Spurs at the weekend, but on another day Olympiakos could have had three or four. Oxlade-Chamberlain looks a real talent, though."

2202: Let's see what our match reporters made of things, then...

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE UPDATE: So AC Milan and Barcelona sit level on four points each at the top of Group H after they beat minnows Plzen and BATE Borisov. Marseille top Group F ahead of Arsenal after their 3-0 hammering of German champions Borussia Dortmund. Bayer Leverkusen are Chelsea's nearest challengers in Group E following their 2-0 win over Genk. Apoel Nicosia are the unlikely leaders of Group G after the Cypriot side took a point away at Shaktar Donetsk. They sit ahead of Zenit, who beat Porto 3-1.

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere on Twitter: "Well done to Chambo! Great Champions League debut! Great goal! I remember my debut in the Champions League! Never forget those nights mate!"

nedthomasisablu on Twitter: "Brilliant result for depleted Cardiff tonight, hopefully Kenny Miller can get his season started now. Happy mood for bed!"

2155: And congratulations, too, to Frank Lampard - a top bloke off the field proving he's still very much got what it takes on it. "I always want to play, that's a given," he said. "I've been like that throughout my career. I love playing for this club. I am very proud of playing here. I've had knocks before in my makes me worker harder to come back." And on tonight's result... "Qualification games in the group stage can be slightly bland at times but this was more exciting. From our point of view it was a good performance although disappointing to lose that lead."

todcowell on Twitter: "Well done young Guns, stepping up to the plate."

Rob, Woking via text: "Would have taken a Chelsea draw before kick-off but [keeper] Diego Alves was easily Valencia's best player. Some great saves."

2148: Congratulations, then, to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after taking to Champions League football like a duck to water tonight. "It was a really good experience for me," said the 18-year-old. "It was a big step up but this is where I want to play. I've got a lot of work to do to play regularly at this level. My dad was here to see it and I'm sure he will be happy with that. I'm definitely pushing to get into the team for the Spurs game [on Sunday], I just need to keep working hard and see what happens."

Zain_Patel on Twitter: "It may be Man Utd and Man City bossing the Premier League but it's Arsenal and Chelsea who are in the top two in their CL groups!"

SCOTTISH PREMIER UPDATE: Full-time: Hibernian 3-2 St Johnstone. Hibernian see out the time added on by referee Steve Conroy to secure their first home league win since February and join Dunfermline on nine points in the SPL.

goonerbigsam on Twitter: "Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is the youngest Englishman to ever score in the Champions League."

Lisa, Zurich, via text: "Salomon Kalou - shame he didn't refuse to come on - would have had three points from a tough game!"

2142: Disappointment in the end for Chelsea, then, but no less than Valencia deserved for their second half resurgence - while Arsenal will be grateful to have held on in the face of a spirited Olympiakos display. Those two are both now on four points in their respective groups - Chelsea top Group E, with Arsenal second behind Marseille in Group F. Two down... four to go...

yas1237 on Twitter: "Soo Arsenal the only British team to win this week in CL. Who would've thought it?"

FOOTBALL LEAGUE UPDATE: Dramatic finish at the Cardiff City Stadium as Southampton score in injury-time through substitute Steve de Ridder. It's not enough, though and Cardiff hold on to win 2-1. No such drama at the Riverside, where Middlesbrough and Leicester have contested a goalless draw.

2137: GOALFLASH Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 Genk (Ballack)

Full time
2136: FULL-TIME Valencia 1-1 Chelsea

2135: Both sides going for it in Spain, time for a winner? We're deep into three minutes of stoppage time.

Full time
2134: FULL-TIME Arsenal 2-1 Olympiakos

2134: At the Emirates, Arsenal are holding on... just...

SCOTTISH PREMIER UPDATE: Tight finish in store at Easter Road after the in-form Cillian Sheridan scores for St Johnstone to make it 3-2 to Hibs.

2133: Nicolas Anelkaaa.... saved! So close to a snatched winner from Chelsea, the French substitute released with just the keeper to beat, but Diego Alves is down well to save with his legs.

2132: GOALFLASH BATE 0-5 Barcelona (Villa)

2131: Salomon Kalou had been on the pitch all of four mintues as Frank Lampard's replacement before that indiscretion. Oops.

Valencia goal: Mindless from Salomon Kalou, needlessly handling from a corner for a clear penalty, and up steps Roberto Soldado to convert from the spot and level it up.

2129: GOALFLASH Valencia 1-1 Chelsea (Soldado pen)


2127: Approaching the last five minutes at the Mestalla and Valencia continue to knock on the door, Jonas this time forcing a sprawling save with a super curler.

2125: Cracking reception from the travelling massive as Chelsea's Frank Lampard makes his exit from the arena in Valencia. Potential match-winner?

2123: Into the last 10 minutes in both the Arsenal and Chelsea matches - and both sides are starting to sit deeper and deeper in protection of their lead. Counter attacks the name of the game.

2119: I should have mentioned a couple of subs, by the way, with Nicolas Anelka replacing Fernando Torres for Chelsea and Robin van Persie on for Marouane Chamakh for Arsenal. Nervy leads for both the London clubs at present.

2118: Close from Valencia again, substitute Sofiane Feghouli's effort from range held on the dive by Petr Cech despite a deflection. Moments later Pablo Piatti fires wide of the far post from the angle when well placed eight yards out. Around 15 minutes left in that one.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE UPDATE: AC Milan have stepped up a gear in the second half against Plzen, Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring a penalty before Antonio Cassano doubled their advantage. Barcelona have added a fourth against BATE, Lionel Messi firing home from the edge of the area. Marseille are now 3-0 up at home to Dortmund, while Jadson has levelled for Shakhtar after Apoel Nicosia held a lead for three minutes.

2115: GOALFLASH Marseille 3-0 B Dortmund (Ayew pen)

2113: Save! David Albelda's delightful ball over the top finds Pablo Piatti in the box and the substitute forces a fine save from Chelsea keeper Petr Cech on the rise. Chelsea hanging on a touch at present.

SCOTTISH PREMIER UPDATE: Garry O'Connor scores his second of the night to extend Hibs' lead over St Johnstone at Easter Road, this one coming from the penalty spot after he is fouled by David McCracken.

2111: More breaking news - Andrey Arshavin almost breaks into a jog at the Emirates. He does well to be fair, latching on to Aaron Ramsey's pass and stepping inside his defender, but his low toe-poke is kept out of the Olympiakos goal by keeper Franco Costanzo.

2110: GOALFLASH AC Milan 2-0 Plzen (Cassano)

FOOTBALL LEAGUE UPDATE: Not looking good for Championship leaders Southampton, who find themselves 2-0 down at Cardiff after Kenny Miller scores his second of the evening with a precise finish into the bottom corner.

2109: Valencia have responded well since that Frank Lampard goal - and Roberto Soldado goes ever so close to a leveller, latching on to a through-ball, rounding the keeper, but then running out of room wide of the upright and the chance goes awry.

2108: GOALFLASH Shakhtar Donetsk 1-1 Apoel Nicosia

2108: GOALFLASH Marseille 2-0 B Dortmund (Remy)

2107: Arsenal change - Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain off, Aaron Ramsey on.

2106: GOALFLASH Shakhtar Donetsk 0-1 Apoel Nicosia (Trickovski)

Someone has struck the woodwork
2105: Lull at the Emirates - over. Olympiakos captain Vassilis Torossidis goes within an inch or two of levelling it up, cutting in from the right and curling over Wojciech Szczesny... and against the crossbar. So close.

FOOTBALL LEAGUE UPDATE: Cardiff take the lead over Southampton seconds after Saints have a penalty appeal turned down. Bluebirds keeper David Marshall smashes the ball up-field and Kenny Miller does the rest, heading beyond Kelvin Davis.

2103: Back at the Emirates and we're enduring something of a lull.

2102: Chelsea turning the screw a touch now as Juan Mata goe son a marauding run, beating three players in a mazy dribble, before forcing a desperate clearance with a low cross.

Chelsea goal: Breakthrough. He's taken some stick this week but he's responded in the best way possible, with a fine performance and now a goal. It's classic Frank Lampard, too, the midfielder lashing home low from Florent Malouda's cut-back, giving home keeper Diego Alves no chance. Excellent strike.

2059: GOALFLASH Valencia 0-1 Chelsea (Lampard)

2058: GOALFLASH BATE 0-4 Barcelona (Messi)

2057: Chances galore! In a further Chelsea counter, two chances in a minute. First Ramires, striding through on goal, is denied by the keeper and then Fernando Torres, on the end of Frank Lampard's pin-point cross, turns and shoots only to be denied at point-blank range by the keeper. Super stop.

2056: GOALFLASH: AC Milan 1-0 Plzen (Ibrahimovic)

2056: Hold up - Valencia break quickly to the other end and David Luiz's scrambles back to head the ball away as Pablo Hernandez is about to score.

2055: There's a chance at the Mestalla now, though, and it's the best of the game - Diego Alves pulling off a brilliant save to deny Fernando Torres's close range header from Jose Bosingwa's cross.

Breaking News
We spoke a bit about it earlier, but it would appear Man City have been swift in their action against Carlos Tevez - suspending the Argentine until further notice "pending a full review into his alleged conduct" in Munich last night.

2052: As you were at the Mestalla, both sides scappy and as a result cancelling each other out right now.

2050: And, of course, Arsenal bounce up the other end and create a gilt-edged chance of their own, Marouane Chamakh feeding Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain through on goal, only for the youngster to dally on the angle, allowing keeper Franco Costanzo to stand tall and save.

2049: Ooh... Olympiakos key man Kevin Mirallas - who looked livelier than a six-year-old on too much pop in the first half, has the first effort of the half, dipping a long-range only inches wide with Wojciech Szczesny flapping.

2048: Bit slack at the Mestalla, but we're up and running again now, Valencia 0-0 Chelsea.

2045: Nice and prompt at the Emirates - back under way, Arsenal 2-1 Olympiakos.

Infostrada Sports: "Lionel Messi equals Hernan Crespo as Argentina's top scorer in European competitions on 39 goals. He has 38 CL goals and one in the European Super Cup."

cmcnaughton1 on Twitter: "'Isolated' isn't the word I would use to describe Torres at the moment. More like 'floundering' or 'out of his depth'."

FOOTBALL LEAGUE UPDATE: Two Championship fixtures, Leicester at Boro and Cardiff versus Southampton, united by one common factor; no goals. Lets hope that changes after the break.

HarounHickman on Twitter: "We're winning! Stop moaning about Wenger! Honestly, no pleasing some people!"

Mark in Brun via text: "Never thought I'd say this, but I'd take Bendtner over Chamakh any day..."

SCOTTISH PREMIER UPDATE: Hibernian take a slender 2-1 lead into the break at Easter Road against St Johnstone - all to play for.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE UPDATE: Half-time all around Europe. Barcelona are now 3-0 up after BATE goalkeeper Alyaksandr Gutor spills a cross right into the path of Lionel Messi. First-time Czech champions Plzen will be delighted to go in 0-0 at half-time at AC Milan, while it's also goalless in the match between Shakhtar Donetsk and Apoel Nicosia.

garratt127 on Twitter: "Even 45 minutes in Valencia. I think even the harshest critic would have to concede that Lampard has played well."

Craig, Aberdeen via text: "When did Arshavin become so distinctly average?!?"

2040: Something to get off your chest folks? Tweet the commentary via the hashtag #BBCFootball, Tweet me @sampatricklyon or text in via 81111 (UK). This is your time to shine.

van_de_ed on Twitter: "It really defies belief that Wenger thinks our current defensive strategy/players will ever win us a trophy."

Half time
2037: HALF-TIME Valencia 0-0 Chelsea
Jon Smith's HT snap-shot:
"Pretty cagey stuff at the Mestalla after Chelsea failed to take advantage of a couple of early chances. Fernando Torres looking a little isolated up front."

Half time
2035: HALF-TIME Arsenal 2-1 Olympiakos
Tom Rostance's HT snap-shot:
"It's a very familiar story for Arsenal, dangerous going forward - but the makeshift back four looks exactly that, makeshift. The hosts fortunate to lead."

2033: That's the last action of the half in Spain as the whistle blows.

2032: But still playing in Spain, where Petr Cech has to have his wits about him to save Pablo Hernandez's firm turn-and-shot from 20 yards out.

2030: The half-time whistle blows at the Emirates.

2029: Closing in on half time at the Mestalla now and Chelsea are ending it the stronger against Valencia. Still few clear cut chances to speak of, mind.

SCOTTISH PREMIER UPDATE: Another goal at Easter Road - and one that sees Hibs move back in front against St Johnstone as Garry O'Connor fires low into the bottom of the opposition net.

2025: ...but it's far too deep and Valencia clear easily.

2025: Corner to Chelsea after Juan Mata's long-ranger is deflected wide...

2024: Olympiakos threaten again, Kevin Mirallas robs Bacary Sagna of possession and charges into the Arsenal box, shifts it past Per Mertesacker and then forces a smart save at his near post from Gunners keeper Wojciech Szczesny.

2023: GOALFLASH BATE 0-3 Barcelona (Messi)

2020: It's a bizarre game at the Emirates - both sides look capable of scoring every time they go forward. If it continues like this it could end up about 6-5. But to whom?

FOOTBALL LEAGUE UPDATE: No goals in the Championship just yet. Don Cowie shot over for Cardiff in their match against leaders Southampton, but the nearest we have come to a goal is at the Riverside, where talented Boro youngster Joe Bennett struck the Leicester woodwork with a shot from a tight angle.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE UPDATE: BATE Borisov held on for a little while, but Barcelona have now scored twice in quick succession. First defender Alyaksandr Valadzko turned in Dani Alves's cross while under pressure from Lionel Messi, then two minutes later Pedro nodded in David Villa's lofted pass. Meanwhile Marseille are 1-0 up against Dortmund thanks to Ghanaian international striker Andre Ayew, while Bayer Leverkusen now lead Genk.

2017: Chances still at a premium at the Mestalla, though Valencia are edging matters against Chelsea. The Blues defence holding firm thus far.

2015: GOALFLASH Bayer Leverkusen 1-0 Genk (Bender)

2013: And it's so nearly 2-2 at the Emirates Stadium immediately, Rafik Djebbour finding some room down the right and then forcing a fingertip save from Wojciech Szczesny from the angle with a rising drive. Arsenal wobbling.

Olympiakos goal: Oh it's terrible defending. A simple short corner routine catches Arsenal napping and Ariel Ibagaza has all the time in the world to cross for David Fuster, in acres of space, to head home. Awful from Arsenal, Olympiakos back in it.

2012: GOALFLASH Arsenal 2-1 Olympiakos (Fuster)

2011: Valencia are getting right back into this against Chelsea now and there's a chance for Pablo Hernandez, the frontman firing into the side netting on the run from Jordi Alba's whipped cross from the left. Close.

2009: It should be 3-0 to Arsenal - Andrey Arshavin's scoop over the top is a delight and Marouane Chamakh brings it down well on his chest running through on goal, but the Moroccan's left-foot finish is wide.

SCOTTISH PREMIER UPDATE: A decisive strike by Ivan Sproule for Hibs smashes into the back of the St Johnstone net after good work by Junior Agogo, putting the hosts one up after 17 minutes at Easter Road. However, two minutes later poor Hibs defending allows Liam Craig to level from 15 yards with a shot that goes in off the post.

2008: Valencia midfielders Sergio Canales and Ever Banega are starting to get their foot on the ball and they combine to create a chance for Miguel but his shot is deflected wide by Ashley Cole.

2007: GOALFLASH BATE 0-2 Barcelona (Pedro)

2006: GOALFLASH Marseille 1-0 B Dortmund (Ayew)

Arsenal goal: Just as Olympiakos were threatening to build a head of steam, Arsenal pounce again. New boy Andre Santos bursts down the left and reacts well when his cross towards Marouane Chamakh is cut out, turning inside on his right foot on the angle and drilling home low into the centre of the goal.

2006: GOALFLASH Arsenal 2-0 Olympiakos (Santos)

2005: GOALFLASH BATE 0-1 Barcelona (Volodko Og)

2004: Spot of keep-ball in Spain as Valencia attempt to draw Chelsea's sting - the Blues playing a patient pressing game at present.

2003: To be fair, Olympiakos have responded pretty well since going a goal down - Arsenal remain in control, but that vulnerability at the back will only encourage the Greek visitors you would think.

2001: Off the line! Brilliant from Mikel Arteta - and the Spaniard has preserved Arsenal's lead with a fabulous block. The ball falls to Rafik Djebbour from a corner eight yards out with Gunners keeper Wojciech Szczesny awol, but his snap-shot is cleared on the goalline by Arteta's desperate lunge, Djebbour's follow-up slapped wide. Big let-off for Arsenal.

2000: ...struck low and towards the corner by Frank Lampard, but it's well saved by Diego Alves in the Valencia goal.

1959: Chelsea free-kick, 22 yards out, centre of goal...

1958: Mikel Arteta corner... headed wide unmarked by Marouane Chamakh - but Arsenal settling nicely against the Greek outfit.

1956: Back at the Mestalla and Valencia are being over-run by Chelsea still, with the midfield three of Ramires, Jon Mikel Obi and Frank Lampard enjoying very much the run of things in Spain.

Arsenal goal: European football? Easy. What an introduction to the Champions League from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, the youngster collecting Alex Song's raking through-ball, bursting inside and then crashing a low left-foot effort home off the post. Brilliant.

1953: GOALFLASH Arsenal 1-0 Olympiakos (Oxlade-Chamberlain)

1951: First chance at the Emirates - and it's to the visitors. Ljubomir Fejsa gets clear far too easily down the Olympiakos right and picks out David Fuster inside the area. The midfielder has space and time but puts his side-footed effort well wide of Wojciech Szczesny's goal.

1950: And now Victor Ruiz has to be in the right place at the right time to clear when the ball falls to Ramires in the box on the back of Florent Malouda's run. Chelsea on top.

1949: Chelsea chance! David Albelda gifts possession straight to Fernando Torres for a run in on goal, but the frontman's first touch is heavy and Adil Rami is able to get back and nick the ball away with the Spaniard poised to shoot. Let-off for Valencia.

1948: Early stages both at the Emirates and the Mestalla - and Arsenal and Chelsea are bossing the ball in the opening exchanges. Encouraging signs.

1945: Right then, we are up and running both at Arsenal and Valencia...

1944: Don't forget, too, you can listen to Valencia v Chelsea on BBC Radio 5 Live or Cardiff v Southampton on BBC Five Live sports extra - both on the right-hand side of this page no less. Get involved.

1943: And secondly, Lionel Messi could tonight become Barcelona's second all-time top goalscorer. The 24-year-old is only two goals away from matching Ladislau Kubala's total of 194. Barca's top scorer is Cesar Rodriguez, who scored 235 goals from 1942-55. Messi - quite good at football.

1941: With kick-off nearing, two other things to keep an eye on. Firstly, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is again in the stands tonight as he serves the second of a two-match Uefa ban - meaning this will be very much a Pat Rice production again this evening.

HollywoodLuke on Twitter: "Has Arsene Wenger underestimated Olympiakos tonight?"

Anon via text: "Olof Mellberg scored the first ever competitive goal at the Emirates. Villa legend!"

WilmaVonTrapp on Twitter: "I wish people would lay off Lampard. He missed a couple of games through injury and suddenly his career his over."

Tom Rostance reports:
"Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has warned against complacency ahead of the Greek side's visit: "We know we are a train that left the station a bit late, so any victory will help us." Olympiakos coach Ernesto Valverde, though, admits his side are underdogs. "We are up against the toughest of opponents," he said. "But football is sometimes simpler than people think." Confused? Let's hope his players know what he expects..."

1935: VALENCIA v CHELSEA (1945)
Jon Smith reports:
"Chelsea boss Andre Villa-Boas insists his side will not be favourites at Valencia. "I don't like being favourite in any game, it only implies big surprises. We know how good Valencia are," he said. Meanwhile, Valencia coach Unai Emery insists his former player Juan Mata will not get any special treatment. "Every player wearing blue, including Mata, will be our enemy," he said."

aravin_vin on Twitter: "Valencia away is a hard game - Chelsea fans shouldnt get carried away."

SCOTTISH PREMIER UPDATE: St Johnstone travel to Easter Road to take on Hibernian with the hosts struggling to find form and manager Colin Calderwood under pressure to secure the club's first win at home since February. In contrast, Derek McInnes's Saints are on a good run of away form, stretching back seven matches, and they've yet to concede a goal on the road this term.

sakshamstifler on Twitter: "Chamakh has a chance tonight to show Arsene Wenger there is no need to worry if the Robin van Persie contract talks don't go through as planned."

Justin via text: "Keep a keen eye on Valencia midfielder Ever Banega tonight folks. Many of Europe's elite are said to have him in their sights."

1928: VALENCIA v CHELSEA (1945)
Jon Smith reports:
"All the talk ahead of the game was about Frank Lampard, much to the frustration of boss Andre Villas-Boas, but the England midfielder is back in the Chelsea line-up. Former Valencia midfielder Juan Mata starts along with fellow Spaniard, Fernando Torres, who has a domestic three-match ban looming. For Valencia, experienced captain David Albelda returns after missing their 1-0 defeat at Seville at the weekend."

Tom Rostance reports:
"Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger boldly leaves out Robin van Persie as former Southampton winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is handed a European debut out wide. Marouane Chamakh leads the line up top, while Alex Song steps out of the engine room to fill in at centre-half alongside Per Mertesacker. Olympiakos have former Aston Villa defender Olof Mellberg in their ranks."

snoekrats on Twitter: "Park Chu-young must be wondering what he needs to do to get on the park!"

FOOTBALL LEAGUE UPDATE: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain might be making his European debut for Arsenal, but his former side Southampton are also in action, taking on Cardiff as they aim to stay top of the Championship. Fellow high-fliers Middlesbrough take on a Leicester side that have hardly showed the sort of form their big summer spending suggested.

blue_rebel on Twitter: "Hope Andre Villas-Boas wasn't pressured into putting Lampard into the starting 11. If he loses control of his team he'll become a Mancini."

Anon via text: "That 6-0 Braga match report you linked makes painful reading. A "Fabregas inspired Arsenal". Ahhhh the memories..."

1917: VALENCIA v CHELSEA (1945)
Diego Alves, Miguel, Rami, Victor Ruiz, Jordi Alba, Ever, Albelda, Pablo, Canales, Mathieu, Soldado. Subs: Guaita, Bruno, Maduro, Jonas, Feghouli, Piatti, Parejo.
Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Luiz, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Mikel, Lampard, Malouda, Torres, Mata. Subs: Turnbull, Ivanovic, Romeu, Drogba, Meireles, Kalou, Anelka.
Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (Italy)

saskliverbird on Twitter: "Did someone forget to tell Wenger this isn't a Carling Cup match? Seriously underwhelming line-up."

1912: Around this time, erm, five weeks ago, Juan Mata was a Valencia player, of course. Tonight he turns out for Chelsea against his former club - and he is expected to get a hero's reception. A few notable others would do well to take a leaf out of the Spaniard's book following his departure from the Mestalla, no? Mata, by the way, made his debut in this competition... against Chelsea, don't you know? Back in 2007, that. What to expect from him tonight?

manavm1 on Twitter: "Worried about Ramsey AND Van Persie on the bench but glad to see Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain starting! Perfect replacement for Walcott-great prospect!!"

Bluecraig, Liverpool via text: "I'm not an Arsenal fan but looking at that team you would think they would beat Olympiakos! People really need to get off Wenger's back!

Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Song, Andre Santos, Frimpong, Arteta, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arshavin, Chamakh. Subs: Fabianski, Park, van Persie, Ramsey, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Coquelin.
Olympiacos: Costanzo, Torosidis, Mellberg, Marcano, Holebas, Orbaiz, Fejsa, Ibagaza, David Fuster, Djebbour, Mirallas. Subs: Megyeri, Modesto, Pantelic, Papadopoulos, Makoun, Potouridis, Abdoun.
Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo (Spain)

ChelseaAnalyst on Twitter: "Torres may play for the whole 90 minutes, since he has no other game except for Champions League games until 29th October."

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE UPDATE: In Chelsea's Group E, Bayer Leverkusen are without their top two goalkeepers for their home tie with Belgian champions Genk. In Group F, early pace-setters Marseille host Borussia Dortmund, who drew with Arsenal last time out. Elsewhere AC Milan and Barcelona will fancy their chances against Plzen and Bate Borisov, respectively, while Zenit triumphed 3-1 over Porto in the early game.

Ravisond on Twitter: "Looking foward to watching a exciting and youthful player in Chamberlain , expecting big things."

Charlie, London via text: "Torres surely getting on the score sheet tonight, looks like scoring every game, what a player."

1906: Urgh, coding error, please refresh.

1904: Around this time last year, by the way, all was rather rosy in the Arsenal camp. Three heavy wins and two draws in their first five league games saw them riding high in the Premier League, while they marked their first home Champions League group stage match with a 6-0 thrashing of Braga. How valuable a similar win would be for the Gunners tonight, huh? Where's ya money...?

Tom Rostance reports:
"Arsenal returned to winning ways at the weekend thanks largely to Robin Van Persie's brace against Bolton. The Dutch striker has now scored 100 goals for the Gunners but Arsene Wenger has bravely chosen to rest his fragile talisman against Olympiakos. Without him Wenger's side look short of goal threat, so a lot rests on the shoulders of forgotten man Marouane Chamakh."

1857: VALENCIA v CHELSEA (1945)
Jon Smith reports:
"Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata makes a quick return to Valencia just over a month after making a £23.5m switch to the Stamford Bridge as the Blues aim to take a grip on Group E following their opening victory over Bayer Leverkusen. But Valencia are no mugs at the Mestalla having held the mighty Barcelona and winning their other two home games in La Liga."

DavidM33 on Twitter: "Pleased Luiz is starting alongside Terry but I can't see why malouda has come in for Anelka - one of our best players so far."

ScouseMick via text: "The phrase "pulling a Tevez" will go down in history. I suggest the definition as being the act of not even bothering to throw a sickie. You just slouch into work and sit there, refusing to do anything."

saqrajan on Twitter: "Clearly qualifying for next year's Champs League is more important than this year's competition - Arsenal resting Robin van Persie ahead of Sunday's derby against Tottenham."

1852: Pick the bones out of those then, why don't you my friends? Tweet the commentary via the hashtag #BBCFootball, Tweet me @sampatricklyon or text in via 81111 (UK). The floor is yours.

Frank Lampard is restored to the Chelsea line-up for the trip to Valencia, with Fernando Torres up front and Juan Mata selected against his former side.

Robin van Persie starts on the bench for Arsenal against Olympiakos tonight, with Alex Song in defence and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain handed his Champions League debut.

1847: And we can get this bad boy cooking with some early team news for you all...

1845: Anyway, assuming there is no "breakdown in communication" tonight that leads to a player failing to turn out in a Champions League match - something 99.9% of footy fans would sell their granny for, I imagine - we may just have to focus on events on the field tonight. Luckily it looks a barn-stormer. Your highlights...
CL: Arsenal v Olympiakos (1945)
CL: Valencia v Chelsea (1945)
FLC: Cardiff v Southampton (1945)
FLC: Middlesbrough v Leicester (1945)
SPL: Hibernian v St Johnstone (1945)

And we'll also be bringing you the goals from tonight's other six Champions League ties as and when they happen, too. You lucky lot.

1841: The ability to erase the mental image of Arsene Wenger in a pair of shorts, perhaps?

1838: Now, no, it's probably not going to happen. More's the pity. I imagine Pat Rice is above Arsene Wenger in the pecking order, to be fair. But still, fear not people, on the off-chance we don't get to see Mr Wenger striding out in a pair of red and white shorts, there remains plenty to keep us amused. Eight Champions League ties, Arsenal and Chelsea involved, two Championship matches and a Scottish Premier League clash - what more could you ask for?

1835: I tell you what, with eight first-teamers missing through injury already, if any Arsenal player were to "Pull A Tevez" tonight there's a pretty good chance we'd see manager Arsene Wenger himself forced into action this evening. That's got to be worth tuning in for, right?

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Champions League results

28 Sep 2011 23:59 UK

  • AC Milan2-0Plzen
  • Arsenal2-1OlympiakosFT
  • BATE Borisov0-5Barcelona
  • Bayer Leverkusen2-0Genk
  • Marseille3-0Borussia Dortmund
  • Shakhtar Donetsk1-1Apoel Nicosia
  • Valencia1-1ChelseaFT
  • Zenit St P'sbg3-1FC Porto

Champ Lge Group A table snapshot

As it stood on 28 Sep 2011 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Bayern Munich 2 4 6
2 Napoli 2 2 4
3 Man City 2 -2 1
4 Villarreal 2 -4 0

Champ Lge Group B table snapshot

As it stood on 28 Sep 2011 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Trabzonspor 2 1 4
2 Inter Milan 2 0 3
3 Lille 2 0 2
4 CSKA Moscow 2 -1 1

Champ Lge Group C table snapshot

As it stood on 28 Sep 2011 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 FC Basel 2 1 4
2 Benfica 2 1 4
3 Man Utd 2 0 2
4 SC Otelul Galati 2 -2 0

Champ Lge Group D table snapshot

As it stood on 28 Sep 2011 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Real Madrid 2 4 6
2 Lyon 2 2 4
3 Ajax 2 -3 1
4 Dinamo Zagreb 2 -3 0

Champ Lge Group E table snapshot

As it stood on 28 Sep 2011 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 2 2 4
2 Bayer Leverkusen 2 0 3
3 Valencia 2 0 2
4 Genk 2 -2 1

Champ Lge Group F table snapshot

As it stood on 28 Sep 2011 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Marseille 2 4 6
2 Arsenal 2 1 4
3 Borussia Dortmund 2 -3 1
4 Olympiakos 2 -2 0

Champ Lge Group G table snapshot

As it stood on 28 Sep 2011 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Apoel Nicosia 2 1 4
2 Zenit St P'sbg 2 1 3
3 FC Porto 2 -1 3
4 Shakhtar Donetsk 2 -1 1

Champ Lge Group H table snapshot

As it stood on 28 Sep 2011 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 AC Milan 2 2 4
2 Barcelona 2 5 4
3 BATE Borisov 2 -5 1
4 Plzen 2 -2 1

see also
Wednesday's football photos
28 Sep 11 |  Football

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