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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 February 2008, 21:39 GMT
Champions Lge as it happened

Schalke 1-0 Porto
Liverpool 2-0 Inter Milan

Roma 2-1 Real Madrid
Olympiakos 0-0 Chelsea


To get involved use 606 or text us your views & comments on 81111. (Not all contributions can be used)

By Paul Fletcher

2153: Well, many thanks for all your comments and contributions this evening. The clockwatch would be all the poorer without you. Toon4europe, make sure you're back and battering me tomorrow.

Liverpool eh. Knocked out by Barnsley and then beat a team that have not lost in five months!

Check this out then. Javier Mascherano comes out on top of our Liverpool player rater with 7.27. Don't forget, there is still time for you to get involved - and with a couple of late goals I get the feeling the situation might change.

Top of the pops on the Chelsea player rater is Petr Cech on 6.81. In fairness, I'm not sure the Chelsea supporters had all that much to go at tonight.

2145: "What has everyone got against Liverpool? People just want to hit them when they're down for no reason."
Gun_Ah on 606

2140: "It is a big night and a big win but it means nothing if we do not finish the job off in the second leg."
Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard

2137: Full-time Olympiakos 0-0 Chelsea
Not a classic by any means. And no away goal for Chelsea. That might have changed but Kalou fluffed a late chance. A heavy touch at the wrong time allowing Nikopolidis to save.

2136: Full-time Schalke 1-0 Porto

2135: Full-time Roma 2-1 Real Madrid
Roma come back from 1-0 down to take a first-leg lead.

2134: Full-time Liverpool 2-0 Inter Milan
For so long it seemed as though Liverpool would be unable to break down 10-man Inter. Then it all changed in spectacular fashion, with two late goals changing the complexion of the tie.

2133: "After watching the whole match and not seeing a goal, I decide to do some homework for tomorrow. Liverpool then decide to score. Does that mean that if I want Liverpool to win every game, I will have to do homework constantly? I am doomed."
bloggs2000 on 606

2130: GOAL Liverpool 2-0 Inter Milan
Steven Gerrard extends Liverpool's lead with a low strike across goal from 25 yards.

There does not seem to be much on but, then again, you never write off the Liverpool skipper. At first glance the ball seems to take at least one deflection on its way to goal but replays suggest otherwise.

2125: GOAL Liverpool 1-0 Inter Milan
Dirk Kuyt, heavily criticised all night on 606, puts Liverpool ahead with an excellent finish. A cross from Pennant somehow finds its way through to the far side of the penalty area and the Dutch forward drills the ball into the ground and up beyond Julio Cesar.

2125: Benitez is watching from the touchline at Anfield. His players have not lacked effort but have found Inter extremely well organised.

2122: Real Madrid hit the post through Ruud van Nistelrooy as they push for an equaliser in Rome.

2121: "C'mon Chelsea, I'm trying to stay awake and I'm at work. No heavy machinery involved and no Frank Lampard quips please."
blackswan69 on 606

2119: Say what you like about Crouch, he has caused Inter plenty of problems. This time he turns inside and out but his shot from 10 yards is blocked by Christian Chivu.

2116: A double change for Chelsea, with Salomon Kalou and Nicolas Anelka on for Joe Cole and Florent Malouda. About 15 minutes left.

2114: A chance for Peter Crouch after Ivan Cordoba's clearing header flies straight at him but the Liverpool striker snatches at his volley somewhat and it goes wide. Cordoba lands heavily and is then stretched off to be replaced by Nicolas Burdisso.

2110: I take it all back. Inter enjoy a few minutes in control of the ball and look pretty dangerous. Jermaine Pennant is getting ready to come on, briefly exposing a heavily tattooed body. Ah, so that's what footballers do in the afternoon. Pennant replaces Babel.

Not too much to report from Greece. Perhaps Chelsea would be happy to go back to Stamford Bridge with a goalless draw.

2108: Liverpool enjoying virtually all of the possession but can they make it count? Surely they have to grasp the nettle tonight?

2104: Enter Peter Crouch. The Liverpool striker comes on for Lucas. He has 26 minutes to save the world. Oh, sorry, getting confused with Flash Gordon again.

2103: A sharp turn and shot from Torres drifts just wide of the Inter post. Liverpool are getting closer.

2102: Petr Cech is called into action for the first time in the 57th minute when Luciano Galletti tees the ball to Pedrag Djordjevic and his drive is gathered low down by the Chelsea keeper.

2101: Gerrard lifts the ball and it clearly hits Inter sub Vieira on the arm. A clear penalty, but not in the view of the referee.

2100: GOAL Roma 2-1 Real Madrid
The Stadio Olimpico erupts as Francesco Totti feeds Mancini, who neatly goes round Iker Casillas and gives Roma the lead.

2059: Another good chance for the Reds but this time Hyypia heads over from six yards.

2058: The ball breaks to Torres, he is completely through. It is the chance Liverpool have been waiting for. He shoots low and brilliantly across goal but is denied by a brilliant save from Julio Cesar.

2056: Steve Finnan has been an excellent attacking option for Liverpool down the right and he wins a free-kick. Inter, however, manage to clear their lines.

Chelsea are gradually committing more players forward. Hopefully there will be a goal to report soon.

2055: A familiar face enters the fray at Anfield, with Patrick Vieira replacing Julio Cruz. Inter are now deploying a 4-4-1 formation.

2053: The definition of optimism? Perhaps Sami Hyypia trying his luck from about 35 yards. The ball flies wide.

2050: Some crisp passing exposes Dejan Stankovic but Steve Finnan's low cross is put out for a corner. Signs of improvement.

2048: A moment of panic and indecision in the Liverpool penalty area. The ball drops to Esteban Cambiasso but he shoots over from 20 yards.

2047: I have just been told that Chelsea's five-man midfield ran a total of 57km during the first-half of their match.

The second-half has started in all four ties.

2045: Liverpool and Inter back under way.

2044: I like to see Premier League teams do well in Europe. Keeps the excitement going. So here is to some second-half goals at Anfield and at the Karaiskakis Stadium.

2040: "How old is the Olympiakos keeper?"
chrissiemacca69 on 606

He is 36. An excellent keeper who was on top form all the way through Greece's Euro 2004 campaign. He looks very old with his grey hair but don't be fooled!

No particularly high marks abounding over on our Liverpool player rater. Javier Mascherano leads the way with 7.28. Which isn't bad. But Marco Materazzi has got 5.91 and he was sent off 15 minutes ago. Surely that'll change soon...?

People are in uncharitable mood over on the Chelsea player rater. Petr Cech has the top mark so far, but that's only 6.50. It does go all the way up to 10, you know...

2033: "The sending-off was bad for Liverpool. They were doing better before when Inter was actually trying to go forward. This looks like a dire match. Rafa better make some changes and ask his players to make some runs. Everyone's just standing around."
Tower of Babel on 606

2031: Half-time
We have reached the break in all four ties. No goals as yet in the games involving Liverpool and Chelsea.

2029: Liverpool finally get behind the Inter defence, with Gerrard bursting down the right and driving the ball low across goal. Ivan Cordoba is first to the ball and calmly clears. Dirk Kuyt then tries his luck from distance but his shot is easily saved.

2024: Ryan Babel has a crack from distance. The ball flies some distance over the crossbar. Liverpool have not really shown more ambition since they assumed a numerical advantage. Surely they should try to capitalise on the, ahem, generosity of the decisions in their favour.

2021: Ieroklis Stoltidis finds space in the box and gets on the end of a Pedrag Djordjevic corner to send his header invitingly across goal to Vassilis Torosidis - who cannot make clean enough contact with the opening goal beckoning. It is a let-off for Chelsea.

More good news for them - Drogba seems to be OK.

2020: (See 2003) "Toon4europe - Materazzi was sent off four times in 27 games when he played for the mighty Everton. Is there anyone who can beat that record?"
Neil, Arborfield, via text on 81111

Hmmm. Old Marco can consider himself a tad unlucky tonight. Maybe the Karma police have finally caught up with him.

2014: RED CARD
Marco Materazzi, once of Everton, picks up his second yellow. Both cards came after fouls on Torres. In the defender's defence I'd have to say there did not seem to be that much in either challenge.

Will Rafa go for it now?

2013: Liverpool have failed to translate their good start into a goal. Inter seem to be slowly coming to terms with the pace of the game, while Torres looks isolated up front.

2011: Didier Drogba in all sorts of trouble. The Chelsea striker is limping quite badly.

2009: GOAL Roma 1-1 Real Madrid
Real fail to clear their lines and the ball runs invitingly to David Pizarro, whose shot takes a significant deflection off Fernando Gago.

2007: Cracking chance for Chelsea. Florent Malouda flicks-on Juliano Belletti's free-kick and finds Ricardo Carvalho unmarked at the far post. The central defender heads goalwards but the silver fox that is Nikopolidis saves.

2003: "Fletcher - are you ever going to stop going on about Materazzi's altercation with Zidane and move on, for heaven's sake!"
Toon4Europe on 606

Matey, there is so much more than that. Suggest you have a look around the internet and come back later when you are at least vaguely well informed.

2001: Olympiakos keeper Antonis Nikopolidis denies Florent Malouda with a shot from just inside the box. Chelsea looking very lively on the break.

2000: Rafa in his seat surveying all before him. Chewing furiously. The Spaniard looks like a man under pressure. Or have I just bought the hype?

1957: Fernando Torres chases down a lost cause and is brought down by Materazzi, who is booked for his troubles. Not sure it was a yellow card offence but the Inter defender, well, he has a past doesn't he!

1956: Michaels Ballack and Essien both make surging runs forward for Chelsea but no clear-cut openings as yet for the Blues.

1953: Liverpool are really on top at Anfield. Steven Gerrard swings in a corner and a Sami Hyypia header is tipped over the crossbar.

Real appear to go 2-0 ahead, but Ruud van Nistelrooy's effort is ruled out for offside. Roma are rocking.

1952: GOAL Roma 0-1 Real Madrid
Raul diverts a long-range strike past Doni and the Spanish team are ahead.

1948: GOAL Schalke 1-0 Porto
An early goal in Germany. Rafinha shoots across goal but keeper Helton only manages to parry the shot into the path of Kevin Kuranyi, who smashes home from 16 yards.

1946: Liverpool are in red and on the charge. Inter have not lost for exactly five months. They have just one Italian in their line-up. A certain Marco Materazzi.

Chelsea are in that yellow kit of theirs.

1945: All four of tonight's tip-top ties are under way. Fabio Capello is at Anfield. He lands some big tickets that fella.

1940: "Just thought I'd say that "Fletcher" in flemish means "big smelly poo". Well, not really - but the joke isn't as funny when it falls on you, eh?"
duffedup_gh on 606

Touch. Not sure what I did to you though.

The atmosphere sounds top draw at Anfield. Could be one of those emotional Anfield nights...

1938: "All signs point to Frank Rijkaard as a replacement for Rafa with Jose off to Barca in the summer. Makes sense, still will not result in Liverpool winning the Premier League anytime soon with the squad they have available."
CjB-MFC via text on 81111

Massive relief. Glad we have got that all sorted.

Not long until kick-off. COME ON YOU REDS/BLUES (delete as appropriate).

1932: "Rafa will get the boot and Liverpool will be left wondering, does Avram Grant have any brothers? Or cousins?"
jdnp_cfc_gh on 606

Light the blue touch paper and retire to a safe distance. Geddit - blue.

Jez in our office went out and bought a falafel kebab for his dinner. He has asked me to mention this numerous times. Sorry to be selfish, but purely for some peace and quiet ahead of a busy night of footy, consider it done.

1930: "Come on Chelsea. Let us not be 'Pantos' tonight!"
OllieJ, via text on 81111

Lots and lots of chat on 606 and via text about the strength of Chelsea's bench tonight.

Cudicini, Lampard, Mikel, Kalou, Wright-Phillips, Terry, Anelka. Always nice to have so much talent on the bench.

1925: "Come on Chelsea! A good welcome back by Didier Drogba tonight would be for him to score, I can see it happening."
peterscott14f on 606

Chelsea have turned into the quiet men of the Premier League. Without Jose in charge there have been less wonderfully paranoid, witty outbursts but nonetheless a quiet efficiency about them. I think that quite suits Avram.

Porto, who are also in action tonight, were managed by the Special One when they won the Champions League, defeating Monaco in the final at Gelsenkirchen in 2004.

I seem to recall Jose virtually ripping his medal off his neck and leaving the field like a man on a mission. Operation I'm off to Stamford Bridge as it turned out.

Schalke are hoping to spoil Porto's return to the Ruhr, with coach Mirko Slomka predicting victory for his team.

1915: "Liverpool fan here and at the end of the season Benitez HAS to be sacked. At the start of the season he said to the American owners 'Give me the money and I will win you the Premier League'. We all know how that has gone."
Fluorine on 606

Now. I'm a fan of the Champions League. You get to watch the cream of England take on teams with players in their ranks like Pantos and there is something undeniably a little bit special about watching different styles of football from different European leagues pitted against each other.

But if I was a Liverpool fan I'd be thinking that a league title is very much the number one priority. And that isn't happening. Again. But the thing about sacking managers is this - if they get the chop then who should be brought in to replace them? If it is bye bye Rafa, then to whom should Liverpool say hello?

1904: See the Chelsea team down below (1844). It is literally all change from the team that defeated Huddersfield in the FA Cup on Saturday. Not one of the XI that started against the Terriers is in the Blues team today.

1900: "Back to the Rafa sacking debate. Rafa to be sacked tonight if Liverpool concede three goals or more and if Liverpool score none."
ChelseaStar4Life on 606

Hmmm. This is a subject with legs. Lets face it, the man is now under immense pressure. What I want to know is what Liverpool supporters think. I mean, if Liverpool do go on to win the Champions League should Rafa stay? Or is his relative failure in the Premier League a blow from which he cannot recover.

Remember, the longer Liverpool fall to teams like Barnsley the longer this sort of stuff will continue...

"I've heard Rafa is going and will be replaced with John Barnes and Sammy Lee. They said it should be a good Barnes-lee partnership."
vaughnanichebe on 606

1855: TEAM NEWS:
Fernando Torres returns to the Liverpool line-up after two matches out with injury for what promises to be a tough tie against Inter Milan.

He will start up front alongside Ryan Babel and Dirk Kuyt, while Pepe Reina, Steven Gerrard, Javier Mascherano and Fabio Aurelio are also recalled after missing the FA Cup exit to Barnsley.

Liverpool: Reina, Finnan, Aurelio, Carragher, Hyypia, Mascherano, Lucas, Gerrard, Babel, Torres, Kuyt.
Subs: Itandje, Riise, Benayoun, Arbeloa, Pennant, Alonso, Crouch.

1854: I just wanted to alert you all to one name on the Olympiakos team sheet. Tassos Pantos.

1852: A tasty evening of action also sees Roma entertain Spanish league leaders Real Madrid.

Roma have lost two of their last three Serie A games and a training ground bust-up between Christian Panucci and Alberto Aquilani tells you all you need to know about the tension in their game.

Madrid, though, have lost their last two away games and gamble on selecting former Manchester United defender Gabriel Heinze following a thigh strain.

1851: TEAM NEWS:
Chelsea boss Avram Grant leaves John Terry, Frank Lampard and Nicolas Anelka on the bench.

Terry returned to the starting line-up for the FA Cup win over Huddersfield but Ricardo Carvalho and Alex will play at the heart of the Blues defence.

Michael Essien continues his record of starting every Champions League game this season, while Didier Drogba is back after the Africa Cup of Nations and Florent Malouda is preferred to Shaun Wright-Phillips on the wing.

1844: LINE-UPS:
Olympiakos: Nikopolidis, Zewlakow, Julio Cesar, Antzas, Pantos, Ledesma, Galletti, Torosidis, Djordjevic, Stoltidis, Kovacevic.
Subs: Sifakis, Patsatzoglou, Leonardo, Leonel Nunez, Mitroglou, Belluschi, Sisic.

Chelsea: Cech, Belletti, Carvalho, Alex, Ashley Cole, Essien, Makelele, Ballack, Malouda, Drogba, Joe Cole.
Subs: Cudicini, Lampard, Obi, Kalou, Wright-Phillips, Terry, Anelka.

Referee: Konrad Plautz (Austria)

1840 GMT: The Champions League resumes after its winter freeze - and Liverpool had better be red hot against Inter Milan.

The icy wind of crushing disappointment has been blowing through Anfield of late and Rafa the Gaffer could soon find himself out in the cold on a permanent basis if his team fail against the fancied Italians.

No question, what is required is one of those classic nights of European football at Anfield.

You know the ones. The manager picks his strongest team, they go out and do the business, lifted as they are by the songs and sounds of the passionate home crowd. The sort of nights that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end.

Meanwhile, Chelsea's build-up has been devoid of hysteria and histrionics. Chelsea are still pursuing honours on four fronts and Avram Grant's team go into their tie in pretty decent form.

After several near misses over recent seasons - perhaps 2008 will prove to be their year? Who knows, maybe Grant will end the season as manager of the year?

Champions League photos
19 Feb 08 |  Europe


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