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Page last updated at 22:01 GMT, Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Champions League as it happened


Group E
AaB Aalborg 2-1 Celtic
Villarreal 0-0 Man Utd

Group F
Bayern Munich 3-0 Steaua Bucharest
Fiorentina 1-2 Lyon

Group G
Arsenal 1-0 Dynamo Kiev
Fenerbahce 1-2 FC Porto

Group H
BATE Borisov 0-1 Real Madrid
Zenit St Petersburg 0-0 Juventus


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

By Jonathan Stevenson

2200: Well, that's a wrap for today, Tuesday crew. Sorry we couldn't give you more goals, but hey, there's always another evening. Join me and Danny the Stat at the same time tomorrow for more Champions League action. And get stuck in with Danny Baker on 606 on BBC Radio 5 Live and on this website right now. Night.

2158: "Kiev defended very well, they were very well organised and you could see why they had not conceded away from home in Europe until tonight. They made it very difficult for us."
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

2157: "Only one team wanted to win tonight and that was Man Utd. The red card was fully deserved - watch it again, a disgraceful, cynical tackle."
Mel, St. Helens, via text on 81111

2156: Gary Caldwell, who scored a desperately unlucky own goal to knock Celtic out of Europe for another season, has this to say: "To go out like that is really disappointing. Everybody in the changing room is absolutely gutted."

2154: Hey - it's Danny the Stat, coming for an encore. He just loves the limelight, doesn't he? "A quick run down of the scores on the doors on Player Rater. Aalborg's "The Other" Caca is top man from that game with 7.43. Captain Cesc has an even-higher-than-Caca's-score of 7.75. Wayne Rooney's the top dog in Spain with 6.86. Pah. He's not even "broken the seven" (it'll catch on)."
Player Rater

2151: By the way, we're just nine minutes away from Danny Baker taking over BBC Radio 5 Live to do 606 tonight (it's also on the website, yeah?). Remember that any top-drawer comments on the 606 thread could, just could, make it into the programme. You know Danny - the more extraordinary, the more he loves it. Get involved.
Get involved with Danny Baker and 606

2147: Danny the Stat wraps it up. And how: "So, here's the outcome for the British sides tonight. Group E is done - Man Utd and Villarreal are through, Aalborg are into the Uefa Cup, Celtic are out. The only thing to decide is whether Man Utd or Villarreal finish top. In Group G, Arsenal and Porto are through, and Arsenal will top the group unless they lose in Porto in the final group game." Round of internet applause for Danny.

2144: "Sorry, Stevo, old chum... but I have to respectfully disagree with your view on the Capdevila sending off. It looked to me that that swinging leg headed directly towards the knee, with studs showing."
swebbing on 606
Join the debate on 606

Fair play pal, you've disagreed with me in a far more agreeable fashion than plenty of others out there, so thanks for that. It's a game of opinions, and I respect yours, but for me that's no way a red card. If you give all of them, most games would end 8v8.

2140: "European and Premier League champions? United are a joke. No passion to win. A very angry United fan."
Simon, in Co. Down, via text on 81111

2138: The full-time whistle goes at Fenerbahce and FC Porto have made it through to the last 16 of the Champions League as well.

2136: Lyon and Bayern Munich are both through to the last 16, and it's full-time in the BATE-Real Madrid game, so the Spanish team are in the last 16 too.

2135: Full-times at Bayern Munich and at Fiorentina.

2135: Full-time Aalborg 2-1 Celtic

2135: Full-time Arsenal 1-0 Dynamo Kiev

2134: Artur Boruc, the Celtic keeper, is playing as a striker and he heads wide. Meanwhile, Villarreal and Man Utd are both through to the last 16 courtesy of that bore draw.

2133: Full-time Villarreal 0-0 Manchester United

2133: Hello, is Danny the Stat there please? Phew: "It's all change, as it stands fans. Right now Arsenal have sealed qualification - and Celtic are out. They cannot even make the Uefa Cup."

2131: SENDING OFF (Olexandr Aliyev)
He deserves to go for what he did earlier, but this time Aliyev does get a straight red for trying to move the referee away from the ball as he wanted to take a free-kick quickly. Silly boy.

2128: GOAL Arsenal 1-0 Dynamo Kiev
Cesc Fabregas's free-kick finds its way to Nicklas Bendtner, and the Dane chests the ball down and shoots low into the corner of the net. Dynamo think that when Fabregas took the free-kick, the ball was still moving.

2128: GOAL Aalborg 2-1 Celtic
Ugly goal, but it's one that could put Celtic out of Europe. The ball ricochets around the Celtic box and it ends up going in off central defender Gary Caldwell. Shattering.

2126: Lyon have got some sort of love affair with those Italian crossbars. Ederson connects so sweetly with a volley from 20 yards it almost breaks the bar in two. Magnificent hit.

2125: "Wilshere has to get more games. His composure is amazing. This boy is going places for sure. I can't think of a better manager than Arsene to guide him through these formative years."
Chip it like Vela on 606
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2122: SENDING OFF (Joan Capdevila, Villarreal)
That's pathetic refereeing. Joan Capdevila sticks out a leg and brings down Cristiano Ronaldo, and to the amazement of all inside El Madrigal, referee Roberto Rosetti shows a straight red card. It was probably a yellow, definitely nothing more. Ronaldo's reaction may not have helped the Spaniard. Very disappointing.

2120: Nicklas Bendtner, hang your head in shame. Robin van Persie's brilliant left-wing cross is just begging to be turned goalwards, but the pink-booted Dane seemingly cannot be bothered to get on the end of it and the chance is missed.

2120: Wayne Rooney's deflected cross is headed off the line by Joan Capdevila.

2119: Big, big save from Manuel Almunia to deny Artem Milevsky. Arsenal's players had gone to sleep. Jack Wilshere had just come on, the youngest European debutant in the club's history.

2119: I present to you, Mr D T Stat: "As you were at the top in Group E, with Man Utd and Villarreal both still set to qualify. Aalborg's equaliser would leave them fighting with Celtic for Uefa Cup qualification, should scores stay the same."

2118: "(See 2103) Actually I think Chievo's Vincenzo Italiano has the most Italian-sounding name. Ironically, he was born in Germany!"
Stuart, Weston-Super-Mare, via text on 81111

2116: Great little backheel from BATE substitute Mikael Sivakov finds Gennadi Blizbyiuk who scuffs his shot wide when very well-placed, before Raul clips the top of the bar with a great effort from 20 yards.

2114: GOAL Aalborg 1-1 Celtic
Heartbreaker for the Scots, that away win just isn't going to happen is it? Caca (no, not that one) unleashes a shot from 30 yards that takes a horrible deflection off Stephen McManus and loops over goalkeeper Artur Boruc.

2113: GOAL Bayern Munich 3-0 Steaua Bucharest
"Anything you can do, Luca, I can do better," says Miroslav Klose, as he gets another goal in Germany to put Bayern firmly in control against the probably shell-shocked Romanians.

2111: Olexandr Aliyev provides a moment of hilarity at the Emirates. He goes down like he's been shot, writhing around, you know the score, until the ball comes near him and he jumps up double quickly to get back involved in the action. Should book him for that, cheat.

2110: Aaron Ramsey is off at Arsenal and Nicklas Bendtner, complete with alarmingly pink boots, comes on. Goodness me you've got to be confident to wear those bad boys.

2106: GOAL Fenerbahce 1-2 FC Porto
So good, they had to call him twice. Colin Kazim-Richards (Kazim-Kazim to our Turkish friends) hits a speculative shot from 25 yards that deflects off Bruno Alves and loops into the Porto net.

2105: They're falling apart at El Madrigal, this time it's Robert Pires who limps off injured. Little happening apart from that, though Diego Lopez does make a decent save from Wayne Rooney.

2104: Good chances at either end in Minsk, as first Gennadi Bliznyuk shot inches wide of Iker Casillas's goal and then Javier Saviola rifled over with his left foot.

2103: GOAL Bayern Munich 2-0 Steaua Bucharest
The man with the most Italian-sounding name on earth wraps things up in Munich, Luca Toni following his strike partner's lead by getting himself on the scoresheet.

2103: "The so-called beautiful football Arsenal play and they haven't scored for how long? They scored more in the 'boring boring' George Graham days..."
biglondon12 on 606
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2101: There are some tasty challenges flying in from the BATE players in Minsk and Guti returns to the pitch bandaged up after a clash of heads. Apart from that, not a lot is happening.

2059: GOAL Bayern Munich 1-0 Steaua Bucharest
The German giants take the lead and it's deadly marksman Miroslav Klose who has done the damage in the Allianz Arena.

2058: If there's a mixer, you can be sure Danny the Stat's in it: "Well, well, well. Should Celtic hold out for a debut away Champions League win in Denmark they will guarantee themselves a Uefa Cup place. But if Man Utd and Villarreal draw, they both progress to the knockout stage."

2056: It's getting a bit nervy at the Emirates. Artem Milevskiy does well to find Ismael Bangoura and his 25-yard shot flies a couple of yards wide.

2054: GOAL Aalborg 0-1 Celtic
Wow. Celtic fans, you're winning. Away. In Europe. In a group game. In the Champions League. Did I mention it was away? Barry Robson does the damage, latching on to a cross from the left to head the ball over goalkeeper Karim Zaza. Moments earlier, Scott McDonald had gone down in the box looking for a penalty.

2051: Wayne Rooney takes a tumble in the Villarreal penalty area, under challenge from Fabricio Fuentes, but referee Roberto Rosetti rightly does not point to the spot. Meanwhile, William Gallas appears to accidentally clear a Robin van Persie shot off the Dynamo line. He's like Action Man.

2050: That man Juninho hammers yet another free-kick against the crossbar, this time it slams down off the underside and bounces just the wrong side of the line - for Lyon, that is.

2050: "(See 2044) They were giving odds of 300/1."
James, Exeter, via text on 81111

2048: Second halves are getting under way across Europe. Hopefully, they embarrass the first halves with a goal glut. Shame on you, first 45s.

2046: Back under way at El Madrigal and Marcos Senna has indeed been taken off at the break, with Bruno coming on in his place.

2044: "What odds on none of the big four scoring this week after the weekend's drought?"
Darren, Durham, via text on 81111

No chance. I'd give you a million to one, were I a bookmaker.

2041:Danny the Stat loves half-time. He's not like you and me - never forget that: "What a day for young Cesc Fabregas - not only is he skippering the Gunners, he's also top of the Player Rater with 6.75. Imagine how proud he'll be on the phone to his family. Elsewhere, young Cliff Richard-alike Cristiano Ronaldo has "moved it" (ask your parents) to a whopping 7.60. Don't like these scores? Change them by voting."
Player Rater

2037: "Why is Carrick's first touch always so bad?!"
PragueImp on 606
Join the debate on 606

Hey, that's one of the most technically gifted English footballers you're talking about there.

2035: "Arsenal haven't scored in 245 minutes of football."
A freezing, fragile, frustrated Gooner, via text on 81111

2033: "This is where Danny the Stat comes into his own: "Small reminder for you Group F fans out there. Fiorentina have to beat Lyon, otherwise the French side qualify for the knockout stages..."

2032: Half-time at Aalborg and at the Emirates. William Gallas did just put the ball in the Dynamo net, but he was rightly ruled offside. He's box office isn't he?

2030: It's half-time at El Madrigal after a pretty flat first half. Marcos Senna, injured, is unlikely to come back out for the second period.

2029: GOAL Fiorentina 1-2 Lyon
Game over? Pah. Moments after Adrian Mutu heads against the crossbar Alberto Gilardino shows him how to do it, brilliantly nodding in a cross from the right. If you want to learn how to score with your head, watch this boy.

2028: "Why does Wenger insist on playing a centre-mid as a winger? Denilson is just dead wood out there."
DougCoglan on 606
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2026: Wayne Rooney lays the ball off to Cristiano Ronaldo and his screaming half-volley from 25 yards is brilliantly tipped on to the bar by Diego Lopez.

2025: Robin van Persie sends in another vicious free-kick from the right that Mikael Silvestre can only direct over the bar from point-blank range. It did come at him frighteningly quickly, to be fair to the Frenchman.

2024: Group E stands for EMPTY so far - no goals in either game, but Aalborg's Michael Jakobsen leaps like a wallaby and his header is palmed over the bar by Artur Boruc.

2023: My word William Gallas could do without that sort of calamity today. He is way too casual and lets Ismael Bangura take possession, the Dynamo player surging through on goal only to see his shot clip the outside of the post. Poor, from Gallas.

2022: Porto almost finish off Fenerbahce and it would have been a goal to savour. Tomas Costa escapes down the left to meet a long ball over the top and he beats Volkan Demirel all ends up with a delicate lob that looks goalbound... but bounces back into play off the far post. The Turkish side are still in this game but they have got to pull their socks up. Quickly.

2019: If Robin van Persie had a right foot... The ball lands at his feet from another Carlos Vela cross, but the Dutchman cannot shoot immediately with his right foot, gets in on to his left and his shot is saved by Stanislav Bogush.

2018: "AaB Aalborg - that's just an obscene amount of 'A's."
donkamero on 606
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2016: "Does anyone know the reason for Sir Alex picking O'Shea ahead of Rafael, the only other right-back at the club? Please enlighten me someone!"
Sian, Wales, via text on 81111

2014: GOAL Fenerbahce 0-2 FC Porto
Lisandro Lopez gets his second of the game, but it's a goal shrouded into controversy. The Argentine controls a throw-in with his arm blatantly, has his first shot blocked and then fires in the rebound.

2013: Carlos Vela's cross evades the Dynamo Kiev players and Aaron Ramsey lashes a shot wide.

2011: GOAL Fiorentina 0-2 Lyon
Game over? Not yet, but Lyon are rampant tonight. Karim Benzema collects Juninho's pass, runs forward 10 yards and then cracks a shot into the bottom corner from 25 yards. Great hit, great goal. Horribly fluorescent yellow shirts, however.

2009: Man Utd started well in Spain but Villarreal have played their way into the match. Santi Cazorla forces a decent save from Tomasz Kuszczak with a long-range strike.

2007: Juninho Pernambucano, who must have scored about a million free-kicks in his Lyon career (it's roughly 50), hammers in an absolute crackerjack from nearly 40 yards that smashes against the crossbar. What an effort.

2006: "How about Nani looking like a young Michael Jackson?"
Ben in Warrington, via text on 81111

I'm on board with that one and no mistake.

2004: GOAL Fenerbahce 0-1 FC Porto
Bruno Alves lifts over a cross from the right and Volkan comes for the ball, massively fails to get it and it falls for Lisandro Lopez to acrobatically volley into the net.

2004: It's wide open at the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium and both Fenerbahce and Porto have had decent chances in the first 15 minutes. Porto's Raul Meireles has just had a fierce shot tipped over by Volkan Demirel but the Turkish side saw the best opening come and go when Alex met an enticing low cross from six yards out, only to fire over.

2003: Robin van Persie rifles over a free-kick from the right that Stanislav Bogush does well to punch away from the mixer. He put some danger on that one.

2002: Here's Danny the Stat: "As it stands - in Group H, Real Madrid are joining Juventus in the knockout stages. And - for you Group F fans - Lyon and Bayern Munich fans are joining them in every conceivable way."

1959: GOAL Fiorentina 0-1 Lyon
The French champions are up and running in Italy, Karim Benzema getting the ball on the byline down the left and his clever pull-back converted by Jean Makoun.

1957: "Completely random, but does anyone else think Cristiano Ronaldo looks like a young Cliff Richard?"
Dan, Gateshead, via text on 81111

I don't - anyone else?

1956: Celtic waste two great chances in the opening 10 minutes - Georgios Samaras completely misses the ball when sliding in on the six-yard line and Shunsuke Nakamura who blasts over. Lively start from Celtic who look more like Norwich in the green and yellow tonight.

1955: William Gallas needs some treatment after a clash with his own player, Carlos Vela, nothing intentional though, you understand? Gallas eventually gets up, and gets a decent round of applause from the home fans. Ahh.

1954: Cristiano Ronaldo does not like a challenge from Ariel Ibagaza as he shoots at goal and the two men exchange words. The referee has a word with both players. Wayne Rooney has the ball in the net shortly afterwards but the flag has already been raised for offside.

1953: Stanislav Bogush stands tall to deny Aaron Ramsey, after the Welshman collected Carlos Vela's cross and shot goalwards.

1951: GOAL BATE Borisov 0-1 Real Madrid
Champions League legend Raul settles some early nerves and turns up the heat a little bit by collecting Royston Drenthe's left-wing cross and smashing a left-foot shot in-off the crossbar. Quality finish.

1949: Here's the very, very latest from Danny the 'as it stands' Stat: "As it stands [told you so] at kick-off - Man Utd will qualify, Celtic are out (but could still claim a Uefa Cup place) and Arsenal will be top of their group with one to play - but not definitely through..."

1947: The BATE Borisov-Real Madrid game is being played in temperatures of about -10C. I feel ill just thinking about it.

1946: William Gallas, I can confirm, is not being booed. Amen.

1945: The remaining seven Champions League matches on this ludicrously cold Tuesday night are in the process of getting under way across Europe. Steel yourselves.

1943: Arsenal club captain Cesc Fabregas leads the Gunners out at the Emirates. I wonder what Arsene Wenger said in his team-talk. William Gallas crosses himself.

1941: "(See 1932) Don't boo Gallas whatever you do! After the drama of the last 10 days, the last thing we need is booing from the fans!"
An optimistic Gonner, nice and warm at home, via text on 81111

1938: Celtic must win, remember, to keep any faint Champions League last 16 hopes alive. They have won one point from their previous 17 away group games in this competition. How embarrassing.

1936: "I'm a little worried about us playing against Santi Cazorla. The kid's got crazy potential."
Trooper_ShadowSlayer on 606
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He sure has. He also told Real Madrid to 'do one' in the summer. Here's his exact quote: "There are many other things in football besides Real Madrid. It's clear that it is possible to say "no" to them." Evidently.

1932: "Stevo, do you think us Arsenal fans should boo William Gallas?"
An extremely cold Gooner at the Emirates, via text on 81111

No, absolutely not, no way. He's a magnificent defender when he's on form, and you cannot afford to upset him - have you seen how he reacts to stuff? Now he's not captain, he might just go back to being the old William Gallas.

1929: That does mean, however, that Javier Saviola gets a rare start for the Spanish champions. There's a guy who I cannot understand. I was in Barcelona when he signed for them seven years ago, and he was widely tipped to become the best player in the world. But it seems he's quite content to spend his career sitting on the bench. Come to the Premier League, Savi, you could do some real damage. A lovely player to watch when he's in form and flying.

1926: "I can't believe Stevo thinks Real Madrid will draw 1-1 with Borisov - I know it's away but come on, they should win this game."
villayouthsquad on 606
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But don't forget, this is a Real without Ruud van Nistelrooy, Arjen Robben, Mahamadou Diarra, Ruben de la Red, Gonzalo Higuain and Fabio Cannavaro.

1921: Full-time Zenit St Petersburg 0-0 Juventus
That did not deserve to be a goalless draw. The Russians are up against qualifying now, and a wasteful Danny looks suitably gutted.

1919: "Arsenal have fielded the most left-footers I have ever seen in a team, I count seven - have they broke some kind of record there?"
Anonymous, via text on 81111

What a fabulous spot that is. It's just a shame you didn't leave your name, so people could know who the new Danny the Stat is.

1916: What an Arsenal team that is. Arsene Wenger is staking an awful lot on tonight. Would you bet against teenagers Aaron Ramsey and Carlos Vela turning on the style? As for William Gallas...

1914: Cristiano Ronaldo starts for Man Utd despite limping out of the goalless draw with Aston Villa on Saturday. Boss Sir Alex Ferguson makes five changes, bringing in Jonny Evans, fit-again Darren Fletcher, Nani, Anderson and goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak. Former United striker Guiseppe Rossi plays for Villarreal, as does ex-Arsenal favourite Robert Pires.

1913: "I can't quite believe Tevez is on the bench, surely this is going to end his United career?"
hammydigrasi on 606
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1910: At the risk of making it Danny o'clock tonight (the Stat, Baker etc), the Zenit version goes agonisingly close once again to breaking the deadlock at a freezing-looking Petrovsky Stadium. He rolls the ball millimetres wide from an angle. Whoosh.

Villarreal: Diego Lopez, Javi Venta, Rodriguez, Fuentes, Capdevila, Santi Cazorla, Senna, Eguren, Pires, Rossi, Ibagaza.
Subs: Viera, Edmilson, Franco, Cygan, Fernandez, Angel, Bruno.
Man Utd: Kuszczak, O'Shea, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Ronaldo, Fletcher, Carrick, Nani, Anderson, Rooney.
Subs: Foster, Giggs, Park, Vidic, Rafael Da Silva, Gibson, Tevez.
Referee: Roberto Rosetti (Italy).

Arsenal: Almunia, Djourou, Gallas, Silvestre, Clichy, Denilson, Fabregas, Song Billong, Ramsey, Vela, Van Persie.
Subs: Fabianski, Wilshere, Bendtner, Gibbs, Hoyte, Merida, Simpson.
Dynamo Kiev: Bogush, Betao, Diakhate, Asatiani, El Kaddouri, Eremenko, Vukojevic, Ghioane, Aliev, Milevskiy, Bangoura.
Subs: Shovkovskiy, Dopilka, Sablic, Correa, Shatskikh, Cernat, Yarmolenko.
Referee: Alain Hamer (Luxembourg).

1904: "Vela finally starts for us. It's gonna be a walk in the park - 3-0. Just wish though that we had played Wilshere instead of Denilson but hey, something tells me Arsene knows best."
Chip it like Vela on 606
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AaB: Zaza, Bogelund, Olfers, Jakobsen, Pedersen, Caca, Augustinussen, Johansson, Risgaard, Enevoldsen, Curth.
Subs: Kenneth Nielsen, Due, Saganowski, Nomvethe, Braemer, Sorensen, Kristensen.
Celtic: Boruc, Hinkel, Caldwell, McManus, Wilson, Nakamura, Scott Brown, Robson, Loovens, Samaras, McDonald.
Subs: Mark Brown, Naylor, Hartley, Maloney, Sheridan, O'Dea, Caddis.
Referee: Konrad Plautz (Austria).

1900: Stevo's Predos (never, ever bet on them):

AaB Aalborg1-2 Celtic
Villarreal 2-2 Man Utd
Bayern Munich 2-0 Steaua Bucharest
Fiorentina 2-1 Lyon
Arsenal 3-0 Dynamo Kiev
Fenerbahce 1-1 FC Porto
BATE Borisov 1-1 Real Madrid

1857: "I hope that Arsenal adopt a more direct style of play tonight. Yes, they're pretty on the eye, but they need to show that they can be flexible and mix it when required. Sure you'll agree, Stevo, that this Arsenal team is way off Euro's best."
Mike, London, via text on 81111

Yep, they need to start winning when they play badly - the sign, if ever there was one, of a great team.

1854: Oh Danny, how could you? Zenit carve Juve open thanks to the tricky genius of Andrei Arshavin and he finds Danny in the box, but the Portuguese delays too long and Claudio Marchisio gets in a block. Moments later, Pavel Pogrebnyak crashes a shot against the post from 25 yards. Blimey.

1850: Tell you what, I can't believe Zenit and Juve are still locked at 0-0. There have been some glaring chances in St Petersburg, most of them falling to the Italian side. Just under half an hour to go, and the Russians really could do with all three points. Will keep you posted.

1847: And also, you shouldn't forget this piece of information: If you're out and about, you can follow this text commentary and get all the scores on your mobile. From a UK phone, text FOOTBALL to 81010, it will cost you 10 to 15p and you will receive in return a link to our mobile site. Click on that, and you'll be straight through. The cost of being online on your phone will vary. Thanks for listening.

1845: Humour me for a moment while I indulge in a couple of pieces of business. First up, don't forget to get involved with 606 on BBC Radio 5 Live (and this website) tonight at 2200 GMT, hosted of course by the incomparably zany Danny Baker, on the journey of a lifetime. Any comments on Danny's 606 thread could make it into the programme - if they're good - so get commenting.
Get involved with Danny Baker and 606

1843: BBC Radio Scotland's intrepid Chick Young understands there will be no changes to the Celtic starting line-up from the weekend win at St Mirren. That means no place for Aiden McGeady or Paul Hartley, while defender Gary Caldwell will continue in midfield.

1839: I trust you'll want to get involved tonight, whether you're at home, at work, at the Emirates, at El Madrigal or the Energi Nord. Blitz me with your texts on 81111 and debate me up on 606. Know, though, that people at football grounds who text in (especially from abroad) are Stevo's friends for life.
Join the debate on 606

1835: The headline news, for those of you desperate to know the potential permutations ahead of another night of Champions League drama, is this:

- If Manchester United win, they qualify for the last 16.
- If Arsenal win, they too qualify for the last 16.
- If Celtic lose, they are out of the Champions League and the Uefa Cup as well.

More to follow, courtesy of your friend and mine, the one and only Danny the Stat. He's poring over the finer details as I type these very words.

1830: On 1 January, 1988, Arsenal manager George Graham appointed 21-year-old centre-back Tony Adams as captain of the club. Over the next 14 years, despite well-documented personal problems, Adams led his beloved Gunners to four league titles, three FA Cup wins, a League Cup win, a European Cup Winners' Cup triumph and a Uefa Cup final.

Twenty years later, rocked by a succession of humbling defeats and left punch-drunk by the shameful outburst from William Gallas which rightly cost him the captaincy, current boss Arsene Wenger has turned to another 21-year-old to revive his club's flailing fortunes.

Step forward Cesc Fabregas, one of the world's most extravagantly-gifted young footballers. Can the Spanish midfield maestro take his cue from Adams and bring the glory days back to Arsenal?

Only time will tell.

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