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We had minute-by-minute updates of all of this evening’s Champions League games. Here’s how it happened.

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Ajax 4-0 Dinamo Zagreb
Bayern Munich 3-2 Napoli
Benfica 1-1 FC Basel
Inter Milan 2-1 Lille
Lyon 0-2 Real Madrid
Man United 2-0 Otelul Galati
Trabzonspor 0-0 CSKA Moscow
Villarreal 0-3 Man City

Evening all, welcome to tonight’s Champions League liveblog.

A quick look at this evening’s fixture list would suggest that we could be in for another Wednesday night goalfest. Manchester United fans will be hoping to see their fair share at Old Trafford where Fergie and the boys entertain the Romanian champions Otelul Galati.

Their “noisy neighbours” from the blue half of the city have a much trickier proposition on their plate. They’re in Spain for a meeting with El Submarino Amarillo, Villarreal.

Keano is pitchside for ITV and I’m in the liveblog commentary box. Put your feet up, this should be a good ‘un.

Oooh, ITV have outdone themselves tonight. Not only do they have Keano, they’ve only gone and got Paddy Vieira as well. Excellent.

Adrian Chiles is asking the two of them silly questions about their personal history. I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

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Very quickly, let’s have a look at the team-sheets for the evening’s two big games.

The observant among you will notice that Super Mario Balotelli has been given the nod up front at the expense of Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero. Why always you, Mario? Why always you?

Villarreal: Diego Lopez, Mario, Rodriguez, Musacchio, Catala, De Guzman, Marchena, Valero, Wakaso, Perez, Joselu.

Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Savic, Clichy, De Jong, Toure Yaya, Milner, Silva, Nasri, Balotelli.

And here are the teams from Old Trafford. Piers Morgan’s buddy Michael Owen starts up front alongside Dimitar Berbatov, while Wayne Rooney appears to have been named in central midfield. An interesting experiment, or has Fergie finally lost the plot?

Man United: De Gea, Jones, Ferdinand, Evans, Fabio Da Silva, Valencia, Anderson, Rooney, Nani, Berbatov, Owen.

Otelul Galati: Grahovac, Rapa, Costin, Sarghi, Salageanu, Neagu, Filip, Giurgiu, Antal, Pena, Ilie.

Of course, the most pressing question is: if Roy’s in Spain, how’s he going to sign that contract with Leicester City? Curiouser and curiouser.

Can this kind of stuff be done by e-mail or carrier pigeon?

Before I get accused of a Premier League bias, I should point out that there are six other games tonight.

Bayern Munich v Napoli looks the best of the bunch to me, so mark that one down as a 0-0 and adjust your viewing accordingly.

We’re off and running in the Madrigal and in Old Trafford. Let’s hope for a goal or two — but not too many, it can be hard to keep track of them all when they’re flying in.

There are many, many empty seats in both grounds which is a bit surprising — particularly in Spain, where Villarreal really need a win if they are to have any chance of getting our of the group.

And we have our first goal of the evening. It’s come in the other game in United’s group; Rodrigo has put Benfica 1-0 up at home to Basel. Benfica 1-0 Basel

GOAL! Manchester United 1-0 Otelul Galati (Valencia, 8′) And it doesn’t take long for United to respond. Rooney shows that he’s perfectly comfortable in his new role by spraying the ball to Berbatov, he plays in Phil Jones and the defender crosses for Tony Valencia to tap in.

Well well well, that’s the end of Michael Owen’s evening. He managed to last just ten minutes before picking up a knock and has gone off to be replaced by Javier Hernandez. Piers will have a field day, methinks.

Over in Spain, City have had plenty of possession but haven’t quite managed to put it to work for them yet.

Super Mario has been in a spot of bother though — why always him? He caught Hernan Perez quite late but managed to get away without a booking, much to the annoyance of the home support.

More goals to bring to your attention — are you paying attention, City fans? Mario Gomez has given Bayern Munich the lead over Napoli, while a Walter Samuel header has put Inter one up at home to Lille.

Inter Milan 1-0 Lille; Bayern Munich 1-0 Napoli

Here’s Tony V’s goal for United, get it while it’s hot.

Rooney, eh? Bloody hell.

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Mario Gomez is having an absolute field day in Munich. The big man has just scored again to put Bayern 2-0 up. That must be nearly 20 goals in all competitions already this season, incredible. Bayern Munich 2-0 Napoli

Meanwhile, over in Amsterdam, van der Wiel and Sulemani have put Ajax 2-0 up against Dinamo Zagreb. Ajax 2-0 Dinamo Zagreb

GOAL! Villarreal 0-1 Man City (Toure, 30′) City take the lead and, unsurprisingly, David Silva is at the heart of it all. He plays a neat little pass into Yaya Touré’s path and then shows for the one-two which opens up the defence nicely and allows the midfielder to plant a curler into the bottom corner.

The stats are coming at me thick and fast here. Apparently Touré’s goal marks the first time that City have taken the lead in Europe this season. In other less promising news, no English team has ever won at El Madrigal — can that be true, and if so, can City become the first this evening?

For those of you waiting anxiously to find out who got the goal for Madrid, it was C-Ron. Of course. Silly question. Lyon 0-1 Real Madrid

Fine, here’s the goal. That’s Ronaldo’s seventh — seventh! – Champions League goal directly from a free-kick. Wowzers.

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Mercifully, things have gotten a little bit quieter as we roll towards half-time. Less than five minutes left around the grounds.

MARIO-WATCH: Nope, I spoke too soon. There’s only one Mario making headlines this evening and it’s the one up front for Bayern Munich. He wraps up a first-half hattrick which I time at approximately 25 minutes, give or take. Bayern Munich 3-0 Napoli

Not to alarm you or anything but Germany are in Ireland’s qualifying group for World Cup 2014. Mario Gomez is German. Fortunately, he’s much less prolific for country than club.

PENALTY! A spotter for City as Musacchio gets a little tangled with Mario (Balotelli, that is) and the referee decides that it’s a penalty. It certainly didn’t look like one, but Super Mario’s going to take it himself …

GOAL! Villarreal 0-2 Man City (Balotelli, 45′) The Italian gives the keeper the eyes and rolls it the opposite way. Too easy… but that was never a penalty, was it? Minimal and accidental contact, if there even was any.

And that’s half-time around the ground. Fernandez has pulled one back for Napoli, but I fear the game may be beyond them at this stage. Bayern Munich 3-1 Napoli

I’m off to stick the kettle on. Back in a bit for the second half.

We’re back underway across the board. Apologies if any of you are having technical difficulties, we’re working to get them fixed ASAP.

Nothing much to report at the moment, apart from the rather fetching ice pack which Roberto Mancini is currently sporting. He seemed to give his head an almighty wallop during the first half and the club doctors have been out earning their keep.

Pics as soon as we get them.

On the pitch, however, it’s as you were before the break. Trabzonspor v CSKA is the only scoreless game at present, while over in Old Trafford, Otelul are playing with the confidence of a team who would rather give it a go and get beaten by three than hang on for a dignified 1-0 defeat.

And as I type that, it’s United who almost double their advantage, only for Sergio Costin to get back and deny them on the line.

And here come the goals, finally. Huggel makes it Benfica 1-1 Basel, a result that would aid Manchester United’s quest to finish top of Group C.

And it’s all over bar the shouting in Amsterdam as de Jong scores to make it Ajax 3-0 Dinamo Zagreb.

Hmmm, that’s not good, City fans. David Silva appears to have picked up a knock and he’s hauled off to be wrapped up in cotton wool. Adam Johnson comes on in his place.

First Mancini, now Silva — those Man City medics really are earning their crust tonight.

As Andrea True once (kinda) sang, “Goals goals goals, how do you like them, how do you like them?”

C-Ron scores his 100th goal for Real Madrid with a spotter which kills off Lyon and sends his side through to the knockout stages with four wins from four. Lyon 0-2 Real Madrid

And over in the San Siro, Diego Milito has made it Inter Milan 2-0 Lille

GOAL! Villarreal 0-3 Manchester City (Toure, 71’) Remember that unbeaten record Villarreal had at home to English sides. Fuhgeddaboutit, myth busted.

Yaya picks up the ball from Nasri, does a little dance (but thankfully does not make a little love), jinks past two defenders and passes it in for City’s third. Done and done.

Wow, it’s all kicking off over in Munich — that’s a sentence I never thought I’d be typing when Bayern went 3-0 up just before the break.

First Napoli defender Juan Camilo Zuniga picks up two yellow cards in the space of a minute and is sent packing. Bayern’s advantage only last six or seven minutes though before Badstuber is dismissed, again for a second yellow.

And then, drama of drama, Fernandez throws the visitors a life line with a carbon copy of his first goal, a header from a free-kick.

Is it all about to unravel for Bayern? Bayern Munich 3-2 Napoli

Here is your five-minute warning. A couple of games still in the balance across Europe — United could do with one more just to be sure, but they’ll probably be ok.

De Melo has just made things interesting in the San Siro. He’s scored to make it Inter Milan 2-1 Lille with seven minutes plus stoppages to go.

GOAL! Manchester United 2-0 Otelul Galati (Rooney, 87’) There we go. I haven’t been paying close enough attention to appreciate what was apparently a very assured and comfortable performance by Wazza, but he’s got his goal.

It might be taken back from him by UEFA — it looked to be heading wide before it took a huge deflection — but that’s all three points in the bag.

Will there be some more late drama this evening? I’m looking in your direction, Allianz Arena.

Nicolas Lodeiro caps a fine evening in Amsterdam with a goal deep into stoppage time. Ajax 4-0 Dinamo Zagreb

FULL TIME: Manchester United 2-0 Otelul Galati

FULL TIME: Villarreal 0-3 Manchester City

Done and done for the Manchester clubs. I’m keeping a close eye on Bayern-Napoli though which is still ongoing.

Oooh, that was almost the icing on the cake there for Bayern. Napoli keeper Morgan de Sanctis decided to venture forward for a late corner and was very nearly caught badly when the ball broke down the other end of the pitch. Cracking save to keep us at 3-2.

And that’s the lot everywhere. Bayern hang on for the win as do Inter, while Benfica, Basel, Trabzonspor and CSKA all have to make do with a point.

So before we go, here’s how things stand in Groups A and C. If City win in Naples next time out, they’ll book their place in the knockout stages while a win for United against Benfica will see them top their group.

That’s my lot for the evening. Make sure you stop in tomorrow from the earlier time of 6pm when Shamrock Rovers welcome PAOK of Greece to Tallaght Stadium for some Europa League fun.

See you then.

About the author:

Niall Kelly