Dublin: 12°C Tuesday 28 September 2021


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Do send us your thoughts and comments as we got minute-by-minute for another night of European football. E-mail adrian@thescore.ie, tweet us @thescore_iefind us on Facebook, or leave a comment below. Let’s do this.

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Results: Genk 1 Chelsea 1

Valencia 3 Bayer Leverkusen 1

Arsenal 0 Marseille 0

Borussia Dortmund 1 Olypiakos 0

Zenit 1 Shakhtar 0

APOEL Nicosia 2 Porto 1

Bate Borisov 1 AC Milan 1

Viktoria Plzen 0 Barcelona 4

As Dame Edna used to say: Hello possums. And as she never said… welcome to another night of Champions League coverage.

We’ve got the kettle on and we’re ready for games like Arsenal at home to Marseille, a John Terry-less Chelsea away to Genk (more of that later) and Barcelona’s 5-0 drubbing of Scrabble-busting minnows Viktoria Plzen.

So here’s your team news. The headline is probably that John Terry starts on the bench – whatever that means – for Chelsea’s clash in Genk.

the news comes on the night the Metropolitan Police confirmed they had launched a formal investigation into allegations he racially abused QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.

Frank Lampard Jr is also left out by Villas Boas. Here’s the full line-up:

Genk: Koteles, Vanden Borre, Hyland, Nadson, Ngcongca, Tozser, Buffel, Camus, De Bruyne, Vossen, Nwanganga.

Subs: Sandomierski, Barda, Dugary, Sarr, Durwael, Limbombe, Ofori-Appiah.

Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Luiz, Ivanovic, Cole, Ramires, Romeu, Meireles, Malouda, Torres, Anelka.

Subs: Turnbull, Lampard, Mata, McEachran, Kalou, Sturridge, Terry.

And the Gunners? Well RvP is on the bench. Marseille manager Didier Deschamps also made two changes to his starting line-up, bringing in Mathieu Valbuena and Alou Diarra.:

Arsenal: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Andre Santos, Song, Arteta, Walcott, Ramsey, Gervinho, Park.

Subs: Fabianski, Koscielny, Rosicky, van Persie, Djourou, Arshavin, Benayoun.

Marseille: Mandanda, Fanni, Diarra, N’Koulou, Morel, Diawara, Andre Ayew, Valbuena, Cheyrou, Jordan Ayew, Remy.

Subs: Bracigliano, Azpilicueta, Gonzalez, Gignac, Kabore, Traore, Amalfitano.

So we’ve had two games already as you’ll see from the scorelines above.

AC Milan did not impress as they were held to a 1-1 draw against BATE Borisov. Check out the hosts’ equaliser from the spot here.

Elsewhere, Zenit beat Shaktar by a single, first-half goal by Nicolas Lombaerts.

File under statement of the obvious – Lee Dixon on BBC radio:

“It would be good for Arsenal to put this group to bed tonight and concentrate on fourth place in the league, because that is really important.”

Thank you, Lee.

In the meantime, it’s been the proverbial bright start from the hosts. They’ve flirted with the Gunners’ goal twice – Jordan Ayew almost putting them into a one-goal lead just now.

Walcott’s going to have a go here, says Trevor Welsh. And he does, dragging it across the face of goal in front of the new Clock End but it’s pushed behind for a corner.

Guess when that Valencia goal was scored by the way? After 11 seconds, Fintan. 11 seconds.

We’ve had this debate before of course. Quickest Champions League goal is still Roy Makaay in 10 seconds-odd against Real Madrid.

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This is pretty open stuff at the Emirates – including Mark Lawrenson’s free-wheeling co-commentary on TV3. 20 minutes gone and it’s good fare.

As always, I’m keeping a close on Genk. Who doesn’t?

After some early pressure – let’s remember the Blue hockeyed the Belgians 5-0 in west London – Chelsea have settled down.

As I type, Aaron Ramsey blasted wide at the back post after a nice move saw Santos whip in a teasing cross for the Welshman.

GOAL Barcelona have gone 1-0 up in the Czech Republic. It was scored from the spot by your friend, and mine, Leo Messi.

GOAL London busses eh?  You wait all night for one and then two come along at once.

Ramires has broken the deadlock in Belgium. Fernando Torres exchanged neat passes, ultimately setting up the midfielder with a lovely ball, and he hammers it home.

Half an hour gone and Aaron Ramsey wastes the best chance of the night.

He has a sight of goal with men over thanks to great work from Gervinho. But, with Theo Walcott free on his outside, he blasted the ball against a defender’s shins.

Theo looked… unhappy.

GOAL Leverkusen score in Valencia through the lad Kiessling. Here’s that 11-second goal, incidentally.

I love seeing goalkeeper’s get punished like this.

And here’s that Chelsea goal:

Two random Mark Lawreson comments so far tonight:

  • Has he passed his fat test then?
  • He must be good, he’s got a tattoo.

So, this is your five-minute warning. If you’ve a microwavable Shepherd’s Pie – like certain livebloggers around here – and plan on eating it at half-time, now might be a good time to stick it on.

In the meantime, Arsenal have a free-kick around the centre of the goal on the ‘D’. Allou Diarra picks up a yellow. Arteta fancies it.

But the Spaniard fails to make it count. It was wide, weak and curling ever more wide.

MISSED PENALTY Deary me. Comedy’s own David Luiz has missed a penalty in Belgium.

Still 1-0 Chelsea though. The spotter was awarded after a cross from Cole was handled.

GOAL Nicosia are one-up on Porto.

HALF-TIME Arsenal 0 Marseille 0

What did you think of that?

So, we’re up and running again. Arsenal should be one-up but Gervinho failed to take a good, early opportunity.

We’ve said it before. This lad Messi can play a bit.

From the BBC: “Another little statistical gem for you all as the second halves draw near, people… little Argentine genius Messi has, surprisingly considering all the great players to have graced the Camp Nou, become only the second Barcelona player to reach 200 goals. And he’s still only 24. Wow. Cesar is the other after netting 235 times between 1939 and 1955. Obviously.”

RVP is on. He’s the man these days.

Whoever had 61 minutes for the first ‘top, top player’, please collect your prize at the front of the hall. Lawro’s just gone there.

GOAL A bad week-and-a-half for Chelsea – QPR defeat, stadium vote, Terry ‘racism’, Arsenal tonking – just got a little worse. Genk have equalised.

Rosicky comes on for Ramsey and proceeds to scoop the ball from the centre circle into the stands like he’s in a John Smith’s advert with Peter Kay.

I missed the Genk goal but Barney Ronay of the Guardian writes:

“De Bruyne makes a fine run down the left wing entirely unhindered by any thoughts of defence on Chelsea’s part. He has ages to measure a nice fizzing cut-back and Vossen, also unmarked in the middle, scuffs in as low finish. They’ll be dancing in the streets of Genk tonight. The stadium is now in uproar.”

GOAL Valencia go back in front thanks to a Soldado goal.

There’s 15 minutes left now at the Emirates. It’s still scoreless despite a hairy moment from Arsenal keeper, Szczesny there.

He came out to claim a bouncing ball and stooepd to head it clear. He did just enough.

Well who knew that Soldado watched Kerry-Limerick games. Darran O’Sullivan could be playing at the Mestalla tonight:

GOAL They’ve scored again through Rami, by the way.

One Chelsea tweeter writes:

“Disturbing chant about Anton Ferdinand from large section of Chelsea following in first half. Sad to say, there will be fall-out from that.”

GOAL A gentleman by the name of Cesc has put Barca 3-0 up. Arsenal could do with him here.

Jordan Ayew is off and Andre-Pierre Gignac on. Four minutes or so to go in north London.

Larwo looking at Theo Walcott: “You just look at him and think, Lewis Hamilton.”

Trevor: “Mmmm.”

Lawro: “He’s quick, mind.”

GOAL Hulk equalises for Porto on Cyprus. After APOEL went one-up form the spot, the visitors score a penalty of their own.

There’ll be three minutes of added time at the Emirates.

FULL TIME Arsenal settle for a draw, Marseille will be pleased to leave with a point.

I’m sure you noticed … We were missing for the past 10 minutes or so due to some technical difficulties (someone fed the Gremlins after midnight).

So what did we miss? Well, Leo Messi made it four-nim with his third goal of the game and APOEL claimed a famous victory with a late winner against Porto.

So, as Brian Dobson says, there we leave it. Join us tomorrow night for more Champions League action – keep the comments coming. And let’s be careful out there.

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