Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Live - Champions League

Final Score

Live video - Midweek Final Score


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By Chris Bevan

1950: Things have been lively enough in north London without a clear cut chance at either end. Things are a lot cagier in Turkey but, in Spain, Juan Mata has just had a left-foot volley saved by Rangers keeper Allan McGregor.

1947: Good news for Spurs: it's still 0-0 after two minutes. They were already a goal down at this stage at the San Siro.

1946: And in Valencia and at Bursaspor's Bursa Ataturk Stadium too.

1945: Right then. We are under way at White Hart Lane...

Tottenham v Inter Milan team news
BBC Sport's chief football writer Phil McNulty reports: "Spurs have received a huge lift with Rafael van der Vaart recovering from the hamstring injury he sustained at Manchester United, but the other central figure in that 2-0 defeat, keeper Heurelho Gomes, is suspended after being sent off in the first meeting between the sides in Italy. Harry Redknapp hopes the width of Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon will trouble the Champions League holders. Inter? Look no further than Wesley Sneijder and Samuel Eto'o for danger."

1942: The players are emerging from the tunnel at White Hart Lane, where it is almost anthem-time... in fact, it has just started.

Claspie on Twitter: "I have to say I'm happy Obertan is getting a start for Man Utd. Hope Bebe gets a run-out."

Tottenham winger Gareth Bale on the prospect of the opposition doubling up to try to keep him quiet, as Javier Zanetti and Maicon may try to do for Inter tonight: "Teams are trying to stop me and I've got to think of other ways to get past them. I'm going to have to keep learning in training and in games and try things, and hopefully improve as a player."

1934: If my words are not enough for you this evening then I have a solution (if you are in the UK). Give this page a manual refresh and Midweek Final Score will appear before your eyes, as if by magic, along with BBC Radio 5 live commentary from White Hart Lane. You lucky, lucky people.

Rangers boss Walter Smith on his side's crunch game with Valencia, who lie a point behind them after three games in Group C: "There is no doubt there is pressure on us to get a result. It's not just Valencia who want to do well in this tournament. We have started well and we welcome the extra pressure on us."

From lagooner on 606: "Re. Fergie's comments at 1903. So that would mean the last good one was 1986. Remind me who happened to be involved as temporary manager of Scotland? Strange that, eh?"

1927: I've got some good news for Tottenham fans already, and the game hasn't even started at White Hart Lane yet. Yes, Spurs boss Harry Redknapp has escaped FA punishment for describing Nani's (somewhat controversial) goal against his side on Saturday as a farce. Harry had threatened to stop doing post-match interviews if he faced any sanctions and, seeing as he regularly comes out with gems like "my missus could have scored that one" (when Darren Bent missed a glorious chance in January 2009), it is probably good news for us all - not to mention common sense of course.

Valencia v Rangers team news
Rangers are boosted by the news that midfielder Maurice Edu has been passed fit and is able to start the match, though fellow injury doubt Vladimir Weiss failed to make the squad. Edu's inclusion allows Smith to name the same starting XI who earned a point against Manchester United at Old Trafford in their Group C opener.

Jarisleif on Twitter: "Re 1912. Benitez is simply saying Hodgson can't tell black from white. A priest on a mountain of sugar should stand out a mile."

starfightpilot on Twitter: "Re 1912. Hodgson thinks his excellent players (the sugar) have come out of nowhere, but has actually been delivered by priest Benitez."

Bursapor v Man Utd team news
Chris Whyatt reports: "Bit of a surprise in that there's no start for man-of-the-moment Javier Hernandez; the in-form Manchester United striker is left on the bench. Equally, Gabriel Obertan makes only his second start of the season. Along with Nani, he will provide some width in a five-man midfield supporting lone forward Dimitar Berbatov. Paul Scholes returns in the middle of the park after his substitute appearance in the 2-0 win over Spurs on Saturday. Volkan Sen, the man Sir Alex Ferguson sees as the main attacking threat, starts for Bursaspor as does key midfielder Gustav Svensson."

1919: There was talk of a possible delay to kick-off at White Hart Lane because of the tube strike that has just started in London, but I'm told the game will start at 1945 GMT as planned.

BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at the Withdean Stadium: "Brighton go into their League One fixture against Exeter this evening eight points clear at the top of League One. It is the last league fixture of manager Gus Poyet's first year in charge and the Seagulls are flying high. With a new stadium at Falmer ready for the start of next season these are surely great times to be a Brighton fan."

Valencia v Rangers line-ups
Valencia: Cesar, Miguel, Navarro, Ricardo Costa, Mathieu, Joaquin, Albelda, Banega, Mata, Soldado, Aduriz. Subs: Moya, Bruno, Topal, Fernandes, Pablo, Costa, Jordi Alba.
Rangers: McGregor, Broadfoot, Weir, Bougherra, Papac, McCulloch, Whittaker, Davis, Edu, Naismith, Miller. Subs: Alexander, Fleck, Lafferty, Foster, Little, Wylde, Hutton.
Referee: Felix Brych (Germany)

strictlyMUFC on Twitter: "Um, hang on, there's bottles of milk, a mountain of sugar... just waiting for a mention of teabags. Are you having a tea party?"

Bursaspor v Man Utd line-ups
Bursaspor: Ivankov, Tandogan, Erdogan, Ibrahim Ozturk, Wederson, Bahadir, Svensson, Ergic, Sen, Insua, Yildirim. Subs: Ozkan, Has, Ipek, Keceli, Nunez, Odabasi, Stepanov.
Man Utd: Van der Sar, Rafael Da Silva, Smalling, Vidic, Evra, Scholes, Carrick, Nani, Fletcher, Obertan, Berbatov. Subs: Kuszczak, Brown, Park, Hernandez, Fabio Da Silva, O'Shea, Bebe.
Referee: Wolfgang Stark (Germany)

1912: Er, any idea what Inter boss Rafael Benitez is on about when he talks about "seeing a priest on a mountain of sugar"? No, me neither. He lost me with that thing about the milk too. Now, you lot are welcome to be just as cryptic but I'd much rather that you keep things simple when you get in touch. How? Tweet me at chrisbevan_bbc on Twitter, join the chat on 606 or text me via 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide).

1907: There is also a full programme in Leagues One and Two tonight, and you can bet your bottom dollar there will be some thrills and spills in those games. BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher is at the Withdean tonight for Brighton v Exeter, and I will try to keep you across what is going on elsewhere. Oh, and before I forget, if you have any questions on Football League matters then you can always send them in the direction of Steve Claridge, who will do his best to answer them in his weekly blog, otherwise known as 'Claridge Kicks Off.'

1903: What else is happening? Well, things are a little bit more clear cut in Group B, where a win for Lyon over Benfica will ensure they progress. A draw would be good enough for the French side if Schalke beat Hapoel in the other game. Over in Group D, Barcelona are through if they overcome FC Copenhagen in Denmark. That might sound easy, but they had to work hard to beat Stale Solbakken's side at Camp Nou. Rubin Kazan and Panathinaikos kickled off at 1730 GMT - no goals in that one yet.

Tottenham v Inter Milan line-ups
Tottenham: Cudicini, Hutton, Gallas, Kaboul, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Huddlestone, Modric, Bale, Van der Vaart, Crouch. Subs: Pletikosa, Jenas, Pavlyuchenko, Keane, Palacios, Bassong, O'Hara.
Inter Milan: Castellazzi, Maicon, Lucio, Samuel, Chivu, Muntari, Zanetti, Biabiany, Sneijder, Pandev, Eto'o. Subs: Orlandoni, Cordoba, Milito, Materazzi, Coutinho, Santon, Nwankwo.
Referee: Viktor Kassai (Hungary)

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson responding to suggestions that the group stage of the Champions League is a tad dull because Uefa have encouraged a wider spread of teams from smaller nations: "To my mind it's the best competition in the world now, it's better than the World Cup. Have you seen the last six World Cups? You're better off going to the dentists."

Bursapor v Man Utd
Chris Whyatt reports: "Wily Euro-voyagers United take a dauntingly impressive Champions League record to the mountains of north-west Turkey: just one defeat in their last 18 away games. The 'world giants', as Bursaspor coach Ertugrul Saglam describes them, are missing some top names but Sir Alex Ferguson would still wager that Paul Scholes and co have enough wit to wangle a win against the point-less and goal-less Turkish champions. If he's right, the three points will virtually guarantee entry into the last 16 knockout."

Tottenham v Inter Milan
BBC Sport's chief football writer Phil McNulty reports: "Great anticipation in the streets around White Hart Lane as Spurs prepare for the game that was ringed on every calendar once the Champions League draw was made - the visit of holders Inter Milan. Rafael Benitez's side showed their quality ripping Spurs apart in the first-half in the San Siro a couple of weeks ago, but Gareth Bale's second half hat-trick in their 4-3 defeat will give Harry Redknapp hope that they can trouble Inter on their own territory."

1856: A bit of breaking team news for you from the Bursa Ataturk Stadium. Javier Hernandez is on the bench for United, and Dimitar Berbatov will be their lone frontman. Full details to follow.

1853: Even if you're not a Spurs fan, there is plenty else going on tonight, though. Let's start in Group C, where Manchester United can all but secure their progress to the knockout stages with a win in Turkey over Bursaspor, while Rangers will look to give their bid to join them a boost as they travel to Spain to take on Valencia.

1850: Enough about Gareth Bale, for now at least. Let's get back to reality: An Inter win will book their place in the last 16, and leave Spurs fans looking nervously at the outcome of FC Twente v Werder Bremen to try to work out what result will help them secure second spot in Group A (I think it's probably a draw).

1848: Yep, poor old Maicon - named as the best right-back in the Champions League last season - was made to look a little bit silly by Gareth Bale as Spurs launched an ultimately futile fight-back in what was a pretty remarkable Group A meeting on 20 October. To be honest, he didn't get an easy time of it the last time he came to White Hart Lane either. In September 2006, I watched him play in an international friendly against Wales, when he had Bale AND Ryan Giggs to contend with down the left. Not a bad combination, that one.

1845 GMT: Evening all. Something tells me you're looking forward to tonight's Champions League clash between Tottenham and reigning European champions Inter Milan? Me too... but I do know one man who definitely isn't. If you need any clues, he's Brazilian and he's been having recurring nightmares about being given the chasing of his life by a young Welsh wing wizard at the San Siro a fortnight ago.

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