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Page last updated at 22:10 GMT, Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Wednesday's football as it happened

Chelsea 1-0 Juventus
Real Madrid 0-1 Liverpool
Sporting Lisbon 0-5 Bayern Munich
Villarreal 1-1 Panathinaikos

Middlesbrough 2-0 West Ham


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

By Jonathan Stevenson

2210: Over and out from Champions League matchday seven - tell you what, though, matchday eight is set up to be a cracker (two weeks time), with seven ties still having an awful lot hanging on them. Tim Lovejoy is taking your calls on 606 on BBC Radio 5 Live right now, and I'm back tomorrow to watch some reserve teams play in the Uefa Cup. Laters.

2206: "I reckon all four English teams will go through. Probably Man Utd will have the most nerve-wracking match though."
Martin Scaretel on 606
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2203: Well that wraps up that then. Stewart Downing has inspired Boro to a quarter-final against Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday 8 March. Must take the pressure off Gareth Southgate too, into the the bargain.

2201: Full-time Middlesbrough 2-0 West Ham

2200: Adam Johnson wastes a chance to wrap it up after good approach play from Marvin Emnes, Johnson paying for a lack of a right peg there.

2159: We're into injury time at the Riverside. There are 15,602 there, incidentally.

2158: "The English teams have proved why we are the best in the world. Liverpool were not tested tonight and that was without Gerrard and Torres coming off."
liverpools number9 on 606
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2155: West Ham are seeing an awful lot of the ball but they are struggling to create any clear-cut chances now. Gianfranco Zola sits motionless on their bench as the Hammers' FA Cup run seemingly draws to a close.

2153: "These Champions League results are a fair reflection on how far English teams have come in the last few years. The Premier League is the best in Europe."
Si, via text on 81111

2151: "Without Gerrard and then Torres in the second half, we did really well to win the game. There is no part of me that is thinking of walking away from Liverpool. I want to concentrate on the important games, I was in contact with the owners today and we'll speak again soon."
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez

2149: There are about 10 minutes left at the Riverside and Boro are on their way to a quarter-final against Everton at Goodison Park.

2148: "The five teams that can win the Champions League are the four English ones and Barcelona, I just do not see anyone else being good enough."
BBC Radio 5 Live's Mark Lawrenson

2147: "I got a text about the rumours about Rafa earlier. It's nothing, something that just spread like wildfire. It's one of those things that is part and parcel of being at Liverpool Football Club."
Liverpool's Jamie Carragher

2145: West Ham attack with pace and the ball falls for David di Michele inside the Boro box, but his effort is saved by Brad Jones.

2145: "That was the most ordinary Real Madrid team I have seen for a very long time and it was a fantastic result for Liverpool."
BBC Radio 5 Live's Mark Lawrenson

2144: "Liverpool were really too strong, even without Gerrard and Torres (visibly limping). Madrid didn't create a single chance of scoring in 90 minutes. I can see Liverpool reaching the final again. The Chanpions League is much better for Rafa's Liverpool because a draw is not a bad result like it is in the league, so they are not afraid of playing their style."
SpanishMemberName on 606
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2141: "It's saddening to see Real a shadow of their former selves. Doesn't seem long ago when Man Utd were punished by the likes of Ronaldo and Zidane at the Bernabeu."
Umer, via text on 81111

2139: What a fabulous result that is for Liverpool - only a fool would bet against them reaching the quarters now, and Chelsea must be favourites to join them after a 1-0 win over Juventus. Safe to say that Bayern Munich can plan for their last-eight outing, after a five star show in Portugal. It's all to play for in Greece in the second leg between Villarreal and Panathinaikos.

2136: Full-time Villarreal 1-1 Panathinaikos

2135: Full-time Sporting Lisbon 0-5 Bayern Munich

2134: Full-time Chelsea 1-0 Juventus

2134: Pavel Nedved hammers in a left-foot shot from 30 yards that takes a crucial deflection off Alex and drifts fractionally wide of Petr Cech's left-hand post.

2133: Full-time Real Madrid 0-1 Liverpool

2133: Some late pressure from Juventus at Stamford Bridge, but Chelsea manage to clear their lines.

2131: GOAL Sporting Lisbon 0-5 Bayern Munich
Embarrassing. It just cannot get any easier for Bayern to score and Franck Ribery takes advantage again, clipping another routine cross into the box for Luca Toni, no-one even trying to mark him, to have one shot saved by Tiago and able to slot in from the rebound. Poor Tiago.

2131: About to go into injury time around Europe. Real Madrid, for my money, have been the disappointment of the week tonight - even more so than Inter Milan. They have been utterly abject.

2129: Scott Parker shoots inches off target at Boro as West Ham try to find a way back into their FA Cup fifth round replay.

2129: "Told you they could do it without Gerrard and Torres, even Babel's putting in a shift, really professional performance by the Reds!!"
Harristhedeadlyviper on 606
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2128: Steven Gerrard comes on for Albert Riera on another fabulous night in Europe for Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez.

2127: Nicolas Anelka picks the ball up 40 yards out and from fully 30 hits a sizzling right-foot shot that misses the far post by a few inches. Cracking effort.

2124: GOAL Sporting Lisbon 0-4 Bayern Munich
When you've got two strikers like that to aim at, crossing must be a real joy. Franck Ribery creates a yard of space inside the Sporting area down the left and crosses to the back stick, where the giant Luca Toni is on hand to nod into the net. The Frenchman and the Italian have sent the Germans through at the Portuguese's expense.

2124: Albert Riera handles outside the Real area and he is booked - the Spaniard will now miss the second leg.

2122: GOAL Real Madrid 0-1 Liverpool
In the context of this game, that is an absolutely monumental goal for Liverpool. Fabio Aurelio sends over an inswinging free-kick from the Reds right and Yossi Benayoun, of all people, rises high to head past Iker Casillas. Rubbish defending though, including Gabriel Heinze who gave away the free-kick.

2121: Young defender Michael Mancienne comes on for Michael Ballack at Stamford Bridge.

2120: Sergio Ramos sends over a fine cross from the right that Martin Skrtel gets to first and deflects behind for a corner. But Real just don't look threatening, which I guess isn't great to hear if you're a Real Betis fan.

2118: Liedson sends a header wide from Leandro Romagnoli's cross as Sporting try and get one back against a rampant Bayern Munich in Lisbon.

2116: The ball is played up to Ryan Babel and it hits his leg and flies out for a Real Madrid throw-in. Fair to say Liverpool need one of Fernando Torres or Steven Gerrard on the pitch. 15 minutes left.

2115: Back under way at the Riverside between Boro and West Ham.

2114: "Great, Malouda's coming on. And I had such high hopes for Hiddink."
Didier Drogba's Bald Patch on 606
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2111: Arjen Robben runs at the Liverpool defence and his 30-yard left-foot strike moves in the air, causing Pepe Reina a problem, the Spanish keeper tipping it over. Dirk Kuyt's fault, that - his shocking dive in the Real half gave the ball away.

2110: "See 2103 - how long have you been waiting to use that pun then?"
Luke, Didcot, via text on 81111

To my shame, I may have used it before. If not, a really, really, really long time. I'd say sorry, but I'm not.

2107: GOAL Villarreal 1-1 Panathinaikos
The Spaniards have levelled matters in El Madrigal and it's from the penalty spot that Giuseppe Rossi has done it. Former Arsenal winger Robert Pires was brought down in the box by Jakub Wawrzyniak and Rossi does the rest.

2106: "We have seen a very one-paced Real Madrid team tonight. But the roof will come off at Anfield in two weeks, so Liverpool have got a great chance."
BBC Radio 5 Live's Mark Lawrenson

2104: Marco Marchionni slams a left-foot shot just over the Chelsea bar from 20 yards.

2103: GOAL Sporting Lisbon 0-3 Bayern Munich
Game, set, match and tie over. Philipp Lahm goes on one of those runs of his forward and after surging into the box, he is upended by Fabio Rochemback. Franck Ribery puts the ball down and cool as you like, rocks it into the left-hand corner of Tiago's net. Not daylight Ribery.


2102: To a crescendo of boos in the intimidating Bernabeu, Fernando Torres is taken off and replaced by Ryan Babel.

2100: GOAL Villarreal 0-1 Panathinaikos
Remarkable scenes from El Madrigal as the Greek team stun the La Liga side by gabbing a crucial away goal and it's Giorgos Karagounis who has put Henk Ten Cate's side in the ascendancy.

2059: Half-time Middlesbrough 2-0 West Ham

2057: GOAL Sporting Lisbon 0-2 Bayern Munich
Bayern double their lead but this one has come against the run of play. A cross is fired in from the right, Luca Toni gets the flick on and it hits Miroslav Klose at the far post. It's his sixth goal of this Champions League campaign.

2057: "Stevo, I think you can safely point out that Liverpool deserve something from this match - at not one point have I seen that Real "are on top", apart from a very few sparse moments have they threatened."
Liverplate on 606
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2055: Didier Drogba wants a penalty as he goes down under a challenge from Giorgio Chiellini, but it was never a foul and referee Olegario Benquerenca waves his appeals away.

2054: Liverpool talisman Steven Gerrard, who apparently has been feeling ill today as well, is warming-up on the touchline.

2052: Juventus' Mauro Camoranesi has done his hamstring and the Argentine-born Italian limps off, replaced by Marco Marchionni.

2051: At Boro, Gary O'Neill crosses to the back post, where Stewart Downing knocks the ball back for Tuncay to blast just over the West Ham crossbar.

2050: Didier Drogba gets to a Bosingwa cross first yet again at Chelsea, but the big striker can only power a header wide of Gianluigi Buffon's near post.

2049: Bayern Munich, apparently, have set a new Champions League record for scoring in consecutive away matches - tonight is the 14th time in a row, beating Chelsea's record.

2048: Xabi Alonso wastes a free-kick from 40 yards, hitting it over everyone's head and out for a goalkick. How can somehow who can shoot accurately from 65 yards not manage to send over a decent set-piece?

2047: Fabio Cannavaro is booked for pulling Dirk Kuyt's shirt back. Very Italian defending.

2046: Michael Ballack pings a shot wide from 25 yards at Chelsea as the home team try to double their advantage.

2046: We're back under way in the Champions League. All at the same time. Marvellous.

2045: Fernando Torres is back out on the pitch at the Bernabeu for the second half. Marcelo, meanwhile, has given way to Guti.

2044: The Chelsea and Juve teams are back out on the pitch at Stamford Bridge. Not long until we're all back under way in Europe.

2042: "If Liverpool can get both Gerrard and Torres on the pitch, then this game is here for the winning!"
Harristhedeadlyviper on 606
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2040: Half-chance for West Ham to get back into it, but Valon Behrami's snap-shot from Scott Parker's pass flies miles wide from 18 yards.

2039: Oh, hello Danny the Stat. "Hi. Some big names are on our Player Rater tonight - and some big scores too. No-one can beat Didier Drogba, who is storming clear with a nine-bothering score of 8.62. That leaves the likes of Alessandro Del Piero (7.00), Gianluigi Buffon (6.45) trailing in his wake. In Spain, Iker Casillas is number one, in both squad number and placing in the Real Madrid v Liverpool ratings, with a seven-breaking 7.23. But don't get carried away, Didier and Iker - it could all change..."
Rate the players

2035: "With the Torres injury and the other stoppages, how was there no added on time in which to take that corner?! Scandalous officiating."
Anonymous, via text on 81111

2033: Liverpool were all set to take a corner when the whistle blew for half-time. Rafa Benitez was furious and had words in the shell-like of Italian referee Roberto Rosetti.

2032: Half-time Villarreal 0-0 Panathinaikos

2032: Half-time Sporting Lisbon 0-1 Bayern Munich

2032: Half-time Chelsea 1-0 Juventus

2032: Half-time Real Madrid 0-0 Liverpool

2030: GOAL Middlesbrough 2-0 West Ham
More poor defending from West Ham, James Tomkins not managing to clear Gary O'Neil's punt forward properly and Tuncay slamming it in from the edge of the box.

2029: He's just amazing at that isn't he? Xabi Alonso sees Iker Casillas a few yards off his line and from inside his own half, he tries to float the ball over the Spanish stopper, who back-pedals furiously and punches it over the bar. Fabulous effort.

2028: Arjen Robben whips in a cross from the right and it gets a touch off Albert Riera before finding its way through to Pepe Reina.

2028: Stewart Downing fires another fierce left-foot shot wide at the Riverside after Matthew Upson inexplicably gave the ball away.

2026: GOAL Sporting Lisbon 0-1 Bayern Munich
Somehow Franck Ribery bundles his way through two challenges and takes another touch in the box before rifling left-footed past Tiago in the Sporting goal. Advantage Germany.

2025: "Here is an interesting fact for you all, Liverpool actually have more Spanish players in their starting line-up than Real Madrid."
leedseyyy on 606
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2024: After a bright start it's all gone a little quiet in Portugal, but Sporting's Joao Moutinho gets the home fans off their seats with a well-struck half-volley from a tight angle which whizzed wide of the post.

2022: Alvaro Arbeloa clatters into Arjen Robben and avoids a yellow card - he'd be banned for the second leg is he picks up a booking tonight. Moments later, Robben blasts wide from the edge of the box.

2021: Brazilian Marcelo tries to take his cue from Stewart Downing, but the Real Madrid man drags his left-foot daisy-cutter wide from 25 yards.

2020: Mohamed Sissoko is down and needs some treatment at Stamford Bridge. Meanwhile, two legends of English football, Claudio Ranieri and Olof Mellberg, chew the fat on the touchline.

2019: Liverpool enjoy some possession in the Real half but Yossi Benayoun cannot quite control his hooked shot and it flies across the Real Madrid six-yard box. Real are still on top, but they don't look like creating much at the moment.

2018: "Chelsea are in control and Iker Casillas is providing some much-needed eye candy. I think you'd agree with both my analytical points, right, Stevo?"
Hanna, Bath, via text on 81111

Very analytical of you, Hanna. Thanks for sharing.

2015: GOAL Middlesbrough 1-0 West Ham
What a start - there must be some Brazilian in Stewart Downing. He shows the Champions League boys how it's done, curling a magical left-foot free-kick from the right-hand of the penalty area, 30 yards out, into the top corner. Magnificent strike.

2014: Gonzalo Higuain puts the ball in the net at the Bernabeu but he's miles offside and to Liverpool's relief, the flag does indeed go up.

2013: "Liverpool's title challenge is over if Torres is injured again."
olympicgoat on 606
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It's over already, mate. It's the Champions League they can win and this they should be worried about.

2012: Middlesbrough and West Ham are under way.

2011: Ryan Babel is warming up at the Bernabeu. Not good news Torres-wise.

2009: Juventus have improved in recent minutes and Mauro Camoranesi rifles in a shot that hits John Terry on the head and goes out for a corner. Fernando Torres, meanwhile, is back on - but for how long?

2007: Fernando Torres is really struggling. He's getting some treatment off the pitch.

2006: Petr Cech comes to Chelsea's rescue with a fabulous save to his right from Alessandro del Piero after Tiago's pass.

2005: Fernando Torres thinks he is offside but he latches on to a long ball and the Real defence are napping - he takes it forward and from the right-hand side of the penalty area forces a decent save from the brilliant Iker Casillas.

2003: "Stevo, a certain Jerzy Dudek warrants a mention. I reckon people forget that he was the hero of our Champ final success in the 04/05 season! True champ!"
BYkasia, via text on 81111

2002: It's an entertaining match in Lisbon. Philipp Lahm comes to Bayern's rescue, heading Anderson Polga's shot off the line and almost immediately afterwards Franck Ribery goes close with a rasping shot from just outside the box.

2000: Juventus cannot get near Didier Drogba and he climbs high to head Frank Lampard's corner wide from six yards. Meanwhile at Real, Marcelo fires in a speculative shot from out on the left that Pepe Reina saves.

1959: "Fernando Torres is limping."
BBC Radio 5 Live's Mark Lawrenson

1958: Javier Mascherano falls asleep for a minute and Gonzalo Higuain races forward, but the Argentine captain recovers brilliantly to make an exceptional tackle and win the ball back.

1956: GOAL Chelsea 1-0 Juventus
Salomon Kalou plays the part of playmaker, sending a low pass into the Juve box and Frank Lampard - who may have been offside - leaves it for Didier Drogba, who takes a touch and knocks it into the corner. Big-game players win big games.

1956: "Looks like Bosingwa might have a lot of room to run into tonight. Maybe Ranieri hasn't done his homework... I hope so anyway."
Choy28 on 606
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1954: Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate makes three changes for his side's FA Cup fifth-round replay against West Ham - Matthew Bates comes in for the injured Didier Digard, record signing Afonso Alves in replaced by Tuncay Sanli and Jeremie Aliadiere is preferred to Adam Johnson. There are four changes for West Ham as boss Gianfranco Zola brings Lucas Neil, James Tomkins, Radoslav Kovac and Freddie Sears in for Jonathan Spector, James Collins, Jack Collison and David Di Michele.

1953: Fabulous cross from the right from Bosingwa and Didier Drogba gets across his man at the front post, only to direct his header over the Juventus crossbar.

1951: "Madrid try to leave three up when Liverpool go forward, so the visitors' full-backs might have quite a lot of room to join in with the attacks."
BBC Radio 5 Live's Mark Lawrenson

1949: Arjen Robben plays in Raul and he turns smartly but his shot lacks power, Pepe Reina making a comfortable save.

1949: Salomon Kalou bends a left-foot shot goalwards from 20 yards but it would have to be a sensational effort to beat Gianluigi Buffon from there and the Italian keeper saves.

1948: Fernando Torres, an Atletico Madrid legend, is slaughtered by the home fans after clipping Pepe. Not the most popular man in the Bernabeu, but it won't bother El Nino.

1947: Real are enjoying the early possession, as you'd expect for the home team who have won their last nine La Liga matches in a row. Raul gets a strong, but fair early challenge from Jamie Carragher, who was built for nights like tonight.

1945: All eyes are no longer on Rafa Benitez. Tonight's four Champions League ties are under way.

Middlesbrough: Jones, Hoyte, Wheater, Huth, Pogatetz, O'Neil, Bates, Arca, Downing, Sanli, Aliadiere.
Subs: Turnbull, Taylor, Emnes, Alves, Adam Johnson, McMahon, Walker.
West Ham: Green, Neill, Tomkins, Upson, Ilunga, Behrami, Parker, Noble, Kovac, Cole, Sears.
Subs: Lastuvka, Lopez, Nsereko, Spector, Tristan, Collison, Di Michele.
Referee: Steve Bennett (Kent)

1942: Chelsea and Juventus are first out at Stamford Bridge, closely followed by Real Madrid and Liverpool at the magnificent Bernabeu. Real in all white, Liverpool in all red. What a sight.

1941: Across Europe, teams are in tunnels, preparing for tonight's matches.

1940: How absolutely splendid that an already great night will be graced by the presence of two of football's greatest ambassadors over the past 15 years - the legendary figures of Raul and Alessandro del Piero.

1938: "In the Bernabeu, what a stadium! 0-1 Liverpool, with Torres scoring. Come on Red men!!"
Ed (Liverpool supporter in Madrid), via text on 81111

1935: Real legend Raul may not have too many more chances to add to his three Champions League trophies, saying today he plans to retire in 2011 at the age of 33. The Champions League's top scorer, he has 64 goals in Europe's premier club competition, and will be on the lookout for more tonight.

1933: "I haven't seen any La Liga, so can someone tell me how Sneijder doesn't start for Real? He was so good at the Euros that I'd have gladly taken him from Real in exchange for Ronaldo at the time!"
jervisd on 606
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He's had injury problems, general fitness worries for a lot of the season. He's struggling to play 90 minutes, but what an option to have on the bench.

1930: Real Madrid and Liverpool have only met once before, incredibly - in the 1981 European Cup final at the Parc des Princes in Paris. The Reds' eight Englishmen lined up against nine Spaniards and left-back Alan Kennedy bagged the only goal, eight minutes from time.

Real Madrid: Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Cannavaro, Heinze, Robben, Gago, Lassana Diarra, Marcelo, Higuain, Raul.
Subs: Dudek, Saviola, Sneijder, Guti, Metzelder, Miguel Torres, Van der Vaart.
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Skrtel, Carragher, Aurelio, Benayoun, Alonso, Mascherano, Riera, Torres, Kuyt.
Subs: Cavalieri, Dossena, Hyypia, Gerrard, Babel, Lucas, Ngog.
Referee: Roberto Rosetti (Italy)

1924: "Rafa, have you gone mad? You've just left Liverpool Football Club on the bench. Good luck!"
Sulthan, via text on 81111

Damn, I've been out-hyperbole'd.

1921: "It's not good for anyone, what's happening at Liverpool. The contract thing has been going on for years and years and at any other top club it would have been finished ages ago."
BBC Radio 5 Live's Mark Lawrenson

1918: Chelsea and Juventus have never met before and Blues midfielder Frank Lampard is happy they have been drawn together. "He's a great man and a great manager," said Lampard of the man who splashed out 11m to sign him in 2001. "I have the utmost respect for him, he opened my eyes to many things." Lovely stuff.

1915: "I'm a United fan, and I want both Liverpool and Chelsea to win tonight - Rafa can walk, so long as we have four English teams in the quarter-finals!"
MancTomMc on 606
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1913: Chelsea make one change from the side that beat Aston Villa in the Premier League last Saturday - with Ashley Cole replacing Paulo Ferreira at left-back. Deco is out with a torn hamstring. Juventus make three changes from the side that overcame Palermo last weekend, with captain Alessandro Del Piero replacing David Trezeguet, while Amauri and Olof Mellberg are recalled in place of Vincenzo Iaquinta and Zdenek Grygera.

Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Terry, Alex, Ashley Cole, Kalou, Ballack, Lampard, Mikel, Drogba, Anelka.
Subs: Hilario, Ivanovic, Mancienne, Ferreira, Malouda, Di Santo, Stoch.
Juventus: Buffon, Chiellini, Mellberg, Legrottaglie, Molinaro, Nedved, Camoranesi, Sissoko, Tiago, Del Piero, Amauri.
Subs: Manninger, Grygera, Marchionni, Poulsen, Marchisio, Iaquinta, Trezeguet.
Referee: Olegario Benquerenca (Portugal)

Villarreal: Diego Lopez, Angel, Senna, Fuentes, Godin, Eguren, Santi Cazorla, Ibagaza, Bruno, Rossi, Llorente.
Subs: Viera, Javi Venta, Cygan, Pires, Cani, Fernandez, Nihat.
Panathinaikos: Galinovic, Spiropoulos, Nilsson, Wawrzyniak, Sarriegi, Goumas, Vyntra, Silva, Karagounis, Simao, Mantzios.
Subs: Tzorvas, David, Gabriel, Ivanschitz, Cleyton, Salpingidis, Rukavina.
Referee: Konrad Plautz (Austria)

1910: "On the train to Welwyn with a Rafa look-a-like. Some joker asked him if he's getting sacked in the morning. He replied that he got the bullet today - he's a banker in the city by all accounts. Could this be an omen?"
Potters bar Red, via text on 81111

1907: I will be keeping you up to date on the FA Cup tie from the Riverside, but forgive me if the Champions League appears to take priority. Boro and West Ham are both expected to put out strong teams, and a quarter-final at Everton's Goodison Park on Sunday 8 March awaits the winners.

1905: So, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is only fit enough for a place on the bench after a hamstring injury. Xabi Alonso is back in midfield after a domestic suspension and he replaces Lucas Leiva, while Fabio Aurelio comes in for Andrea Dossena at left-back. Real Madrid make one change from the team which beat Real Betis 6-1 at the weekend. Striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is not eligible so fellow Dutchman Arjen Robben takes his place.

Sporting: Tiago, Abel, Tonel, Caneira, Anderson Polga, Izmailov, Rochemback, Joao Moutinho, Romagnoli, Liedson, Derlei.
Subs: Ricardo Batista, Grimi, Daniel Carrico, Silva, Vukcevic, Bruno Pereirinha, Djalo.
Bayern Munich: Rensing, Lahm, Oddo, Lucio, Demichelis, Ribery, Ze Roberto, Van Bommel, Schweinsteiger, Klose, Toni.
Subs: Butt, Lell, Van Buyten, Altintop, Ottl, Borowski, Podolski.
Referee: Bertrand Layec (France)

1903: "It's not about how many Real are going to score today. It's how many Liverpool can score. It won't be 0-0 for sure, a score which Rafa normally goes for."
eismcsquare on 606
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1900: Stevo's Predos (don't blame me for cursing the evening):
Chelsea 1-0 Juventus
Real Madrid 2-1 Liverpool
Sporting Lisbon 1-1 Bayern Munich
Villarreal 2-0 Panathinaikos
Middlesbrough 2-0 West Ham

1855: "Liverpool: Gerrard on the bench - painful! Apart from that Alonso and Aurelio return. Big night for Alonso, needs to be at his best."
Red Dave, via text on 81111

1851: I cannot wait for Real Madrid v Liverpool, I wonder if they'll parade their 14 European Cups before the game? Rafa is back in his home city, of course - he was a youth team player and reserve-team coach at Real. Surely he won't bow out in his own backyard?

1848: Liverpool team to play Real Madrid: Reina, Aurelio, Arbeloa, Carragher, Skrtel, Riera, Benayoun, Alonso, Mascherano, Torres, Kuyt.

1848: News just in: Steven Gerrard is on the Liverpool bench tonight.

1847: And here's how you get involved on this, your special day (again): Texts go to 81111, and the debate is already raging on 606. Missives that intrigue me, get to the heart of the matter or just make me laugh out loud are, as always, more likely to get on this here page. Message away.
Join the debate on 606

1843: Oh, and apart from Sporting Lisbon v Bayern Munich and Villarreal v Panathinaikos, there's also the small matter of the FA Cup fifth round replay, Middlesbrough v West Ham, which doesn't kick-off until the preposterous time of 2010 GMT. Stay right here for every last drop of drama.

1840: However, it's not all about Liverpool tonight - I won't let that happen. The Tinkerman is back in town, Claudio Ranieri's Juventus meeting Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. I'd expect the 57-year-old to get a cracking reception, wouldn't you? Blues boss Guus Hiddink, meanwhile, continues his love affair with the European Cup - he won it with PSV Eindhoven in 1988, let us not forget.

1838: So in summary, we don't know a great deal. This contract thing has been rumbling on for way too long now, to the point where Liverpool's Premier League title challenge has all-but fallen apart. Gut reaction? There's no smoke without fire, but it'd be a seismic shock to see Rafa walk out at this stage of the season.

1835: Chelsea team to play Juventus: Cech, Bosingwa, A Cole, Terry, Alex, Mikel, Lampard, Ballack, Kalou, Anelka, Drogba.

1833: I refer, of course, to speculation over the future of Liverpool's Spanish manager Rafael Benitez. With the aid of (what are supposed to be) bullet points, here's what we know:

- Several leading bookmakers have suspended betting on Benitez leaving Liverpool.
- Benitez's contract situation at Anfield is still yet to be resolved.
- Benitez is not making any comment on the reports surrounding his future.
- Liverpool are about to play Real Madrid in the Bernabeu in the last 16 of the Champions League.
Benitez focused on beating Real

1830: If yesterday was huge, today is positively gargantuan. The knockout stage of the Champions League continues in earnest - and my word is that football rumour mill going into overdrive, even as I type these very words...

see also
Real Madrid 0-1 Liverpool
25 Feb 09 |  Europe
Chelsea 1-0 Juventus
25 Feb 09 |  Europe
Villarreal 1-1 Panathinaikos
25 Feb 09 |  Europe
Middlesbrough 2-0 West Ham
25 Feb 09 |  FA Cup

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