Wednesday football as it happened

Live text commentary as Arsenal and Manchester City lose in the Champions League, while Blackburn win in the Championship.

24 October 2012 Last updated at 22:34

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As it happened

  1. 2229: 

    Right, it's been a bleak old night for fans of Arsenal and Manchester City, but all is not yet lost.

    I'm off to think about that history exam which got away from me, but join us back here from around 17:00 BST for some Europa League live text action. See you there.

  2. 2227: 

    Arsenal's lack of form in recent games is illustrated by the fact that they have only had 12 shots on target in their three Champions League games. That's the least in the competition, shared with Cluj and Anderlecht.

    In contrast, Real Madrid have hit the target 38 times, and Dortmund 35. Most of those were saved by Joe Hart at Eastlands.

  3. 2225: 

    Also my history teacher's motto in exam season that one. He was cut from the same cloth as Roy Keane in many respects, and to be fair to him he was very much proven right when exam results headed my way...

  4. 2224: 

    Dave Payn on Twitter: "Roy Keane's motto was 'Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.' Mancini might do well to heed that."

  5. 2220: 

    Some sides could get away with lacking confidence on the ball, but Arsenal's trademark is their use of the ball.

  6. 2219: 

    Arsenal assistant manager Steve Bould: "We haven't looked our best since the international break. We looked like we're lacking a bit of confidence. If we escaped with a 0-0 draw we would have been delighted. We're not making many chances and that's a concern. It looks like we're lacking confidence on the ball and that's unusual. We looked a bit tired and jaded."

  7. 2219: 

    I've just seen the goals from the Olympiakos win at Montpellier, with a great following from Greece behind one goal. That win has given the Greeks a chance.

    "For us, these three points are like gold. They are a huge confidence boost," Olympiakos midfielder Giannis Maniatis said. "They will revive our European campaign and we are back on track to fight for qualification."

  8. 2217: 

    Tony on text: "Sooo... Is it too early to start drawing up a shortlist for Mancini's replacement?"

    Sam in Belfast on text: "Borussia Dortmund to WIN the Champions League: Read this, ridicule me and then come back and apologise in May..."

  9. 2215: 

    Arsenal assistant Steve Bould says that his side are lacking in confidence and haven't looked the same since the international break.

    The last two results would suggest that he is on to something.

  10. 2210: 

    How big a win was that for Dortmund tonight? Let's ask Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp.

    "It feels overwhelming, it was a sensational evening, you can only imagine something like this in your wildest dreams," he said.


  11. 2208: 

    Dan in Malvern on text: "I remember when Arsenal used to turn high possession percentage and high pass completion figures into goals. Ah, the good old days..."

    Yousif, disgruntled City supporter on text: "I didn't prepare well for the game' is a pretty lame excuse from Mancini. A decisive Champions League game against a quality side. Just not good enough."

  12. 2204: 

    Borussia Dortmund were very impressive a few weeks back against Manchester City, and they have given themselves a real chance of qualifying with a win over Real Madrid tonight.

    This is the Madrid team Dortmund beat - it's not bad:

    Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Varane, Pepe, Essien, Alonso, Khedira, Di Maria, Ozil, Ronaldo, Benzema

  13. 2159: 

    Brendan Bennett on Twitter: "You have to admire Roberto Mancini for holding his hands up in the post match interview and saying the loss was his fault."

    Tim Leverett on Twitter: "Hmmm Micah Richards, not the best interview to give, especially following Joe Hart's after Real Madrid #troubleinparadise"

  14. 2159: 

    Does anyone believe Manchester City can still qualify?

  15. 2158:  
    Robbie Savage, BBC Radio 5 live in Amsterdam

    "I think Richards was the best defender but I don't think that he can have a go at the manager for the defending. Richards, Kompany, Clichy and Kolarov - that is probably their strongest starting back four, It was individual errors. Kompany didn't anticipate the cut back and Milner lost the scorer for the first goal, for the second Lescott lost out for the header and on the third Gareth Barry was beaten in midfield."

  16. 2158: 

    Mike in Wimbledon on text: "Blackburn are doing alright now they're up to fifth? They were second in the league when they sacked Steve Kean!"

    Andy in London on text: "Celtic giving the most credible performance by a British team in Europe this week, might we now get some of the respect we deserve?"

    Jack in York on text: "Been doing the maths, if City can beat Ajax at home and Real can beat Dortmund next up it's back in City's hands. Will still need two massive wins mind."

    Harry in Nottingham on text: "Clearly Dortmund learned from last years champions league, City haven't. If anything they've got worse."

  17. 2156: 

    Strong stuff from Roberto Mancini, who looked a beaten man in that interview to me.

  18. 2156: 

    Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini: "They were better than us. They played better football. It is my fault, I didn't prepare well for the game and I take the blame.

    "I thought in one way and it was different. When you prepare in one way and it is a different game it is difficult.

    "We had more chances to score and in the Champions League you need to score. It is my fault, I repeat. We change for five minutes to three at the back, but we always have 11 players.

    "I don't think that is important. Three, four, five, six or seven defenders. If someone wants that as an excuse than ok, but it's not the reason. It is very difficult to qualify now. It would be a miracle."

  19. 2151: 

    Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen: "I'm really disappointed. We lost on Saturday [to Norwich] and we wanted to do better here. It was the same story as Saturday - we didn't create enough chances. We gave 100% but it was a bit difficult. We didn't create enough chances and we conceded two. These moments are difficult but you have to work hard."

  20. 2151: 

    Borussia Dortmund have rubbed salt into Manchester City's wounds by beating Real Madrid 2-1 in Germany. Dortmund's win sends them top of Group D with seven points, a point ahead of Madrid and six ahead of City.

    Group B is much tighter now after Arsenal's defeat and Olympiakos' 2-1 win over Montpellier, secured by an injury-time winner from Kostas Mitroglou.

    It has been a good night for Porto and Paris St Germain in Group A. The Portuguese side beat Dynamo Kiev 3-2 to maintain their 100% win record in this season's competition while the French side go second in the group with a 2-0 victory at Dinamo Zagreb.

    Malaga have also yet to drop a point after beating AC Milan 1-0, although the Italian side remain second in Group B after Zenit's 1-0 win over Anderlecht earlier.

  21. 2150: 

    So Manchester City 'haven't worked much' on a back three? Interesting stuff from Micah Richards...

  22. 2149: 

    Manchester City defender Micah Richards speaking to Sky Sports: "I think we were beaten by a very good side and in the second half, after the second goal, we just crumbled. The lads are very disappointed with the way we played.

    "It is something that we have not worked on very much and it is the second time we have conceded after going to a back three. We will have to work on it. We are happy just to play, but I think the players prefer a back four. It is what the manager wants.

    "It is hard. We want to come here and win and we'll have to look to the next match and see what happens."

  23. 2148: 

    The draw for the Africa Cup of Nations has finished.

    Get your wallchart out, and note these down:

    Group A: South Africa, Cape Verde, Morocco, Angola.

    Group B: Ghana, DR Congo, Niger, Mali.

    Group C: Zambia, Burnkina Faso, Ethiopia, Nigeria.

    Group D: Ivory Coast, Algeria, Tunisia, Togo.

  24. 2146: 

    Let's just agree that all of European football is strong at the moment shall we?

  25. 2146: 

    Tom Beman on Twitter: "Saying the English League is getting worse... Madrid losing and Barca scraping past Celtic! La Liga not looking much better?"

  26. 2144: 

    We had a fair whack of injury time, but it's finished at Ewood Park. Blackburn have beaten Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 thanks to Grant Hanley, and the managerless club are doing alright - up to fifth now.

    Wednesday on the other hand, are only being kept off the bottom by Ipswich.

  27. 2142: 

    Manchester City were hammered at home by Borussia Dortmund as well to be honest. They somehow escaped with a draw but it was a dominant display from the German side.

    Can City possibly go and win at the Westfalenstadion? They are going to have to.

  28. 2141:  
    Robbie Savage, BBC Radio 5 live in Amsterdam

    "Ajax are a team. They play for each other and looked good tonight. But where do Manchester City go from here? I think they are going out. It is only their second year in the Champions League but they've been hammered in Madrid and hammered here tonight. They've been naïve away from home."

  29. 2140: 

    So what does that all mean then? Schalke are top of Group B on seven points, with Arsenal in second place on six. The Gunners are still comfortable though for a place in the knockout stages.

    The same cannot be said for Manchester City, who are rock bottom of Group D on one point. Ajax have three, Real Madrid six and Borussia Dortmund sit pretty at the top on seven after they beat the Spanish giants tonight.

  30. 2139: 

    Sanj in Herts via text: "This team is just crying out for Wilshere and Gibbs. Without them, no-one is putting any crosses in the box and Arsenal are lacking that final ball. First time I have seen Cazorla without a smile on his face, he knows Arsenal have to wake up and realise that they will not win anything if they do not find some more inspiration."

    Julian in Manchester: "Two different champions league winners and three different semi finalists in last five seasons so it is premature to dismiss the Premier League as a poor league reliant on speed and lenient refereeing."

  31. 2136: 

    Matt Harding on Twitter: "People criticising the Premier League for not being as good as the hype, remember which team won this competition last season."

  32. 2135: 
    FULL-TIME- Ajax 3-1 Manchester City
  33. 2134:  
    Phil McNulty, BBC Sport Chief Football Writer at the EmiratesFULL-TIME- Arsenal 0-2 Schalke

    "Jeers ring around the Emirates as Arsenal troop off after being well beaten. Schalke now in control of the race for top spot in this group."

  34. 2134: 

    Young Serge Gnabry goes close as the Emirates empties, he fires in a left-footed shot which Lars Unnerstall turns away.

  35. 2134: 

    Sam Crawley on Twitter: "Tepid performance from Arsenal, we need a terrible Liverpool-esque season for Wenger to wake and change things!"

    Josh Blackburn on Twitter: "Is there a fire drill at the Emirates?"

  36. 2133:  
    Robbie Savage, BBC Radio 5 live in Amsterdam

    "Look at Mario Balotelli sulking because he didn't get to take the free-kick. He hasn't moved since. Shocking."

  37. 2130: 

    Carlos Tevez sums up his lethargic display with a terrible corner which barely reaches the near post. Roberto Mancini has some real questions to ask after this one. They are going to have to go and win in Dortmund by the looks of it to have any chance of getting out of Group D.

  38. 2129: 

    The post mortem has begun as we tick over into stoppage-time.

  39. 2129: 

    Matt in Lincoln on text: "Are the premiership teams getting worse in Europe or are the European teams getting better? Three potential defeats for four of the English clubs was unthinkable a few years back in the group stages."

    Ian in Suffolk on text: "English league the best in the world? Results this last 2 days says otherwise, the premiership is average at best, its just faster and you get away with more fouls."

  40. 2128: 

    Tom Fellows on Twitter: "Arsenal's AGM could be quite a tasty affair tomorrow."

    Chinedu on Twitter: "Platini will be smiling wherever he is."

  41. 2126: 
    GOAL- Arsenal 0-2 Schalke - Ibrahim Afellay (86 mins)

    Could be game over at Arsenal as well. The Gunners give the ball away cheaply in midfield and Schalke break with deadly accuracy. Jefferson Farfan toasts Andre Santos for the umpteenth time tonight and fires in a low cross which is clinically converted at the far post by Ibrahim Affelay.

  42. 2125: 

    If Dynamo Kiev are going to get anything from the game in Porto they will need to find a third equaliser because Jackson Martinez has scored his second goal of the night to make it 3-2 to the Portuguese side with 12 minutes to play.

    As it stands, Porto will have nine points from a possible nine to top Group A, with Paris St Germain moving ahead of Kiev into second. The French side lead Dinamo Zagreb 2-0.

  43. 2124: 

    This is as ragged a performance as you could imagine from Manchester City. Just to repeat, with Dortmund winning against Real Madrid, the champions of England will be five points short of the top two.

  44. 2123: 

    Double change for Arsenal now as Carl Jenkinson and Lukas Podolski come off to be replaced by Andrey Arshavin and youngster Serge Gnabry.

  45. 2122:  
    Robbie Savage, BBC Radio 5 live in Amsterdam

    "Manchester City have created chances. As much as Ajax have looked pretty with their football City could have had four or five goals. They simply have not taken their chances."

  46. 2122: 

    So what formation is this for City now? Looks like three at the back, Yaya Toure as the midfield with six up front. They have 10 minutes to find at least two goals though. Can they repeat the QPR last-day trick?

  47. 2120:  
    Phil McNulty, BBC Sport Chief Football Writer at the Emirates

    "Schalke have looked very impressive going forward without finding the end product. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has just found it emphatically. Been a real struggle for Arsenal."

  48. 2119: 

    It's a kitchen sink job for Manchester City, who now have all four strikers on as Mario Balotelli comes on for James Milner. This is turning into a bad night for English sides.

  49. 2118: 

    Fair play to Dynamo Kiev. Despite falling behind twice they have refused to give up against Porto and have levelled again through Brown Ideye to make it 2-2. Olympiakos have also bagged an equaliser to make it 1-1 against Montpellier. Vassilis Torosidis is the Greek side's hero.

  50. 2116: 
    GOAL- Arsenal 0-1 Schalke - Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (76 mins)

    I told you he was deadly - the hunter strikes. It's scrappy play as the sides exchange head tennis, Ibrahim Afellay heads the ball through and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar escapes the attentions of Thomas Vermaelen to thunder in a low shot right through Vito Mannone.

  51. 2116: 

    Gervinho has not had the best day at the office, and the Arsenal man is withdrawn for Olivier Giroud. It's still goalless at the Emirates.

  52. 2115: 

    In the Championship meanwhile, it remains Blackburn 1-0 Sheffield Wednesday as we enter the last 20-odd minutes.

  53. 2115: 

    It gets worse for Manchester City. Borussia Dortmund reclaim the lead against Real Madrid courtesy of Marcel Schmelzer's goal. If it stays like this in Group D, City will be bottom, five points away from second place with three games to play.

  54. 2113: 

    They are 3-1 down but this might not be all over for Manchester City as they suddenly look dangerous. Sergio Aguero feeds Edin Dzeko, who skips around Kenneth Vermeer after brilliantly rolling his defender, but the keeper is able to get back and make a save. Chance after chance at the moment. There are still 20 minutes left.

  55. 2113:  
    Robbie Savage, BBC Radio 5 live in Amsterdam

    "It is all Manchester City deserve. They've defended poorly all night, conceding goals for fun and it is just not good enough. Micah Richards has done OK but apart from that the defending has been atrocious."

  56. 2112: 

    Another change for Manchester City, as Carlos Tevez comes on in place of Gareth Barry.

  57. 2111: 

    Oh this is more superb work from Joe Hart who has just about kept Manchester City in this game. Again, they are all over the shop at the back, Tobias Sana is in on goal but Hart spreads himself to make a huge save.

    Moments later, Edin Dzeko is in on goal for City but Kenneth Vermeer makes an equally good stop.

  58. 2110: 

    Spanish side Malaga have given themselves a superb chance of extending their 100% win record in this season's Champions League and seizing a firm hold over Group C by taking a 1-0 home lead over Italian side AC Milan. Sanchez Joaquin with the goal. We now have only one goalless game in the night's European action and it is at the Emirates.

  59. 2108: 
    GOAL- Ajax 3-1 Manchester City - Christian Eriksen (68 mins)

    This could be terminal for Manchester City. City do not look comfortable playing with a back three and Ajax punish them with ease, Christian Eriksen skipping away from Vincent Kompany and firing in a low shot which deflects in off Gael Clichy's studs. Joe Hart is livid.

  60. 2108: 

    Dylan from Huddersfield on text: "What is Gareth Barry doing at a club that can buy the best?"

    James from Surrey on text: "Come back Thierry Henry!"

    Jon in Manchester on text: "Don't worry about a hot key for Andre Santos. You could type out Shakespeare before he does something significant."

  61. 2105: 

    Gael Clichy has made a back three with Vincent Kompany and Micah Richards for Manchester City, and he lokos fairly surprised at that switch. There are plenty of hand signals between Clichy and the bench.

  62. 2104: 

    Back at Arsenal, Jefferson Farfan crosses in from the right and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar makes a mess of his header, mistiming his jump altogether.

    It's not been Huntelaar's night and I have to say I feel slightly responsible.

  63. 2104: 

    And here's the first replacement for Manchester City. They have gone to a back three as Aleksandar Kolarov replaces Joleon Lescott.

  64. 2103: 

    Roberto Mancini has all of his replacements out warming up.

  65. 2102: 

    Daniel Collins on twitter: "Not having either posts in a zonal marking scheme is a bad idea. Sack the tactician."

    Sirhan al Sirhan on Twitter: "City on channel 5?"

  66. 2101:  
    Robbie Savage, BBC Radio 5 live in Amsterdam

    "City use this zonal marking system and I've always said I don't like it. They are far bigger and stronger than Ajax but a guy gets the run on a couple of defenders and has an easy header. Why do they do it to themselves? Shocking defending."

  67. 2101: 

    Finally, a goal in Group B. French side Montpellier have taken the lead against Olympiakos courtesy of Gaetan Charbonnier's goal four minutes into the second half. Barring the game in Amsterdam, it is as you were at the break in the night's other Champions League games.

  68. 2100: 

    Ironic that in his pre-match interview Roberto Mancini highlighted set-pieces as an area where Manchester City could cause Ajax grief, as that was really poor defending.

  69. 2058: 
    GOAL- Ajax 2-1 Manchester City - Niklas Moisander (57 mins)

    Oh dear oh dear - Manchester City are in real trouble here. The softest of goals - Christian Eriksen chips in a a corner from the right and centre-half Niklas Moisander ghosts into space to thump in a header. Zonal marking at play again.

  70. 2057: 

    Ajay from London on text: "All these negative texts about Gervinho. He has actually scored 5 goals this season. He will score this evening!"

    Dan in Guildford on text: "I just saw the words 'Southampton have conceded again' and my heart sunk. Then I realised we aren't even playing tonight. Thanks for that mini heart attack!"

    Eoghan in Bath on text: "How long's it been since you've used the hot key 'absolute screamer from Emile Heskey?"

    Poor Emile. He's banging them in in Australia I'll have you know.

  71. 2053: 

    Samir Nasri and Edin Dzeko link up smartly down the left but the goalscorer can't quite make his way into the area. City are noticeably pressing high up the park, trying to pressure Ajax in their own half.

  72. 2052: 

    You lot are loving this hotkey chat. So much so that I am going to propose that we actually have all these hotkeys saved. It will make my life easier in the future.

  73. 2050: 

    The chances keep coming, and Schalke should now be ahead.

    Jefferson Farfan skips away from Andre Santos far too easily, he waltzes into the area and cuts back a crisp pass to Benedikt Howedes, but he produces a real centre-half's finish to smash miles over.

    Bad, bad miss.

  74. 2049: 

    Aaron Ramsey almost has Arsenal ahead at the end of a lovely move, Francis Coquelin cuts the ball over from the right but Ramsey's flick is well blocked by Benedikt Howedes. Seconds later, Mikel Arteta goes into the book for a late challenge Ibrahim Afellay.

  75. 2046: 

    We are under way in both games - and James Milner almost carves open Ajax within seconds of the restart but Ajax get the cross away.

  76. 2046: 

    Jermaine Jones is on for Marco Hoger at the break.

  77. 2045: 

    Marc in Chichester on text: "Other hotkeys: "Torres looks short of confidence", "Balotelli is sulking" and "Southampton have conceded again"

    Sam Braik on text: "Hot keys worn out: 'Lionel Messi has scored', 'Joe Hart has saved England again!', 'Carrick has given the ball away'."

  78. 2043: 

    Arsenal can count themselves lucky not to concede a penalty in that first half. I've just seen a replay and the trip on Ibrahim Afellay falls into the 'seen them given' category.

  79. 2040: 

    At half-time in the night's Champions League matches, Paris St Germain hold a firm grasp on their game at Dinamo Zagreb. Jeremy Menez's goal late in the first-half has given them a 2-0 lead to temporarily take them up to second in Group A thanks in part to leaders Porto's 2-1 lead over Dynamo Kiev.

    In Group D, Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid are locked together at 1-1 after Cristiano Ronaldo cancelled out Robert Lewandowski's opener for the German side. There is not a goal to be seen in Group B and it remains goalless between Malaga and AC Milan.

  80. 2037: 

    There's not many goals around across Europe tonight, but it is 1-0 to Blackburn at half-time of their clash with Sheffield Wednesday.

  81. 2037: 

    Dazza in Wantage on text: "You can tell Arsenal are missing Walcott & Chamberlain. Really lacking any sort of flair in this first half. Gervinho has yet again been wasteful."

    Charlie Devas in Bath: "Controversial, I know, but I'd rather have Nicklas Bendtner up front for Arsenal than Gervinho."

    Claud in Newport: "My neighbours must think there's a domestic in my house, I've been shouting at my screen because of the appalling display by Santos and Gervinho."

  82. 2037: 

    This draw for the African Cup of Nations is taking some warming-up - we've not had any balls out of any hats yet, but we have seen a mascot, a hippo called Takuma.

    We get only a brief look at the mascot, which is said to be a symbol of the embodiment of the skills and perseverance required to succeed in sport.

    I'm a massive fan already. Don't forget you can follow a live text on the draw here.

  83. 2035:  
    Phil McNulty, BBC Sport Chief Football Writer at the Emirates

    "Schalke having a fair bit of joy in Andre Santos territory on Arsenal's left flank. Need to tighten up there."

  84. 2035: 

    Capital R on Twitter: "Was just about to say 'Are Ajax actually going to do anything with all this possession?' - Then they score"

    Ruaridh Williams on Twitter: "I think that is the only time that I have seen Joe Hart stand still and not dive at a shot."

    Talking Sport on Twitter: "Christian Eriksen will move to England or Spain very soon, he's class. Wouldn't put it past City to make a bid at half-time."

  85. 2034: 

    That man Cristiano Ronaldo is a goal machine. He has now scored 12 of Real Madrid's 24 goals in the Champions League in 2012. Prolific.

  86. 2033:  
    Robbie Savage, BBC Radio 5 live in Amsterdam

    "Ajax deserved that equaliser with the way they've played and the amount of possession they've had, but it was probably the first really clear-cut chance they've had.

    "The technique from De Jong was a great advert for any kid - that's how you strike a ball.

    "You can see how Ajax score goals, you can see how they concede them. It's been an intriguing match and it will be an interesting second half, but there are more goals for City if they want them."

  87. 2033: 

    Nick Turner on Twitter: "Other hot keys which must be worn out - 'Suarez goes down easily under the challenge'"

  88. 2032: 
    HALF-TIME- Ajax 1-1 Manchester City
  89. 2032:  
    Phil McNulty, BBC Sport Chief Football Writer at the EmiratesHALF-TIME- Arsenal 0-0 Schalke

    "All very subdued at The Emirates. High point for Arsenal has been the performance of Per Mertesacker in central defence - the German has been outstanding."

  90. 2031: 

    What a miss! It's all this build-up gone to his head, as Klaas-Jan Huntelaar misses a sitter. Atsuto Uchida crosses from the right and he is free, but shanks it wide. The hunter would starve to death with shooting like that.

  91. 2029: 
    GOAL- Ajax 1-1 Manchester City - Siem de Jong (45 mins)

    Fully deserved for Ajax, and it's a cracker of a goal. Ricardo van Rhijn cuts back a low cross from the right, Gareth Barry can't cut it out and captain Siem de Jong arrives on it to thump a low curling shot right into the corner. Fantastic strike.

  92. 2028: 

    It is fair to say Zlatan Ibrahimovic is on fire at the moment. The big Swede has scored his 12th goal of the season for club and country to give Paris St Germain the lead at Dinamo Zagreb. Porto have reclaimed the lead to make it 2-1 against Dynamo Kiev courtesy of a Jackson Martinez goal.

    Meanwhile, in the big game in Group D, Borussia Dortmund took the lead against Real Madrid through Robert Lewandowski only for the Spanish side to level two minutes later. No prizes for guessing the goalscorer. It starts with C and ends with ristiano Ronaldo

  93. 2027: 

    Ryan Babel is the latest Ajax man to shoot from range - this one is on target but it's an easy save for the England man.

  94. 2025: 

    Ajax are enjoying plenty of the ball again in Amsterdam. They just have no real penetration in the final third, with Christian Eriksen and Siem de Jong both resorting to fruitless long-range drives. Joe Hart has not had to make a save of note yet.

  95. 2023: 

    Segun Agbaje on Twitter: "Re 2010: I am all too happy to inform you that Modric has made it on to the pitch. And yes, he is still living the dream."

    LudaChris on Twitter: "Re: Ronan Cunningham (19:45). All 13 of City's Champions League goals have been scored by non-Englishmen. Consider your point moot."

  96. 2022: 

    More good defending from Per Mertesacker to cut out a low cross. Schalke having some joy down their right, where Jefferson Farfan is finding space. He has some genuine pace.

  97. 2021: 

    Klaas-Jan 'the hunter' Huntelaar has been quiet so far, but he does have the ball in the net from Jefferson Farfan's cross. Unfortunately for the Dutchman he was miles offside.

  98. 2019: 

    Iain, Amsterdam Hammer, via text: "Been living in Amsterdam for about 18 months now and watched Ajax a few times home and away. De Boer has done well but it's hard for them. They only have about half a dozen games against quality opposition each season - apart from Europe. They will always do well with the possession stats but haven't really got a dangerous striker at this level."

    Drew, London via text: "'Gervinho shoots wide' - must be a hot key or paste on the keyboard?"

    It's saved alongside 'Lee Cattermole is booked.'

  99. 2018: 

    Schalke remain a threat, and the German side have a half chance when Jefferson Farfan cracks in a shot but Per Mertesacker makes a fine block. Great defending from the centre-half.

    In Amsterdam, Ajax right-back Ricardo van Rhijn tries a spectacular effort from range but the ball is always rising and Joe Hart doesn't have to make a save.

  100. 2016: 

    Jared Stone on Twitter: "City goal will change the game. Surprised Ajax have kept hold of Eriksen. Every time I have seen him he looks different class"

    Saqueeb Rajan on Twitter: "Typical from City, don't play well but get the important goals! As a United fan I find this worrying."

    Paul Morgan on Twitter:. "Quality pass from Micah Richards, top finish too, against the run of the play though."

  101. 2015: 

    Daley Blind is the first Ajax man into the book for a cynical bodycheck on Edin Dzeko. His dad will be proud.

  102. 2015: 

    Manchester City have a real chance to double their lead. Micah Richards and Yaya Toure break clear down the right but rather get in each other's way. There is some hesitation, and deviation, before Richards takes charge and powers in a shot which Kenneth Vermeer has to turn away. Good save.

  103. 2012: 

    Santi Cazorla has had some start to his Arsenal career, and the little man spins away from his marker smartly but his shot is deflected wide. That's better from the Gunners.

  104. 2011:  
    Phil McNulty, BBC Sport Chief Football Writer at the Emirates

    "Gervinho breaks clear on goal. Great encouragement from the crowd. He turns then falls over. Not great encouragement from the crowd."

  105. 2010: 

    There's not a great deal of action to report from Arsenal, where the game is being played out in midfield. Gervinho is leading the line for the Gunners but again after threatening to break clear he makes a poor decision and loses the ball.

  106. 2010: 

    Inverted FB on Twitter: "Modric living the dream of Champions League football once again...from the bench."

  107. 2009: 

    Porto make the perfect start as they look to extend their 100% win record in this season's Champions League. Silvestre Varela gives the Group A leaders a 15th-minute lead against second-placed Dynamo Kiev. However, the Ukrainian side hit back six minutes later with an equaliser from Oleg Gusev.

  108. 2008: 

    That goal is harsh on Ajax, but a fine finish. Clinical stuff from the champions of England.

  109. 2006: 
    GOAL- Ajax 0-1 Man City - Samir Nasri (22 mins)

    Manchester City have hardly had a kick - but they lead through a marvellous counter-attacking goal. Micah Richards starts the move with an incisive pass to James Milner, who waits for Samir Nasri to overlap on his left before feeding the Frenchman to bend a beauty into the top corner. Wonderful finish.

  110. 2006:  
    Robbie Savage, BBC Radio 5 live in Amsterdam

    "City are leaving gaps all over the place, they're not going anywhere in numbers. Vincent Kompany, Jolean Lescott and Micah Richards have been very poor - they're not keeping hold of ball, they're giving away possession easily. Ajax have been a pleasure to watch, they're playing beautiful football."

  111. 2004: 

    Ajax still on top in Amsterdam, as captain Siem de Jong runs unchallenged from midfield to steer a header wide. City looked short of numbers and ideas in the middle against Dortmund in their last European game, and it's more of the same here.

    Christian Eriksen then ghosts past Gareth Barry far too easily to crash a shot wide from 20 yards.

  112. 2004: 

    Oooh, Schalke have a penalty appeal waved away. Forward Jefferson Farfan plays in Dutch winger Ibrahim Afellay, who appears to fall over the outstretched arm of Arsenal keeper Vito Mannone. Instead of winning a penalty, Afellay is given a yellow card by referee Jonas Eriksson.

    Moments later, Thomas Vermaelen is booked for a foul on Farfan, before Lukas Podolski smashes a low cross across the danger area at the other end.

  113. 2003: 

    City have a problem here as Yaya Toure needs treatment after a kick on the ankle. He's bleeding, the big man, but a bit of strapping and TLC and he's back out there. Doesn't look entirely happy to be honest...

  114. 1958: 

    Ryan Babel causes Joleon Lescott some trouble in the middle with his pace but City get it away.

  115. 1957:  
    Robbie Savage, BBC Radio 5 live in Amsterdam

    "Some City players - Samir Nasri, Sergio Aguero - have not touched the ball yet. City are just defending in their own half. They've got to push up, stop Ajax playing out. It's far too easy for the hosts at the moment."

  116. 1957: 

    Tom Castle on Twitter: "Slow start to the Champions League compared to yesterday. Then again, the first half was dull aside from the opening minutes."

    Jared Stone on Twitter: "Do love watching Ajax, they play such attractive football, always have and seem to have an endless supply of young talent."

  117. 1957: 

    Arsenal's first chance of the match. Santi Cazorla's ball finds Lukas Podolski on the left wing, the German plays a low ball into the area into the path of Gervinho, who fires wide. Arsenal well on top at the Emirates though.

  118. 1956: 

    You know all about the English teams in the Champions League tonight, but where are the other big ties happening? Well, in Manchester City's group, the tie between Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid promises to be a cracker. The German side trail Madrid by two points in Group D. Elsewhere, it is first v second in Group C as leaders Malaga host Italian giants AC Milan. Big-spending Paris St Germain have a chance to make up for their defeat at Porto last time out with a game away at Group A's bottom club Dinamo Zagreb.

  119. 1955: 
    GOAL- Blackburn 1-0 Sheffield Wednesday - Grant Hanley (5 mins)

    Blackburn take the lead as David Dunn crosses for Grant Hanley to slot in his second of the season.

  120. 1953: 

    Robbie Savage knows his onions - this would have been a great goal for Ajax, as Lasse Schone lays the ball back to Christian Eriksen to crack a swerving shot just wide from the edge of the box.

  121. 1953:  
    Robbie Savage, BBC Radio 5 live in Amsterdam

    "It's wonderful from Ajax so far - one touch football, with the full-backs getting involved and Christian Eriksen cutting inside from the right of midfield. It's been a great start from Ajax but City have been very abject."

  122. 1952: 

    Edin Dzeko is a confident man after his super-sub exploits at the weekend, but a 40-yard shot is a tad ambitious. It barely gets off the ground and skids harmlessly wide. Ajax are playing very wide and open, looking to stretch City at every opportunity.

  123. 1950: 

    Arsenal have made a bright start at home, with Aaron Ramsey playing a fine pass through to Gervinho but the Ivorian didn't make the most of it. We've seen nothing of 'the hunter' in attack for Schalke yet.

  124. 1950: 

    Edin Dzeko is looking an isolated figure for Manchester City in these opening stages as Ajax knock it about assuredly. Siem de Jong shoots over from 20 yards after some neat build-up play.

  125. 1947: 
    Blackburn v Sheffield Wednesday (19:45 BST)

    In the night's Championship match, Grant Hanley returns to the Blackburn starting line-up, replacing Morten Gamst Pedersen (who drops to the bench) in the only change from the 1-1 draw with Derby at the weekend.

    Sheffield Wednesday make three changes from the side that drew 1-1 with Leeds. Defender Martin Taylor replaces Anthony Gardner, Jermaine Johnson starts in place of Jay Bothroyd and Gary Madine is up front with Chris O'Grady dropping to the bench.

  126. 1946: 

    Ajax threaten down the left wing, with Daley Blind putting in a low cross which is hacked away for a corner. Cracking atmosphere at the Amsterdam ArenA.

  127. 1945: 

    Both of our featured Champions League matches are under way...

  128. 1945: 

    Ronan Cunningham on Twitter: "George Evans, 17 years of age and English. City ruining football"

    Ally Stables on Twitter: "I reckon Arshavin will get the nod at some point tonight, he's still got the quality."

    Peter Bartlett on Twitter: "Harsh couple of days for scottish football, two teams losing to Spanish sides with the last kick of the games."

  129. 1941: 

    The players are in the tunnel in Amsterdam and north London. I'm going for goals tonight. A combined total of seven in the two Champions League games?

    Cue two goalless draws now...

  130. 1936: 

    We are 10 minutes away from kick-off in tonight's games. Manchester City look to have plenty of pace and power in their starting XI tonight, but can Edin Dzeko deliver from the off?

    Arsenal will have to contain Schalke striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, while I am also intrigued to see how Lewis Holtby gets on. He could be the one who got away from England.

  131. 1934: 

    There's a distinct lack of width down the Arsenal right tonight, but which former Arsenal winger "loves architecture", is a big fan of Mike Tyson and thinks Manchester City will win the Premier League this season?

    No, it's not Glenn Helder - but Freddie Ljungberg, who is the first in our new Sporting Spotlight features. Have a good read.

  132. 1933: 

    Boris the Gooner via text: "That Arsenal midfield is the definition of 'tippy tappy'... I'm not sure if that's a good or a bad thing."

  133. 1933: 

    Goal for Spain right at the death as Vero scores with the last kick of the match to make it 3-2 to Spain on the night.

    Spain go through to the Euro 2013 finals.

  134. 1928: 

    Dah gentle boi on Twitter: "Did I just see Chamakh in the Arsenal subs? *eyes twitching*"

    Simon Miles on Twitter: "If Chamakh is the answer, what on earth was the question?"

    Bishop on Twitter: "Big opportunity for Coquelin to tell the manager that he can handle the big task of marshalling Arsenal defensive department."

  135. 1928: 

    It's quite a game in Madrid as Scotland goalkeeper Gemma Fay saves Vero's penalty.

    It's still 2-2 on the night, with Scotland set to go through on away goals. One minute of extra-time left.

  136. 1926: 

    Adam Rowe on Twitter: "Forget City v Ajax, it's all about Dortmund v Madrid tonight, better players, better standard, better football on show."

  137. 1926: 

    Some news just in. Rio and Anton Ferdinand have released a joint statement, noting that the actions of the Football Association and the Professional Footballers' Association over the last year have left them "disappointed". This can be traced back to the incident between Anton and Chelsea skipper John Terry, who was eventually found guilty of racially abusing the QPR player by the FA after earlier being cleared of that charge in court.

    The statement said: "During that time, some of the deep divisions that exist in football have been exposed. In the coming months there will be ongoing discussions, we are sure, on finding a way forward.

    "We intend to participate in these discussions, along with numerous other current and ex professionals of all races, from the grass roots upwards, across the football community as a whole.

    "Although we have been left disappointed by the PFA and the FA's actions over the last year, as a family, we are committed to working with football's existing organisations towards the betterment of the game and to achieve immediate action."

  138. 1925: 
    Ajax v Man City (19:45 BST)

    Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini: "We spent a lot of energy on Saturday playing for 70 minutes with 10 men so we need some fresh players tonight. We could have a chance at set-pieces. Pablo Zabaleta is not fit, he played two games for Argentina but he should be fit for the weekend. Ajax have a young team and play football very well but it is important we take three points."

  139. 1922: 

    More drama in Madrid as Mesegeur makes it 2-2 on the night with a stunning long-range effort. Scotland are still ahead on away goals though.

  140. 1921: 

    Carl Jenkinson has been one of the finds of the season at right-back for Arsenal hasn't he? As Hani says there though, he will be tested tonight. A first England call can't be far away...

  141. 1920: 

    Hani Nyabam on Twitter:"Oh my, Afellay and Farfan on the wings for Schalke. This could be a bad night for Arsenal. I hope Santos & Jenkinson are ready."

  142. 1919: 

    Speaking of Frank de Boer, our very own Chris Bevan spoke to him this week, with the former Netherlands defender telling him that he knows the name of every player at the club from Under-12 level up.

    De Boer also said: "Our philosophy at Ajax is that we want about 70% of our first team to have come from our own youth academy."

    Have a good read of it on the website.

  143. 1917: 
    Ajax v Man City (19:45 BST)

    The task is clear for Ajax coach Frank de Boer: 'If we want to survive in Europe we need a result from this match.' He adds that 'City spend heavily; we don't have money like that so have to be inventive and creative.'

    Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini admits 'we have to think about winning this game' but warns those who 'think it will be easy' that 'Ajax have a good young team and will play well.'

  144. 1916: 

    Early result in Russia, where that solitary late penalty has given Zenit St Petersburg a 1-0 win at home to Anderlecht.

  145. 1914: 
    LINE-UPS- Ajax v Man City (19:45 BST)

    Ajax: Vermeer, Van Rhijn, Alderweireld, Moisander, Blind, Schone, Poulsen, Eriksen, Sana, De Jong, Babel. Subs: Cillessen, Enoh, Sulejmani, Boerrigter, Veltman, Dijks, Fischer.

    Man City: Hart, Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy, Toure, Barry, Milner, Aguero, Nasri, Dzeko. Subs: Pantilimon, Sinclair, Kolarov, Tevez, Nastasic, Balotelli, Evans.

    Referee: Svein Oddvar Moen (Norway)

  146. 1912: 

    Could this be a night for redemption for Marouane Chamakh? The Moroccan has so far only seen some action as a substitute against Coventry in the League Cup this season, but is on the Arsenal bench tonight.

  147. 1912: 
    LINE-UPS- Arsenal v Schalke (19:45 BST)

    Arsenal: Mannone, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Andre Santos, Ramsey, Coquelin, Arteta, Podolski, Cazorla, Gervinho. Subs: Shea, Koscielny, Giroud, Djourou, Arshavin, Chamakh, Gnabry.

    Schalke 04: Unnerstall, Uchida, Howedes, Matip, Fuchs, Hoger, Neustadter, Holtby, Afellay, Farfan, Huntelaar. Subs: Hildebrand, Marica, Jones, Barnetta, Moritz, Draxler, Kolasinac.

    Referee: Jonas Eriksson (Sweden)

  148. 1911: 

    I remember Danny Blind giving away the early penalty at Wembley when England beat the Netherlands 4-1 at Euro 96. Chopped down Paul Ince if I recall correctly.

    Thanks for that Danny...

  149. 1910: 
    Ajax v Man City (19:45 BST)

    Ajax turn to one of their more experienced players as 25-year-old Ryan Babel starts in attack for the club he left to join Liverpool in 2007 before returning last summer. Babel is the only change to a team that drew 3-3 at Heracles Almelo on Saturday, and which features 22-year-old left-back Daley Blind - son of Ajax great Danny.

    There are two alterations to the Manchester City team that started the 2-1 win at West Brom. Edin Dzeko, who came off the bench to score a late brace at the Hawthorns, is up front alongside Sergio Aguero as Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli make way.

  150. 1909: 

    Also on our radar this evening is the draw for the finals of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in Durban.

    Hosts South Africa are among the top seeds, alongside reigning champions Zambia, Ghana and Ivory Coast. The tournament takes place next January and the likes of Yaya Toure and Gervinho are likely to be missing for club duty for some time.

    We even have a separate live text commentary on the draw.

  151. 1907: 

    Goal in Spain, and it's good news for the Scots as Kim Little slots home to make it 2-1 to Scotland on the night and 3-2 on aggregate.

  152. 1906: 

    Manchester City have got George Evans on the bench tonight. Who's he? He's an England Under-19 midfielder and he wears number 74. Ridiculous.

  153. 1903: 

    The other game in Arsenal's group sees Montpellier host Olympiakos, while in City's group Dortmund welcome Real Madrid.

    Dortmund were supremely impressive at Eastlands three weeks ago, and Real have surprisingly only won European Cup game in Germany in 23 attempts. But Dortmund are off the pace in the Bundesliga, already 12 points behind Bayern Munich.

    Closer to home, Blackburn - who are still incredibly managerless - take on Sheffield Wednesday in the night's only Football League game. We'll keep you up to speed with all of those games.

  154. 1903: 

    Bambi on Twitter: "What were City thinking starting Dzeko? Now he can't come off the bench and score with his first touch! Pity Mancini, pity!"

  155. 1901:  
    Phil McNulty, BBC Sport Chief Football Writer at the EmiratesArsenal v Schalke (19:45 BST)

    "Arsenal's Champions League campaign has brought victories against Montpellier and Olympiakos - but Schalke 04 from the Bundesliga represent their toughest test. They beat German champions Borussia Dortmund at the weekend in a game watched by Arsene Wenger.

    "He writes in his programme notes: "Was it completely down to Schalke's quality? Was it down to Dortmund not having the right balance? It looked to me as though Schalke controlled the game in a surprisingly easy way."

  156. 1859: 

    Interestingly, the last English team to lose at Ajax in the European Cup was Nottingham Forest in the semi-final of 1980. Forest recovered to win the trophy that year, but it would be a long way back for Man City if they lose tonight.

  157. 1858: 
    Arsenal v Schalke (19:45 BST)

    Arsenal's Gervinho is preferred to Olivier Giroud in the lone striker role. German Per Mertesacker is chosen ahead of fit-again Frenchman Laurent Koscielny in central defence. There is no place for midfielder Jack Wilshere, who the Gunners are set to field in the league cup match against Reading next week.

    Schalke's 19-year-old influential attacking midfielder Julian Draxler is on the bench after recovering from a broken wrist. Greece defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos does not make the fixture having returned to training on Sunday after more than two weeks out with chicken pox.

  158. 1857: 

    Some off-field news to report ahead of City's game with Ajax, as Amsterdam police have made 25 arrests in the red light district of the city.

    It is not known how many City fans have been arrested, although the majority of those detained are believed to be Ajax supporters.

  159. 1855: 

    Eilish McSorley misses a sitter for Scotland as they end 90 minutes locked at 1-1 with Spain. We are into extra-time in Madrid.

  160. 1854: 
    Ajax v Man City (19:45 BST)

    Dutch champions Ajax host their Premier League counterparts in a tie that carries huge significance for both clubs following their poor starts to Group D. Ajax last beat English opposition on home soil in 1980 and the four-time European Cup winners will hope to live up to past glories, but City currently possess far greater experience and know this is the night they must breathe life into their European campaign.

  161. 1854: 

    Luke Sackville on Twitter: "As a Chelsea fan, I wish Huntelaar could tell Torres how to remember. He's clearly got a bit of amnesia has Fernando."

    Mark G on Twitter: "Looks like Arsenal's night might hinge on which Gervinho turns up. The unplayable, or the unwatchable."

  162. 1850: 
    Arsenal v Schalke (19:45 BST)

    Arsenal are up against German opposition this evening - and manager Arsene Wenger is hoping his own German in the camp can rise to the occasion.

    "Lukas Podolski is a good voice to have in the dressing room and has been received well," Wenger said.

    "There will be a little more pressure on him, but he is used to that - he has 100 caps for Germany, so he can handle it."

    Schalke midfielder Jermaine Jones admits his team arrive hoping for a smash-and-grab.

    "We come to show that we can steal points," the former Blackburn man said. "We have respect for the whole Arsenal team, but we are not scared."

  163. 1848: 

    Chris on text via 81111: "I think 'the hunter' is a much better nickname than 'little pea' for Javier Hernandez."

  164. 1846: 

    Arsenal are still waiting for Jack Wilshere to return to the starting line-up, but there is one sprightly number 10 with a wand of a left foot who may be playing at the Emirates tonight - Schalke's Lewis Holtby.

    He's half English you know - probably his top half to be honest - and he told us here at BBC Sport this week that is his dream to play in the Premier League.

    Let's see if this boy can play.

  165. 1845: 
    BREAKING TEAM NEWS- Arsenal v Schalke (19:45 BST)

    Olivier Giroud misses out for Arsenal, as Gervinho leads the line. Francis Coquelin also starts.

  166. 1839: 

    There's one game already up and running in Russia, where the early game in the Champions League is heading into the closing stages with Russian side Zenit St Petersburg leading Anderlecht 1-0.

    Alexander Kerzhakov's 72nd-minute penalty is the difference between the sides. The visitors have roughly 10 minutes to salvage something from the game.

  167. 1839: 

    So are we looking at a routine home win for Arsenal this evening? Or will Schalke spring a shock? Can City find their form on the road? Or are Ajax going to scupper their Euro dreams?

    Also, is there a worse nickname in football than 'the hunter?'

    Let us know your thoughts. You can text in on 81111 (UK Only) or send us a tweet using the hashtag #bbcfootball.

    Remember to pop your names on those texts now. Nice one.

  168. 1838: 

    So City are in Amsterdam then tonight, and if that wasn't enough football for you, Scotland women are also in action in Madrid in the second leg of their Euro 2013 play-off.

    The sides drew 1-1 in the first leg at Hampden last weekend and the sides are currently locked at 1-1 in the second leg as well.

    Emma Mitchell put Scotland ahead after the hour mark, but Adriana has just levelled for the Spanish.

  169. 1836: 
    BREAKING TEAM NEWS- Ajax v Man City (19:45 BST)

    Manchester City make two changes for the trip to Amsterdam. Carlos Tevez misses out as super sub Edin Dzeko partners Sergio Aguero up front.

  170. 1835: 

    Klaas-Jan Huntelaar netted 48 goals in 47 games for Schalke last season, and has so far hit eight this term for club and country.

    "Scoring goals is like riding a bike," he said this week. "You never forget."

    Schalke also beat Dortmund on their own turf at the weekend, so will be tough opposition for Per Mertesacker and co at the Emirates...

  171. 1833: 

    Let's start in Group B then, where Arsene Wenger's men take on German side Schalke.

    The Gunners were beaten 1-0 at Norwich at the weekend, and welcome back the man tonight who scored the first ever goal at the Emirates.

    Klaas-Jan 'the hunter' Huntelaar holds that honour for his goal in Dennis Bergkamp's testimonial in 2006, and the Dutchman arrives back in north London in red hot form.

  172. 1830: 

    Three weeks ago, a remarkable performance from goalkeeper Joe Hart and a last-minute penalty from substitute Mario Balotelli gave Manchester City an unlikely-looking point at home to Borussia Dortmund.

    Tonight, Roberto Mancini's side travel to Ajax knowing that a win is required to kick-start their Champions League campaign, while Arsenal will be looking to keep up their 100% record in Group B at home to Schalke.

    Can City get back on track in Amsterdam? Will the Gunners fall prey to the striker they call 'the hunter?'

    Let's find out...

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