Europa League football as it happened

Live text commentary as Spurs score three against Inter Milan, after Newcastle draw in Russia and Chelsea lose at Steaua Bucharest.

7 March 2013 Last updated at 22:25

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As it happened

  1. 2222: 

    That's it form us for the night then, and the end of another hectic week.

    You don't have long to wait for the next dose of live text action though, as Saturday sees the return of the FA Cup alongside more relegation six-pointers than you can shake a stick at.

    Goodnight from us all, and don't forget that the cricket boys will be here all night...

  2. 2221: 

    Kieran Morrison: "Tottenham full of confidence that can be converted through their talent, too strong for a lacklustre Inter performance."

    Harvey Spector: "Spurs can go all the way, with the pace and strength that AVB has put into the squad, they should be champs!"

    Paren: "Usual Bale headlines, but an excellent total team performance from Spurs. Vertonghen solid as a rock."

  3. 2218: 

    Giles in Birmingham: "Best British performance of the week in Europe? Total dominance."

    Sean on text: "Under Redknapp it was a matter of top 4 OR Europe. With AVB it's a matter of top 4 AND Europe. Progress."

  4. 2214: 

    It's a 1800 GMT kick-off for Spurs at the San Siro next week.

    Newcastle will play their home game against Anzhi at 2005, as will Chelsea against Steaua.

  5. 2208: 
    MANAGER REACTION- Tottenham 3-0 Inter Milan
    Andre Villas-Boas

    Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas: "It was a full 90-minute performance with excellent attacking football, reducing their chances and it was a great European night. We are not through yet and the San Siro is a difficult place to go.

    "Gareth Bale is missing but we have the talent in the squad to cope with it."

  6. 2207:  
    Former Tottenham manager David Pleat on BBC Radio 5 live at White Hart Lane

    "Tottenham started so well which gave them confidence. Then their football flowed. It really was an excellent performance and a great occasion. They deserve to be in the last eight and should be on tonight's performance."

  7. 2203: 
    PLAYER REACTION- Tottenham 3-0 Inter Milan
    Gareth Bale

    Tottenham forward Gareth Bale: "We played well and set the tempo from the start and made sure we made it difficult for them and it was a worthy result. It is nice to get a goal and we take a good lead into the away leg."

  8. 2201: 

    Zenit St Petersburg, who knocked Liverpool out of the Europa League in the previous round, have slipped to a 2-0 defeat to FC Basel. Marcelo Diaz gave the hosts the lead after 83 minutes, Alexander Frei doubled it in stoppage time after Zenit's Luis Neto was sent off.

    Benfica beat Bordeaux 1-0, while Levante and Rubin Kazan fought out a goalless draw after each side had a man dismissed early in the second half.

  9. 2200: 

    Gareth Bale is about to do a post-match interview for about the 10th match in a row. It will be the same one as well. I bet he's pleased to score but the team is the most important thing.

  10. 2200: 

    Dan Irvine: "Never felt so calm watching a Spurs game in all my life. We just oozed confidence tonight."

    James Watt: "Spurs look on the verge of turning into a proper footballing force under Villas Boas."

    Sam Joiner: "This is the worst Inter side I've ever seen. A legend like Zanetti shouldn't have to put up with captaining this. Woeful."

  11. 2157:  
    Former Tottenham manager David Pleat on BBC Radio 5 live at White Hart Lane
    Gareth Bale

    "It is very difficult to think of superlatives to describe Gareth Bale at the moment. He is relishing the formation and providing freedom with the ball. He is a very important but the team as a whole produced a fine performance."

  12. 2157: 

    England have taken a wicket in New Zealand - but the hosts have moved into the lead for the loss of just one.

    Keep up to date with all the latest in Sam Sheringham's live text.

  13. 2156:  
    Former Tottenham manager David Pleat on BBC Radio 5 live at White Hart Lane

    "They have one foot in the last eight. It was an excellent occasion and an outstanding performance with a great atmosphere. Inter did show some efforts in the last 20 minutes but overall it was a night for Spurs. It was a fine performance of fluidity. The first 35 minutes was one of the best performances we've seen for a long time."

  14. 2155: 
    Inter Milan ambassador Luis Figo

    Spurs travel to Milan next Thursday holding nearly all the cards. The loss of Gareth Bale to suspension is obviously a large blow but Inter will have to be almost unrecognisable to score three or more in the San Siro. Spurs are flying.

  15. 2154: 
    FULL-TIME- Tottenham 3-0 Inter Milan

    Very impressive. Very impressive from Spurs.

  16. 2154:  
    Former Tottenham manager David Pleat on BBC Radio 5 live at White Hart Lane

    "Supporters probably won't get another chance to see Zanetti and I'm not sure they realise what a good player he is."

  17. 2151: 
    Tottenham 3-0 Inter Milan

    Brilliant from Scott Parker, who beats two or three men before finding Gareth Bale. He in turn sends in Jermain Defoe who has the opportunity to shoot with his left foot but instead cuts inside and comes all the way back on to his right and the chance is gone. Use your left peg Jermain...

  18. 2149: 

    James: "Just realising Spurs have got to have one of the biggest teams around. There's 7 or 8 players out there 6 foot plus. Hefty."

    Mark Billen: "This Inter Milan performance has been brought to you by Pirelli. Yes, the whole team has looked tyre-d from the first minute."

    Ben Kahan: "Assou-Ekotto for man of the match? Quietly getting on with it, doesn't make mistakes, no fouls, great balls, perfect tackles?"

  19. 2148: 
    FINAL FIVE- Tottenham 3-0 Inter Milan

    Into the last few minutes at White Hart Lane then. Don't concede here and Spurs can celebrate a very good win indeed.

  20. 2148: 

    Marcelo Diaz has given Basel the lead against Zenit St Petersburg with just seven minutes remaining. Benfica are still 1-0 up against Bordeaux, and it is 0-0 between Levante and Rubin Kazan, who have each had a man sent off.

  21. 2146: 

    Mark, from Nottingham, via text: "Whisper it quietly, but this Spurs team are the rapidly becoming the real deal as the No1 club in London for the next couple of years..."

    Suzanne, from Castleford, via text: "Bring on Liverpool on Sunday make my Mother's Day extra special. Big Spurs fan."

  22. 2145: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Tottenham 3-0 Inter Milan

    Slightly concerning news for Spurs as Aaron Lennon has to leave with an injury. Kyle Naughton is on in his place. But if Spurs have to go to San Siro without Lennon and Gareth Bale they may have a tougher evening then we thought.

  23. 2141: 
    CLOSE!- Tottenham 3-0 Inter Milan

    They are all at it now. William Gallas outpaces three Inter men as he charges forward, he finds Gareth Bale who lays it off into the path of substitute Lewis Holtby. Holtby has Jermain Defoe to his left but shoots, and it is deflected into the hands of Inter keeper Samir Handanovic.

  24. 2139: 
    Tottenham 3-0 Inter Milan

    We have 12 minutes left. So far, so excellent for Spurs.

  25. 2138: 
    Tottenham 3-0 Inter Milan
    Jan Vertonghen scores for Spurs

    Some more outrageous skill sees Gareth Bale power into the penalty area again but he runs out of turf on this occasion. It's hard to see a way for Inter to get back in to the tie but an away goal would make their lives much easier in the second leg.

  26. 2138: 

    Richard Bound: "What is Pleat on about? Inter have been dire, awful, shocking, terrible, and he thinks they could spank us 3 - 0 at San Siro?!"

    Stuart Catlin: "Inter showing how far they have fallen as a team since winning the treble under Jose."

    Alex Batt: "Spurs could have won this 6 or 7-0!"

  27. 2137: 
    SHOWBOAT- Tottenham 3-0 Inter Milan

    You can't help but compare Gareth Bale to Cristiano Ronaldo at times. The tricks are coming out now as Bale drags the ball back away from Jonathan repeatedly on the touchline. Showboat stuff, and Javier Zanetti didn't like that. He has words with Bale.

  28. 2135: 
    GREAT SAVE!- Tottenham 3-0 Inter Milan

    Big moment in the tie. Inter sub Rodrigo Palacio gets in behind the Spurs defence, one on one, but Brad Friedel spreads himself and makes a fine save with his feet! That could be pivotal.

  29. 2133: 
    YELLOW CARD- Tottenham 3-0 Inter Milan

    Another yellow card for diving as substitute Fredy Guarin goes to ground under a challenge from WIlliam Gallas and is booked. Referee Antonio Lahoz has been sharp on those tonight.

  30. 2131: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Tottenham 3-0 Inter Milan

    Change for Spurs as Lewis Holtby replaces Gylfi Sigurdsson. Huge ovation for goalscorer Sigurdsson, who is finally showing his form for SpPurs now.

  31. 2130: 
    GREAT SAVE!- Tottenham 3-0 Inter Milan

    No sign of any let-up from Spurs as we enter the last 20 minutes. Aaron Lennon bamboozles the Inter backline with a direct run, nutmegging Cristian Chivu with a deft touch before Samir Handanovic blocks his shot.

  32. 2130: 

    Psycho: "Inter are playing like their synonym, Bury."

    Lewis Bak: "Spurs players showing how its done, could have sulked, as the Chelsea players did, after Harry but have embraced AVB."

    Thomas Hewitt: "Have the aliens from Space Jam come down & stolen the talent from the Inter players? Because that's what it seems like."

  33. 2128: 

    Still not many goals about in the three other games in progress at the moment, but it has been lively since half-time in the Levante v Rubin Kazan match despite the 0-0 scoreline. Cristian Ansaldi was sent off for a second bookable offence on 52 minutes for Rubin, and two minutes later Michel got his marching orders for the Spanish hosts with a straight red card.

    It's also 0-0 between Basel and Zenit St Petersburg, while Benfica still lead Bordeaux 1-0.

  34. 2127: 
    Tottenham 3-0 Inter Milan

    Inter have a corner, cleared, and the break is on!

    Spurs fly up the pitch, Jermain Defoe sprints downfield, he has Gareth Bale and Gylfi Sigurdsson on his shoulder but incredibly Javier Zanetti is able to make a challenge.

  35. 2126: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Tottenham 3-0 Inter Milan

    Mousa Dembele, who has been a force tonight, is rested for the final 25 minutes as Jake Livermore gets a run out.

  36. 2124: 
    GREAT SAVE!- Tottenham 3-0 Inter Milan

    Inter keeper Samir Handanovic gets lucky, getting down to save a trademark snap-shot from Jermain Defoe but the ball squirms under his body and just wide.

  37. 2123:  
    Former Tottenham manager David Pleat on BBC Radio 5 live at White Hart Lane

    "The San Siro is a very difficult place to go to. 3-0 is a good lead but I think they need another."

  38. 2122: 
    CLOSE!- Tottenham 3-0 Inter Milan

    Spurs get Gareth Bale on the ball, and he is straight at the Inter defence. He flies into the area, runs right between Cristian Chivu and Andrea Ranocchia and gets a shot off but drags it into the side-netting. The man is terrifying in full flight.

  39. 2121: 

    Duncan, from Tonbridge, via text: "Dembele deserves so much credit, I've never seen a Spurs side with such a dominant midfield and his balance, power and positioning is the rock upon which much of Spurs' creativity sits. Colossal."

    Michael, from Liverpool, via text: "As a Liverpool fan I hope Rodgers is watching this, it's an extensive guide on exactly what not to do against Spurs."

    Ben Kew, from Rugby, via text: "As a Chelsea fan, I almost wish we could re-hire Villas-Boas. It seems he has learnt from his mistakes and is beginning to show why he was one of the worlds youngest, and most expensive managers."

  40. 2119: 
    Tottenham 3-0 Inter Milan

    Spurs continue to swarm all over Inter every time they get the ball - which isn't often. It's hard not to be impressed by this Tottenham side at the moment. Are they favourites to win the Europa League now?

  41. 2119:  
    Former Tottenham manager David Pleat on BBC Radio 5 live at White Hart Lane

    "Andre Villas-Boas has treated this competition with respect. He knows how important it is. If Tottenham win it, it will be a wonderful achievement."

  42. 2118: 

    Dan D: "Jan Vertonghen just oozes cool."

    Tom Girling: "I thought Italian teams were meant to be able to defend?"

    Sean Michael Hackett: "With Bale on this form would it be silly to think about Wales still having a chance of making the next World Cup?"

  43. 2116: 
    Tottenham 3-0 Inter Milan

    There are still 35 minutes left for Spurs to add to this lead. Inter have to score an away goal, they just have to to keep this tie alive.

  44. 2115:  
    Former Tottenham manager David Pleat on BBC Radio 5 live at White Hart Lane

    "I do believe it was due to the accuracy of Bale's corners. There was no one on the line and it's now a wonderful position to be in. Inter are not producing a solid reply. I just hope Tottenham do not sit back. They can't just sit back on 3-0, they should carry on playing the way they have."

  45. 2113: 
    GOAL- Tottenham 3-0 Inter Milan - Jan Vertonghen (53 mins)

    He was close a few minutes ago, but Inter do not learn as Jan Vertonghen puts Spurs firmly in control. It's zonal marking at its very worst as Vertonghen just runs past Esteban Cambiasso and meets Gareth Bale's corner before Cristian Chivu to head into the net. Rubbish defending.

  46. 2113: 

    Dan Fookes: "Imagine the scoreline had Maicon been playing!"

    Alan Mathew: "Four years ago who thought that this young lad from Wales would be compared to Ronaldo?"

    Mark Billen: "If Inter continue defending like that 2nd half they should be sent packing to San Quentin never mind the San Siro. Criminal."

  47. 2112: 
    Tottenham 2-0 Inter Milan

    Alvaro Pereira bombs up the other end to threaten for Inter, dragging a cross/shot across the face of goal, but substitute Rodrigo Palacio can't turn it in.

  48. 2109: 
    CLOSE!- Tottenham 2-0 Inter Milan

    Gareth Bale wins a free-kick out wide but Alvaro Pereira thinks that was another dive. Free-kick given and Bale is over it again.

    He floats in a cross this time and Jan Vertonghen should make it 3-0, but he misreads the flight and shins it wide.

  49. 2107: 
    Tottenham 2-0 Inter Milan

    Gylfi Sigurdsson is almost in on goal instantly for Spurs but 39-year-old Javier Zanetti reads it like a book, coming over to cover and smash the ball away.

  50. 2105: 
    KICK-OFF- Tottenham 2-0 Inter Milan

    Inter get us going again. What is this haircut Rodrigo Palacio is sporting? Shaved all over with a tiny rat tail down the back...

  51. 2105: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Tottenham 2-0 Inter Milan

    Inter are bringing top scorer Rodrigo Palacio on at the break.

  52. 2100: 

    Day three of the first Test between England and New Zealand is just about to get under way. England had a nightmare last night, but maybe the fightback starts here? No?

    You can follow all the latest with Sam Sheringham in the live text cricket chair tonight. Why not have both open?

  53. 2059: 

    Can all Ipswich fans direct any criticism to Jeff and not me for that one...

  54. 2058: 

    Matt, from Romford, via text: "Utterly trivial point, but isn't Inter Milan having a red shirt almost as unforgivable as Spurs or Everton having a red shirt?"

    Neil, from Essex (but stuck at Dublin airport), via text: "As Alicia Keys would say: "This Bale is on fire, this Bale is on fire-er-er-er-er"

    Jeff, from London, via text: "Is this really Inter Milan? They look more like Ipswich Town."

  55. 2056: 

    There's just the one goal to report in the three games not featuring British sides that have just reached half-time.

    A fierce shot from Benfica's Moreno Rodrigo shot crashed back off the bar to rebound in off the hands of Bordeaux goalkeeper Cedric Carrasso to give the Portuguese side a 1-0 lead after 21 minutes, but it is 0-0 in both Levante v Rubin Kazan, and Basel v Zenit St Petersburg.

  56. 2054:  
    Former Tottenham manager David Pleat on BBC Radio 5 live at White Hart LaneTottenham 2-0 Inter Milan

    "Inter are second best. Tottenham were vibrant early on and they have shown superiority and confidence has flowed through them. Inter have been spasmodic in getting anything over the halfway line. Tottenham clearly on top.

    "If you're a Tottenham supporter you want to be a bit disbelieving of Gareth Bale. I go to the Tottenham training ground a lot and he is very humble. He is not ready to move abroad but I don't think he will worry about the publicity his efforts are creating. I don't think he will disappear for the mega bucks."

  57. 2054: 
    Gylfi Sigurdsson (left) and Gareth Bale scored first-half goals against Inter

    James Payne: "Spurs would be genuine Premier League contenders if they had a prolific goal scorer, imagine if they snapped up Michu last year!"

    Tom Brook: "As a Spurs fan, I see why Bale gets the headlines, but I really appreciate the difference that Vertongen has made to the team."

    Liam Thompson: "Great half from the Lillywhites but the man in black should be taking all the plaudits. Been spot on with every decision so far."

  58. 2054: 

    So far so good then Spurs fans?

  59. 2051: 
    HALF-TIME- Tottenham 2-0 Inter Milan
    Tottenham celebrate scoring against Inter Milan

    Half time at White Hart Lane. Spurs were brilliant for 35 minutes or so but could have shipped a goal before the break.

  60. 2050: 
    Tottenham 2-0 Inter Milan

    Ricardo Alvarez hits another shot wide from the edge of the box as Spurs are in danger of getting ragged. We are into the last minute of the first period.

  61. 2048:  
    Former Tottenham manager David Pleat on BBC Radio 5 live at White Hart Lane

    "Brad Friedel did well and stood up but Tottenham are pleased and relieved. It should have been a goal to Inter."

  62. 2047: 
    SITTER!- Tottenham 2-0 Inter Milan

    Oh my word! Inter have offered hardly anything but they have a golden, golden chance to score just before the break. A through-ball deflects off Scott Parker to fox William Gallas and Ricardo Alvarez has the freedom of White Hart Lane. Absolutely clean through but he has zero composure, dragging his shot horribly wide,

    Massive chance.

  63. 2046: 

    Simon Dell: "Sitting on the Gold Coast, Australia madly refreshing the feed on the #bbcfootball page to hear about Spurs vs. Inter Milan! COYS!"

    Jamie: "Spurs have been brilliant but this is one of the worst Inter Milan sides I've seen in years."

    Gregor Dickie: "Sigurdsson finally getting a run in the Spurs team and showing just how good he is."

  64. 2042: 
    Tottenham 2-0 Inter Milan

    Sours have four or five men in the penalty area every time they work the ball wide, inter are being swamped. Benoit Assou-Ekotto wastes the chance to cross and Gylfi Sigurdsson then smashes in a low shot which is easily held. Seven minutes of the half remaining.

  65. 2040: 
    CLOSE!- Tottenham 2-0 Inter Milan

    Gareth Bale ghosts into the penalty area again and flashes another Gylfi Sigurdsson cross wide of the post. Inter really need to mark Gareth Bale you know...

  66. 2038:  
    Former Tottenham manager David Pleat on BBC Radio 5 live at White Hart LaneTottenham 2-0 Inter Milan

    "Tottenham have not got a goalscoring forward on the bench. They are short up front but they are playing a brand of football that does not rely on one focal striker."

  67. 2037: 

    William Duran: "At this rate it won't be long before Gareth Bale wins the Bale D'or."

    Danny Partington: "Looking at the other fixtures- Whoever wins this tie must be favourites for the cup- and right now Spurs are dominant!"

    John Brown: "As a Spurs fan, I'm still not sure what I'd rather have, finish 4th or win the Europa League. Doubt we'll get both."

  68. 2036: 
    Tottenham 2-0 Inter Milan

    Inter just can't handle the speed and strength of the Tottenham side. If it's not Kyle Walker, Gareth Bale or Aaron Lennon it's Mousa Dembele running into, past and right through them. Dembele has been excellent.

  69. 2035: 

    Ed via text: "I'm a Gooner of 30 years but you heard it here first. Tottenham will win the league in 2014. Progressing very well. Fact."

    Harry, from Nottingham, via text: "Said it all along that AVB is a very good manager, you don't go undefeated in Portugal whilst winning the Europa Cup to be an average manager. Chelsea's players are the problem."

    Brian, from Brighton, via text: "If Spurs build a good lead tonight it might even work in their favour to have Bale suspended for the second leg - and therefore available for next round."

  70. 2031: 
    CLOSE!- Tottenham 2-0 Inter Milan

    Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen loops a header back across goal and the Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic has to turn it away for another corner. As good an opening half hour as Tottenham can have hoped for - bar that booking for Gareth Bale.

  71. 2030: 

    Benfica are ahead at home to Bordeaux, Moreno Rodrigo's shot from outside the box hitting the bar, then rebounding in off the luckless Bordeaux goalkeeper Cedric Carrasso. It's goalless in the other two ties, Levante v Rubin Kazan and Basel v Zenit St Petersburg.

  72. 2028: 

    Trev: "Breaking News: Someone else scores for Spurs."

    Matthew Morgan: "Bale missing the second leg might not matter the way Spurs are going about this."

    Craig Millward: "As a neutral I would love to see Spurs win the Europa. They deserve a trophy."

  73. 2027: 
    Tottenham 2-0 Inter Milan

    A fine opening quarter from Spurs then. They have laid the foundations for this one, with Jermain Defoe looking a real menace up front, linking smartly with the three players just behind him.

  74. 2025:  
    Former Tottenham manager David Pleat on BBC Radio 5 live at White Hart LaneTottenham 2-0 Inter Milan

    "Wonderful play up the front, swift, precise passing. It was really clever play. Sigurdsson was first to the ball. Tottenham are playing quick football and the 2,000 Inter Milan fans will be shocked."

  75. 2025: 

    Patrick Brennan: "Have you got a cut and paste entry for "Gareth Bale booked for diving"?"

    Craig Boyle: "We've seen the best and worst of Gareth Bale in the last 10 minutes."

    Ronan Laycock: "Bale needs to stop this horrible habit of going down easily, silly suspension to pick up."

  76. 2023: 
    GOAL- Tottenham 2-0 Inter Milan - Gylfi Sigurdsson (18 mins)

    Spurs look untouchable at times, and they craft another fine goal. Aaron Lennon is played in down the right, he cuts the ball back, Jermain Defoe turns and sees his low shot parried away, and Gylfi Sigurdsson is the first to react to smash in his first goal at White Hart Lane.

  77. 2022: 
    Tottenham 1-0 Inter Milan

    Inter threaten for the first time as Mateo Kovacic collects a neat pass to shoot over the top from 20 yards. Better from the Italians.

  78. 2022: 

    Jonny Trudgill, from Norwich, via text: "Gareth Bale just loves scoring against Inter Milan! If Spurs win this then surely they are favourites for the trophy!?"

    Dave Price, from Belfast, via text: "I wish Parker would lift his head sometimes and see there is a better pass then just passing straight back!"

    Tom, from Worcester, via text: "Poor defending by Cambiasso but seriously how much is Bale worth? Wow!"

  79. 2021: 
    Tottenham 1-0 Inter Milan

    Inter Milan will be delighted by that suspension for Gareth Bale, it changes the whole complexion of the second leg to be honest. He may well put the tie beyond Inter tonight the way he is playing though.

    Do you think that was a booking? Let us know.

  80. 2019: 
    YELLOW CARD- Tottenham 1-0 Inter Milan

    Ooooohhhh - Gareth Bale is booked for diving. My first reaction was that this is a penalty - but on second thoughts he was looking for it a bit. He does run into the shins of Walter Gargano but he was on his way down.

    That means Gareth Bale is out of the second leg though. Big news.

  81. 2019:  
    Former Tottenham manager David Pleat on BBC Radio 5 live at White Hart Lane

    "Bale has not got one single player marking him at the moment. It's a bold move."

  82. 2017: 
    Tottenham 1-0 Inter Milan

    This game is everything our first two weren't - high tempo, high pressing, high octane. Gareth Bale finds a pocket of space 30 yards from goal, which is so often fatal for teams at the moment, but he doesn't get fully across this shot and Samir Handanovic is able to save.

  83. 2016: 
    Tottenham 1-0 Inter Milan

    I'm not sure Inter have touched the ball yet - this is an extraordinary start from Tottenham. Inter are chasing shadows.

  84. 2016: 

    Craig Millward: "Gareth there a limit to what that lad can do?"

    Adam Nash: "Bookies must be starting to hate 'Bale first scorer' bets."

    James Woodcock: "Not heard much about this Gareth Bale bloke recently…"

  85. 2015:  
    Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand

    "Bale is having an average period at moment....needs a goal to get him out of it!! #GoalsGalore"

  86. 2013: 
    GREAT SAVE!- Tottenham 1-0 Inter Milan

    Spurs are flying and it's almost two as Jermain Defoe gets into the box, turns a defender and thumps in a low shot which Samir Handanovic gets behind to deflect clear. What a start.

  87. 2013:  
    Former Tottenham manager David Pleat on BBC Radio 5 live at White Hart LaneTottenham 1-0 Inter Milan

    "Quite incredible. It was a good early cross from Sigurdsson and Tottenham don't do that very often. Bale was almost unchallenged and it was a fine header with the neck muscles bulging."

  88. 2011: 
    GOAL- Tottenham 1-0 Inter Milan - Gareth Bale (6 mins)

    I need to just cut and paste a stock entry - Gareth Bale scores. For Spurs. Again!

    That's 11 in nine games for club and country, it's a header this time as he rises miles above Esteban Cambiasso to head Gylfi Sigurdsson's cross into the corner. What a run of form.

  89. 2010: 
    Tottenham 0-0 Inter Milan

    Gareth Bale is again playing through the middle for Spurs, with Gylfi Sigurdsson on the left of their three behind Jermain Defoe.

  90. 2010: 

    Harriet Davies: "Hasn't been the most enthralling of nights for football, lets hope a certain Welshman can change it."

    Neil Knighton: "This is going to be a monumental match. Taxi for Inter."

    Devon Ainley: "How is Zanetti still playing football? True legend."

  91. 2009: 
    MANAGER REACTION- Steaua Bucharest 1-0 Chelsea
    Rafael Benitez

    Chelsea interim manager Rafa Benitez: "It was a difficult game, you could see the atmosphere and the pitch was not the best. We are disappointed because we conceded a goal with a soft penalty and had one or two chances to score. Our keeper was not making any saves and we could have scored so we have to do everything at Stamford Bridge.

    "It was a soft penalty to give in this situation with so many officials. We cannot change that now. The referee gave the penalty but no red card? Strange.

    "You saw the reaction in the second half. We were pushing and were on top. They were dangerous on the counter-attack. This result means we have to win at home and we have to push together."

  92. 2008:  
    Former Tottenham manager David Pleat on BBC Radio 5 live at White Hart Lane

    "There's only two Italians in the Milan starting line-up. Very much a South American flavour in the Inter Milan team."

  93. 2007: 
    Tottenham 0-0 Inter Milan

    Kyle Walker shows some outstanding pace as he sprints away down the right and pulls the ball across, but Gareth Bale and Gylfi Sigurdsson both miss out. Sprightly start.

  94. 2005: 
    Tottenham 0-0 Inter Milan

    Inter are wearing all red - what's that all about? The traditionalist in me does not like that. Javier Zanetti looks like he is playing at right-back for Inter - the veteran is even older than Ryan Giggs, but he's still brilliant. He will not fancy a foot race with Grateh Bale though.

  95. 2005:  
    Former Tottenham manager David Pleat on BBC Radio 5 live at White Hart Lane

    "It was an incredible comeback three years ago, spurred on by Gareth Bale, who gave Maicon the run around. Bale has now emerged as one of the stars of this season."

  96. 2005: 
    KICK-OFF- Tottenham 0-0 Inter Milan

    A roaring atmosphere as we get going...

  97. 2002: 
    PLAYER REACTION- Steaua Bucharest 1-0 Chelsea
    Petr Cech

    Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech: "We ended up with the worst results. We didn't get a goal and it is not the result you want in the first leg. We had the better chances, I hardly made a save and they had a penalty which they scored from.

    "The most disappointing thing is that we did not score. That is the way it is and we have made it hard for the return leg but 1-0 is not a scoreline we cannot overturn."

  98. 2000: 

    John Burke via text: "From Champions of Europe to almost going out in the last 16 of the Europa League to Steaua Bucharest. It really shows you how badly things have gone for Chelsea this season. Terrible performance."

    Richard, from Richmond, via text: "I've supported Chelsea for 60 years through both good and bad times. 1-0 down to a good side away from home isn't too bad. Time for all the moaners to get behind the boys for the home leg."

    James, from Surrey, via text: "Just finished watching a recording of Chelsea vs. Bayern Munich...much better use of my time."

  99. 2000: 
    Tottenham v Inter Milan (2005 GMT)

    Tottenham defender William Gallas tells ITV he hates facing Gareth Bale in training and recalls Tottenham being 4-0 down with 10 men against Inter Milan in the San Siro in 2010:

    "Harry said we had to do something special in the second half. We knew Gareth would make the difference against Maicon and he was unbelievable. From that game he's started to be famous.

    "He will be the best winger in the world. Right now, he's near. I can't stop him because my legs aren't like before."

  100. 1958: 
    Tottenham v Inter Milan (2005 GMT)

    Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas and Inter coach Andrea Stramaccioni have a combined age of 72 - just a year older than Manchester United gaffer Sir Alex Ferguson. You can't beat experience.

  101. 1956: 
    Tottenham v Inter Milan (2005 GMT)

    Tottenham defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto believes the Champions League victory over Inter three years ago has helped the club become what it is today.

    He said: "It was the night that Europe started to know the name of Gareth Bale and he has gone up a few levels since then. It was the same for him here at the Lane in the second game and that was a great result for us that night.

    "I can remember being 3-0 down in the San Siro after 20 minutes and I was worried! We were in a bad way and I thought we could end up losing by five or six goals but we fought back to 4-3 and showed our quality with only 10 men and since that night, we have picked up a lot of experience and we have improved."

  102. 1956: 

    Ali Zubaidi: "You do have to feel that fatigue will strike this Tottenham side at some point. The Europa League has a lot of games."

    Will: "Worst performance of the season. Simple."

  103. 1952: 

    It's a tale of vital away goals in the two games not involving British sides that have just finished. Goals from Ederson and Ogenyi Onazi saw Lazio to a 2-0 win in VfB Stuttgart, while Pierre Webo's strike nine minutes from time gave Fenerbahce the spoils against FC Viktoria Plzen.

  104. 1951: 
    FULL-TIME- Steaua Bucharest 1-0 Chelsea

    Chelsea will probably still expect to do enough to go through in the second leg, but that was a massively underwhelming display from a side who won the Champions League just 10 months ago.

  105. 1950: 
    FULL-TIME- Steaua Bucharest 1-0 Chelsea
  106. 1946: 
    INJURY TIME- Steaua Bucharest 1-0 Chelsea

    We have four minutes added on in Bucharest. Chelsea have offered so little tonight - though Frank Lampard does shoot wide from 25 yards, his first effort of the evening.

  107. 1943: 
    Steaua Bucharest 1-0 Chelsea

    Two minutes left. Steaua looking good still, home win on the cards.

  108. 1940: 

    Adam Bowley: "I've switched it off. Got better things to do than watch this dross."

    Sham Gallagher: "If Chelsea carry on playing like this, Man United will beat them with ease on Sunday especially as they are on form."

    James Nicholls: "Painful to be a Chelsea supporter? Try telling that to Portsmouth or Rangers fans. You've been spoiled."

  109. 1940: 

    Pierre Webo of Fenerbahce has grabbed a precious away goal with nine minutes to go against FC Viktoria Plzen, and Lazio, also away from home, still lead 2-0 against VfB Stuttgart.

  110. 1939: 
    CLOSE!- Steaua Bucharest 1-0 Chelsea

    David Luiz has a crack from a dipping free-kick but it is always rising. Six minutes to go.

  111. 1938: 
    GREAT SAVE!- Steaua Bucharest 1-0 Chelsea

    Much better. John Terry sprays a fine crossfield ball out from the back to find substitute Marko Marin on the left wing, he runs at the Steaua defence, finds a gap to get the ball on to his right boot and arrows in a shot which Ciprian Tatarusanu keeps out at his near post. Some belated urgency maybe for the Blues.

  112. 1936: 
    Steaua Bucharest 1-0 Chelsea
    Chelsea interim boss Rafa Benitez

    It could be another inquest of an evening for Rafael Benitez. The Chelsea interim manager has played a strong enough side but there's been a real lack of attacking intent.

    Into the final 10 minutes now.

  113. 1935: 
    Tottenham v Inter Milan (2005 GMT)

    Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas is confident Jermain Defoe will make an impact as he makes his first start in a month following ankle trouble.

    He told ITV: "He came on well against Arsenal so he's fresh and ready to start. [Emmanuel] Adebayor wasn't able to make it but Defoe is one of the top goal-scorers in the club and we have full trust in him.

    "When you have a player enjoying his football you just have to let him enjoy his freedom and Gareth [Bale] has been amazing for us so hopefully he can continue to perform at this level."

  114. 1933: 
    Steaua Bucharest 1-0 Chelsea

    Chelsea are seeing much more of the ball now but there is no apparent urgency or pattern to their play. They keep the ball for long spells without offering any real threat. Steaua are content to let them have it in the middle third and quickly shut down their options when it does go forwards.

  115. 1931: 
    LINE-UPS- Tottenham v Inter Milan (2005 GMT)

    Tottenham: Friedel, Walker, Gallas, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto, Parker, Dembele, Lennon, Sigurdsson, Bale, Defoe. Subs: Lloris, Naughton, Dawson, Holtby, Livermore, Caulker, Carroll.

    Inter Milan: Handanovic, Zanetti, Ranocchia, Chivu, Juan, Gargano, Cambiasso, Alvarez, Kovacic, Pereira, Cassano. Subs: Belec, Palacio, Guarin, Benassi, Pasa, Mbaye, Jonathan.

    Referee: Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz (Spain)

  116. 1931: 

    Mark, from Nottingham, via text: "Liking AVB's ambitious team selection but with a game Sunday, I do worry our key players are going to get injured or run out of steam at the pivotal stage in our season."

    Jill, from Leamington Spa, via text: "It is truly painful to be a Chelsea supporter at the moment."

    Al, from Edinburgh, via text: "Torres must be leading Europe in terms of unused runs!"

  117. 1930: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Steaua Bucharest 1-0 Chelsea

    Another change for Chelsea as Marko Marin is sent on in place of Eden Hazard. The move to London has not gone to plan for Marin so far, but maybe he can freshen them up a bit here.

  118. 1930: 
    Tottenham v Inter Milan (2005 GMT)
    Gareth Bale v Inter

    Gareth Bale tormented Maicon in both Champions League games against Inter in 2010 but Brazilian defender Juan Jesus insists there is no reason to be scared of the in-form Welshman. "He's a great player who's playing well but I don't believe Inter are afraid of anyone," he said. "We want to play our own game and we think we can do it well."

  119. 1929: 
    Steaua Bucharest 1-0 Chelsea

    A bit more huff and puff now from Chelsea, with Juan Mata adding some impetus. Fernando Torres is able to help on a crossfield pass into the path of Eden Hazard, but the Belgian always had a tight angle and ends up slamming his shot over the top. Chelsea have 15 minutes remaining.

  120. 1927: 

    Rory Cordell: "The worst thing about watching this tonight is knowing I've got tickets for the next leg at the Bridge."

    Olumide Ayorinde: "Let's stop criticising Chelsea. They've played 50 games so far this season. You don't expect them to be 100 per cent fit."

    Barnaby Hodgkins: "Starting with Premier League last Saturday we've had six consecutive days of quality football, round it off in style Spurs."

  121. 1926: 
    Tottenham v Inter Milan (2005 GMT)

    Inter Milan international ambassador Luis Figo tells ITV4 he would rather see Gareth Bale lining up in black and blue tonight: "He's a player that is in the mind of everyone right now because he's young a huge talent and is doing really well. It's a pity he's not playing for us tonight but we have to play against him, respect him and try to stop him."

  122. 1926: 
    Steaua Bucharest 1-0 Chelsea

    Chelsea counter well, but Fernando Torres loses the ball cheaply. Into the last 20 minutes now of what has been a very poor performance from Chelsea.

  123. 1924: 

    In the two other games currently under way, Lazio have taken a decisive step towards the quarter-finals, with goals from Ederson and Ogenyi Onazi either side of the break giving them a two-goal lead away from home against VfB Stuttgart. In the other one, it's still 0-0 between FC Viktoria Plzen and Fenerbahce.

  124. 1921: 
    YELLOW CARD- Steaua Bucharest 1-0 Chelsea

    No need to rob your dad's foot pump from the garage as the referee finds us another ball. John Obi Mikel is then booked for a late sliding challenge in the middle.

  125. 1921: 
    Steaua Bucharest 1-0 Chelsea

    I don't think I've ever seen this before in a professional game. A scene from down the park as Ryan Bertrand stops play and picks the ball up, complaining that it's flat. Anyone got a pump?

  126. 1919: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Steaua Bucharest 1-0 Chelsea

    Juan Mata is summoned from the bench. Can he save this one? Mata replaces Yossi Benayoun.

  127. 1918: 

    Matthew Donaldson: "Torres and Benayoun would struggle to get into a League 1 team with these performances!"

    Bob: "Have Chelsea completed a pass yet?"

    Scott Morrell: "What a result for the Geordies tonight, fantastic structure to the side. Focus now on return leg and ascent up the league."

  128. 1916: 
    Steaua Bucharest 1-0 Chelsea

    The home side continue to look the more dangerous. Left-back Iasmin Latovlevici is a nightmare on the spelling front but he is a very useful option down that left, he is bombing on at will and causing all manner of problems. Their latest surge up field ends with Cristian Tanase again shooting wastefully over from 20 yards.

  129. 1913: 
    Tottenham v Inter Milan (2005 GMT)

    Jermain Defoe hasn't started a game since 3 February after a spell out with an ankle injury. He's not got any support up top tonight - but he has got Gareth Bale...

  130. 1912:  
    Former Tottenham manager David Pleat on BBC Radio 5 live at White Hart LaneTottenham v Inter Milan (2005 GMT)

    "I feel Jermain Defoe needs a man with him up front. He is very diminutive and finds it hard to do the work on his own and would prefer someone alongside him."

  131. 1912: 
    Tottenham v Inter Milan (2005 GMT)

    Inter Milan coach Andrea Stramaccioni has said his strategy for tonight's Europa league match against Tottenham at White Hart Lane will depend on more than just trying to stop Gareth Bale. Stramaccioni said the Welshman "is now one of the most complete players on the European scene; he is becoming crucial. Though he is strong, Tottenham have many champions. But we also have top players and have absolutely no fear. It's Tottenham-Inter, not Bale-Inter."

  132. 1910: 
    Steaua Bucharest 1-0 Chelsea

    Good flowing attack from Steaua as left-back Iasmin Latovlevici gets to the line and corsses low, John Terry can only stab the ball clear and Cristian Tanase smashes his shot wide. Good scrabble points there.

  133. 1910: 
    Tottenham v Inter Milan (2005 GMT)

    Graham Chase reports: "With their 2-1 win over rivals Arsenal at the weekend making it five wins in six, Tottenham are flying as they head into their meeting with Inter. Andre Villas-Boas is finally showing English football what he is all about and this tie could be a defining moment for the Portuguese, who worked under Jose Mourinho at Inter. Andrea Stramaccioni's side are also battling for a Champions League place in Italy and will be looking for revenge after their chastening 3-1 defeat at White Hart Lane in 2010."

  134. 1909: 
    Steaua Bucharest 1-0 Chelsea

    The noise has been cranked up, the Steaua crowd are loving this. A pretty poor 55 minutes for Chelsea so far it has to be said.

  135. 1906: 
    Tottenham v Inter Milan (2005 GMT)

    Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas makes three changes to the side that secured a 2-1 win over Arsenal on Sunday. Jermain Defoe, Williams Gallas and Brad Friedel are drafted in at the expense of Emmanuel Adebayor, Michael Dawson and Hugo Lloris.

    Inter also make three changes from the team that fought back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at Catania at the weekend. Esteban Cambiasso, Andrea Ranocchia and Antonio Cassano,who was dropped after rowing with coach Andrea Stramaccioni last week, come into the side.

  136. 1905: 
    YELLOW CARD- Steaua Bucharest 1-0 Chelsea

    Chelsea look along way short of reigning European champions here, but Steaua defender Mihai Pintilii gives them a free-kick and goes into the book with 30 seconds of madness. First he shoulder-charges Eden Hazard to the deck and then follows up by booting John Terry in the chest. Definite yellow.

  137. 1902: 

    Ben King: "I think revising for my Maths test than watching Chelsea is more important and probably more entertaining right now."

    Arjun Kukadia: "The problem nowadays is that the fouls that rightly deserve a red will be given a yellow/ignored and vice versa."

    James Lindsay: "I could watch that first half 1000 times and I still wouldn't be able to tell you what tactics Chelsea are implementing."

  138. 1901: 
    Tottenham v Inter Milan (2005 GMT)

    Antonio Cassano does indeed start for Inter, as does the evergreen Javier Zanetti.

  139. 1900: 
    KICK-OFF- Steaua Bucharest 1-0 Chelsea

    We are back under way. Can Chelsea turn this one around?

  140. 1858: 

    Will Binks via text: "So proud of the boys! Eto'o probably gets paid as much as our first team put together! Howay!"

    Josh via text: "I don't understand how Benitez has managed to make Chelsea go from a team full of goals to a team that is boring and not particularly effective."

    Bowerman, from Folkestone, via text: "Defoe's return tonight will signal the withdrawal of our dependency on Bale's goals and complete the final push to end the season on a high."

  141. 1858: 
    BREAKING TEAM NEWS- Tottenham v Inter Milan (2005 GMT)

    Spurs make just three changes from the side which beat Arsenal at the weekend. Jermain Defoe starts up front, Mousa Dembele is fit to start and the main man Gareth Bale is in.

  142. 1854: 
    Tottenham v Inter Milan (2005 GMT)

    Antonio Cassano has been named in the Inter squad for for the first time since a training ground bust-up with coach Andrea Stramaccioni. The two men were reportedly separated by other players after the forward mocked his coach for trying to emulate real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho. Il Messaggero newspaper believes that injury problems within the club will force Stramaccioni to name Cassano to the starting line-up.

  143. 1853: 

    One-and-a-half games done, one-and-a-half to go then. Here's what to expect from our late game.

  144. 1851: 

    Rob Millward: "1-0 down... Not playing Mata and having 4 defenders on the bench seems a master stroke now Rafa, he said sarcastically."

    S McMullen: "Chelsea are experts at making average teams look good. Poor team selection, poor commitment from the players."

    David Morris: "Even by our recent dire standards, this has been particularly woeful. What on earth does Benitez say to the players pre game?!"

  145. 1851: 
    FULL-TIME- Anzhi 0-0 Newcastle

    A nailed on 0-0 from about 10 minutes in, but Newcastle will take this.

  146. 1848: 

    There have not been too many goals around so far tonight, but there's been one in VfB Stuttgart v Lazio, where the Italian side go into half-time ahead through Ederson's strike on 21 minutes. It's still 0-0 between FC Viktoria Plzen and Fenerbahce.

  147. 1847: 
    Anzhi 0-0 Newcastle

    We are into stoppage-time in Moscow now. It looks like we will have a winner-takes-all showdown at St James' Park...

  148. 1845: 
    HALF-TIME- Steaua Bucharest 1-0 Chelsea
  149. 1845: 

    Scott Baird: "Easy to name man of the match tonight, only one James Perch!"

    Adam Bowley: "Benitez has sucked all flair, creativity and attacking instincts out of this team."

    Avigat Patel: "You got to feel the winner of Spurs v Inter will probably go on and win the Europa League."

  150. 1844: 
    FINAL FIVE- Anzhi 0-0 Newcastle

    Into the last five minutes as Samuel Eto'o tops a weak shot straight at Rob Elliot.

  151. 1843: 
    Iasmin Latovlevici (left) of Steaua Bucharest competes with Chelsea's Yossi Benayoun

    Jack via text: "What does Mikel add to this team? Yet he gets a five-year contract. Not too bothered about Benitez's Liverpool past, I've judged him on results and he's just not good enough!"

    Dave, from London, via text: "Why is everyone on Benayoun's back - I think he has real quality. He's not been given a proper chance in a Chelsea shirt. Marin, when he has played, has been awful."

  152. 1842: 
    GREAT SAVE!- Steaua Bucharest 1-0 Chelsea

    Chelsea' marginal gains continue. Fernando Torres gets the ball on to his right foot and catches a sweet strike, forcing Ciprian Tatarusanu into a flying stop. Almost at the break in this one.

  153. 1841: 
    Anzhi 0-0 Newcastle

    Into the last seven minutes. Mission to Moscow is almost complete for the Pardew academy.

  154. 1840: 

    Damien Davis: "Green laser pen for man of the match."

    Obiora Ogbonna: "If Bertrand was adjudged to have fouled the Steaua player, then that's definitely a red card not yellow."

    Austin Bobmanuel: "Finally, a proper test for Chelsea in our Europa adventure."

  155. 1838: 
    GREAT SAVE!- Steaua Bucharest 1-0 Chelsea

    Chelsea have just been sloppy so far but they finally produce a moment of quality as Yossi Benayoun works a neat one-two with Eden Hazard to cut through the Steaua backline. Benayoun is in but he doesn't catch his shot as he would like and Ciprian Tatarusanu is able to make the save. Much better though.

  156. 1838: 

    Shyamil Tanna: "And the bad refereeing decisions continue! So soft!"

    Conor McMeekin: "Chelsea are still going to win this, Steaua just aren't good enough, the boos from the fans and laser pens just cover it up."

    Rhys Morgan: "And here come the calls for Rafa's head..."

  157. 1836: 
    Anzhi 0-0 Newcastle

    Samule Eto'o tries a free-kick from 35 yards but sends it well over the top. Into the last 15 minutes in Moscow.

  158. 1835: 
    YELLOW CARD- Steaua Bucharest 1-0 Chelsea

    Ryan Bertrand was booked for conceding that spot-kick as well. He could have arguably seen red, he was the last man. It was a bit soft though.

  159. 1834: 
    GOAL- Steaua Bucharest 1-0 Chelsea - Raul Rusescu (34 mins)

    Raul Rusescu decides to take the spot-kick himself, and he absolutely smashes it into the bottom corner. Pick that one out. And we have a goal!

  160. 1833: 
    PENALTY TO STEAUA- Steaua Bucharest 0-0 Chelsea

    Ryan Bertrand is pinged for impeding Raul Rusescu at the back post as he tries to head a marvellous cross. Penalty...

  161. 1830: 
    Anzhi 0-0 Newcastle

    Vurnon Anita hammers a shot over the top as Newcastle mount a counter. Shola Ameobi is doing his best to hold the ball up for them since he came on.

  162. 1827: 
    Anzhi 0-0 Newcastle

    In to the final 20 minutes in Moscow. Rob Elliot sprints off his line to mop up a long ball forward. All looking good for the Magpies so far.

  163. 1827: 

    Lee Jordan: "Nothing like a pure green laser pen directly in the eyes of the Chelsea players....why do we have officials again?"

    Chris Beattie: "Chelsea need to sell Torres. Put the lad out his misery."

    Mike O'Sullivan: "Pardew, please take off Obertan, he is a waste of space. You have too much faith in him, and he has never proved you right."

  164. 1824: 

    Two games not involving British teams kicked off at the same time as Chelsea. VfB Stuttgart, featuring on-loan Man United striker Federico Macheda, are hosting Lazio, who Macheda played for at youth level before moving to Old Trafford. The Italian side took the lead through Ederson on 21 minutes.

    It's 0-0 between FC Viktoria Plzen and Fenerbahce, who feature former Liverpool striker Dirk Kuyt and Everton old boy Joseph Yobo.

  165. 1823: 
    Steaua Bucharest 0-0 Chelsea

    Chelsea pile on a bit of pressure which ends with Branislav Ivanovic heading a Frank Lampard corner wide. They have quelled that early Steaua flow.

  166. 1822: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Anzhi 0-0 Newcastle

    And that is the end of Hatem Ben Arfa's evening. Shola Ameobi is on. Alan Pardew said yesterday that he had been advised not to play Ameobi on the artificial surface, the going does not suit the big man, but needs must.

  167. 1821: 
    CLOSE!- Anzhi 0-0 Newcastle

    From nowhere, Newcastle put together a super move. Gabriel Obertan starts it down the left, and he links up with Moussa Sissoko to find Hatem Ben Arfa breaking into the penalty area. The birthday boy tries a cheeky trip from an angle and it's an easy save for Vladimir Gabulov. He should have gone for power I reckon.

    The best moment of the game for Newcastle though. By a country mile.

  168. 1819: 

    Tom, Newcastle fan, via text: "Right I'm off to bed everyone. Night night."

    Gareth, from Cheadle, via text: "re: football scrabble, there are two Russian footballers called Mukhametzyanov - 15 letters so would fit over three triple word scores... Need some time to work out a way to score it within the rules though!"

    Mike, from Brentford, via text: re football scrabble, I'm going for Eric Rabesandratana, formerly of PSG!"

  169. 1818: 
    GREAT SAVE!- Anzhi 0-0 Newcastle

    Rob Elliot makes a very good save to keep Newcastle level. Anzhi have had all of the play since the break and when a cross from the right is only half cleared, Samuel Eto'o smashes in a half-volley which Elliot gets down to and palms away.

    Oleg Shatov then hooks a shot wide from the following corner. Into the last half hour in Moscow and the hosts are gunning for a goal.

  170. 1816: 

    Paul Denham: "Why the fuss about the Toon's predominately French line-up? The Spurs team has been 100% Welsh for weeks."

    Sekar: "If Marin isn't starting Europa league then why did we sign him for £8m? Waste of money."

    Hishaam Habib: "Marin needs to leave Chelsea in the summer, if he's actually bellow Benayoun in the pecking order. Would fit in well at Spurs."

  171. 1815: 
    Steaua Bucharest 0-0 Chelsea

    Fernando Torres gets some space on the right, he skips away from Vlad Chiriches beautifully, but then stumbles over the ball and it runs away for a goal-kick. Torres is then targeted by a laser pen from the crowd. It's really not running for the £50m man.

  172. 1811: 

    One shot in a combined 65 minutes of play across our two games so far. What's going on...?

  173. 1809: 
    Steaua Bucharest 0-0 Chelsea

    Steaua are 12 points clear at the top of their league, and they look brimful of confidence, pinging the ball about sharply and crisply. Chelsea are camped in their own half at the moment.

  174. 1807: 
    Anzhi 0-0 Newcastle

    Anzhi have started the second half on the front foot, but their best moment sees substitute Lacina Traore cannon in a shot against a defender's back. Newcastle looking tidy enough at the back.

  175. 1804: 
    Steaua Bucharest 0-0 Chelsea

    Lively start in Romania as the home side burst forwards, but it ends as Alexandru Chipciu shoots wide from 25 yards.

  176. 1802: 
    KICK-OFF- Anzhi 0-0 Newcastle

    Alan Pardew emerges from the tunnel with a brew, good to see in these freezing temperatures. The second half is back under way.

  177. 1801: 

    David Dempsey: "Defensive master class from the Toon. Take them back to a real pitch in the Toon and we'll see them."

    Nick Jehan: "Weirdest thing about Chelsea's squad is that there's four defenders on the bench. Park the bus."

    Olumide Ayorinde: "I see Chelsea carrying the day. Torres to bang a goal."

  178. 1800: 
    KICK-OFF- Steaua Bucharest 0-0 Chelsea

    And we are away...

  179. 1757: 
    Steaua Bucharest v Chelsea (1800 GMT)

    It's a much more healthy crowd in Bucharest for this one. Looks a cracking atmosphere for our second game of the night.

  180. 1756: 
    Steaua Bucharest v Chelsea (1800 GMT)
    Rafael Benitez

    Chelsea interim manager Rafa Benitez, speaking to ESPN about his decision to make five changes: "To be fair, I didn't know how many I was changing. I was thinking about picking a good team for the game and I will think afterwards about (Manchester) United (in the FA Cup on Sunday). My priority is to win the game."

    On John Terry, left out against West Brom last Saturday and picked tonight: "A lot of our players tend to play a lot of matches. We play two games a week. I think it's normal at this level to rotate the squad."

    On Fernando Torres: "The team as a whole have to be more clinical, not just Fernando Torres. The rest of the offensive players have to be more clinical."

    On Steaua Bucharest: "They are a good team. They are well organised and have plenty of energy. We will see what happens, because the pitch is not the best."

  181. 1755: 

    Javs: "When I was celebrating inside the Allianz Arena on 19 May this is not what I had in mind for my Thur night, but I want to win still."

    Tim Whatmough: "Boring for the neutral but I'm ecstatic. Another half like that from NUFC please."

    Ada: "After that first half, I think I want to go play some scrabble. Yawn."

  182. 1755: 

    Get Shola on, I agree Michael. Please.

  183. 1752: 

    Will Moores: "My will to live has never been tested by a football match to such an extent."

    Paul Baker: "Well that was just.....awful. Guaranteed goal-fest in the second half...."

    Michael Lee: "Never thought I'd say this but NUFC are missing Shola Ameobi to hold the play up."

  184. 1748: 
    Steaua Bucharest v Chelsea (1800 GMT)

    Our second game of the night is about to get going. Can Chelsea provide a bit more zip?

  185. 1746: 

    Well that was, erm, that was solid from Newcastle. Solid. Only another 45 minutes to go.

  186. 1746: 
    HALF-TIME- Anzhi 0-0 Newcastle
  187. 1745: 

    Opta Sports: "39 - The first shot in Anzhi vs Newcastle Utd came in the 39th minute, the longest wait for a shot in a Europa League game this season. Shy."

  188. 1744: 

    Ed Markwick: "I still don't understand why Benitez doesn't want to start with a stronger team, get the game over and done with early on."

    Chris Brown: "How can a plastic pitch be so bobbly? Surely its billiard table qualities should be one of its only qualities?"

    Seb Horner: "Spare a thought for the guy who can only play Ba in this game of football scrabble..."

  189. 1743: 
    Anzhi 0-0 Newcastle

    Into the last few minutes of the half and Newcastle have some attacking pressure for the first time in a while. Good play from Moussa Sissoko sets up the chance, he is so hard to knock off the ball. Got a bit of the Yaya Toure's about him. They win a free-kick on the left but it comes to nothing in the end.

  190. 1741: 

    Chelsea fans may want to know that their former midfielder Michael Ballack has confirmed that he will hold a farewell game in Leipzig on 5 June, with a host of stars set to attend, including Bastian Schweinsteiger and Jose Mourinho.

    Ballack, 36, who retired last October, will play as a 'Ballack & friends' team takes on a World XI.

  191. 1739: 
    GREAT SAVE!- Anzhi 0-0 Newcastle

    We have a shot! The first effort of the game comes from former Barca man Samuel Eto'o, who thumps in a drive from 30 yards, Newcastle keeper Rob Elliot almost has a moment to forget but in the end just about gets enough on it to turn it over the top.

  192. 1736: 

    Christian White: "As a neutral, it's a shame that Willian has been taken off, I was looking forward to seeing what all the racket was about!"

    Jordan: "I wouldn't want to be the Anzhi GK, all that standing around.. mighty cold!"

    Alex Capp: "I don't see how Benayoun starts ahead of Marin."

  193. 1735: 

    If we're talking football scrabble, I recall doing the live text on Poland v Greece in the Euro 2012 opener. Triple word scores every entry.

  194. 1734: 

    Ash, from London, via text: "Out of interest and considering their lack of support and presumably revenue... Will Anhzi eventually be banned from European competition under financial fair play?"

    Bob, from Hartlepool, via text: "Re: footballer scrabble. I'm going with Dortmund winger Blaszczykowski as top scorer!"

    Chris, from Belfast, via text: "Eto'o may be getting on a bit, but he's still as fast as Usain Bolt in a Ferrari!"

  195. 1733: 
    YELLOW CARD- Anzhi 0-0 Newcastle

    Better from the hosts, who have raised the tempo a notch. Odil Ahmedov shows a nice turn on the right to beat Massadio Haidara, who is booked for impeding him.

    Anzhi then waste the free-kick with a dreadful delivery. They've got a 6ft 8ins striker in the middle but can't clear the first man...

  196. 1731: 
    Anzhi 0-0 Newcastle
    Gabriel Obertan

    As we move beyond the half-hour mark there's still been precious little action to speak of. Is 0-0 a good result for Newcastle tonight?

  197. 1728: 
    Anzhi 0-0 Newcastle

    Anzhi break away from a Newcastle corner, Samuel Eto'o runs at Newcastle defender Massadio Haidara and the new signing does well to close the space down and clear the ball. Eto'o wants a free-kick for handball, but it was more hip to me. Nothing given.

  198. 1726: 
    Anzhi 0-0 Newcastle

    Still awaiting a shot. Moussa Sissoko will be joining his team-mates and put on tights at the break at this rate...

  199. 1724: 

    Tom Lane: "Newcastle have double the number of French players than that of PSG when they played Valencia yesterday."

    Luke Stovell: "Good positive defensive start for Newcastle but I feel we lack someone to hold the ball up when we get forward."

    Benmjamin Downey: "It can't just be me that now wants to play 'footballer scrabble' can it?"

  200. 1723: 
    Anzhi 0-0 Newcastle

    Lacina Traore scored the winner in Moscow against Liverpool earlier in the season, and he will give James Perch a very different test. He is massive. Not many men can tower over Peter Crouch.

  201. 1723: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Anzhi 0-0 Newcastle

    And here comes that change - Willian is forced off through injury so 6ft 8in man-mountain Lacina Traore is on for Anzhi. Most definitely not a like-for-like change.

  202. 1721: 

    Mark, from Aylesbury, via text: "Don't worry. Le Toon have been acclimatising in South Shields this week!"

    Will, from Cambrdige, via text: "Anzhi fans have to travel almost 1000 miles as well! Crazy."

    Dan, from Stoke, via text: "Big Sissoko's been on fire since joining us in January. Can't wait to see what he's going to do from centre forward tonight!"

  203. 1721: 
    Anzhi 0-0 Newcastle

    Willian hasn't gone off just yet for Anzhi but he does not look like a man in rude health. As we click past the 20-minute mark the Russians are comfortably in the ascendancy.

  204. 1717: 
    Anzhi 0-0 Newcastle

    Willian looks a threat for Anzhi, but they have concerns here as he goes into the advertising boards following a challenge from Newcastle left-back Massadio Haidara and doesn't get up too quickly. Injury?

  205. 1717: 

    Adam Sofroniou: "re: 17:03 I guess tights are to prevent rope burns too. 3G pitches are very unforgiving. Moussa isn't susceptible to those either."

    Benjamin Downey: "Mental conditions in Moscow. Anzhi could make the final. Good side and a massive home advantage."

    David Harris: "(Steaua owner) Gigi Becali makes Mario Balotelli look like a puppy."

  206. 1716: 
    Anzhi 0-0 Newcastle

    Newcastle have only scored 10 times in 10 Euroepean ties so far this season and they don't look like adding an 11th any time soon here. The pattern of play has settled into Anzhi attacking and Newcastle soaking it up.

  207. 1713: 
    Anzhi 0-0 Newcastle

    First real incision from either side as Anzhi set Oleg Shatov in behind the Newcastle defence. He tries to cut the ball back from the left but some good covering from Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa sees him clear the ball away. Bit of urgency from the home side though, with new signing Willian looking dangerous.

  208. 1713: 

    Alex Popper: "Makhachkala would get you a grand total of 261 points on scrabble. If this is Russian scrabble, that's 422."

    Leo Gethings: "Surprised only 70 Geordies made the trip! The weather must be positivity balmy there compared to Tyneside."

    Toby Maxtone-Smith: "Re Ben King 1706 If you think Steaua are 'bad' look at their record in a decent domestic league. Can see them winning tonight."

  209. 1711: 
    Anzhi 0-0 Newcastle

    The low-key start continues. We've not had a shot, cross or even a heavy challenge to get excited about in the opening 13 minutes. Come on guys, we've got a long day on here. Let's have some oomph.

  210. 1709: 
    LINE-UPS- Steaua Bucharest v Chelsea (1800 GMT)

    Steaua Bucharest: Tatarusanu, Rapa, Szukala, Chiriches, Latovlevici, Bourceanu, Pintilii, Popa, Chipciu, Tanase, Rusescu. Subs: Stanca, Gardos, Filip, Prepelita, Tatu, Iancu, Adi.

    Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Bertrand, Lampard, Mikel, Benayoun, Oscar, Hazard, Torres. Subs: Turnbull, Cole, Mata, Ferreira, Marin, Cahill, Azpilicueta.

    Referee: Sergei Karasev (Russia)

  211. 1706: 
    Anzhi 0-0 Newcastle

    Newcastle keeper Rob Elliot passes his first test, coming out to make a strong claim from a free-kick. Newcastle have started pretty well, looking fluid in attack. This new-look back four, with James Perch at centre-half, has the potential to get ragged though you feel.

  212. 1706: 

    Ben King: "I am annoyed how Benitez is starting JT for games against bad teams, no disrespect to our past FA Cup opponents or Bucharest."

    Barney Kiddle: "I think even Wigan might have more fans than Anzhi."

    Jamie Hardesty: "Can I have a shout out to my mate Dan Stewart, one of the 70 mental Geordies in sub-zero Moscow tonight!"

  213. 1703: 
    Anzhi 0-0 Newcastle

    I wouldn't say it was cold in Moscow, but Newcastle have only got one player who is not wearing tights. Step forward Moussa Sissoko. The hard man of this team...

  214. 1702: 

    Jonny, from Birmingham, via text: "Let's be thankful we aren't playing Anzhi at scrabble tonight. Imagine Makhachkala on a triple word... Formidable."

    Andy, from Warwick, via text: "I hope Obertan is playing through the middle. His pace, with Marveaux, Sissoko and Hatem behind creating could cause real problems on the counter, a la Walcott!"

  215. 1701: 
    Anzhi 0-0 Newcastle

    It looks like Hatem Ben Arfa is playing through the middle for Newcastle, with Gabriel Obertan already making two good runs down the left wing. Apparently there are 70 fans who have made the trip from Tyneside.

  216. 1700: 
    KICK-OFF- Anzhi 0-0 Newcastle

    Game on.

  217. 1659: 
    Steaua Bucharest v Chelsea (1800 GMT)

    Rafael Benitez makes five changes to the Chelsea side that beat West Brom 1-0 at the weekend. Fernando Torres comes in for Demba Ba, while John Terry, Yossi Benayoun, John Obi Mikel and Ryan Bertrand are all drafted in.

    As expected, forward Stefan Nikolic misses out for Steaua with a knee injury.

  218. 1656: 
    Anzhi v Newcastle (1700 GMT)

    Here come the teams into a pretty empty stadium. Big 90 minutes for the Toon Army.

  219. 1655: 
    Steaua Bucharest v Chelsea (1800 GMT)

    Chelsea fans heading to Romania may think they know all there is to know about slightly eccentric club owners, but just wait till you get a glimpse of the Steaua head honcho Gigi Becali.

    Not content with owning a painting depicting himself as Christ, Becali has sacked 16 coaches in 10 years and is hoping that Chelsea's oligarch Roman Abramovich is at tonight's game.

    "Let Abramovich compare his clothes with mine then we can see whose suits are really expensive," he said...

  220. 1651: 

    We are just 10 minutes away from kick-off in Moscow then. I've not seen any topless Geordies yet but I wouldn't rule it out...

  221. 1650: 

    Paren: "It's not just Bale vs Zanetti. It's Spurs' three speedy attackers against a (Juan Jesus aside) slow Inter defence."

    Daniel Fenton: "Minus 12 degrees in Moscow tonight, I bet plenty of Newcastle fans will still go shirtless though."

    Jim: "Seven of Newcastle's starting XI are French. 'Le Toon' or what?!"

  222. 1647: 

    Richard, Manchester: "On a fast, plastic pitch I think a target man to slow down play away from home would have been sensible...despite the fact I dislike Ameobi being near the starting team. I think we may have too many skilful players who surrender possession too easily in the line up."

  223. 1644: 
    BREAKING TEAM NEWS- Steaua Bucharest v Chelsea (1800 GMT)

    Fernando Torres starts up front for Chelsea, with Yossi Benayoun and Frank Lampard also getting the nod.

  224. 1639: 

    You may remember a crucial Euro 2008 qualifier at this Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow which saw England suffer a costly defeat. Roman Pavlyuchenko scored twice, just before joining Spurs. It's an artificial pitch which normally causes a few problems...

  225. 1636: 
    Anzhi v Newcastle (1700 GMT)

    It looks like the groundstaff in Moscow have had to shovel a lot of snow off of the playing surface. Chilly.


    Peter Brennan: "Absolutely terrified of Anzhi's attack...and that was when we had Krul and Coloccini."

    Jonathan Mottram: "It's Ben Arfa's birthday today. What a present from Pardew, sub zero temperatures and a plastic pitch on his return!"

    Yugi Muto: "Bale Vs. Inter? Rubbish. Wwatch Javier Zanetti keep Bale at bay all night long!"

  227. 1634: 

    Ah yes, the old Uefa cup-tied chat. As far as I understand it, which isn't very far, Willian is able to play tonight as he played for previous club Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League, and not the Europa League.

    But Daniel Sturridge was not able to play for Liverpool. If Chelsea were still in the Champions League he would have been able to play for Liverpool, the fact that Chelsea dropped into the Europa League (the same competition as Liverpool) made him ineligible.

    Does that make any sense?

  228. 1632: 

    Freddy via text: "NUFC team is completely untested. We might be able to pull something off going forward but the defence hardly know each other's names yet! Worried already. Shola to save the day!"

    Will, from Basingstoke, via text: "Really excited for later. So glad Ben Arfa is back. I'm thinking 2-2 and 2-0 at home #toonarmy."

    Felix, from London, via text: "Why is Willian playing? I thought he had already played in Europe so therefore surely he isn't allowed to play?"

  229. 1626: 

    Anzhi have already faced Premier League opposition this season, as Liverpool beat them 1-0 at Anfield in Group A, before Lacina Traore's goal earned the Russians a 1-0 win in the return game.

    Anzhi's squad is littered with familiar faces, and Newcastle will be up against the likes of ex-Inter and Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o, former Chelsea midfielders Yuri Zhirkov and Lassana Diarra, and new signing Willian.

    It'll be a tough test for the Magpies tonight without a doubt.

  230. 1623: 

    Jim Cross: "HBA been out for four months - first game back is on a plastic pitch in -10 weather? Don't say I didn't warn you Pardeiu.."

    Paul Thompson: "If playing with no striker is good enough for Spain, it's good enough for Newcastle!"

    Dan Pearson: "I expect us to spend most of game playing on counter and we'll hardly need a striker. Complete opposite of Spain at Euros."

  231. 1622: 
    Anzhi v Newcastle (1700 GMT)

    According to our friends at BBC weather, the temperature in Moscow tonight could fall to as cold as -10 or -12 degrees. Ouch.

  232. 1621: 

    Andrew, from Newcastle, via text: "Pardew seems to be setting up to defend and then hitting them on the counter. If Ben-Arfa and Sissoko can combine well it could be a masterstroke. I'd expect Hatem to be off by the hour mark though as he can't be fully fit."]

    Tom, Newcastle fan, via text: "What has happened to Mike Williamson? Not even on the bench. Not injured as far as I know."

    Chris, from London, via text: "Looking forward to seeing Ben Arfa, Sissoko and Marveaux linking up- potential for magic there."

  233. 1618: 
    Anzhi v Newcastle (1700 GMT)

    Aimee Lewis reports: "Alan Pardew has labelled his team as underdogs and the Magpies boss might have some justification for that because playing on a plastic pitch in near freezing conditions - there's a chance of snow falling over the Luzhniki Stadium - is a challenge for any team. Newcastle's players also have to contend with former Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o and ex-Real Madrid midfielder Lassana Diarra. It could be a tough evening for Pardew and co but, then, Anzhi boss Guus Hiddink has also described the first leg of this last 16 tie as a "big challenge"."

  234. 1617: 
    LINE-UPS- Anzhi v Newcastle (1700 GMT)

    Anzhi Makhachkala: Gabulov, Yeschenko, Joao Carlos, Ewerton, Zhirkov, Jucilei, Diarra, Ahmedov, Willian, Shatov, Eto'o. Subs: Pomazan, Gadzhibekov, Tagirbekov, Logashov, Carcela-Gonzalez, Traore, Smolov.

    Newcastle: Elliot, Simpson, Yanga-Mbiwa, Perch, Haidara, Cabaye, Anita, Ben Arfa, Marveaux, Obertan, Sissoko. Subs: Alnwick, Santon, Bigirimana, Tiote, Steven Taylor, Ameobi, Campbell.

    Referee: Istvan Vad (Hungary)

  235. 1614: 

    Rob Elliot, who is keeping goal for Newcastle with first-choice Tim Krul injured, was out on loan at Bishop's Stortford at the start of the 2004-05 season - as Samuel Eto'o signed for Barcelona.

    They will face off tonight. Can Elliot shut him out?

  236. 1613: 

    Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliot on Twitter: "Russia is cold ha ha!! Hope everyone is well!! Especially any of you mental Geordies who have made the trip!!"

  237. 1612: 

    It's a first appearance for 12 weeks for Newcastle forward Hatem Ben Arfa - what a way to celebrate his 26th birthday.

  238. 1610: 
    Anzhi v Newcastle (1700 GMT)

    Alan Pardew makes seven changes to the Newcastle team which lost to Swansea at the weekend. Papiss Cisse (virus), Fabricio Coloccini (back) and Jonas Gutierrez are among the absentees. Rob Elliot, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Yohan Cabaye and Moussa Sissoko are the only survivors from that defeat in Wales.

    Anzhi boss Guus Hiddink has selected former Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o, ex-Real Madrid midfielder Lassana Diarra and one-time Chelsea man Yuri Zhirkov for the first leg tie.

  239. 1609: 

    What do we make of that Newcastle team selection then? Can Newcastle, Spurs or Chelsea win the Europa League? Where does it sit in each team's priorities? Anyone planning on a trip to the final in Amsterdam?

    Let me know by texting in to 8111 (UK Only), or tweeting us at #bbcfootball. Nice one.

  240. 1609: 

    But it's not all about goings-on in Russia tonight. We have three cracking Europa League ties to focus on, spread smoothly across the continent and three kick-off times for maximum enjoyment.

    We have:

    Anzhi Makhachkala v Newcastle (1700 GMT)

    Steaua Bucharest v Chelsea (1800 GMT)

    Tottenham v Inter Milan (2005 GMT)

  241. 1605: 

    It's a long trip for Newcastle to Moscow tonight - where opponents Anzhi play their European games. It's a good 985 miles from Moscow to Makhachkala, but Uefa insists that Guus Hiddink's side play their European games in the Russian capital for safety reasons.

    Hiddink's squad are based and train in Moscow anyway. What a bizarre set-up. It's like Newcastle spending the week training in Munich and then flying in to St James' every match day.

  242. 1604: 

    So we'll have to see who will play furthest up the pitch tonight for Newcastle. It could be Hatem Ben Arfa, or maybe new signing Moussa Sissoko is the man to lead the line. We shall wait and see. Maybe they won't have a striker - centre-forwards are dying out.

  243. 1600: 
    BREAKING TEAM NEWS- Anzhi v Newcastle (1700 GMT)

    Hatem Ben Arfa starts for Newcastle, who have no recognised striker in their starting XI. Anzhi have Samuel Eto'o, Willian and Lassana Diarra all in their starting line-up.

  244. 1600: 
    Alan Pardew

    2,000 miles from home. But only six games from the Europa League final in Amsterdam.

    We are at the business end of the European season and Newcastle are one of three Premier League sides still in the mixer. They begin our footballing evening in Moscow with an early kick-off against Anzhi Makhachkala.

    Can the Toon Army go all the way?

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