Thursday, 21 February 2013

UEFA Europa League LIVE Coverage:

Judgement Day: Tonight will see 16 teams progress to the next round of the Europa League. 

Hello everyone and welcome to my latest blog post, where I have LIVE coverage of today's 4 Europa League Last 32 2nd Leg's which all include EPL teams. 

Chelsea host Sparta Prague at Stamford Bridge at 8.05pm and Liverpool look to overturn a 2-0 deficit against Russian side Zenit at Anfield at the same time.
Before that, Tottenham travel to France to play against Lyon in their tie at 6pm while Newcastle go head-to-head with Metalist Kharkiv again after their match ended 0-0 in the 1st leg. 

Team Line-ups for the 6pm kick-offs:

Metalist Kharkiv vs Newcastle United:

Metalist Kharkiv: Goryainov, Villagra, Gueye, Torsiglieri, Fininho, Torres, Edmar, Marlos, Cleiton Xavier, Sosa, Cristaldo. 
Subs: Disljenkovic, Berezovchuk, Shelayev, Blanco, Krasnopyorov, Jakson, Willian.

Newcastle: Krul, Simpson, Yanga-Mbiwa, Coloccini, Haidara, Sissoko, Anita, Cabaye, Marveaux, Shola Ameobi, Cisse. 
Subs: Elliot, Perch, Gosling, Gutierrez, Bigirimana, Obertan, Steven Taylor.
Lyon vs Tottenham Hotspur: 

Lyon vs Tottenham Hotspur:

Lyon: Vercoutre, Reveillere, Bisevac, Lovren, Umtiti, Fofana, Grenier, Gonalons, Lacazette, Gomis, Lopez. 
Subs: Lopes, Kone, Ferri, Dabo, Malbranque, Briand, Ghezzal.

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

17:45: 15 minutes left until kick-off in 6 of the 16 matches being played tonight, including Cluj vs Inter Milan. 

18:00: A one minute silence will be observed before the first half starts off.

0: The referee has blown his whistle, and the match is kicked off in France. 2-1 is the aggregate score to Tottenham..

5: Tottenham are trying to dominate possession now, looking for in-form winger Gareth Bale to pass the ball to. 

12: The match is getting a bit physical with Lyon winger Lacazette trying to win the ball from Spurs left-back Assou-Ekotto. He shoulder-barges into him, and is penalized.  

14: Tottenham go on the counter attack with Aaron Lennon being fed a nice through ball inside the box. 
He uses his blistering pace to win the ball but has to divert his run to avoid the goalkeeper before crossing the ball into the box again, however the ball falls to a Lyon defender who clears. 

18: GOAL! The hosts are in-front! A dangerous free-kick is failed to be cleared by Spurs, and Maxime Gonalons heads the ball into the bottom corner of the net past Brad Friedel!

If it stays like this, Spurs are OUT of the Europa League.
Aggregate score - Lyon 2 Tottenham 2

23: Lyon and Spurs both trying to be dangerous on the counter attack.
First, Tottenham midfielder Moussa Dembele went on the run before trying to thread through a pass. Bale was on the run, but he failed to pass the ball to him (much to the discontent of Bale). Then, Lyon went on a break of their own. The through ball pass was too strong however, and Friedel picked the ball up easily.

29: Sloppy defending from Tottenham. Lyon are allowed so much space, and should have scored. Too much pace on the through ball pass though, and striker Bafetimbi Gomis is not allowed time to shoot before Assou-Ekotto clears.

31: Tottenham trying to hold the ball up, play like "Barca".
They have had possession for the last 2 minutes, but they have not tested goalkeeper Remy Vercoutre as of yet.

40: Gareth Bale shows why he is being compared to the "new Ronaldo" with some lovely footwork on the wing. He runs down the wing before getting past a defender with skill. The ball goes out for a corner. 

45: The fourth official signals for 0 minutes of stoppage time... and the referee has blown his whistle to end the first half. 

Tottenham need to press this goalkeeper if they are to progress into the Last 16... 


75 minutes played, and the score is still 1-0 to Lyon. If it stays like this, they will go through to the Last 16 despite Tottenham's late surge with Bale and Lennon both combining on the wings to give Lyon's defence problems.

American midfielder Clint Dempsey has replaced Lennon with 15 minutes to go, and it looks as though Lyon will go through. 

78: Lyon have a corner in a dangerous time frame.... but it is cleared away by Bale with a header.

83: Tottenham SUB:
Scott Parker OFF
Jake Livermore ON

90: GOAL! Moussa Dembele has given Spurs the lead in the dying minutes of the match! Wonderful strike from the Belgian who did a fake shot before getting past the defender to strike into the bottom corner of the net.

Belgian midfielder Moussa Dembele gives Spurs the lead on aggregate with 3 minutes to play.
Aggregate score - Lyon 2 Tottenham 3

90: The fourth official has signalled for 3 minutes of stoppage time to be added on at the end of the match in France. Lyon have 3 minutes to salvage the prospect of extra-time!

90+2: Spurs are doing the traditional "time waste" to run down the clock.

90+4: The referee Wolfgang Stark blows his whistle to end the match in France! 

Tottenham progress into the Last 16, and will play against Inter Milan in the next round after a 3-2 aggregate victory tonight.

Look what it means: Tottenham celebrate Dembele's winner after full-time in Paris. 

Newcastle also progress after a 1-0 win tonight thanks to a Shola Ameobi penalty in the first half against Metalist Kharkiv. They will play against Anzhi or Hannover (whichever team wins their match tonight)

Ahead: Ameobi scores a penalty to give Newcastle a 1-0  lead against Metalist Kharkiv.

Deserved: After 2 disallowed goals in the first leg, Newcastle progress to the Last 16 with a 1-0 win

Team Line-ups for the 8.05pm kick-offs:

Chelsea vs Sparta Prague:

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

Sparta Prague: Vaclik, Zapotocny, Holek, Svejdik, Hybs, Prikryl, Vacha, Krejci, Matejovsky, Lafata, Kadlec.
Subs: Cech, Pamic, Kweuke, Vidlicka, Polom, Bednar, Janos.

Liverpool vs Zenit St. Petersburg: 

Liverpool vs Zenit St Petersburg:

Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Agger, Jose Enrique, Lucas, Allen, Downing, Gerrard, Henderson, Suarez.
Subs: Gulacsi, Assaidi, Coates, Suso, Sterling, Shelvey, Wisdom.

Zenit St Petersburg: Malafeev, Aniukov, Luis Neto, Lombaerts, Hubocan, Witsel, Denisov, Shirokov, Danny, Hulk, Semak. Subs: Zhevnov, Bruno Alves, Criscito, Bukharov, Kerzhakov, Faitzulin, Rodic.


30 minutes on the clock at Anfield. 3-1 is the aggregate score, with Luis Suarez just equalising with a lovely free-kick to make it 1-1 on the night. 

Suarez makes it 3-1 on aggregate to give Liverpool faint hope of getting back into the match.
Back in it: Suarez spurs his team-mates on with a goal at Anfield. 

Brazilian forward Hulk broke the deadlock in the 19th minute with a placed effort past Pepe Reina to give the Russian side a huge 3 goal advantage with 70 minutes to play. 

Ahead and comfortable: Hulk breaks the deadlock in the 19th minute with a placed effort.

Not time to dance just yet: Hulk celebrates his opener.

Zenit have the advantage on aggregate despite Liverpool getting fired up after the Suarez goal, dominating possession and pressurising the Zenit defence.

Chelsea 0 Sparta Prague 1 (Aggregate: 1-1)

The match has just got interesting... David Lafata breaks the deadlock in the 17th minute after hitting the ball into the top corner of the net thanks to a good through ball.

Interesting: Lafata scores for Sparta Prague at Stamford Bridge to make it 1-1 on aggregate.
Shock: Lafata celebrates his opener for Sparta Prague in the 17th minute.
Liverpool 3 Zenit St. Petersburg 1 (Aggregate 3-3)

75 minutes gone, and The Reds are pressing for the 4th goal to end the tie on the night! Suarez scored a lovely curling free-kick from 25 yards out in the 58th minute, and his second of the night (Bale vs Lyon, 1st leg anyone?).

Deja vu: Suarez scores a wonderful free-kick against Zenit, to score his 2nd free-kick of the night. 

Suddenly: Suarez celebrates passionately for his 2nd free-kick of the night to make it 3-1 on the night.

Before that, Welsh midfielder Joe Allen scored for The Reds before half-time with a scrappy shot from a corner which was failed to be cleared by Zenit. 

Scrappy: Allen scored his 2nd goal of the season to give The Reds a 2-1 lead before half-time. 

It has been all Liverpool ever since, with Gerrard, Shelvey, Suarez and Enrique all having chances at the Russian side's goal. 

Chelsea 0 Sparta Prague 1 - 75 minutes gone (Aggregate 1-1)
Metalist Kharkiv 0 Newcastle 1 - FT(Aggregate 0-1)
Lyon 1 Tottenham 1 - FT(Aggregate 2-3) 

80: Raheem Sterling is being given instructions from manager Brendan Rodgers, with Hulk having a speculative free-kick effort from 30 yards out fly over the bar.
83: The hosts pressing again, with a probing pass having to be cleared away by a Zenit defender.
85: Liverpool SUB:
Stewart Downing OFF
Raheem Sterling ON

89: Late charge for Liverpool... Suarez and Sterling are pressing the Zenit defence.
90: The fourth official puts up the electronic board, and it is 3 minutes of stoppage time to be added on.
90+1: Liverpool corner, with desperate times call for desperate measures for The Reds. Goalkeeper Pepe Reina runs up to the Zenit box.... 

The corner is taken.... cleared away by the Zenit defence! Reina has to run back to his goal quickly if he does not want to concede... 
The ball falls to Hulk who takes two strides with pace.... CLEARED AWAY! by Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher. 

90+2: Liverpool trying to move back inside Zenit's half, but the visitors are happy to hold onto the lead and defend for the last few seconds of the match.

90+3: THAT'S IT! The referee blows his whistle for full-time, and Liverpool are the first English club to be knocked out of the Europa League this season! 

They played very well tonight, and were unlucky not to progress, but at the end of the day, Zenit's 2-0 home advantage from the first leg plus Hulk's opener were too much for The Reds to take.

Disappointing: Luis Suarez puts his head in his hands after the full-time whistle is blown at Anfield.
Gerrard consoles his talismanic team-mate Suarez after the match, as Liverpool are knocked out
Summary of Tonight's Matches:

Metalist Kharkiv 0 Newcastle 1 (Aggregate 0-1)
BATE Borisov 1 Fenerbache 0 (Aggregate 1-0)
Inter Milan 3 Cluj 0 (Aggregate 5-0)
Levante 1 Olympiacos (Aggregate 4-0)
Dynamo Kiev 0 Bordeaux 1 (Aggregate 1-2)
Bayer Leverkusen 1 Benfica 2 (Aggregate 1-3)
Stuttgart 2 Genk 0 (Aggregate 3-1)
Atletico Madrid 1 Rubin Kazan 0 (Aggregate 1-2)
Basel 1 Dnipro 1 (Aggregate 3-1)
Anzhi Makhachkala 0 Hannover 96 1 (Aggregate 3-2)
Chelsea 1 Sparta Prague 1 (Aggregate 2-1)

Belgian winger Eden Hazard scored a great strike into the top corner of the net in the 90th minute to equalise on the night and give The Blues a 2-1 aggregate lead. 

Bullet: Hazard beats the goalkeeper with a high strike into the top corner to make it 1-1 on the night. 

Into the Last 16: Hazard wheels away to celebrate his goal to put Chelsea ahead on aggregate.
Borussia Monchengladbach 0 Lazio 2 (Aggregate 3-5)
Lyon 1 Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Aggregate 2-3)
Napoli 0 Viktoria Plzen 2 (Aggregate 0-5)

Last 16 Ties:

Steaua vs Chelsea 
Benfica vs Bordeaux
Anzhi Makhachkala vs Newcastle United
Tottenham Hotspur vs Inter Milan
Levante vs Rubin Kazan
Basel vs Zenit St. Petersburg
Stuttgart vs Lazio 
Viktoria Plzen vs Fenerbache

The Last 16 ties are all very interesting, including Tottenham vs Inter Milan where the Italian side will be revisiting the tapes from the Champions League tie against Spurs in 2010, where Bale ripped them apart... 
These ties are not easy at all, but Chelsea, Lazio and Zenit are all favourites.