UEFA Champions League

February 21, 2007



1 - 2


UEFA Champions League

19:45 +00:00, February 21, 2007

Camp Nou

  • 94'

    Liverpool have done it. They've pulled off a famous result thanks to goals from the two men who have been making the headlines for all the wrong reasons; Riise and Bellamy. Barca were poor but Liverpool took advantage and are in the box seat heading into the second leg.

  • 94'


  • 93'

    + 3 mins: Both managers are on the touchline. One looking confused and shaken, the other anxious and confident. I'll leave you to work out who's who.

  • 92'

    + 2 mins: The long ball isn't working either. Agger and co are confidentally nodding away and there's no great siege on the Liverpool goal.

  • 91'

    + 1 min: Giving away fouls won't help Barca's cause. Puyol hauls down Kuyt and a minute ebbs away.

  • 90'

    Four minutes will be added.

  • 89'

    Fancy flicks and touches are no good at this critical time, Ronaldinho. A lacklustre attempt to breach the defence ends with a Liverpool goal kick. The Reds are holding the ball well and don't look like giving up a goal now.

  • 87'

    Deco comes within a whisker of drawing Barcelona level. A delightful bending free-kick thuds against the post with Reina beaten. That could be Barca's last chance.

  • 84'

    Ronaldinho's free-kick almost catches out Reina and Carragher. It was whipped in and Carragher gets a slight touch on it with Reina caught in no man's land. But Barca fail to capitalise from the resulting corner.

  • 83'

    Sissoko's injury is worse than I and the home support first thought. He can't continue and Zenden rushes on to help out in the final few minutes.

  • 82'

    Meanwhile, Barcelona make a change of their own with Eidur Gudjohnsen coming on for Saviola in a desperate attempt to rescue the tie.

  • 79'

    Sissoko helps run down the clock and is forced off temporarily. He looks ok and the Barca crowd are furious - they think there's nothing wrong with him. They may have a point.

  • 78'

    He's scored one and created one but Bellamy is withdrawn in place of Jermaine Pennant.

  • 77'

    Immediately after Liverpool's dramatic strike, Saviola has a glorious chance to level. A poor touch when clean through allows Reina to come out and smother the danger. It's just not going Barca's way.

  • 76'

    Riise and Bellamy, would you believe it! The Welshman's composure and vision to pick out his pal was outstanding and Riise, on his weaker right foot, drills his effort into the roof of the net.

  • 74'

    Remarkable scenes at the Nou Camp as Liverpool take an unlikely lead. It was comical defending from the holders and Riise takes advantage of some awful defending to power home Bellamy's lay-off.

  • 74'


  • 71'

    A little piece of magic almost brings a goal as Saviola jinks past two challenges and toe pokes his shot goalwards. Reina can only palm it away and Messi fires over after Agger's scrambled clearance.

  • 70'

    Some crunching tackles coming in from Liverpool now as they look to hang on to a 1-1 scoreline.

  • 69'

    Barcelona look very exposed as they go in search of a second goal. Liverpool will sense a second goal of their own if they push for it.

  • 68'

    No. But what a chance for Kuyt! Valdes saves Gerrard's free-kick with his feet and Kuyt somehow misses a free header at the back post after Alonso's cross. A guilt-edged chance that goes begging for Liverpool and it could be costly.

  • 67'

    Valdes is having a night to forget. He casually picks up a pass from Giuly and Liverpool are awarded a free-kick inside the box for a pass-back. Could it be another costly mistake?

  • 66'

    Liverpool, predictably are playing the ball around among themselves and working hard to nullify this tie.

  • 63'

    And here comes the change. Ludovic Giuly comes on for Xavi who hasn't been able to take charge in midfield. Barca have plenty of attackers on now, but they need to penetrate the Liverpool back line if they are to get any reward.

  • 62'

    Rijkaard looks to be thinking about changing things around again. He'll need to come up with something quickly as Liverpool look more than comfortable at the moment.

  • 61'

    Not often you say this but a Ronaldinho free-kick flies high and wide over the bar. It typifies his performance so far, he's not been at the races toinght.

  • 59'

    A little scuffle with Sissoko and first Deco and then Xavi and he's picked up a yellow card for his persistant squabbling.

  • 58'

    Good closing down from Liverpool all over the pitch. From Kuyt right the way back to Arbeloa, they're breaking up play and making it very difficult for Ronaldinho and co to thread a pass.

  • 57'

    Rijkaard looks anxious on the touchline. His side cannot find the spark or inspiration to break down the Reds at the moment and it's Liverpool who are in the box seat.

  • 56'

    Liverpool are having to work hard in midfield and defence with Barcelona expectedly enjoying the lion's share of possession. So far it's working though and Barca are struggling to find a way through.

  • 54'

    Iniesta gets a rapruous reception as he comes on and the home support will be hoping he can produce the goods as he did against England a fortnight ago.

  • 53'

    And it's a really attacking move from Frank Rijkaard as offensive midfielder Andres Iniesta comes on for defender Motta as Barca go in search of another goal.

  • 52'

    The home crowd aren't impressed with what they're seeing and the whistle's and jeers ring out around the Nou Camp. Looks like their could be a change for the home side.

  • 51'

    And every time Ronaldinho gets near the ball he's quickly surrounded by a gaggle of white shirts.

  • 50'

    Barca haven't really hit their stride and while they're bound to dominate possession, they haven't got the rythmn and spark that we've come to expect from the holders.

  • 49'

    They're even defending free-kicks with ease now as Kuyt heads away a poor Deco effort. A confident start for the visitors

  • 48'

    Liverpool have pushed their defensive line further up field this half and look content in dictating play in the middle of the park.

  • 47'

    Stat-attack and for those of you who didn't know, the only English side to beat Barcelona at the Nou Cap are....Liverpool. They'll take a draw at the moment but another set-piece and they'll fancy their chances.

  • 45'

    Free-kick for Liverpool and Gerrard goes for goal. It was a low drive that Valdes this time gets his wholoe body behind and pounces on it.

  • 45'

    The players are back out and the pressure is on Barcelona to respond to Liverpool's shock equaliser. Liverpool kick off.

  • 45'

    Sensational finish to the half and Liverpool have a vital away goal when it seemed like they were heading for a cricket score. Barca will have to raise their game in the second half with Liverpool likely to preserve their precious away goal.

  • 45'


  • 44'

    Bizarre goalkeeping from Valdes who went behind his line to try to save the header and he ended up carrying the ball in. Kuyt followed up after Valdes dropped it, but Bellamy will claim it for sure.

  • 42'

    Incredible equaliser for Liverpool and schoolboy defending from Barcelona and Victor Valdes. Gerrard's free-kick finds the unmarked Bellamy at the back post and his powerful header forces Valdes over his goalline with the ball in his hands.

  • 42'


  • 40'

    Deco almost finds Messi with a delightful through-ball but it's got too much juice and Reina can gobble it up.

  • 39'

    They defend it well and concede a corner. Nothing doing from the home side though and Liverpool can rest easy once more.

  • 38'

    Encouragement for Liverpool who have had precious little to take comfort from so far. But no sooner do they threaten, they concede a free-kick in a dangerous area.

  • 37'

    Over comes the free-kick and Bellamy is presented with a decent chance to snatch an unlikely equaliser. He lost his marker Puyol at the back post, but his header finds the side-netting after Riise's deep cross.

  • 36'

    Liverpool gain some ground at last and hold posession for a few minutes. They earn themselves a free-kick in a dangerous position and Beletti earns himself a yellow card for a late challenge on Arbeloa.

  • 34'

    Kuyt finds his way into the referee's book. It was rash, it was late, it was ugly and no surprises that the Dutchman goes into the book. Xavi rolls around for a bit and then jumps to his feet and continues.

  • 32'

    The crowd are starting to raise the atmosphere and are urging their side to go for the kill. They've got Liverpool where they want them, but will they be made to pay for not adding to their lead?

  • 30'

    Gerrard is having to do more defensive work at the moment and Barca will be more than happy to see him back in the right-back position. The system just doesn't look right for the Reds.

  • 30'

    Benitez comes to the sideline to bark some inspiring instructions to his beleagured band of players. It will need something special to claw their way back but they have at least quelled the attacks for the time being.

  • 29'

    Deco swings in a free-kick from the left and Liverpool clear up at the second attempt after Sissoko's header.

  • 27'

    The ref is having more to do than the players at the moment. He's keen to blow up for a free-kick and it's making for a scrappy period of play.

  • 25'

    A long throw from Riise almost gives Kuyt the chance to set up Gerrard but he overhit it and Barc clear with ease.

  • 24'

    Maybe the current spate of fouls will work in Liverpool's favour in breaking up the Barca attacks. They'll take anything at the moment.

  • 23'

    Has Steven Gerrard touched the ball yet? Well it doesn't feel like it. Benitez's 'plan' hasn't worked so far. They don't look comfortable at all, not least Stevie G.

  • 22'

    An innocuous looking challenge from Dan Agger earns himself a scandalous yellow card. An army of Barca players surrounded the man in the middle and out comes the card. Poor refereeing.

  • 20'

    But it's one-way traffic at the moment and everything is coming right back at them. Liverpool are looking ragged and can't get a hold of the ball.

  • 18'

    A corner for Barca causes mayhem among the Reds defenders and Motta almost doubles the lead. He didn't expect the cross to find him and by the time it did, he wasn't in the right position to make a decent contact. Liverpool can clear.

  • 17'

    Over in Porto it's all square between the home side and Chelsea.

  • 16'

    The confidence is growing and growing for Barca. Reina makes an important save with his boot after Deco waltzed through the Reds backline.

  • 15'

    Saviola ghosts past Carragher and sends in a fierce left-foot drive that squirms past the post. Barcelona look in the mood now and Liverpool look shell-shocked.

  • 14'

    What a terrible lack of concentration from Riise and Liverpool are on the back foot now.

  • 12'

    Deco, one of the smallest players on the pitch has nodded the holders ahead after a wonderful Zambrotta cross. They completely exposed the Liverpool defence and Riise can hang his head in shame after letting the diminutive winger in to score.

  • 12'


  • 8'

    Barca are starting to turn the screw now with two chances in as many minutes. First Ronaldinho goes down under a challenge from Finnan and then Deco smashes an effort goalwards only for Carragher to block the chance.

  • 8'

    Sure enough the Brazilian is fine to continue. Still scrappy so far and neither team are getting the time to establish a sustained period of pressure.

  • 6'

    And the Reds are turning over posession well in the middle of the park. Play halts for a few seconds with Ronaldinho limping slightly after being clipped by Xabi Alonso, he should be fine though.

  • 5'

    Liverpool are scrapping at the heels of the Barca players in these opening few minutes. The hosts look relaxed and almost languid in their approach so far.

  • 4'

    Riise breaks down the left and somewhat wastes his cross that was trying to pick out Bellamy. It was an awkward height and too quick for the striker to make anything of it.

  • 2'

    Steve Finnan gets well down the Liverpool right but the linesman calls back play for offside. Encouraging burst from the full-back.

  • 1'

    An early chase for Craig Bellamy gives Rafael Marquez a warm-up. The Welshman may fancy his chances of getting in behind his marker tonight with Marquez and partner Carles Puyol not the quickest on the park.


    We're ready and Barcelona get us underway against Liverpool who are in their changed strip of all white.


    The famous Champions League blasts out around the stands as the holders prepare to face the previous winners.


    The players exchange hugs and pleasantries in the tunnel and make their way out to the famous pitch to Barca's anthemn.


    For Barcelona, there are no such surprises. Javier Saviola is preferred up front ahead of Eidur Gudjohnsen while as expected, Samuel Eto'o is left out.


    Welcome to the live commentary for Barcelona v Liverpool in the Nou Camp. The teams for tonight's match are in and there's two surprises in the Liverpool line-up. Recent signing Alvaro Arbeloa makes his Liverpool debut in defence while Steven Gerrard is shifted out to the right-wing. It's a strange move from Rafael Benitez, but will it pay off?