UEFA Champions League

April 8, 2008



4 - 2


UEFA Champions League

18:45 +00:00, April 8, 2008

Anfield, England

2nd Leg: 5 - 3 (Agg)

  • 93'

    And of course, an English team will be in the final now. Good news! Thanks for your company...

  • 93'

    'You'll Never Walk Alone' gets another airing as the Kop belt out their relief after an astonishing game. To seesaw so hugely, and so quickly, only magnifies the agony for Arsenal and the elation for Liverpool.

  • 93'

    Arsenal look shellshocked. With just six minutes to go it looked as if they had done it but then Toure is a bit clumsy on Babel, the ref points to the spot and the game is gone. Full time! It's Liverpool v Chelsea in the Champions League semi-final again! What a game!

  • 92'

    As Arsenal pushed up for a Fabregas free kick they left only the Spaniard back and Babel beat him to Kuyt's clearance and finished cooly past Almunia. An excellent finish.

  • 92'

    GOAL! Babel settles it!

  • 92'

    Arsenal goal kick and Almunia prepares to lump it long.

  • 91'

    Liverpool are playing keep ball now. Arsenal are frantic.

  • 91'

    Three added minutes at Anfield.

  • 90'

    Kuyt does well to hold the ball up, as an Arsenal move broke down. All the talk will be about that penalty award. It did look very soft.

  • 90'

    We're into the last minute.

  • 89'

    Riise has come on specifically to double up on the electric Walcott it looks like.

  • 88'

    Wenger looks like he's about to have a heart attack! He'll be fuming if they don't go through.

  • 88'

    Chelsea are through and a Liverpool semi-final is moments away from them. Oh no, not again!

  • 88'

    Torres is coming off and John Arne Riise is coming on. The message is clear; shut up shop.

  • 87'

    So, it is as you were five minutes ago. Arsenal need to score again, Liverpool must not conede. Breathless stuff!

  • 86'

    A perfect penalty! Top corner and it is advantage Liverpool again! Incredible. What a pen.

  • 86'

    GOAL! Gerrard scores!

  • 86'

    Toure gets a yellow for giving away a very soft penalty. What is going on!

  • 85'

    Now Liverpool have a penalty! Toure has brought down Babel.

  • 84'

    Theo Walcott beat about five men in that run before squaring for Adebayor to make amends for his horror miss of ten minutes ago. An unbelievable impact from the teenager!

  • 84'

    GOAL! Adebayor! What a goal!

  • 83'

    There is space everywhere for Liverpool now as Arsenal chase the game. A last ditch tackle denies Mascherano a shooting chance though.

  • 82'

    Kuyt does well to work an opening for Gerrard but his curler from distance arcs wide.

  • 81'

    This time Almunia catches well, before chucking one straight out of play and an increasingly desperate Arsene Wenger can see his season falling apart unless they pot one quick smart.

  • 80'

    Almunia gets a hand to it but it'll be another Liverpool corner on the opposite side this time.

  • 79'

    Torres tries to repeat his goal by cutting inside and smashing one goalwards but Toure blocks. Gerrard was screaming for it on the box edge. Babel picks up the loose ball and wins a croner after his shot is deflected by Senderos.

  • 78'

    Crouch is coming off and Ryan Babel is coming on as Liverpool go five in midfield.

  • 77'

    Its going to get very edgy for Liverpool now. Arsenal have to pour forward, Benitez wants to defend.

  • 76'

    Torres wins a corner and Gerrard's ball swings past everyone. It only needed a touch.

  • 75'

    I can't believe how sloppy that Adebayor miss was. He looked a little surprised the ball came to him but that is no excuse. He could have taken a touch before hitting it, but he chose first-time and got it horribly wrong. Oh dear.

  • 74'

    What a chance! Adebayor has missed a glaring chance as the ball dropped to him 16 yards out with only Reina to beat. His sidefooted effort shanked well wide. What a miss!

  • 73'

    Double change for Arsenal; Eboue and Diaby off, Walcott and Van Persie on.

  • 72'

    Then Mascherano delays his pass as Liverpool had three-on-two, allowing Toure to step up and see Torres flagged for offside.

  • 71'

    Fabregas swings in a free kick which Reina claims. But Arsenal have a spell of possession on the edge of the box as both Diaby and then Fabregas try to shoot.

  • 71'

    And in an instant Benitez's team selection is vindicated. Crouch flicks on and Torres finishes. Emphatic. Arsenal have 20 minutes to save their season.

  • 70'

    He's not had a kick all night but then inside the area, he shimmy's, cuts inside and lashes one into the top corner. Unstoppable!

  • 70'

    GOAL! Torres!

  • 69'

    For once, a very poor free kick from Fabregas. Kuyt clears.

  • 68'

    Diaby atones for a poor pass to Fabregas by winning a free kick from Mascherano as the ball broke loose.

  • 67'

    Both sides are definitely thinking more about not conceding rather than scoring. A goal would change all of that of course.

  • 66'

    More involvement for Eboue, who hits a first time cross far too deep for either Adebayor or William Gallas, who had found his way into the penalty area.

  • 65'

    It still looks pretty comfortable at the Bridge for Chelsea by the way.

  • 64'

    Well, well, well, Arsenal aren't a spent force after all. Why on earth did Eboue delay there? He shuffled his feet, perhaps awaiting an Aurelio challenge, rather than knock it sideways for the lurking Adebayor. A great opening lost.

  • 63'

    Adebayor is fuming, and rightly so! Toure bursts down the right, slips in Eboue who for some reason delays squaring it to Adebayor who had a tap in with Reina committed. Wenger is furious too!

  • 62'

    A long spell of Arsenal possession ends when Adebayor is again too slow in getting to a clichy pass. Surely they will utilise their bench at some point soon, what with Van Persie, Bendtner and Walcott currently warming it.

  • 61'

    A strange ball from Alonso gives Crouch a lot to do as the game closes up, perhaps understandably.

  • 60'

    A poor, heavy touch from Adebayor hands possession back to the home side and you wonder if a little fatigue is infecting Arsenal's play.

  • 59'

    Super break from Clichy who finds Hleb in the area, but Akrtel is out sharply to block. First sign of an attacking move from Arsenal..

  • 58'

    Arsenal are struggling in this half. The slick passing which has become their trademark is severely lacking.

  • 57'

    Decent pressing from Arsenal this time forces Carragher back to his keeper. Its getting a little cagey now..

  • 56'

    Torrs gets a bump from Gilberto and a free kick is awarded, deep in Liverpool's half.

  • 55'

    Kuyt finds himself five yards clear of Arsenal's backline and onside but can't gather the ball in a way that allows him to bear down on goal and Senderos is back to thwart him.

  • 54'

    More Liverpool pressure, Torres gets past Clichy on the right, Toure clears his low cross and as Aurelio shoots it deflects wide off Crouch, who was onside. Chance.

  • 53'

    George Gillett is in the stands, just as our commentator said both Liverpool owners had stayed away from the game. in the know eh?

  • 52'

    Kuyt and Gilberto have clashed faces. That looked painful.

  • 51'

    Aurelio has three separate nibbles at Hleb as Liverpool attempt to get much tighter on Arsenal than they did in the opening stages of the first half.

  • 50'

    Its started at 100mph like the first half did, and a raking long ball from Aurelio finds both Crouch AND Torres offside.

  • 49'

    A strange clearance off Adebayor's midriff as the Kop scream for a pen. It looked like his thigh though.

  • 48'

    Crouch tries to bully Gallas and Senderos again, winning a throw in, much to the Kop's delight. From that they win a corner.

  • 47'

    Only time will tell how much Flamini is missed. Gilberto hasn't played much this season but he's as experienced as they come.

  • 46'

    Liverpool are straight on the attack as Gerrard breaks down the left. The ball finds its way to Crouch but his shot is stopped by Almunia.

  • 46'

    Caught your breath? Good. Let us begin again....

  • 45'

    Crouch does well to pick up a block by Gerrard and he crosses for Alonso whose shot is blocked by Silva, then as Arsenal clear Carragher gets in the way of Hleb. Its blood and guts right till the end of this opening period, which comes to an end ...... now. Superb stuff at Anfield, see you back here in 15 minutes.

  • 45'

    Two added minutes of what has been an excellent half of football.

  • 45'

    Torres heads clear before Gallas and Toure get in each other's way. Both will be thankful for a Clichy interception as Liverpool broke clear.

  • 44'

    Aurelio and Toure pile into a 50-50 by the goal-line and Arsenal have a corner.

  • 43'

    This half has been the proverbial half of two halves! Arsenal dominated the first, Liverpool have been far superior in the second.

  • 42'

    That will surely disrupt Arsenal's flow, seeing as the Brazilian has been as indispensible this season as Flamini has been critical.

  • 41'

    It looks like the blanket was in fact needed, seeing as Gilberto Silva is on for the injured Mathieu Flamini. Apologies 'Big M'.

  • 40'

    It's not quite happening for Torres tonight, he loses the ball again to Gallas.

  • 39'

    The first aid team have instantly got a blanket round him. I know its cold on Merseyside but is that entirely necessary?!

  • 38'

    Flamini has gone down and is leaving the field on a stretcher. He got a little kick from Gerrard but should be ok to continue.

  • 37'

    Mascherano owes Dirk Kuyt a beer. The Argentine handed the ball straight to Adebayor but then Diaby is dispossessed by the Dutchman (can't beat a bit of alliteration. He finds Torres but the Spaniard's ball in search of Gerrard was telegraphed and Gallas claims it.

  • 36'

    Steven Gerrard gets a yard of space in the final third and let's fly, but his right-footed effort swerves too far to threaten Almunia.

  • 35'

    If the score stays like this, don't forget, we could have a penalty shoot out.

  • 34'

    Now it is Arsenal's turn to creak. Liverpool have regained their composure and that goal has added a dash of confidence too. Arsenal had been in total control but now their passes are just a little slower and a touch less accurate.

  • 33'

    At the other end Senderos tries to get his bonce on a Fabregas free kick before Reina claims and sets Liverpool off on a counter attack which sees a period of pinball in the area before Kuyt's shot is blocked by Flamini. Liverpool are back with a bang.

  • 32'

    Fabregas was marking the first post from the corner but for some reason had just edged along the goal-line towards his keeper and thus couldn't get his head on Hyypia's pinpoint header. Where was he going?

  • 31'

    Well, the man largely at fault for Adebayor's goal in the first leg has made amends. Senderos loses him for a split second and the Finn's header is in off the post. Anfield goes nuts.

  • 30'

    GOAL! Hyypia

  • 29'

    Liverpool have a corner after Almunia parries away a Gerrard cross. The noise level lifts once more.

  • 28'

    Arsenal have certainly taken their foot off the gas a little, not surprising seeing as they have already secured their away goal.

  • 27'

    A poor ball from Alonso allows Clichy to nip in but he and Adebayor make a bit of a mess of it near the corner flag and Liverpool have a thrown in. Or throw on, depending on your preference.

  • 26'

    Torres gets a decent sight of the ball down the right channel but gets his feet a little mixed up and it dribbles out for a goal kick.

  • 25'

    The Kop screams for a pen as Kuyt goes down when Diaby's leg extends to clear from off his thigh. Never a pen, but you never know with this ref.

  • 24'

    Reina tries a very ambitious throw to find Gerrard which Toure intercepts. The last thing Liverpool need is their keeper to have a wobbler, ala Old Trafford.

  • 23'

    A nice one-two between Kuyt and Carragher sets the right back away but his cross is nearer Torres than Crouch allowing Fabregas to head clear.

  • 22'

    Torres has his first kick for about ten minutes, his attempted cross is blocked by Gael Clichy's solar plexus.

  • 21'

    Gerrard has moved inside to try and get a grip on proceedings, but his ball wide to Kuyt finds the striker offside.

  • 20'

    Diaby follows up his goal with a wonderful dribble past Kuyt, he slips in Clichy and Adebayor can't quite connect with his near post cross. A second goal would be devastating for Liverpool.

  • 19'

    Mascherano has piled into Fabregas a little late but thankfully the ref keeps his cards in his pocket. There are plenty of players already on a yellow, including Gerrard and Adebayor, and another would mean they miss the semi first leg.

  • 18'

    And how quickly the roles reverse; Arsenal can now sit a little deeper and let Liverpool come onto them.

  • 17'

    Another lovely move the length of the field from Arsenal ending in a bit of keepy-uppy from Eboue and a deflected volley which Renia gets down swiftly to save.

  • 16'

    Senderos has been carded for dumping Gerrard to the floor. Liverpool free kick, which is worked wide for Carragher but he passes straight to Clichy. The Reds are reeling here.

  • 15'

    The decibel level at Anfield has dropped somewhat since the goal, as Liverpool try to regroup. A nightmare start for a notoriously stingy back line.

  • 14'

    Seconds before the goal Fabregas slipped Adebayor in on the left hands side; he drew Reina and squared before a frantic scramble saw Skrtel clear. But Hleb picked it up, swapped passes with Fabregas and in came Diaby to net a precious away goal. Another 1-1 draw anyone?!

  • 13'

    Anfield is stunned as Abou Diaby charges into the box after a lovely ball from Hleb and fires past Reina. And they've been WELL worth it.

  • 12'

    GOAL! Arsenal!

  • 11'

    For the first time in 11 minutes Rafa Benitez has plonked his rotund derriere on his seat. He's been frantically screaming at any Liverpool player who will listen to date.

  • 10'

    At the other end Adebayor is again flagged offside, and was only marginally so. Liverpool are playing a very tight, and high, line at the back. Perhaps not so wise given the pace in Arsenal's XI.

  • 9'

    Well done Flamini. A nice link up between Crouch, Torres and Gerrard saw the skipper burst into the box but Flamini was in quick smart to nip it off his toes.

  • 8'

    Aurelio heads clear from danger, but don't forget Arsenal looked very dangrous from corners at the Emirates, Adebayor's goal coming from one of course.

  • 7'

    Back at Anfield Arsenal are doing all the pressing early on and Clichy has won a corner off Kuyt, much to the potato-headed Dutchman's chagrin.

  • 6'

    That errant exclamation mark was supposed to accompany an update that informed you Chelsea have taken the lead against Fenerbahce through Michael Ballack.

  • 5'

    Ooh, some slick passing from Arsenal saw Hleb fire one into Adebayor who was only just offside. Very close.

  • 4'

    Arsenal have begun brightly, Liverpool only briefly getting out of their half so far. Now Gallas is going to get a flea in his ear from the ref after a little bump on Torres. Soft. Looks like very little contact will be permitted.

  • 3'

    Toure hit one and Kuyt was out quick smart to block, as the strains of 'Anfield Road' rise up into the night sky....

  • 3'

    Adebayor has won a very soft free kick from Mascherano 30 yards out bang in the centre. Good early opportunity for the Gunners.

  • 2'

    Looks like Steven Gerrard is lining up on the left hand side. Interesting.

  • 1'

    Right, here go then. Strap yourselves in.....


    So, just five minutes to kick off and there is, admittedly, a very special atmosphere at Anfield, which is currently belting out a towering rendition of 'You'll Never Walk Alone.'


    So, Van Persie makes the bench after a thigh complaint, and Hleb will be pushing on to support Adebayor. Expect a usually positive approach from Arsenal, and a very pumped up side.


    And the visitors, Arsenal: Almunia, Toure, Gallas, Senderos, Clichy, Eboue, Flamini, Fabregas, Diaby, Hleb and Adebayor. Subs from: Lehmann, Van Persie, Song Billong, Silva, Bendtner, Justin Hoyte and Walcott.


    Liverpool: Reina, Carragher, Skrtel, Hyypia, Aurelio, Gerrard, Alonso, Mascherano, Kuyt, Torres and Monsieur Crouch. Subs from: Itandje, Riise, Voronin, Benayoun, Arbeloa, Babel, Lucas.


    ..but Rafa Benitez's team selection is remarkably positive for once and the big news surrounds Peter Crouch's inclusion in what looks like a 4-4-2 formation. The full team follows..


    Sorry, that was my cynical brain railing against the mountain of hype surounding this Champions League quarter-final. It could well be a classic; it's certainly well poised. Arsenal have to score to stay in the competition. A clean sheet will see Liverpool through...


    So, this is it. The concluding part of the tumultuous Liverpool Arsenal trilogy, and a game that could go down as one of the best and biggest all-English ties in living memory. Or, it could just be a moderately entertaining 1-1 draw like the last three.


    Join us at 19.45 for live coverage of Liverpool v Arsenal, with tie finely balanced at 1-1 after the first leg.