A whole lot of action in the Champions League last night but very little of it featuring our "home" sides. Gerrard's 5th goal in the competition is enough to see Liverpool through both the game and their group, with Liverpool winning 1-0 despite Marseille's second-half fight back. Chelsea were even less impressive against French opposition. They didn't really show up in the first half at all, took the lead through a nothing chance (although facilitated by a great first time pass from Lampard, who was later dismissed) and then were punished for failing to capitalise on their lead, conceding in the last ten minutes. That said, progression is still in their hands against Cluj.
Inter go through despite losing 1-0 at home to Panathinaikos, whilst Temuri Ketsbaia's Anorthosis Famagusta agonisingly throw away at 2 goal lead against Werder Bremen to make things hard for themselves. Barcelona beat Sporting 5-2 in a inconsequential match whilst Shakhtar Donetsk seal a place in the last ever UEFA Cup by destroying Basle 5-0. Atletico Madrid's lack of support in an empty Vicente Calderon doesn't hinder them, their 2-1 win over PSV seeing them through.
Tonight looks very good on paper and the pick of the bunch is undoubtedly Portsmouth vs AC Milan. Clarence Seedorf has claimed Milan's superstars will be taking nothing for granted tonight and has heaped praise on Peter Crouch. Spurs are also on ITV, so plenty to pick from for us non Sky subscribing plebs.
In other news, Arsenal look set to be raided in the January transfer window with AC Milan bidding £5m for Gallas, Spartak Moscow making a similarly sized swoop for Pink Boots and Joe Kinnear hoping to land Song and Djourou on loan. Man City want Manuel Neuer in goal and are planning to make a £12m swoop. Would that make it a good or bad thing if they put 4 or 5 past him tonight? Redknapp wants Boro's Stewart Downing, Bolton are keen on Hapoel Petach Tikva striker Shimon Abu Hazeira and Charlton's Luke Varney could be on his way to Derby in a swop for Jay McEveley. Scolari cleary isn't a fan of Slaven Billic's intimate approach to coaching, apparently raging that he "doesn't sleep with Drogba" and so wouldn't know if he had met with Inter staff. Drogba for his part claims the last six months have been the worst of his career. Well, if you will slap someone in the face in a Champions League final and hurl a coin into a crowd...
One last talking point; if a player recieves a second yellow without the ref initially realising it is their second, should own up and walk? I say yes. For shame, Frankie, for shame.