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Paris Saint-Germain 1 Valencia 1 (aggregate 3-2): Ezequiel Lavezzi scores

PSG 1 Valencia 1 (agg 3-2): Beckham celebrates from the bench as Lavezzi secures progression to the last eight

PUBLISHED:

21:37 GMT, 6 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

10:18 GMT, 7 March 2013

David Beckham led the celebrations as Paris Saint-Germain slugged rather than sashayed their way through to the Champions League quarter-finals after drawing with Valencia at the Parc des Princes.

It took the jolt of a fine Valencia goal from Jonas early in the second half to rouse the home side, and Ezequiel Lavezzi's equaliser secured a draw on the night and a narrow aggregate win.

It was Lavezzi's second goal of the tie after he and Javier Pastore scored in Spain three weeks ago. PSG were in full control at the Mestalla until a dramatic injury-time period saw Adil Rami pull a goal back and Zlatan Ibrahimovic sent off, making tonight's second leg increasingly complicated on two counts.

Just about: Ezequiel Lavezzi bundled home the equaliser before receiving a yellow card for removing his shirt

Just about: Ezequiel Lavezzi bundled home the equaliser before receiving a yellow card for removing his shirt

Just about: Ezequiel Lavezzi bundled home the equaliser before receiving a yellow card for removing his shirt

Nice tats: Lavezzi showed off his tattoos, including Jesus and compatriot Diego Maradona

Nice tats: Lavezzi showed off his tattoos, including Jesus and compatriot Diego Maradona

MATCH FACTS

Paris Saint-Germain: Sirigu, Thiago Silva, Alex, Maxwell, Matuidi, Chantome, Jallet (Van der Wiel 27), Motta (Gameiro 58), Lucas (Sakho 83) Moura, Lavezzi, Pastore

Subs not used: Douchez, Camara, Armand, Beckham

Goal: Lavezzi 66

Booked: Lavezzi

Valencia: Guaita, Cissokho, Barragan, Ruiz, Mathieu, Albelda (Banega 46), Feghouli (Piatti 63), Parejo, Facundo Costa, Jonas (Valdez 76), Soldado

Subs not used: Diego Alves, Joao Pereira, Guardado, Canales

Booked: Ruiz, Albelda, Soldado, Parejo

Goal: Jonas 55

Referee: Milorad Mazic

Ibrahimovic was given a two-match ban
by UEFA, and the Sweden striker was certainly missed on the field for
this return leg as he watched from the stands. Without him, the home
side were toothless in the first half.

They certainly did not appear a side capable of reaching the Wembley final on May 25, but on they go.

Those looking for romance forged at
home in the story of Parisian resurgence might prefer to overlook the
fact it has been funded by overseas money, since the 2011 takeover by
the Qatar Investment Authority.

Their budget is more Champions League
than Ligue 1, and the personnel brought to the Parc des Princes over
the last two years reflects it.

The sudden wealth means tangible
success in Europe is a requisite, so winning in Spain three weeks ago
was not the achievement it might have been considered before the
takeover and more another step in the plan for growth.

PSG are unbeaten in
their last 23 European home matches now but they were clinging on at
the end as Valencia sought the goal that would have forced extra-time.

Overjoyed: David Beckham celebrates Lavezzi's equaliser from the sidelines

Overjoyed: David Beckham celebrates Lavezzi's equaliser from the sidelines

Pick that one out: Jonas rifled Valencia into the lead in the second half

Pick that one out: Jonas rifled Valencia into the lead in the second half

Game on: Jonas celebrates his stunning goal after half-time to bring Valencia back into the tie

Game on: Jonas celebrates his stunning goal after half-time to bring Valencia back into the tie

Twisting: Lucas (left) turns away from his marker Jeremy Mathieu

Twisting: Lucas (left) turns away from his marker Jeremy Mathieu

With Ibrahimovic and Marco Verratti
suspended, and winger Jeremy Menez injured, manager Carlo Ancelotti –
who won the Champions League in 2003 and 2007 with AC Milan – had a
weakened hand before kick-off.

Lucas started alongside Lavezzi in attack.

There was no room in the starting XI
for Beckham, squeezed out of central midfield by Thiago Motta and
Blaise Matuidi. The former England captain was primed on the bench but
stayed there.

PSG fans might have been wary that
their expensively-assembled team are prone to aberrations, such as their
league defeat to Reims at the weekend.

Jonas almost got in behind the home defence in the eighth minute but a foot in by Christophe Jallet denied him.

Valencia had a further chance when
Jonas linked up with strike partner Roberto Soldado. Salvatore Sirigu
smothered his low 15-yard shot.

Ouch: Blaise Matuidi lies on the turf after taking a hefty challenge

Ouch: Blaise Matuidi lies on the turf after taking a hefty challenge

Putting the boot in: Lucas Moura (right) swings in a cross

Putting the boot in: Lucas Moura (right) swings in a cross

Jonas sent a 20-yard shot bobbling wide, and Tino Costa cracked an ambitious effort several yards off target.

Sirigu palmed away a stinging 20-yard drive from Jonas just before the break, but it was a ball he might have caught.

From the corner that followed, Costa
struck the ball so sweetly it was missed by everyone in blue and red,
and also his team-mates as it swerved wide of the far post.

Limbering up: Beckham stretches ahead of Paris Saint-Germain's match

Limbering up: Beckham stretches ahead of Paris Saint-Germain's match

Eyes on the prize: The former England captain performs some kick-ups ahead of the game

Eyes on the prize: The former England captain performs some kick-ups ahead of the game

Waiting in the wings: Beckham warms up ahead of the clash with Valencia

Waiting in the wings: Beckham warms up ahead of the clash with Valencia

Benched: Beckham started the match on the sidelines

Benched: Beckham started the match on the sidelines

Ever Banega stepped out in place of Albelda for the second half, an attacking move by Valencia.
Jonas made the breakthrough in the 55th minute with a crashing 25-yard drive inside the left post.

Valencia had more zip about their
game, but PSG were level 11 minutes later though and it was Lavezzi who
woke the home crowd from an understandable stupor. Kevin Gameiro, on in
place of Thiago Motta, bustled through a couple of challenges before the
ball rolled kindly for his team-mate.

Vicente Guaita repelled Lavezzi's
15-yard blast but could then do nothing to prevent him tucking the ball
over the line with his knee.

Clement Chantome's 25-yard swipe drew a solid save from Guaita, with PSG on top for perhaps the first time in the match.

Valencia poured pressure on the Paris
goal in the closing minutes but they struggled to get in behind as their
campaign reached its end.

Valencia 1 Paris Saint-Germain 2: Ezequiel Lavezzi and Javier Pastore score before Zlatan Ibrahimovic is sent off

Valencia 1 PSG 2: Lavezzi and Pastore give visitors upper hand before Zlatan sees red

PUBLISHED:

21:37 GMT, 12 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

22:07 GMT, 12 February 2013

Adil Rami popped up with a crucial stoppage-time strike to hand Valencia a lifeline in their Champions League last-16 tie against Paris St Germain at the Mestalla tonight.

PSG looked on course for a dream result as first-half goals by Argentinian duo Ezequiel Lavezzi and Javier Pastore put Carlo Ancelotti's men firmly in the driving seat, but their hopes of reaching the quarter-finals suffered a setback in the space of two wild minutes at the end of the contest.

First Rami stole in behind the defence to reduce the arrears for Los Che before PSG's talismanic striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was sent off for aiming a stamp at Andres Guardado.

Doubling up: Javier Pastore (right) scored Paris Saint-Germain's second of the evening

Doubling up: Javier Pastore (right) scored Paris Saint-Germain's second of the evening

Excellent start: Ezequiel Lavezzi (right) is hoisted up by Zlatan Ibrahimovic after opening the scoring for PSG

Excellent start: Ezequiel Lavezzi (right) is hoisted up by Zlatan Ibrahimovic after opening the scoring for PSG

Needless: Zlatan Ibrahimovic was red-carded for a lunge by referee Paolo Tagliavento

Needless: Zlatan Ibrahimovic was red-carded for a lunge by referee Paolo Tagliavento

MATCH FACTS

Valencia: Guaita, Rami, Joao Pereira, Guardado, Costa, Oliveira (Valdez 46), Feghouli (Viera 83), Banega (Canales 46), Parejo, Facundo, Costa, Soldado

Subs not used: Diego Alves, Ruiz, Albelda, Piatti

Booked: Joao Pereira

Goal: Rami 90

Paris Saint-Germain: Sirigu, Sakho, Alex, Maxwell, Jallet, Matuidi, Verratti, Pastore (Armand 88), Lucas Moura (Chantome 53), Lavezzi (Menez 76), Ibrahimovic

Subs not used: Douchez, Camara, Van Der Wiel, Gameiro

Booked: Verratti

Sent off: Ibrahimovic 90

Goals: Lavezzi 10, Pastore 43

Referee: Paolo Tagliavento (Italy)

Attendance: 55,000

The red card means Ibrahimovic is
suspended for the return leg along with defensive midfielder Marco
Verratti, who picked up his third booking of the campaign.

PSG's late implosion took the shine off an otherwise impressive performance by Ancelotti's troops.

Certainly the watching David Beckham,
who recently joined PSG on a five-month deal but was not in the squad
today due to a lack of match fitness, will have been encouraged by what
he saw.

However, that Lucas Moura played such
an influential role for the Parisians will not have been lost on the
37-year-old, with the Brazilian's pace and trickery down the right
channel not something the set-piece maestro can realistically expect to
replicate.

Lucas was a thorn in Valencia's side
in the opening period and had the first chance on nine minutes when he
latched on to the ball after Ibrahimovic's run was halted and crashed an
effort against the post.

PSG did not have long to dwell on that miss, however, as they took the lead 60 seconds later.

Marching order: Ibrahimovic will miss the next leg of the tie

Marching order: Ibrahimovic will miss the next leg of the tie

Consolation: Adil Rami gave Valencia hope of progressing after cutting PSG's advantage in half late on

Consolation: Adil Rami gave Valencia hope of progressing after cutting PSG's advantage in half late on

Colossus: Ibrahimovic holds off the challenge of Tino Costa

Colossus: Ibrahimovic holds off the challenge of Tino Costa

Making a mark: Salvatore Sirigu (centre) catches the ball to halt a Valencia attack

Making a mark: Salvatore Sirigu (centre) catches the ball to halt a Valencia attack

Lavezzi started and finished the
move, exchanging passes with Pastore on the edge of the area and
advancing beyond the lunging challenge of Ricardo Costa before crashing a
powerful finish beyond Vicente Guaita, who should perhaps have done
better.

Guardado flashed an effort over the
bar as Valencia went in search of the leveller, but it was PSG who
looked most likely to add to the scoring, with Lucas and Lavezzi
bringing saves from Guaita.

PSG's second goal arrived two minutes before the break, but again the Valencia goalkeeper will feel he should have done better.

Lucas, having impressed with a couple
of surging runs from his own half, gave a demonstration of what he can
deliver in the final third as he beat two men on the byline before
running into the area and pulling the ball back for Pastore, whose
first-time finish went through the legs of Guaita.

Aerial battle: Christophe Jallet (left) is unable to compete with Ever Banega in the air

Aerial battle: Christophe Jallet (left) is unable to compete with Ever Banega in the air

Anguish: David Beckham and Leonardo (right) watch the tie

Anguish: David Beckham and Leonardo (right) watch the tie

Valencia coach Ernesto Valverde
shuffled his back at the interval, with striker Nelson Valdez and
attacking midfielder Sergio Canales entering the action for Ever Banega
and Jonas.

Valdez almost made an immediate
impression when his back header from a corner was tipped over by
Salvatore Sirigu under pressure from Roberto Soldado.

Lucas' impressive outing was ended on
53 minutes as Ancelotti sacrificed the attacking flair of the Brazilian
for the more defensive midfield option of Clement Chantome.

Chantome's added midfield bite was
unable to prevent Soldado getting in behind the visiting defence on 61
minutes, the striker running on to Tino Costa's lofted pass only to see
the chance come to nothing as his heavy touch took the ball away from
goal.

On 72 minutes PSG were denied a third
when Chantome turned the ball home after a good move following a
free-kick, the substitute rightly ruled to have been coming back from an
offside position.

Making an appearance: David Beckham (centre) was inside the stadium to support his new team-mates

Making an appearance: David Beckham (centre) was inside the stadium to support his new team-mates

Making an appearance: David Beckham (centre) was inside the stadium to support his new team-mates

Valdez passed up a glorious chance to
get Valencia back into the contest when he stole in ahead of Alex to
reach another lofted pass by Costa, but the striker shanked his
left-footed finish into the side-netting.

Costa's powerful free-kick drew a
good parry from Sirigu in the 87th minute, but the PSG goalkeeper was
culpable for Valencia's late reply, which gives Valverde's men huge hope
ahead of the return.

No chance: Blaise Matuidi (right) snatches the ball away from Daniel Parejo (left) of Valencia

No chance: Blaise Matuidi (right) snatches the ball away from Daniel Parejo (left) of Valencia

Flare up: Visiting Paris Saint-Germain fans set off a flare in the stands

Flare up: Visiting Paris Saint-Germain fans set off a flare in the stands

Costa created the chance with a
chipped free-kick over the top of the Valencia defence, although as the
ball floated into the six-yard box the goalkeeper should have come to
claim.

Instead, Sirigu stayed rooted to his line, leaving Rami unchallenged as he cleverly steered the ball into the net.

And with almost the very last action
of the night PSG's efforts were further diluted when Ibrahimovic allowed
himself to become riled as he challenged with two Valencia players and
went over the ball in a challenge with Guardado, prompting the referee
to brandish the red card.

Star man: Lavezzi (left) was in exceptional form and looked a constant threat

Star man: Lavezzi (left) was in exceptional form and looked a constant threat

Tussle: Matuidi and Banega (right) battle away in the middle of the park

Tussle: Matuidi and Banega (right) battle away in the middle of the park

Valencia 1 Stoke 0 (agg 2-0)

Valencia 1 Stoke 0 (agg 2-0): Jonas strikes to end Potters' Europa League campaign

Valencia saw off the challenge of Stoke to advance to the last 16 of the Europa League courtesy of a comfortable aggregate victory over Tony Pulis' side.

The Welsh manager – who courted controversy for naming just 15 players in his squad at the Mestalla – saw chances of progression severely damaged after Jonas struck in the 24th minute.

Still reeling from the narrow first leg loss at the Britannia, Stoke failed to trouble Unai Emery's side and can look forward to concentrating on the Premier League and the FA Cup.

At the centre of everything: Jonas netted a controversial strike for Valencia

At the centre of everything: Jonas netted a controversial strike for Valencia

MATCH FACTS

Valencia: Guaita, Bruno, Rami, Dealbert, Jordi Alba, Parejo, Topal, Pablo, Jonas (Soldado 62), Piatti (Feghouli 64), Aduriz. Subs not used: Diego Alves, Albelda, Barragan, Victor Ruiz, Mathieu.

Booked: Dealbert.

Scorer: Jonas 24.

Stoke: Sorensen, Diao, Huth, Woodgate, Collins, Arismendi (Shotton 65), Delap, Palacios (Pennant 65), Jerome, Jones, Fuller. Subs not used: Begovic, Dawson.

Booked: Diao, Huth, Pennant, Jones, Shotton.

Referee: Markus Strombergsson (Sweden).

Shoulder to shoulder: Pablo Hernandez competes for the ball with Danny Collins

Shoulder to shoulder: Pablo Hernandez competes for the ball with Danny Collins

An armful: Kenwyne Jones attempts to prevent Mehmet Topal escaping

An armful: Kenwyne Jones attempts to prevent Mehmet Topal escaping

Chasing a lost cause: Cameron Jerome hassles Bruno Saltor

Chasing a lost cause: Cameron Jerome hassles Bruno Saltor

Whistle stop: Tony Pulis took a squad of just 15 players to Valencia

Whistle stop: Tony Pulis took a squad of just 15 players to Valencia

Valencia v Stoke, Manchester United v Ajax live

EUROPA LEAGUE LIVE: Valencia v Stoke and Manchester United v Ajax – as it happens

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the Europa League as Stoke travel to Valencia and Manchester United host Ajax for the second leg of their last 32 ties. The Potters face an uphill task to overcome a 1-0 deficit at the Estadio Mestalla at 6pm, while the Red Devils hold a 2-0 advantage over Frank de Boer's outfit when they kick off at 8.05pm.

Valencia 0 Stoke 0 (aggregate 1-0)

Valencia: Guaita; Bruno, Rami, Dealbert, Jordi Alba; Parejo, Topal; Pablo, Jonas, Piatti; Aduriz. Subs: Diego Alves, Albelda, Feghouli, Soldado, Barragan, Victor Ruiz, Mathieu.

Stoke: Sorensen; Delap, Huth, Woodgate, Collins; Arismendi, Diao, Palacios; Jerome, Jones, Fuller. Subs: Begovic, Pennant, Shotton, Dawson.

Referee: Markus Strombergsson (Sweden)

5 mins: Close! An exquisite turn and flick from Jonas puts Piatti through but Huth does well to recover.

4 mins: Delap winds up his first long throw of the night, and it's easily gathered by Guaita.

2 mins: Off the bar! Former QPR midfielder Dani Parejo rattles the crossbar with the free-kick. Worrying start for Stoke.

1 min: We're under way… Diao halts a jinking run from Piatti on the edge of the box with a cynical foul and Valencia have a free-kick in a very dangerous position.

5.58pm: The players are out on the pitch and ready to go, can Stoke pull off the miracle

5.53pm: Judging by the pictures, it looks like the 4,000 Stoke fans are enjoying their day in the sun. It's been a fantastic run in the competition for them and if they are to go out today, they looked determined to do so in style.

Day in the sun: Stoke fans enjoy their day out in Valencia

Day in the sun: Stoke fans enjoy their day out in Valencia

Day in the sun: Stoke fans enjoy their day out in Valencia

5.42pm: Interestingly
Stoke have only named four subs for tonight's game, with Tony Pulis
leaving the likes of Peter Crouch back in England. He insists his side
will be going for the win though and the formation selected suggests so.

5.35pm: Valencia
have rested a couple of regular starters but include big names Adil
Rami, Jordi Alba and Pablo Piatti. Expect Stoke to line up with an
adventurous 4-3-3 formation with Rory Delap filling in at right-back and
Kenwyne Jones, Cameron Jerome and Ricardo Fuller forming a pacy and
powerful front three.

5.30pm: The teams are in… Stoke give a shock start to Uruguayan midfielder Diego Arismendi as they look to pull of a shock win in Valencia and rescue their Europa League hopes after going down 1-0 in last week's first leg at the Britannia Stadium.

Valencia: Guaita, Bruno, Rami, Dealbert, Jordi Alba, Parejo, Topal, Pablo, Jonas, Piatti, Aduriz. Subs: Diego Alves, Albelda, Feghouli, Barragan, Victor Ruiz, Mathieu.

Stoke: Sorensen, Diao, Huth, Woodgate, Collins, Arismendi, Delap, Palacios, Jerome, Jones, Fuller. Subs: Begovic, Pennant, Shotton, Dawson.

Referee: Markus Strombergsson (Sweden)

Up against it: Rory Delap (right) and Stoke lost 1-0 to Valencia at the Britannia Stadium

Up against it: Rory Delap (right) and Stoke lost 1-0 to Valencia at the Britannia Stadium

Stamford Bridge Match Zone: Chelsea benefit from mobility drive

Stamford Bridge Match Zone: Chelsea benefit from mobility drive

There was something fresh and exuberant about Chelsea”s front six on Tuesday night. Only Didier Drogba and Ramires were at the club at the end of last season. Daniel Sturridge was at Bolton on loan while Raul Meireles, Oriol Romeu and Juan Mata were signed in the summer. Drogba aside, it was not physically imposing but it was quicker and more mobile. The future under AVB, perhaps.

Breath of fresh air: Oriol Romeu starred again for Chelsea

Breath of fresh air: Oriol Romeu starred again for Chelsea

Picking a fight with Rocchi

There is an unemployed Italian man in Florence called Gianluca Rocchi who receives regular abusive phone calls from angry fans who think he is the referee of the same name, also a Florentine, in charge at Chelsea on Tuesday night. “I”ve started to look out for his performance so I know whether or not to expect these calls,” said Rocchi – the other one, not the ref.

Petr Cechs out

With teenage keeper Thibaut Courtois excelling on loan at Atletico Madrid, Petr Cech is under scrutiny for the first time in years. He made perhaps his best save from David Albelda, at 1-0.

Villas-Boas takes the high road

At the risk of offending AVB (ultra-touchy on this subject) Chelsea defended with a far deeper defensive line last night and the centre halves appeared far more comfortable, dealing easily with Roberto Soldado, one of the most prolific strikers in Spain. The Blues virtually played on the counter, inviting Valencia on and springing quickly in support of Drogba.

Ruiz ruined

Victor Ruiz, a summer signing from Napoli, has been one of the successes of Valencia”s season. The defender rushed back from a groin injury for last night and it showed. Softened-up by Drogba, he was embarrassed by Ramires in a dash for the second goal.

Embarrassed: Ramires skips past Victor Ruiz on the way to scoring Chelsea

Embarrassed: Ramires skips past Victor Ruiz on the way to scoring Chelsea”s second

In focus

Frank Lampard: There was one thing everyone could agree on, it seemed. Dropping Frank Lampard was a big shout. Rio Ferdinand, his old West Ham team-mate, tweeted: ‘Big shout that.’

Unai Emery: His team went to Stamford Bridge in fine form after seven wins from their previous eight games but Valencia and manager Emery are saddled with a stigma for bottling the biggest games.

Didier Drogba: Considering a lucrative semi-retirement transfer to the Middle East in January, but he still has something to offer. He was immense last night and his second goal was his 149th for Chelsea in all competitions.

Romelu Lukaku: Not in the Champions League squad but a touchline appearance confirmed Lukaku has cut his dreadlocks. New look, new luck He scored twice as the reserves beat Aston Villa 2-0 this week.

Chelsea v Valencia, Olympiakos v Arsenal live

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE LIVE: Chelsea v Valencia and Olympiakos v Arsenal – follow the action as it happens

Follow Sportsmail”s coverage of the Champions League as Chelsea host Valencia and Arsenal travel to Olympiakos in their final group stage matches. The Gunners are already through but the Blues need to win or seal a goalless draw against their Spanish opponents to reach the last 16. Send me your thoughts on the action at [email protected] or contact me on twitter @Ripinho.

Live scores

Click here for all the goals as they go in

Chelsea 2-0 Valencia

Olympiakos 1-0 Arsenal

Latest from the Champions League

Latest from Barnsley v Crystal Palace

20.11: Nope, his day is done as he is taken off on a stretcher and Vito Mannone replaces him.

20.09: Olympiakos have been dominating in Greece and after Fabianski stretches for a clearance, he seems to have injured himself. I”m not certain he can carry on.

20.06: GOAL! CHELSEA 2-0 Valencia

If you”ve come to watch the art of defending tonight, your going to be very disappointed so far.

Drogba”s through pass looks to have been well marshalled by Victor Ruiz, but his concentration, alertness and spatial awareness all collapse in one as Ramires nips in ahead of him to finish from close range.

20.03: GOAL! OLYMPIAKOS 1-0 Arsenal

Not for the first time this season that is sloppy from the Gunners defence. Rafik Djebbour pounces on a misunderstanding between Sebastien Squillaci and Johan Djourou to go round Lukasz Fabianksi and roll into an empty net.

20.01: After a frantic start at Stamford Bridge, finally everyone in the ground can relax a bit as the game slows from its lightning quick start.

19.58: Olympiakos just edging things in Greece, with Jose Holebas”s low ball into the penalty box from the flank just begging for a simple tap-in that never came.

19.55: Holy smokes what a strike! Chelsea have dropped off and Valencia are dictating play, with David Albelda”s 30-yard drive destined for the top corner until Petr Cech parries behind.

19.54: From InfostradaLive:

Drogba’s 3rd minute strike is Chelsea’s fastest ever #UCL goal. They have scored 3 CL goals in the 4th minute.

19.51: Nearly an instant response from the Spanish side. Tino Costa lofts a ball over the top and at a tight angle all on his own, Jordi Alba rattles the woodwork.

19.49: GOAL! CHELSEA 1-0 Valencia

Crisis, what crisis The Blues are flying. Sturridge picks out Juan Mata at the back post and he lays the ball into the path of Didier Drogba who dummies then tucks away across goal into the bottom corner.

19.48: Bright start from Chelsea. Daniel Sturridge wins the ball on the right and passes to Didier Drogba on the edge of the box.

The Ivorian lays it back for Raul Meireles who first time curls a powerful shot that is well claimed by Diego Alves.

19.45: Away we go then.

Under pressure: Chelsea

Under pressure: Chelsea”s Ashley Cole (right) challenges Valencia”s Sofiane Feghouli for the ball

19.41: Teams are out then. Cracking atmosphere in Greece, Stamford Bridge still filling up.

19.38: Team news from Oakwell by the way:

Barnsley v Crystal Palace
Barnsley: Steele, Hassell, Foster, McNulty, Perkins, O”Brien, Drinkwater, Butterfield, Vaz Te, Davies, Ranger. Subs: Preece, Haynes, Done, Wiseman, Addison.

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Ramage, Gardner, Keinan, Clyne, Zaha, Wright, Dikgacoi, Ambrose, Murray, Easter. Subs: Price, Jedinak, Martin, McCarthy, Iversen.

Referee: Tony Bates (Staffordshire)

19.36: Sorry Arsenal fans for all the focus being pretty much on Chelsea so far (I”m sure you will understand.)

Just to let you know I will still be bringing you all the action from Greece too.

Here”s a winter warmer stat for you from InfostradaLive:

Arsenal is 1 of 3 clubs that have not trailed this #UCL season, together with Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

19.33: While we have time, if you need to know all the latest live scores from the Champions League just click the handy hyper link in the green box.

Also, after constant digs in my arm from colleague Joe Ridge (check out his Football League blog by the way), I have included a link for you to check all the latest from Barnsley v Crystal Palace in the Championship this evening. All bases are covered!

19.30: Stat attack from InfostradaLive:

Valencia have never beaten Chelsea in 5 previous meetings, but are unbeaten in last 7 away matches against English clubs.

19.27: Oh dear, much like Tottenham”s match against PAOK last week, I”m not looking forward to double checking the spelling of some the players in the Greek side.

Super Swede: Former Aston Villa defender Olof Mellberg starts for Olympiakos against Arsenal

Super Swede: Former Aston Villa defender Olof Mellberg starts for Olympiakos against Arsenal

19.25: Full team news from Piraeus:

Olympiakos v Arsenal
Olympiakos: Megyeri, Torosidis, Papadopoulos, Mellberg, Marcano, Maniatis, David Fuster, Modesto, Mirallas, Djebbour, Holebas. Subs: Costanzo, Papazoglou, Pantelic, Fetfatzidis, Orbaiz, Potouridis, Abdoun.

Arsenal: Fabianski, Djourou, Vermaelen, Squillaci, Andre Santos, Coquelin, Frimpong, Benayoun, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Chamakh, Arshavin. Subs: Mannone, Rosicky, Park, Eastmond, Miquel, Ozyakup, Yennaris.

Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (Spain)

19.22: Full team news from Stamford Bridge:

Chelsea v Valencia
Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Terry, Luiz, Cole, Romeu, Meireles, Ramires, Sturridge, Drogba, Mata. Subs: Turnbull, Lampard, Torres, Mikel, Malouda, Ferreira, Kalou.

Valencia: Diego Alves, Barragan, Rami, Victor Ruiz, Jordi Alba, Feghouli, Tino Costa, Albelda, Mathieu, Jonas, Soldado. Subs: Guaita, Topal, Aduriz, Piatti, Dealbert, Pablo, Parejo.

Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (Italy)

19.19: Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard is named on the bench for tonight”s vital Champions League clash with Valencia.

The 33-year-old is replaced in the Blues” starting line-up by Raul Meireles as manager Andre Villas-Boas makes one change to the side that won 3-0 at Newcastle in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday.

Valencia manager Unai Emery, by comparison, makes five alterations at Stamford Bridge as he recalls Victor Ruiz, David Albelda, Sofiane Feghouli, Roberto Soldado and Jonas.

Back in action: Yossi Benayoun starts for Arsenal

Back in action: Yossi Benayoun starts for Arsenal

19.16: Arsene Wenger names an experienced Arsenal defence and gives youth a chance in midfield for tonight”s final Champions League Group F match away to Olympiakos.

Lukasz Fabianski comes into goal, behind a rearguard of Johan Djourou, Thomas Vermaelen, Sebastien Squillaci and Andre Santos.

Emmanuel Frimpong, 19, and Francis Coquelin, 20, also start, as does England Under-21 international Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, with Yossi Benayoun the experienced head behind Andrey Arshavin and Marouane Chamakh.

Olympiakos can still qualify behind group winners Arsenal, and welcome back former Aston Villa defender Olof Mellberg from injury while in-form striker Rafik Djebbour provides the attacking threat.

19.13: From Sportsmail”s Matt Barlow at Stamford Bridge:

Romelu Lukaku seems to have chopped off his trademark dreads. Looks very different and scored two for the reserves yesterday.

19.10: Obviously I will keep you up-to-date anyway.

For those of you asking, UEFA rank teams tied on points by their head-to-head records, then away goals in them two games if results between the two are the same.

19.07: If Chelsea win they are through (happy days.)

Now assuming Bayer Leverkusen get at least a point against Genk, a 0-0 draw would also see Chelsea through, but any other stalemate would see them out.

If Genk win their home match against Bayer Leverkusen then a 0-0 draw in the match at Stamford Bridge would send Valencia rather than Chelsea into the knockout stage.

This is because Bayer Leverkusen, Chelsea and Valencia would all have nine points and in a comparison of all the results between the three teams (without the games against Genk included), Bayer Leverkusen would have more points and Valencia would have scored more goals than Chelsea.

Gloves are off: Raul Meireles (l) comes into the Chelsea side alongside Oriol Romeu (c) and Juan Mata

Gloves are off: Raul Meireles (l) comes into the Chelsea side alongside Oriol Romeu (c) and Juan Mata

19.04: Right, now the bit I wasn”t looking forward to – the permeations to reach the last 16 for the English sides

For Arsenal it”s dead simple in the fact they are already group winners. For Chelsea it”s a little more complicated…

19.01: Remember folks to keep up-to-date with all the Premier League sides, whether they are at home or in Europe, follow our live goals service on twitter to be fully up to speed on all their goals as they go in.

18.58: Think Arsenal”s team is a little conservative Well that”s because they are already through to the next round as group winners.

In fact the only disastrous thing that can happen to the Gunners tonight is if Robin van Persie break his foot by dropping a bottle of salad cream on it.

Former Chelsea stopper Dave Beasant will tell you all about the possibilities of that.

18.55: Lampard is on the bench for Chelsea by the way should this all go horribly wrong and the Blues need a saviour.

18.52: Arsenal starting XI:

Fabianski, Djourou, Vermaelen, Squillaci, Santos, Frimpong, Coquelin, Benayoun, Arshavin, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Chamakh.

18.49: Chelsea starting XI:

Cech; Ivanovic, David Luiz, Terry, Cole; Ramires, Romeu, Meireles; Sturridge, Drogba, Mata.

18.46: Breaking team news for Chelsea: Frank Lampard dropped, Raul Meireles replaces him.

18.45: Honestly, back in August I wasn”t expecting to use the words “Chelsea” and “crunch clash” before Christmas – especially in the Champions League.

But here we are, the final round of group stage matches and the Blues are in serious danger of going out this evening. Team news as I get it folks.

In control: Juan Mata will hope to guide Chelsea into the last 32 at the expense of his former side

In control: Juan Mata will hope to guide Chelsea into the last 32 at the expense of his former side