And finally, this from Thomas Hardeman ...

“The difference between Terry and Donk situations is that Donk threw the ball from his hands, onto the ball. The Laws of the Game state that any object thrown at the ball will be deemed an extension of the hand and therefore should that object touch the hand, it is a handball. So in Donk’s case, the referee should have awarded a penalty and yellow card for deliberate handball. This could have been a red card, had Donk denied a clear goal scoring opportunity.

“In Terry’s situation, play was dead when two balls were on the pitch (throw-in wasn’t taken). As the throw-in was taken, the referee whistled because there were two balls on the pitch at the same time. The holding on to the ball by Terry is unsporting behaviour and therefore deserving of a yellow card. This can never be denying a clear goal scoring opportunity/red card, similarly a goalkeeper cannot receive a red card for picking up a backpass, even if the ball would otherwise entered the goal. So correct decision taken by the referee today, I think.”

Thanks for clearing that up, Thomas. And thanks also for everybody else who responded to my queries, particularly those wearing tinfoil hats who live in houses with polythene taped over all the windows.

Peep! Peep! Peeeeeeep! It’s all over - a reasonably entertaining first leg fizzles to a damp squib of a conclusion, with neither side prepared to take any chances in the final 10 minutes or so. It was very much a game of three thirds, this, with Galatasaray awful for an opening 30 minutes in which Chelsea could and should have killed off the tie. One tactical tweak later and Roberto Mancini’s side were a vastly improved proposition, coming from behind to nick an equaliser. It’s nicely poised for the second leg at Stamford Bridge.


90 min: Chelsea substitution: Eden Hazard off, Oscar on for his 100th appearance for Chelsea. A club centurion: well done him.

89 min: Wesley Sneijder, who’s been a lot more lively in the second half than he was in the first, tries to dink the ball towards Burak in the penalty area, but his pass falls short and Terry clears.

87 min: Mikel goes down injured under a challenge from Felipe Melo that should have earned the Galtasaray midfieldcer a booking that would rule him out of the second leg, but he escapes. He’s committed a lot of fouls tonight and each time he does so, assorted Chelsea players surround the referee and try to pressure him into brandishing a card. That’s probably why he hasn’t done so.

86 min: John Obi Mikel tries his luck with a 45-yard effort. Needless to say, he doesn’t trouble Fernando Muslera and add to his tally of two goals this season.

85 min: Both sides seem to have settled for the draw in a match that Chelsea will rue not winning in the opening half hour. It’s very stop-start now, with a lot of congestion in midfield - certainly a state of affairs that nobody could have foreseen when Galatasaray were being ripped to shreds in the first 30 minutes.

82 min: Galtasaray substitution: Didier Drogba off, Umut Bulet on.

78 min: Anyway, back to this game. Petr Cech has just had to palm away a cross from Emmanuel Eboue, only to see the ball drop kindly for Alex Telles. He sent a rasper arrowing towards goal from 20 yards and Cech saved acrobatically.

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76 min: This from Galip Yardimci: “Funnily enough a similar incident happened in Turkish Super League this season,” he says. “Ryan Donk tossed the extra ball in his hands at the active ball at Almeida’s feet in the box. The ref did not award a penalty (just a yellow card) but eventually the federation decided it was a ruling mistake and decided that the game should be replayed.”

74 min: Chelsea are in danger of losing this match. Having completely bossed it for the first half hour, they’re now very much on the back foot. Meanwhile my inbox is groaning under the weight of numbskulls complaining that I must ”really hate Chelsea” because I was curious enough to wonder if John Terry should have been sent off for preventing what looked to be a clear goal-scoring opportunity. I’d have wondered the exact same thing if any other player on any other team had done the same thing. Of which more in the next post ...

68 min: Just before those substitutions, Torres annoyed the bejaysus out of Andre Schurrle, by shooting from a tight angle when he could and should have crossed to provide his team-mate with an easy finish. They’ll have plenty to discuss on the bench.

67 min: Chelsea substitution: Fernando Torres off, Samuel Eto’o on.

66 min: Chelsea substitution: A most displeased Andre Schurrle off, John Obi-Mikkel on.

GOAL! Galatasaray 1-1 Chelsea (Chedjou 64) Then again, perhaps it won’t. From a corner, John Terry fails to mark Aurelian Chedjou, who rifles home a volley from three yards out. It was a splendidly taken corner and the centre-half did well to get on the end of it, but he shouldn’t have been given the opportunity. Foir a start, Terry shouldn’t have let him and quite why Petr Cech didn’t come out to claim what looked a fairly straightforward ‘collect’, is anyone’s guess.

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62 min: A sensational miss by Galatasaray captain Selcuk Inan, who prods the ball against the left upright from about a yard out, after getting on the end of a knock-down from Didier Drogba. The big Ivorian had done well to get above his man and connect with a Wesley Sneijder delivery from the right. Considering how peripheral both Sneijder and Drogba have been, it could be a very costly miss.

59 min: Peter Cech gets booked for persistent time-wasting. He was dawdling over a kick-out after the ball had found its way wide from a Galatasaray free-kick awarded incorrectly to Emmanuel Eboue for a non-existent foul out by the right touchline.

58 min: Ramires, who has been patched up after a first-half nosebleed and now looks like he’s wearing a false dog’s nose, gets booked for a foul on Felipe Melo.

56 min: Andre Schurrle gets booked for some indiscretion or other. Not too long ago, a poor first touch cost him dearly as he’d beaten the Galatasaray offside trap to get in behind them down the right flank, only to squander possession with a leaden touch.

53 min: Fernando Torres leaves both Galatasaray centre-backs trailing in his slipstream as he sprints between them to latch on to a through-ball into the Galatasaray penalty area and fire goalwards from close range. Goalkeeper Fernando Muslera saves his team’s bacon with a good save, diving low down to his left to put the ball out for a corner, from which nothing comes.

50 min: “He’s always been erratic, he’s always where you don’t want him to be,” says Gary Neville of Emmanuel Eboue, before giving a withering, highly amusing critique of the Galatasaray full-back’s qualities and concluding that it must be awful being the right-sided centre half that has to cover for him on his regular forays upfield.

48 min: Want to see a lovingly compiled gallery of photos from tonight’s match? Click here. Chelsea win a free-kick deep inside their own half, which Petr Cech lumps towards the edge of the Galatasaray penalty area with a mighty kick. Galatasaray clear.

46 min: Second half is ‘GO!’ and Galatasaray have made another change. Semih Kaya comes on in place of the central-defender Hakan Baltan, who was having a torrid time trying to keep tabs on Fernando Torres.

An email from Rob Dyer: “I love the booking for Terry,” he says. “It’s blatant cheating to grab the ball when there is a free kick/throw in for the opposition. I would really like to see this sort of thing stamped out of the game.”

A question for referees or anyone with a rule-book to hand out there - is there a case to be argued that Terry should have been sent off, as by holding on to the ball and then throwing it down on the pitch when Galatasaray took a quick throw-in with the other one provided so promptly by their ball-boys, he quite obviously prevented a clear goalscoring opportunity?

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Overcoat watch ...

Neither of them are going to win any fashion awards for these efforts ...

Half-time: Chelsea go in a goal to the good and will be pleased enough to be winning, but almost certainly disappointed not to be further ahead. Galatasaray were surprisingly awful in the first 30 minutes, but their performance improved once Mancini made his tactical switch.

45+2 min: Schurrle advances down the centre for Chelsea then plays the ball inside towards Fernando Torres, who is dispossessed by a last-ditch tackle from Hakan Balta, who’d gifted possession to Schurrle originally. Corner for Chelsea, from which nothing comes.

43 min: Galatasaray get the ball in Chelsea’s net courtesy of Burak, but his effort is disallowed because there were two balls on the pitch at the time. Galatasaray’s ball-boys have been nothing if not indsutrious tonight, scuttling to get a ball back in play as quickly as possible any time it goes out of play. Of course one of the vagaries of the multi-ball system is that While one Turkish player was taking a throw-in with one ball, John Terry was hurling the one in his hands towards the referee to ensure he saw it and stopped play. The referee duly did so, then gave Terry a yellow card.

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39 min: Another counter-attack from Chelsea, but this one breaks down when Eden Hazard opts not to take on Eden Hazard and run directly at him from a promising position. The attack loses its momentum and Galatasaray scramble clear.

37 min: Sneijder picks up the ball on the left flank, cuts inside and plays a cross-field ball to Emmanuel Eboue, who is up in attack. With Eden Hazard back scampering around in a defensive role, the right-back is unable to get a cross in.

35 min: That tactical switch by Roberto Mancini seems to have worked so far. Galatasaray have actually gone three minutes or so without looking like they might be over-run. Drogba is now playing as a lone frontman and hold-up merchant, with Sneijder and Burak Yilmaz operating on the flanks.

32 min: Galatasaray corner, which Wesley Sneijder attempts to whip in towards Didier Drogba. His delivery fails to reach the imposing striker and is headed clear at the near post.

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29 min: Just past the half-hour and Roberto Mancini decides it’s already time for a change. Champions League debutant Izet Hajrovic suffers the indignity of getting hooked, to be replaced by Yekto Kurtulus. Galatasaray look to have moved to a 4-5-1.

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27 min: “I can’t believe that Mancini, as an experienced coach, has sent his team out to do this,” says Gary Neville on Sky Sports, on the subject of the home side‘s fairly bewildering tactics. Ramires tries to steer an Andre Schurrle cross from the right goalwards, but his side-footed effort is high and wide.

25 min: There’s just been a fairly lengthy pause in play so Ramires could get a bloody nose plugged with cotton wool. Now we have another break as Fernando Torres and Felipe Melo go down clutching their respective heads after a mid-air clash.

20 min: I’ve just seen a replay of the Chelsea goal. Torres actually shot into an empty net, as Galatasaray goalkeeper Muslera had folishly charged out towards Azpilicueta, prompting the Spaniard to square the ball for Torres. Despite the last ditch efforts of two retreating defenders, the Chelsea No9 did well to open his body and slot the ball goalwards at a high enough trajectory to avoid their despairing dives.

19 min: Fernando Torres wins a free-kick for Chelsea directly in front of the Galatasaray goal, approximately 30 yards out. Frank Lampard takes the free-kick, but sends his effort high over the cross-bar.

16 min: From a quickly taken throw-in, Wesley Sneijder plays the ball in behind Gary Cahill and Burak Yilmaz pulls it back for Izet Hajrovic. The Bosnian winger lashes the ball over the bar when he should really have at least hit the target.

14 min: Roberto Mancini’s Manchester City side was often accused of playing with the handbrake on, but it’s not a charge that could be levelled at his Galatasaray team tonight. With his team playing a kind of kamikaze 4-2-4 formation, they’re leaving acres of space for Chelsea’s players to gallop into upon relieving their hosts of the ball.

13 min: Willian tries his luck with a low long-range effort, but his effort is saved by Muslera.

GOAL! Galatasaray 0-1 Chelsea (Torres 9) Galatasaray get caught out by their own ridiculously high line, with Azpilicueta turning provider again. With Chelsea breaking on a counter-attack, he gets forward, in behind the Galatasaray back four. From just outside the box, down by the byeline, he dribbles the ball across the edge of the six-yard box, where Torres is on hand to drill home past the hopelessly exposed Muslera.

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6 min: Felipe Melo brings down Willian and after a brief flurry of handbags featuring players from both teams, Frank Lampard swings a free-kick from deep into the Galatasaray penalty area. Nothing come of it. Prior to the ‘chances’ at both ends I mentioned in my entry of four minutes, Kevin Schurrle had been played in behind the Galatasaray defence with a long ball from Azpilicueta, but was flagged for offside.

4 min: Galatasaray goalkeeper Fernando Muslera gallops out of his own penalty area to hack the ball clear, but his effort is woeful. The ball is intercepted by Willian, whose attempted lob goalwards bounces just wide of the left upright. Moments previously at the other end of the pitch, Didier Drogba had played the ball wide to Burak Yilmaz, who had given Gary Cahill the slip, on the left hand side of the Chelsea penalty area. The Galatasaray striker’s attempted low cross was awful and he tripped over his own feet.

2 min: Chelsea win a throw-in halfway inside the Galatasaray half, which Branislav Ivanovic hurls back towards his own half. Not much happening so far, with the teams probing gently to see what’s what.

1 min: Galatasaray kick off and almost immediately, Drogba is given another warm welcome by Ramires, who slips and accdientally clatters him, conceding a free-kick.

Not long now ...

The teams emerge from the tunnel for the pre-match niceties and the Champions League music blares over the PA. Chelsea’s players wear their customary home kit of blue shirts, blue shorts and blue blue socks. Galatasaray wear their usual kit of red and yellow shirts, white shorts and white socks. During the pre-match meet and great, there are very warm handshakes and hugs from each of the Chelsea players for Didier Drogba, standing on the end of his team’s line.

A special game tonight for fans of The Fall

My thanks to Steven Hughes, who’s mailed in to mention The Fall’s typically feelgood slice of tunesmithery Theme From Sparta FC, which features the lyrics: “...We have to pay for everything (Hey!)/ But some things are for free (Hey!)/ We live on blood (Hey!)/ We are Sparta F.C. (Hey!)/ English Chelsea fan this is your last game (Hey!)/ We’re not Galatasary We’re Sparta F.C. (Hey!)....”

And here's one from David Flynn

“So both managers are playing down their team’s chances,” he writes. “Jose even going so far as to hire a man to pose as an undercover reporter so he can publicly belittle his strikers and shame them into a hat trick each tonight. The mans an evil genius.”

An email from Jonathan Beddows

“Surely the big battle tonight is Mourinho v Mancini,” he writes. “They will both be bringing top quality overcoats into the dug out and the pressure to pull out a sartorial win is huge. Maybe Mancini to edge this one as he has hung onto his flowing mane and obviously has invested heavily in hair care products during his time in Turkey.”

I can report that at the moment Sky Sports are showing a pre-recorded interview with Roberto Mancini and he is wearing a fetching grey cashmere scarf or snood and a rather lurid anorak in Galatasaray club colours.

Galatasaray v Chelsea line-ups ...

Galatasaray: Muslera, Alex, Balta, Chedjou, Eboue, Sneijder, Inan, Felipe Melo, Hajrovic, Drogba, Burak Yilmaz.

Subs: Ceylan, Gulselam, Bulut, Kaya, Kurtulus, Colak, Sarioglu.

Chelsea: Cech, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Terry, Ivanovic, Hazard, Lampard, Ramires, Willian, Schurrle, Torres.

Subs: Schwarzer, Cole, Oscar, Mikel, Ba, Eto’o, Kalas.

Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo (Spain)

Some team news ...

Fernando Torres starts for Chelsea and will line up in front of Andre Schurrle, Eden Hazard and Willian. Frank Lampard and Ramires will anchor the midfield. For Galatasaray, the more attack-minded Izet Hajrovic comes in for midfielder Ufuk Ceylan. I’ll have the full line-ups for you very shortly.

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Want to see an amusing own goal from Selcuk Inan?

Of course you do. I’m sure you’ll allagree that this looping back-heel into his own net from the unwitting Galatasaray midfielder is just a little bit special.

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Some light pre-match reading ...

Dominic Fifield is our man in Istanbul and he’s been keeping very busy, eschewing the myriad cultural delights on offer to discerning visitors to spend time in a room listening to Messrs Mourinho and Mancini yapping. As well as writing this lengthy and informative pre-match scene-setter he’s written about the safety concerns of Chelsea fans in Istanbul, following weeks of political unrest in the city, not to mention the stabbing (not too serious, thankfully) of two travelling supporters last night. And as if that wasn’t enough, Dom took time out this afternoon to answer readers’ questions in his live webchat. Click on the pertinents links to fill your boots with Fifield.

Good evening everybody ...

Welcome to tonight’s minute-by-minute coverage of Galatasaray v Chelsea, a match which pits second in the Turkish top tier against the English Premier League table-toppers at Istanbul’s Turk Telekom Arena. At their pre-match media briefings, Roberto Mancini and Jose Mourinho were both anxious to play down their respective teams chances, with the Chelsea manager suggesting that his is a team in transition, while his Galatasaray counterpart has put his own side’s chances of progressing to the last eight at just 20%.
“Chelsea are one of the best teams in Europe,” said Mancini. “They’ve won the Champions League before and are always in the competition , but we need to fight against them and make use of home advantage. We’ll be able to use more of our foreign players. We may change ther team a little. Wesley [Sneijder] wil;l play, for example. But we are a good team regardless. We can play in any system, be it 4-4-2 or 3-5-2. The mentality and atitude of the players is important.” Mancini’s team come into tonight’s match on the back of a 1-0 win over Istanbul rivals Besiktas and have not lost at home in 16 matches. Winger Aydın Yılmaz and defender Gökhan Zan are both available for selection having been sidelined through injury, while defender Aurelien Chedjou has missed their last four matches with a groin injury.

“We are trying to build a team for the future and we will play the way we always do, which is to try to win the game,” said Mourinho during his press conference yesterday, have seen his side escape with a fairly fortuitous win against Everton last Saturday. Mourinho’s former charges and old pals Wesley Sneijder and Didier Drogba will come face to face with their former manager tonight, while Chelsea could have to make do without the services of defender David Luiz and midfielder Oscar, who are both carrying knocks.

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