Pies’ disturbing reaction to Buckley furore

Collingwood is 1-3 and sits 14th on the ladder, losing to a young GWS side by 30 points on the weekend.A disastrous trade period saw the club lose Adam Treloar, Jaidyn Stephenson and Tom Phillips without gaining anything meaningful in return, and Buckley is under the pump to turn things around after the opening month of the season to extend his 10-year stay in the job.Watch the 2021 Toyota AFL Premiership Season. Every match of every round Live on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >A bombshell report this week revealed player unrest at Collingwood towards the coach and footy journalist Mark Robinson believes Buckley’s tenure is heading into its final stages.“My feeling is, and this is just my opinion, this is not fact, but there’s a sense of familiarity I’m feeling about what’s happening right now,” Robinson told AFL 360 on Tuesday night.“More often than not that ends with the departure of the coach. I think, and again this is only my opinion, we are seeing the start of the end of Nathan Buckley at Collingwood.”Eddie McGuire has long been a strong supporter of Buckley, but stepped down as president earlier this year after a damning report accused the Pies of fostering “systemic racism”. Robinson suggested one of the more disturbing aspects of Collingwood’s situation is the silence from key figures at the club, including influential board members Mark Korda and Peter Murphy, who he suggested could speak out to pour cold water on speculation about the coach’s future.“It seems to me at the moment that Nathan Buckley is on his own island. Where’s any of the public support from people in positions of power at that club?” Robinson said.“The fight over who’s (the next) president, park that — come out and say something, Mark Korda and Peter Murphy. I think there might be internal struggles … but someone say something.“I reckon a lot of them (board members) in their heart know whether Buckley is the man to rebuild this club. I honestly believe they do.“What else do they have to learn about Nathan Buckley? Now the small issue is, which could become a really big issue: How’s the relationship between Nathan Buckley and his players?”Referring to a review in 2017 after a poor season, in which McGuire backed Buckley to remain at the helm, Robinson’s AFL 360 co-host Gerard Whateley said “unless Buckley calls his own time at some point or the win-loss is so disastrous”, Collingwood “will likely face the same questions that they’ll have to answer again”.As Robinson pointed out, McGuire’s absence this time around means “it’s a whole new ball game” when it comes to Buckley’s position.Buckley prepared to stand downEarlier this year Buckley said in a wide-ranging interview he would be prepared to stand down as Collingwood coach at the end of the year, when his contract expires, if the Magpies decided it was best for the club to move in a new direction.“Those conversations take place consistently and it’s a really easy one because whatever’s best for the football club will occur,” Buckley told afl.com.au.“Our performances this year, no doubt, are going to have a say on what is best for the club going forward.“I don’t feel like I have to be the senior coach going forward if that’s the best thing for the club and I feel that I can still impact and help the club move towards contending consistently and winning flags well then I’ll put my hand up.“And if the club felt it was better to go in another direction then I would understand that. That conversation will be held in good faith and it’s not something that we’ll be addressing until later in the year.”How to find news on news.com.au

PSG 0-1 Bayern Munich (agg: 3-3): Champions League quarter-final, second leg – as it happened

Eric Choupo-Moting’s goal was not enough for the holders, who went out on the away goals rule after another stunning end-to-end contest

In the other tie, Chelsea went through against Porto as expected, though they were beaten 1-0 on the night. They’ll play Real Madrid or Liverpool in the semis.

Related: Chelsea v Porto: Champions League quarter-final, second leg – live!

Blimey. After all that, Paris Saint-Germain will play Manchester City or Borussia Dortmund in the semis. If this estimable, wildly emotional victory doesn’t make them believe they can win the Champions League, nothing ever will.

PSG have put the holders Bayern out in one of the greatest European quarter-finals of all time. Neymar is growling with delight, Mbappe smiling, and Mauricio Pochettino is embracing all his players with considerable feeling. There is so much mutual respect in the post-match hugs and handshakes between the two sets of players. It was a stunning game - not quite as eventful as last week, but even more dramatic because so much was at stake.


90+3 min Sane twists Bakker inside out again, this time in the area, but he picks the wrong cross and Navas stretches to claim at the near post.

90+2 min Hernandez makes a superb last-ditch tackle on Neymar, who looked set to finally score the goal he has threatened all night. Mbappe was square, desperate for a pass, but Hernandez did so well to partially block it off and make Neymar’s mind up for him.

90+1 min Sane’s inswinging cross is headed miles wide by Coman, who had to jump towards the ball at a very awkward angle. I think he was trying to knock it square to Musiala.

90 min Herrera is booked. Four minutes of added time.

89 min PSG are so close to an immense, triumphant defeat. Mbappe breaks one on one with Hernandez down the left, turns and plays the ball infield for Neymar, who is haring up in support with no Bayern outfield players near him. Neuer sprints outside his area and slides to poke the ball away from Neymar.

88 min Another PSG change: Angel Di Maria, who has had a terrific game, is replaced by Ander Herrera.

87 min Javi Martinez is playing as a centre forward.

86 min After a bit of pinball in the PSG area, Muller’s low shot is blocked by Kimpembe. The flag went up soon after, though whether that was for an offside before or after Muller’s shot I’ve no idea. It was a good chance for Muller: 12 yards out, in space, with the ball rolled slowly back towards him.

86 min “It’s been maligned, but situations like this for me show the value of the away goals rule,” says Paul McGrory. “A goal for Munich and the swing is huge, PSG go from in to out with no inbetween. Can’t think of another scenario in football where the draw or extra time is so removed, and you can see it affect the tension and intensity of the game.”

Yep. I feel slightly guilty for loving it, but I love it.

85 min A slightly strange Bayern substitution: Javi Martinez is on for Choupo-Moting.

84 min Coman’s shot deflects behind for a corner. The level of desperation is quite something.

83 min AT THE OTHER BLOODY END, Di Maria cuts inside on the edge of the area and has a shot blocked.

82 min: So close from Sane! He twisted Bakker inside out, a textbook bit of skill, and guided a cross-shot just wide of the far post. Muller was desperate for a square ball but Sane hedged his bets with the cross-shot.

81 min A free-kick to Bayern on the left wing. Kimmich’s dangerous inswinger is headed up in the air by a PSG defender, and then a panicked Navas runs into his own man Paredes and flattens him. The referee, bizarrely, gives a free-kick against Bayern for the foul by the PSG goalkeeper Navas on the PSG midfielder Paredes.

79 min Mbappe threatens to go through again, this time legitimately, and Hernandez does superbly to dispossess him.

78 min: Mbappe has a goal disallowed! He was put through by Neymar, just past the halfway line, and charged through on Neuer before roofing the ball spectacularly. Then the flag went up, and VAR confirmed it was the correct decision.

77 min Neymar spins a majestic pass out to Kean with the outside of his left foot. He runs confidently at Pavard in the area ... and then wallops the ball into orbit.

76 min Lots of Bayern pressure now. You’d hope so, in the circumstances.

74 min Boateng fouls Neymar on the halfway line. One thing Neymar has done very well tonight, apart from hit the woodwork, is to draw fouls, with each one eating up time and stalling Bayern’s momentum.

74 min Normally in this situation, the popular cliche is ‘Bayern will get one chance, it’s up to them to take it’. But in this game, I’m tempted to say that each team will get at least five more chances.

73 min A PSG change: Julian Draxler off, Moise Kean on.

72 min “All this ‘attacking play’ and ‘quality’ and ‘excitement’ is all well and good,” says Matt Dony, “but it’s no 2003 final, is it? Proper, pure football.”

Related: Juventus 0 - 0 Milan (aet; Milan won 3-2 on penalties)

71 min The marvellous Jamal Musiala comes on to replace Alphonso Davies. That means Alaba will go to left-back.

69 min Sane’s very deep cross from the right hangs in the air forever on its way to the unmarked Coman.He cushions a careful header into the six-yard box, where Paredes makes a desperate clearance just in front of ... a Bayern player, I haven’t a clue who it was and I’m not rewinding it because I’ll probably miss four goals.

69 min Mbappe concedes a corner, which sums up how hard PSG are working defensively, and how desperate they are to see this through. Nothing comes of the corner.

68 min Muller is booked for a late tackle on Paredes, who takes the opportunity to waste 20 seconds. Every little helps.

66 min The ghosts of Champions League past must be running riot in the heads of the PSG players. But if they get through this, they’ll feel like they beat anyone and finally win the bloody thing.

65 min Draxler’s dangerous low cross is claimed well by Neuer.

63 min Choupo-Moting is penalised for fouling Dagba as they jumped for a deep cross. That looked like a 50/50 call, and had the referee not blown his whistle, Coman would have had a clear shot from 10 yards.

62 min: Chance for Bayern! Sane cuts inside Bakker and angles a stunning pass into the area for Muller, who runs on the blind side of Kimpembe and twists to hit a first-time shot that is crucially smothered by Navas. The ball rebounds off Muller and behind for a goalkick. If Navas was at fault for the goal, he’s partially made up for it with two or three terrific saves since.

61 min Can’t we just put them both through, like they do in Masterchef?

60 min A reminder, as if you need one, that PSG are ahead on the away goals rule.

59 min Mitchel Bakker replaces Diallo at left-back.

58 min “Please pass along to Mr. Bommen that if he can stand listening to Spanish commentary, Champions League games can be watched over the air on Univision,” says Matt Burtz (and a few others - thanks).

57 min An injury blow for PSG. Abdou Diallo’s left hamstring can take no more, and he’s going to have to come off.

55 min Dagba is booked for fouling Coman.

53 min: GLORIOUS BLOODY FOOTBALL SKILL AND DRAMA! Mbappe, on the left edge of the area, drives a superb angled pass to Di Maria, eight yards from goal at the far post. He controls it on the chest, then shifts it away from Davies in the same movement. Neuer flies out so Di Maria pokes the ball through his legs and across the face of goal, where the stretching Neymar is this close to putting it into the empty net. “That’s a Paul Gascoigne moment,” says the BT Sport commentator Paul Dempsey. Indeed it was. The skill from Di Maria was glorious.

53 min Alaba is booked for pulling back Neymar. He wasn’t on a card going into the game.

52 min I feel like I’ve used the phrase ‘at the other end’ more in this tie than ever before, such is the speed with which the game moves from one end to the other. Talking of which, at the other end Coman shoots high and wide from 25 yards.

52 min Neuer charges from his area to beat Mbappe to yet another through ball. To say Bayern are living on the edge is an appreciable understatement.

50 min At the other end, Pavard’s cross deflects behind for a corner. The pace is spectacular; it’s like a basketball game being played at 1.5x speed. Early doors and all, but this has to be up there with the greatest European Cup quarter-finals ever played.

Related: The Joy of Six: European Cup quarter-finals

49 min A PSG free-kick is half cleared to Paredes, 35 yards from goal. He flips a nice pass over the defence to Neymar, who takes it down elegantly on the chest and lifts a half-volley over the bar. That was a really tough chance, for most people anyway.

47 min Sane’s fast, flat cross just evades the head of Muller, stooping forward at the near post. Choupo-Moting, at the far post, can’t kill an awkward ball and it eventually rebounds to the edge of the area. Alaba picks up possession and sweeps a fine shot just wide of the far post. This is deliciously tense.

47 min “Not sure how you can call that Navas save a mistake before Choupo-Oting headed it in,” says Robert Lin. “He did incredibly well just to keep out the shot in the first place. Why Alaba was alone in eight yards out is the real question. Navas is the only reason PSG are still in this tie.”

You might be right Mrs Navas, I’ll have another look. We barely get time to look at a replay, never mind form a watertight opinion, when the game is this eventful.

46 min Peep peep!

“I’m just wondering who you had to kiss up to at Guardian Towers to get this MBM,” says Espen Bommen. “You are actually getting PAID to watch this! Over here in the US it’s on a streaming channel so I am paying $10 a month for basically just the Champions League. This game is worth every penny!!”

We’re very lucky, it’s true, but working in the MBM bunker isn’t without its downsides.

Half-time reading

Related: David Squires on … how a streaker tried to end the great Alexander-Arnold Wars

That was another mesmeric 45 minutes. Neymar hit the post twice and the bar for PSG, who were terrifyingly incisive on the break. Bayern smothered PSG and created plenty of half and three-quarter chances before the much maligned Eric Choupo-Moting headed them in front after a mistake from Keylor Navas. PSG are still on course for the semi-finals, just. More, please!

45+2 min: Sane misses an excellent chance! He broke dangerously into the area, hugging the ball on his left as Diallo (I think) backpedalled. Eventually he opened his body to steer a curling shot towards the far corner. At least that was the plan: it was straight at Navas and he saved comfortably.

45 min Two minutes of added time. CAN WE NOT MAKE IT TWO YEARS PLEASE.

45 min The resulting corner leads to a brief game of head tennis in the PSG area. They really need half-time.

44 min PSG are still ahead in the tie, but only on the away goals rule. Alaba tries to change that with a sweet, swirling strike from 25 yards that is pushed away by the flying Navas. That’s a fine save.

42 min Mbappe beats two defenders with a series of stepovers and drags a low shot just wide of the far post. The referee had blown for something, I think obstruction by Neymar on a Bayern defender, so it wouldn’t have counted.

It came down the Bayern left, where Coman - who has had a great first half - beat Dagba and crossed into the middle. Muller steered the bouncing ball deftly into the path of Alaba, whose low shot from eight yards was saved by Navas. But he could only spoon the ball up in the air, and Choupo-Moting muscled Kimpembe out of the way and headed into the net from close range. That’s a mistake from Navas.

And now Bayern have taken the lead!

39 min: Now Neymar hits the post! This is extraordinary. Neymar played a fine pass to release Mbappe, who gave it back to Neymar in the area. He slid a low shot that beat Neuer and hit the post. I’d love to describe it in more detail, but there’s no time because...

39 min Bayern don’t have many attacking options on the bench, just Jamal Musiala really. They are starting to look a little desperate.

37 min: Neymar hits the bar! Ah that was sheer delightful football. Di Maria’s free-kick was headed away to Neymar, 25 yards out in the inside-left channel. He chopped the ball behind his standing leg to beat Coman, then moved inside on his right foot and shaped a delicious curling shot that hit the top of the bar.

36 min Boateng is penalised for roughhousing Mbappe on the left wing. Bayern haven’t a clue how to defend against him.

35 min Replays suggest that Neymar shot’s in fact hit the post. I’m not sure whether Neuer got a touch as well - and either way I think he had it covered - but it definitely hit the post.

34 min Neuer denies Neymar for the third time tonight. Neymar hypnotised Hernandez on the edge of the area with a series of stepovers, then shifted the ball inside and crashed a left-footed shot towards the near post. Neuer plunged to his left to push it away.

34 min This is a good spell for PSG, their best of the match.

32 min Mbappe, just inside the Bayern half, is wrongly flagged offside after being put through on the right wing by Di Maria. It’s hard to see Mbappe going the full 90 minutes without getting a one on one.

31 min This is so good. The pace of the game is barely legal.

28 min Neymar beats Hernandez with a brilliant turn, then falls over and appeals for a penalty. Both players were pulling each other’s shirts, so the referee gives nothing.

27 min: Brilliant save from Neuer! A stunning counter-attack from PSG almost ends in a goal. Di Maria curled a crisp pass down the left to Mbappe, who beat the offside trap and played a superb square ball to the unmarked Neymar on the other side of the area. Neuer charged from his line to block the shot. Mbappe needed eyes in the side of his head to see that pass.

27 min Now Kimmich drives just wide from 20 yards after Bayern win the ball high up the field. His scream of frustration tells you that it was a pretty decent opportunity. PSG really need a breather, or a goal.

26 min A majestic flick from Choupo-Moting finds Sane, charging infield from the right. He manipulates the ball nicely on the run but then curls tamely wide from 20 yards. That was a decent chance.

25 min Danilo makes two important clearances in the space of 10 seconds. Bayern are applying a helluva lot of pressure now.

23 min Coman, who has started superbly, wins the ball 30 yards from the PSG goal and finds Muller on the left of the penalty area. His low cross is cleared. After a slowish start, this is beginning to engage the viscera.

22 min Coman beats Dagba with a lovely feint and stabs a cross that hits Danilo and goes behind for a corner. I think the ball hit his arm, though it was down by his side and there’s no VAR interruption. Kimmich’s corner is headed away by Mbappe. Bayern are starting to rev up.

21 min “With all due respect to Princes,” begins Peter Oh, “could the PSG ground be renamed Parc des Bus, just for today?”

19 min Kimmich sprays a terrific pass out to Coman on the left. He plays in the overlapping Davies, whose cutback misses everyone at the near post. The ball comes to Kimmich, backing up the play on the edge of the area, but his touch is slightly too heavy. PSG break terrifyingly, three on three, but Di Maria’s scoop over the defence runs through to Neuer.

18 min Di Maria is receiving treatment after being fouled by Davies. He’s in quite a lot of pain but is going to continue.

15 min Davies zips infield and finds Choupo-Moting, whose touch lets him down on the edge of the area. He looks like a man who is painfully aware of who he is replacing.

13 min It’s been a relatively comfortable start for PSG. Bayern have had their moments but there hasn’t been the onslaught that Mauricio Pochettino would have feared. Yet.

11 min “Gotta love those Sopranos malapropisms (see 19.28),” says Michal Pac Pomarnacki. “My favourite one is Little Carmine’s ‘the sacred and the propane’ closely followed by Bobby’s ‘Quasimodo predicted all this’.”

9 min At the other end, Mbappe scorches past Pavard and cuts the ball back towards Neymar at the near post. Hernandez gets there first, but his clearance hits Kimmich and rebounds towards Neymar on the six-yard line. His shot on the turn is very well smothered by Neuer.

9 min Bayern are looking dangerous. Sane cuts inside from the right, past three players, and angles a pass to Coman on the left side of the area. His first-time cross is poor and PSG clear, for about two seconds. Kimmich picks up the loose ball and floats it into the area, where Muller arrives and tries to find Choupo Moting with a clever backheader. He gets too much on it and Navas claims.

7 min Coman runs onto a long ball down the left and plays it back to Choupo-Moting just inside the area. He dithers for half a second and is crowded out by PSG defenders. That wasn’t a bad opportunity.

6 min Bayern are trying to pin PSG back, as they did for most of the first leg. The full-backs Davies and Pavard have already had plenty of the ball in the final third.

3 min Neymar plays the ball down the right wing to Mbappe, who looks offside but is allowed to continue and leaves everyone in his slipstream. He cuts into the area and drives a low shot across the face of goal. The angle was really tight, so it wasn’t much of a chance.

1 min Kimmich, who will miss the first leg of the semi-final if he is booked, leaves an early one on Paredes.

1 min Peep peep! Bayern kick off from left to right. Both teams are wearing their home strips.

The players stand to attention for the Champions League theme. Most shift on the spot; Kylian Mbappe stares straight ahead, like the killer he is. What a bloody footballer.

“Prediction, Rob?” says John Ryan. “I see a PSG win; in games like this where everyone is focusing on one team (here Bayern) needing to win and how, it so often ends up being the other (here PSG) who ends up strolling it...”

If Bayern don’t pick up any more injuries, I think they’ll do it. But - newsflash - I don’t really have a clue.

“At 63, and a Spurs supporter since 1967, I became a PSG fan the moment Poch took over,” writes Michael A. “I will never forgive Levy for not backing him and hiring Jose. Wouldn’t it be the coldest meal ever served should Poch win the CL?”

That’s what they say.

Pre-match reading

Related: Pochettino urges PSG to boost home form in Bayern Munich test

PSG make one change from the first leg: Leandro Paredes, available again after suspension, replaces the injured Marquinhos. Danilo, who started in midfield in Munich, will move into the back four. Marco Verratti is on the bench after recovering from Covid.

Bayern have made two changes, both enforced. The injured Niklas Sule and Leon Goretzka are replaced by Alphonso Davies and Jerome Boateng. That means David Alaba will move into midfield alongside Joshua Kimmich. Bayern’s injury list is such that they have only seven substitutes, most of them very inexperienced.

The permutations

Bayern need to win by two clear goals, or by any margin having scored at least four. Unlikely, but not beyond the realms given last week’s excitement.

Hello and welcome to live coverage of Paris Saint-Germain v Bayern Munich from the Parc des Princes. If this game is half as entertaining as the first leg, then it’ll be 50 per cent as exciting. That match, which ended 3-2 to PSG, was a classic of its kind; a week later I am still struggling to recall a game with so few lulls in the action.

Tonight’s match could be even more exhilarating, mainly because the stakes are higher. There are no second chances; by 11pm tonight, one of the favourites will be out of the Champions League. And last week’s result means that, unless we get to the stage where Bayern lead 3-2 tonight, the tie will never be level. One of the teams will always need a goal (or two, in Bayern’s case, as things stand) to avoid elimination.

Continue reading...

Chelsea v Porto: Champions League quarter-final, second leg – live!

Stay tuned. We’ve still got post-match reaction from Chelsea manager Tommy T and a match report from Sid Lowe to come.

Meanwhile in Paris: Holders Bayern Munich have gone out, eliminated by Paris Saint-Germain on away goals after a 1-0 win for the German side in the second leg.

Related: PSG 0-1 Bayern Munich (agg: 3-3, PSG win on away goals): Champions League quarter-final, second leg – live!

It was not a good game. But Chelsea will not care. Mehdi Taremi gave them a late scare, leaping high to score with a shinned right-foot bicycle kick into the top corner from 12 yards after connecting with a Nanu cross from the right. It was the one moment of high quality in a fairly dreary contest in which Porto were thoroughly underwhelming. It’s job done for Chelsea, who will face Real Madrid or Liverpool in the last four.

Peep! Peep! Peeeeeeeeep! It’s all over in Seville, where Chelsea have advanced to the semi-finals of the Champions League with a minimum of fuss.

90 +4 min: Scrap that, he shinned it. It’s a 6.2 on the Sinclair Spectrum.

Porto score: Taremi scores with an astonishing overhead kick. It’s an 8.8 on the Sinclair Spectrum but I’d need to see it again.

90+3 min: Through on goal with only Marchesin to beat, Pulisic takes one touch too many and allows the goalkeeper to save at his feet.

90+2 min: Chelsea substitution: Olivier Giroud on for Kai Havertz.

89 min: Pulisic is getting battered here ... and not in a good way. He’s on the deck again after being fouled once again. I didn’t spot the perpetrator on this occasion. We’ll have four minutes worth of extras.

89 min: And another, as they play down the clock keeping the ball by the corner flag.

88 min: Luis Diaz is booked for a foul on Pulisic. From the free-kick, Chelsea win a corner.

87 min: Pulisic tries to put Ziyech in behind with a ball into space from inside his own half. It’s a tired effort that’s nowhere near the substitute.

85 min: Chelsea substitution: Hakim Ziyech on for Mason Mount.

83 min: Porto substitution: Sergio Oliveira off, Fabio Vieira on.

82 min: This has been very disappointing from Porto, who were a lot better in the first leg. I think Chelsea may have, even on a subconsious level, underestimated them a little in that game, a mistake they weren’t going to make twice.

81 min: Time to start time-wasting, Chelsea. Thiago Silva obliges, going down in his own box under no pressure from anyone. There’s a pause as he receives treatment.

80 min: From that one, Rudiger puts it out for a third in quick succession at the near post. Oliveira sends the ball in but it ends up in the arms of Benjamin Mendy. Chelsea look like they could comfortably defend these set pieces all night.

79 min: From that corner, Porto win another – Reece James putting the ball out.

77 min: Marchesin is forced to the edge of his box to gather a through ball. Porto really need to get the collective finger out - they’ve been fairly pedestrian and very toothless, considering what’s at stake here. They win a corner.

75 min: Porto triple-substitution: Nanu, Luis Diaz and Evanilson on for Wilson Manata, Jesus Corona and Moussa Marega.

74 min: Corona is booked for a pull on the shirt of Jorginho.

73 min: There’s a triple-substitution “ahoy” from Porto. Thiago Silva sticks out a leg and puts a Chancel Mbemba cross into the Chelsea penalty area out of play. That looks like it could have gone anywhere.

72 min: Mendy shepherds the ball out of play under pressure from Taremi as the striker chases a long ball from the back in vain.

69 min: Pepe gives the ball away with a loose pass, prompting Kante to ping the ball forward for Pulisic. His first touch lets him down, taking him wide of the Porto goal, where Pepe makes amends for his original error by relieving him of the ball.

67 min: Manafa loses the ball and Chelsea break on the counter. Manafa recovers well enough to foul Pulisic and put a stop to his gallop but avoids a booking.

64 min: Taremi directs a header from about 12 yards towards the bottom corner. Benjamin Mendy saves. There wasn’t much pace on the looping cross from Corona, so the substitute was unable to get much venom behind his effort.

63 min: Porto substitution: Mehdi Taremi on for Marko Grujic - a striker with 15 goals to his name this season on for a midfielder.

62 min: Pepe and Sanusi combine down the left at pace but the full-back’s cross is too close to Benjamin Mendy, who grabs it gratefully.

61 min: Scrappiness abound with little of note to report. It looks like Porto are preparing to make a change.

58 min: Good defending from Wilson Manafa, who gets across to put in a stout block on Mason Mount as the Chelsea midfielder bore down on goal from the inside left and pulled the trigger. On the touchline, Porto manager Sergio Conceciao gets booked, presumably for dissent.

55 min: Now Chelsea put Porto under the cosh for a bit, also without threatening the opposition goal.

54 min: Pulisic fails to react quickly enough to steer a high velocity Ben Chilwell pull-back goalwards. He shins it with his right peg and the ball drifts harmlessly wide.

53 min: Reece James repels another Porto attrack, putting the ball out of play for a throw-in. Chelsea are under sustained pressure here but Porto still haven’t had a shot on target.

52 min: Porto win two corners in quick succession. Oliveira tries to pick out Pepe at the near post with the second one but Antonio Rudiger clears with a header.

49 min: While you wouldn’t say Porto have been playing with the handbrake on, at some point they’re going to have cut loose and throw caution to the wind. If theydo happen to score twice, which is looking unlikely, they would go into extra time as the “away” team with the added value that brings to any goals they might score in the extra half-hour. Chelsea, by contrast, would not enjoy the advantage of having a “home” crowd cheering them on for those extra 30 minutes. It’s not really fair, is it?

47 min: Neat work in a confined area from Chilwell and Kante over by the touchline by the halfway line keeps the ball in play as Chelsea try to get forward.

46 min: Play resumes with no changes in personnel on either side. Almost immediately, Sergio Oliveira is booked for a foul on Pulisic. He’s caught bang to rights but shakes his head sadly at referee Clement Turpin’s apparent impetuousness.

Peep! It’s all sqaure at the break, a scrappy half drawing to a close. Porto had the pick of what few chances there were, with the topically named Jesus Corona failing to capitalise on a Benjamin Mendy error before snatching at a presentable opportunity after good work by Chancel Mbemba, only to send the ball sailing over the bar. Chelsea remain in the box seat.

45 min: A Sergio Oliveira header towards the edge of the Chelsea box is cleared by Cesar Azpilicueta.

42 min: The game continues to be punctuated by one foul after another. It’s not a great spectacle but no Chelsea fans watching it will mind.

40 min: Elsewhere in the Champions League, Bayern Munich have just gone ahead against Paris Saint-Germain, with Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting bundling home a header from about one yard out. It’s 3-3 on aggregate in that one but PSG still have the advantage on away goals.

39 min: More niggle as Pepe fouls Pulisic in the centre-circle.

38 min: Rudiger gives the ball away to Grujic, who advances on the Chelsea penalty area. He runs into traffic and the ball is cleared.

37 min: The deadlock remains unbroken with Chelsea holding a two-goal aggregate lead. Uribe tries to halve the deficit from distance but his low and fairly feeble effort is blocked.

34 min: Chancel Mbemba it was with the pass for Corona and it was a beauty that deserved a more composed and accurate finish.

32 min: Chance! Jesus Corona manages to give Ben Chilwell the slip, spinning the defneder to get on a pass from deep. His first touch is good and he attempts to blast the ball past Benjamin Mendy from 10 yards or so but balloons it over the bar. He had more time than he realised to pick his spot and should have scored.

31 min: Picked out by an excellent pass from Jorginho, Kante over hits his long diagonal towards Ben Chilwell. Goal kick for Porto.

30 min: Pepe is the latest go down in a heap, fouled by Pulisic. This is very, very scrappy, which will suit Chelsea just fine.

27 min: Pepe makes a crucial block, cutting out a Havertz cross from the right with Chelsea attacking on the break and Mount waiting in the centre. The ball finds its way back to Havertz, who attempts to cross again. It’s Pepe to the rescue again, this time conceding a corner. It’s taken and Porto struggle to clear their lines until the ball goes out for a throw-in off Ben Chilwell.

25 min: Oliveira is penalised for a foul on Pulisic in a game that has plenty of side-niggle going on.

24 min: A quarter of the way through the game and both teams will be fairly satisfied with their evening’s work so far. Porto have had the upper hand without laying much of a glove on Chelsea, who are defending well and looking dangerous on the break.

21 min: Jesus Corona is flat on his back down near the corner flag after running into Jorginho. He’ll live.

19 min: Otavio sends the ball into the Chelsea penalty area, where Grujic gets his head to it. Ben Chilwell clears at the back post and Chelsea attack on the break with Kante on the ball. He holds the ball up well and Reece James ends up being teed up on the edge of the box by Mason Mount. He pulls a poor effort well wide.

18 min: Throw-in for Porto deep in CHelsea territory after Thiago Silva put the ball out. It’s taken and Marega wins a corner off Rudiger.

16 min: Porto have looked more threatening than Chelsea in these early stages, without creating any particularly good chances. A goal for the Portuguese side would really put the cat among the pigeons. Or indeed, the swallows.

15 min: The camera cuts to Thomas Tuchel on the Chelsea bench, where he looks to be having quite the animated conversation with himself.

13 min: Otavio is fouled by Jorginho, who lunges in to stop him advancing up the field. Nothing comes of the free-kick and moments later, Havertz is penalised for a foul on Pepe, wide on the right, a long way out.

11 min: From 12 yards out and a tight angle, Jesus Corona tries to sidefoot into an empty net after a hideous piece of miscontrol from Benjamin Mendy as he fielded a backpass. Jorginho is on hand to get a crucial deflection. The ball goes out for a corner, from which nothing comes.

10 min: Free-kick for Porto after a Pulisic foul on Sergio Oliveiro in the centre-circle.

9 min: Reece James twists and turns under pressure from Zaidu Sanussi out on the right flank. He eventually gets a cross in, but it’s straight into the hands of Marchesin at the near post.

7 min: Mason Mount picks up the ball and shuffles and shimmies towards the edge of the Porto penalty area. He unleashes a shot which is deflected off a defender.

6 min: Porto right-back Wilson Manafa slings a cross to the far post, where Otavio and Uribe try to link up. The ball rolls wide.

5 min: Moussa Marega has a scuffed shot from a tight angle blocked after being teed up by Mateus Uribe. Porto have started well.

3 min: Kai Havertz goes to ground holding the back of his head after contesting a high ball with Pepe. It was a 50-50 challenge, although Pepe did sort of lead with his arm.

2 min: N’Golo Kante breaks up a Porto attack on the edge of Chelsea’s penalty area and sends his team on their way. A long diagonal ball is playeed towards Reece James on the right flank but he’s unable to keep it in play.

1 min: Agustin Marchesin gets an early touch in the Porto goal, fielding a backpass comfortably under pressure. The sound of swallows screeching is now the only thing I can hear.

1 min: Chelsea get the ball rolling, their players wearing blue shirts and shorts with white socks. Porto’s wear white shirts and shorts with blue socks.

Crikey! You can actually hear the shrill tweeting of said swallows on the pitchside microphones. Sounds like quite the invasion.

Not long now: With each skipper brandishing a club pennant, Cesar Azpilicueta and Pepe lead their respective sides out behind referee Clement Turpin and his team of match officials on a warm night in Seville.

According to Sid Lowe, the Guardian’s man in the stadium, there are lots of bugs making fizzing around making him itchy, but there’s a flight of swallows on hand to gobble them up. The last of the pre-match formalities get under way and kick-off is not too far away.

Thomas Tuchel speaks: He tells BT Sport that Mateo Kovacic picked up a light injury in training yesterday and is out. He also reveals that Andreas Christensen is not fully recovered from the muscle injury he sustained in the first leg. “We have Thiago back but not too many changes because we are on a good run and the squad feels confident that this is the moment to go,” he says.

BT Sport: Rio Ferdinand and Joe Cole are the studio pundits tonight, in the company of Gary Lineker, and it doesn’t seem to have crossed any of their minds that Chelsea might actually go out tonight.

Of course everything is in the London side’s favour ahead of kick-off, but I thought Porto were fairly unlucky to lose 2-0 last week. They’re a good team and I have a feeling they might give Chelsea plenty to think about, particularly if they can score first. Whoever does go through will face Liverpool or Real Madrid in the semi-finals.

Those teams: No big surprises in the Chelsea side, who will line up in a 3-4-3 with Kai Havertz, presumably, in a kind of floating False Nine role.

Of course it is dangerous to presume anything, as I thought Mehdi Taremi was a certainty to start for Porto, but he is on the bench. On loan from Liverpool, Marko Grujic keeps his place in midfield and local paper the Echo reported today that the 25-year-old Serbian has no shortage of admirers in Serie A and the Bundesliga. Sergio Oliveira, as expect, starts.

Chelsea: Mendy, Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva, Rudiger, James, Jorginho, Kante, Chilwell, Mount, Havertz, Pulisic

Subs: Caballero, Kepa, Christensen, Zouma, Alonso, Emerson, Hudson-Odoi, Ziyech, Abraham, Giroud, Werner

Kai Havertz, Christian Pulisic, Mason Mount and Thiago Silva start for Chelsea. We’ll have the full line-ups for you very shortly.

Thomas Tuchel speaks: “We don’t approach games like this or change the approach,” said the Chelsea manager, upon being asked if his side would be more passive tonight, considering their lead. “For us it is important that we focus on us, play the best game possible as this increases the chances to have a result. In terms of a result, it is easier for Porto because they need to score three goals to get through, for them if it is clear. For us, if we start in this way then we could completely lose our heads. I hope we embrace the challenge and feel it.”

Sergio Conceicao speaks: “We have to be a compact, cohesive team,” said Porto’s manager, when asked how his side would approach the game. “We have to score goals, but also to avoid conceding. We were good in the first leg, but not very good; if we were, we would have won. We will try to improve on what was a good team performance.

Related: Thomas Tuchel tells Chelsea to focus on the present and seal progress past Porto

Chelsea have a full squad to choose from, which is no mean feat at this point in a gruelling season, although Andreas Christensen is a doubt due to a tight hamstring. Out of form and favour, Tammy Abraham was also a doubt but is expected to be fit if required.

Seville’s Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium is the venue as the players of Chelsea and Porto reconvene for the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final. Chelsea are the “home” team tonight and carry a two-goal advantage into the second leg but Porto can take heart from a decent performance in defeat, despite the absence through suspension of arguably their two best attackers, Sérgio Oliveira and Mehdi Taremi.

Both players are expected to line up tonight and while Chelsea have a crucial advantage they will be well aware theirs is only a job half-done. Kick-off in Seville is at 8pm, but stay tuned in the meantime for team news and build-up.

Related: Mason Mount’s star turn and Chilwell give Chelsea advantage over Porto

Continue reading...