Willian wants Chelsea and Brazil starting places as he prepares for Premier League life

chelseafc.com

New Chelsea striker Willian has set himself two targets – to win a place in Jose Mourinho’s starting line-up at Stamford Bridge and to play in his home World Cup in Brazil next summer.

The 25-year-old opted to play for , joining for £30million from Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala, .

And Willian, who also attracted a bid from Liverpool, believes he can grab Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari’s attention if he can beat Chelsea’s plethora of stars to a starting place.

"I know that I haven’t secured my spot here, but I will do my best to achieve that place, while respecting the other players," Willian told Brazilian media outlet Globo Esporte.

"I will train, play and do my best to get the trust of the manager and of the fans.

"There is no doubt English football is very big, with huge visibility. I hope that helps me to be called up for the national team – but of course that depends on me.

"I will have to play and prove I deserve that spot. I first have to become a regular starter, then play well and be called up [by Brazil], this is my goal."

Willian faces a tough task in dislodging talents such as Eden Hazard, Oscar and Juan Mata from the Chelsea line-up, as well as Andre Schurrle and Kevin De Bruyne.

But the Brazilian, who Mourinho insists the Blues fans should so patience to, believing he will need time to find his feet in the more physical Premier League, is relishing the challenge.

"Chelsea came with an offer and everyone knows that I wanted to play for the club since I was at Shakhtar," he said.

"It shook me, but I didn’t think twice. As both presidents [Suleyman Kerimov and Roman Abramovich] are friends, that helped too. It was a very easy negotiation.

"The Brazilians [at Chelsea] called me, especially David Luiz, who told me to come quickly. I was very happy to have them around and they will certainly help me a lot.

" , who is the best at what he does.

"When I had a day off, I came to watch the club’s games, so I am more than happy for having made this transfer become true."

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Heung-Min Son turned down Manchester United move in summer, says agent

South Korean international Heung-Min Son chose to join Bayer Leverkusen over Manchester United, according to his agent.

The 21-year-old joined the German club from fellow Bundesliga side Hamburg for €10million, believing Sami Hypia’s side the best step for his career at this stage.

Son had attracted his interest from Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City, but his agent Thies Bliemeister revealed there were talks to take him to United.

“Manchester United were also interested in him,” Bliemeister told German newspaper Bild.

“We held talks. Manchester City also contacted HSV. The interest was a great honour for Son, but Leverkusen just made the best impression. And, as a transitional step, Bayer is ideal for his career.”

United, who face Leverkusen in the Champions League on Tuesday next week, endured a difficult summer in the transfer market, missing out on players including , Thiago Alcantara, and Ander Herrera.

Bild also reported brother Martin – who worked as the club’s chief European scout – had been to watch Son on several occasions.

Qatar World Cup can be moved to winter, say Europe's top clubs

Getty

Europe’s top football clubs accept it is "probably better" to move the 2022 World Cup in Qatar from summer to winter – but have urged FIFA not to make a rash decision.

The president of world football’s governing body, Sepp Blatter, has called for the tournament to be rescheduled to avoid playing the tournament in mid-summer temperatures of up to 50C.

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, chairman of the European Club Association, says his members agree with Blatter in principle – but that nothing should be done too soon.

"We’re not in a hurry, there are still nine years to go," said Rummenigge following the ECA’s general assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.

"The feeling is it is probably better to play it in winter."

Blatter told InsideWorldFootball.com yesterday that it "may" have been a mistake to hand the tournament to the tiny Gulf state – and that he wants his executive committee to support his call for a switch at their next meeting in Zurich on October 4.

But Rummenigge countered: "I don’t understand why FIFA would like to make an early decision.

"I personally believe there is no hurry.

"Having the World Cup in Qatar is not a mistake.

"But we are requesting a solution which in the end does not affect our business too much."

He added: "After visiting Qatar at our last general assembly we had a good feeling about the organisation of a World Cup there."

UEFA president Michel Platini says he voted for Qatar in December, 2010, expecting the tournament would be played in the winter.

"We will have a discussion in Dubrovnik but we will do it very carefully in the right way," Rummenigge said.

"We have to be very careful in terms of how much a change from summer to a different time would impact on our business.

"We want guarantees that we are involved in the decision-making process."

Getty 

Meanwhile, the body embracing Europe’s top leagues, including the Premier League, which is fiercely opposed to a winter World Cup, has also demanded that FIFA refrain from imposing any "artificial deadlines."

In a statement released from its Swiss headquarters, the European Professional Football Leagues said: "The EPFL…is of the view that no hasty decision shall be made by the FIFA executive committee of October 3-4 considering…such an important decision cannot be rushed with artificial deadlines as the concerned FIFA World Cup will take place in nine years.

"The feasibility of any change to the calendar involves every aspect of football organisation across all countries, from the grass roots to the major national representative tournaments and the leagues.

"Any suggestion of staging the World Cup at a time other than the traditional period is a crucial issue for the European Leagues considering the impact on the organisation of domestic championships throughout Europe, and of the international football calendar around the world.

"Prior to any decision, the side effects on the international calendar of a possible rescheduling should be assessed through an extensive fact-based analysis taking into account the potential clash with other major international events, for instance the Winter Olympic Games."

Fifa 14 soundtrack announced: Featuring Miles Kane, Bloc Party and Vampire Weekend

The has been announced, and features the regular mix of internationally renowned bands, and people we’ve never heard of.

We can all remember the classic Fifa songs that played in the background while we wasted away the hours of our free-time trying to take our team to the .

But does the soundtrack look like it will be up to par? A quick browse through YouTube suggests it will be, here’s our top picks for the songs you’ve never previously heard of but that you’ll know all the words to by Christmas.

Best song by an American band you’ve never heard of:

Smallpools – Dreaming

on . 

This song has ‘Fifa’ written all over it, it’s the type of song that will play in the background while you’re reading your email inbox in Manager Mode.

 

Best song by a British artist you’ve never heard of:

Amplify Dot – Get Down

 

This was the first song announced for the soundtrack, and ever since that momentous day in May, we knew it was a keeper. It’s loud, it’s brash, it’s the song that plays in the background while you tell your opponent how many goals you’re going to score past their shoddy back-four.

 

Best random Scandinavian song that eventually becomes ingrained in your inner psyche:

The Royal Concept – On Our Way

 

The song that comes on after you lose an important match, conceding two goals in the dying minutes. This song gives you a small amount of bittersweet comfort, before you decide to put your keeper in the reserves until he stops letting in goals at the near post.

 

Best (only) band from New Zealand:

The Naked and Famous – Hearts Like Ours

on . 

This is definitely the song that plays when you leave the game on the start menu and go to make a cup of tea. Fifa and EA Sport have 100% nailed ‘dreary/relaxing start menu music’.

 

Best song in a foreign language that you’ll know all the lyrics/phonetics to by Christmas:

Illya Kuryaki & The Vaderramas – Funky Futurista

on . 

Every Fifa needs something funky, something with a little bit of that samba vibe to allow us to get the passes flowing. This is the funky song for Fifa 14.

 

Full list of music featured on Fifa 14 soundtrack:

American Authors — Hit itAmplify Dot – Get DownBloc Party – RatchetChvrches – We SinkCrystal Fighters – Love NaturalDan Croll – Compliment Your SoulDavid Dallas – RunninDe Staat – Down Town – (Released Soon)Disclosure – F For YouEmpire of The Sun – AliveFoals – My Number (Trophy Wife Remi)Grouplove – I’m With YouGuards – I Know It’s YouIllya Kuryaki & The Vaderramas – Funky FuturistaJamie N Commons – Marathon – (Released Soon)John Newman – Love Me AgainKarol Conka — Boa NoiteLos Rakas — Hot – (Released Soon)Marcelo D2 — Voce Diz Que O Amor Nao DoiMiles Kane — Don’t Forget Who You AreNine Inch Nails — Copy of AOK Kid — Am EndeOliver — MechanicalOlympic Ayres — MagicPortugal. The Man — Purple Yellow Red and BlueRobert Delong — HereRock Mafia feat. Wyclef Jean & David Correy — I Am – (Released Soon)Smallpools — DreamingThe 1975 — The CityThe Chain Gang of 1974 — MikoThe Colourist — Little Games (St. Lucia Remix)The Naked and Famous — Hearts Like OursThe Royal Concept — On Our WayVampire Weekend — Worship YouWretch 32 — 24 Hours – (Released Soon)You Me At Six — Lived A Lie

Ukraine 0-0 England: Three Lions dig deep to ensure World Cup qualification remains in their own hands

Reuters

It doesn’t get any better. But at least it didn’t get any worse.

This is a campaign which is becoming an England Groundhog Day.

Win one, draw one. Win one, draw one. Win one, draw one. Win one, draw one.

Yes, Roy Hodgson and his men escaped from the Olympic Stadium with the clean sheet and the point that keeps them masters of their own World Cup destiny.

Yes, too, when they seek back to back wins to clinch the golden ticket to Brazil against Montenegro and Poland at Wembley next month, they will hopefully have Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge.

But just as in Warsaw and Podgorica, up against a side that lacked the courage of their open convictions, all the faults that produced Greg Dyke’s cri de coeur last week were evidenced.

A failure to keep the ball. An inability to play any sort of cohesive football. Over-run in midfield. Exposed down the right flank.

Watching England has become an ordeal. Something you only choose to do through the fingers in front of your eyes, peering out in apprehension.

may not have been politically astute – but was perhaps not a bad one.

Rickie Lambert must have known his "fairytale" introduction to international football could not last. He came back down to earth with a fearful bump, isolated but with his lack of touch apparent.

And the belief, devoutly held by many, that Jack Wilshere represents the answer to England’s midfield woes took a pounding. The Arsenal tyro was all at sea, too easily dispossessed, his radar horribly awry.

England were left grateful, not only for the resolution and grit of Gary Cahill, who came of age as an international defender, but also Ukraine’s unwillingness to go for the jugular.

Reuters

At times, it was more than nervous, more than dodgy.

Joe Hart – in the first minute – and the awful Kyle Walker might both have conceded penalties had Portuguese whistler Pedro Proenca been more pliable to the demands of the raucous home fans.

Walker was taken to pieces and then reassembled in a heap by Yevhen Konoplianka; only Cahill’s diligence and reassurance kept Roman Zozulya at bay; raiding right-back Artem Fedetskiy should have scored twice, with the goal at his mercy.

Yet somehow, despite themselves, England clung on, desperately on occasions, but demonstrating they remain a tough side for anyone to beat.

Not that that is good enough. While excuses could be made for the lesson handed out by Italy on the same pitch at Euro 2012 – the last time Hart’s goal was not breached against a serious side – few were acceptable last night.

Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard did hold things together, tightening up as England teetered on the brink, helping keep the Ukrainians at arm’s length for periods.

Effort was unquestioned. Ashley Cole, aided by James Milner, bottled up Andriy Yarmalenko. Theo Walcott’s pace threatened to destabilise the Ukrainians.

But throughout, while Gerrard twice went close before the break, as did Cahill from successive flag-kicks from the skipper, England’s lack of inspiration and invention was palpable.

Action Images

When it mattered, they got lucky. Hart touched Zozulya before shovelling the ball behind in those opening 42 seconds, Fedetskiy made no real contact when he eluded Gerrard at the back post, Cahill made a series of timely, vital, interventions.

Then, after the break, with England rarely any better, Gerrard rescued his team after Konoplianka bamboozled Walker and when the Spurs right-back sent Zozulya tumbling, the winger’s free-kick deflected wide.

When Fedetskiy, unmarked and with the goal at his mercy eight yards out, headed tamely into Hart’s hands, Ukraine seemed to accept the draw.

At the death, England might even have nicked it. Walker’s pace down the right gave Walcott a sniff, the Arsenal man directing just wide on the volley.

Then, in stoppage time, a long throw from Walker found Lampard, who had the chance to crown his 100th cap with a goal, but could not quite glance on target.

In truth, that would have been larceny, entirely undeserved.

The point was what was important and England flew back from Kiev with that precious commodity in their pocket, aware that it is down to them at Wembley. "Realistically", though, would you put your shirt on them doing so?

Ukraine 0-0 England: Mirror player ratings from Kiev – have YOUR say

Reuters

in the crucial World Cup qualifier against Ukraine on Tuesday evening.

With two home games remaining, the Three Lions knew a draw would leave them in the driving seat in Group H, and made sure they were tough to break down in Kiev.

Defenders Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka both played well at the Olympic Stadium, while Steven Gerrard and James Milner also put in industrious shifts.

Here’s what John Cross made of the England players.

What do you think?

England OUR RATING YOUR RATING

Joe Hart

Had a nervy start and was lucky not to concede a penalty within a minute for a challenge on Zozulya. Got lucky when Fedetskiy headed straight at him.

7

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  • 10 Kyle Walker

    Taken apart by Konoplyanka. Walker’s positioning, distribution and lack of composure not international class. Booked for shocking challenge.

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      Grew in confidence after the early onslaught. Made one brilliantly timed block to stop a Ukraine attack. His partnership with Cahill held firm.

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      • 10 Mirror PickGary Cahill

        Had a magnificent game. Made two sensational early clearances, went close at the other end and came alive on a night for the brave.

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          Given a stern test by Yarmolenko. But after England’s early wobbles, stepped up to the plate and fought brilliantly. Really impressive again.

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            His 100th cap for England certainly didn’t go to plan. His landmark game was all about digging in, determination and scrapping in midfield.

            6

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              Sat deep in front of the back four and did a solid job, just as he did against Moldova. Went close with a long range effort and made tremendous clearance.

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                Whether he is still short of full fitness or still finding his feet, Wilshere just couldn’t get into the game. A disappointing and frustrating night.

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                  His pace was the one attacking outlet which really worried Ukraine. Had an early sight of goal which was quickly shut down.

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                    In the final minute of the first half, Milner ran from left wing to cover danger at right back. That’s why he was in the team. Industrious and brave. Excellent.

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                      Looked horribly isolated as he led England’s attack. Never got a look-in against Ukraine’s well marshaled and disciplined defence.

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                        Came on to give England pace down the left with Milner switching inside.

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                          Came on late to replace Walcott.

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Ukraine 0-0 England recap: All the action from the World Cup qualifier as it happened – PLUS goal updates from other games

Getty

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5:22 pm

Good evening everyone and welcome to our live blog of Ukraine vs England.

As if you didn’t already know, this is a Big Match© for Roy Hodgson and his players as they strive to qualify for World Cup 2014.

put England top of Group H but just one point separates the Three Lions, Montenegro and Ukraine coming into tonight’s game.

A victory in Kiev would boost hopes of reaching Brazil, while a draw or a loss would make things a little awkward with two matches remaining.

What’s it to be then?

5:46 pm

While England are our main focus this evening, we will be providing goal updates from:

Austria vs IrelandLuxembourg vs Northern IrelandWales vs SerbiaMacedonia vs Scotland

Don’t touch that dial.

5:57 pm

There have been some rather ugly scenes in Kiev in the last couple of days, with

Let’s hope that the evening passes without violence and we can concentrate on the sporting spectacle taking place at the Olympic Stadium

6:02 pm

One of the Mirror team is in position:

6:12 pm

If you like your posh polo shirts then you’ll be happy to hear that Original Penguin are giving away a discount of 5% for every goal scored by the home nations in tonight’s internationals.

All customers that shop online using the WELOVEFOOTBALL code will also be added into a draw to win a £250 shopping voucher. Don’t say we never give you anything, eh?

6:17 pm

Remember when England travelled to play Italy in 1997? Or the surprise 5-1 shellacking of Germany in 2001?

Pretty good memories, right? Well

Is Olly onto something or should we be a bit more circumspect about the state of the national side? Let us know your thoughts.

6:20 pm

Some team news from Kiev.

Whispers emerging from the Olympic Stadium suggest that Roy Hodgson has, as expected, turned to James Milner to replace the suspended Danny Welbeck.

Stand by for the full line-ups when they are confirmed.

Michael Regan – The FA 

6:28 pm

World Cup qualification may be drawing to a close but plenty remains to be decided – both in Europe and around the globe.

, which should remove any lingering doubts you have over whether Uzbekistan are going to Brazil (maybe), whether South Africa have made it (they haven’t) and how South American qualifying is shaping up (it’s a free-for-all).

You’re very welcome.

6:47 pm

The teams are in!

James Milner does indeed start for England, and that is the only change to the XI that beat Moldova on Friday.

Frank Lampard makes his 100th cap for his country alongside Steven Gerrard and Jack Wilshere in midfield

Here are the line-ups in full:

Ukraine: Pyatov, Fedetskiy, Khacheridi, Kucher, Shevchuk, Edmar, Stepanenko, Yarmolenko, Gusev, Konoplyanka, Zozulya.

England: Hart, Walker, Jagielka, Cahill, Cole, Gerrard, Lampard, Wilshere, Milner, Walcott, Lambert.

Subs: Ruddy, Fraser, Smalling, Baines, Caulker, Carrick, Cleverley, Barkley, Young, Sterling, Townsend, Defoe.

Michael Regan – The FA

6:49 pm

How much do you know about the Ukraine side?

If your answer includes Andriy Shevchenko or Oleg Blokhin, chances are you could do with a refresher course.

Handily,

We’re good to you, we really are.

6:53 pm

A bit of team news from Cardiff:

6:57 pmEd Malyon

Ed Malyon is on Euro watch:

"Arsenal fans will be delighted (or gutted, depending on whether he gets injured) to see Olivier Giroud starting for France tonight.

"Rather deliciously, he is starting ahead of the man that Arsenal failed to sign this summer – Karim Benzema.

"The Real Madrid man is ditched after 1217 goalless minutes for Les Bleus."

6:59 pm

"Tonight it is all about nerve, courage, strength of purpose," says the Mirror’s chief football writer.

"Hodgson will look into the eyes of his players, hoping not to see weakness, not to see doubt."

Time will tell whether those hopes are borne out.

Reuters

7:07 pm

John Cross is looking forward to the game in Kiev:

7:09 pm

, admitting that this is a "big game" for his side.

He also stressed the importance of keeping 11 men on the pitch, having himself been sent off when the sides met in September.

Will the pressure get to any of his colleagues this evening?

7:12 pm

Fancy a bet on this evening’s games?

Our friends at Paddy Power have picked out , including Ireland’s tricky trip to Austria, Wales’ game against Serbia and Macedonia vs Scotland.

Click here to take a look.

7:19 pm

There can be little doubt that Roy Hodgson faces a moment of truth in Kiev tonight. This is the kind of match by which his England stewardship will eventually be assessed.

Ahead of the game,.

Will Hodgson sink like Don Revie in Rome or take a leaf out of Bobby Robson’s book and thrive under pressure?

Getty 

7:22 pmEd Malyon

Ed Malyon has this on Spain vs Chile:

"Spain have been rubbish so far in Geneva. Although it’s only a friendly, Vicente del Bosque will be furious with this sloppy display.

"Chile lead them 1-0 after 20 minutes, Eduardo Vargas nipping behind the Spanish defence to prod past Victor Valdes. There are some very tired legs in this Roja squad, which is reason for concern as June and the World Cup draw closer."

7:26 pm

All eyes tonight will be on Frank Lampard, who earns his 100th cap for England. He joins a select group of players to have reached three figures for the Three Lions.

We have taken a look at the other centurions – two of whom are playing alongside Lampard tonight -.

One thing is clear: the 100 club operates a strict entrance policy.

Michael Regan – The FA

7:34 pm

Goal!

Northern Ireland have taken the lead against Luxembourg – Martin Paterson with the strike.

Kick-off is just ten minutes away in Kiev, meanwhile. The Ukraine fans are in good voice in the Olympic Stadium.

Excited yet?

7:36 pm

7:40 pm

The teams are on the pitch.

Steven Gerrard mumbles something into a microphone. Not sure what; fair to say he’s a better footballer than he is a public speaker.

Anyway, kick-off is imminent.

7:43 pmEd Malyon

Spain vs Chile latest from Ed "Ed Maylon" Malyon, 24:

"They’ve not been in it, but Spain steal an equaliser against Chile in Switzerland.  It’s Spurs forward Roberto Soldado who nods home at the far post from a wonderful Pedro cross.

"Former Manchester City man David Pizarro was probably to blame there, giving it away sloppily just as he did against Bolivia in the June qualifiers. 1-1 now, 40 minutes gone."

7:44 pm

7:49 pm

We’re underway in Kiev.

Joe Hart has his heart in his mouth within a minute, diving at the feet of Roman Zozulya, who tumbles in the area. The referee awards a corner.

Steven Gerrard then brings a save from Andriy Pyatov.

A lively start to the game.

7:50 pmEd Malyon

More from Ed Malyon:

"Another goal for Eduardo Vargas and Chile lead Spain again!

"The Napoli man is currently on loan in Brazil and dribbled through the world champions’ defence before dispatching a precise, left-footed finish."

7:54 pm

Goal!

Wales trail Serbia with just a eight minutes on the clock.

In Kiev there is another worrying moment for Joe Hart, who juggles the ball dangerously under pressure from Zozulya.

Ukraine are looking good after weathering some early English pressure.

8:00 pmAndy Dawson

Twitter’s @profanityswan, Andy Dawson, is watching the match on a train(!). He’ll be offering comments on whatever the 3G network allows him to see:

"Is Joe Hart DEFINITELY dandruff-free? Seems as though something has been getting in his eyes and obscuring his vision early on.

"Always nice to see some cars parked behind the goal too. Are they for sale? Do they belong to the officials? Is one of them a taxi for Hart?"

8:04 pm

8:06 pm

Goals!

Luxembourg have equalised against Northern Ireland.

In England’s group, Poland have gone ahead against San Marino. That could make things very interesting if things stay the same in Kiev.

8:13 pm

It’s all gone a bit quiet at the Olympic Stadium.

The game opened with end-to-end action but has already become something of a chess match, with neither side able to fashion any clear chances of note.

There’s much more happening in the other game in Group H: San Marino equalised against Poland but have gone behind again in Serravalle.

Getty

8:20 pm

Close!

No sooner do I bemoan the lack of action than something happens. Steven Gerrard finds a little space 25 yards from goal and looks to catch Andriy Pyatov out with a curling effort. The ball goes just over the bar.

Must tempt fate more often.

8:22 pmAndy Dawson

Andy Dawson on TV watch:

"Good to see Ricky Lambert being lightly patronised by the commentary team as usual, all because he used to play in the lower leagues.

"Anyone would think he was playing with a false leg, had won his England place in a raffle or was turning out this evening in the aftermath of his entire family having fallen down a well.

"Come the full-time whistle, you can expect to see the rest of the players eschewing the traditional handshake, opting instead to ruffle Lambert’s hair affectionately."

8:24 pm

8:28 pm

Ukraine threaten for the first time in 20 minutes or so.

Yevhen Konoplyanka motors past Steven Gerrard on the flank and puts in a low cross for Roman Zozulya. The striker steals a march on his marker but miscontrols slightly, allowing Joe Hart to smother.

In the other game in the Group, Poland have extended their lead against San Marino.

8:35 pm

Half-time in Kiev: Ukraine 0-0 England.

There were chances at both ends in the first few minutes but the two defences have gradually established superiority at the Olympic Stadium.

Other latest scores:

Luxembourg 1-1 Northern IrelandWales 0-2 SerbiaMacedonia 0-0 ScotlandAustria 0-0 Republic of Ireland

Reuters 

8:38 pm

We may well be seeing plenty more of Ukraine winger Yehven Konoplayanka in the coming months.

in the next transfer window and will doubtless be keen to impress in the second half.

Just don’t say he’s the new Sergei Rebrov. He won’t like that.

8:39 pmAndy Dawson

Andy Dawson returns with this:

"When you realise they’re making pies over on BBC2, you might conclude that there isn’t much point in watching any more of this bilge.

"BUT… a 0-0 would be a damn fine result and would put England right on course for Brazil 2014.

"So stick with it, squint a bit and pretend that it’s Italy v England in 1997. Enjoy the crappiness!"

8:41 pm

Did you know?

This the first time Rickie Lambert has started a competitive match outside the British Isles.

The Southampton striker’s stock has risen astronomically in recent years, taking a man who used to watch England games with his mates into Roy Hodgson’s starting XI.

Getty 

8:50 pm

The second half begins in Kiev.

Will Roy Hodgson be happy with a draw here or will he have encouraged his side to play a little more expansively?

Ikechi Anya has put Scotland ahead against Macedonia, by the way.

8:55 pm

Goal!

Bad news for Northern Ireland: they are now 2-1 down to Luxembourg.

In Kiev, Rickie Lambert gets told off by the referee following for a high foot… despite the fact that Artem Fedetskiy’s was even higher. Hmmm.

8:56 pm

Update from Cardiff:

9:03 pm

Close!

Yevhen Konoplyanka outruns Kyle Walker down the England right and cuts the ball across for Andriy Yarmolenko. The Dynamo Kiev winger turns a clever ball into the path of Oleg Gusev but cannot quite reach the return pass.

The hosts are beginning to take charge of this game now.

Goal updates: Serbia now lead Wales 3-0; Northern Ireland briefly drew level against Luxembourg but now trail 3-2.

9:06 pm

Ouch!

Oleksandr Kucher is booked after a fairly industrial challenge on Theo Walcott. Kucher treads on the winger’s foot before scraping his studs down his calf for good measure.

In Cardiff, Gareth Bale comes on for the last half an hour with Wales trailing Serbia 3-0. Cometh the hour?

9:07 pm

More from Andy Dawson, who, lest we forget, is on a train:

"Clive Tyldesely is at it again with, ‘he’s not overawed by international football, Rickie Lambert, is he?’

"No Clive, he isn’t. This is because Lambert is a highly-rated Premier League player who scored 15 league goals last season – more than Wayne Rooney, Sergio Aguero or Daniel Sturridge.

"He is NOT someone who has snuck on to the pitch as part of some kind of hidden camera prank TV show. Nor is he someone who has been picked due to a administrative mix-up.

"Nor is he suffering from a glucose deficiency, colour-blindness, trench foot or hallucinations. He is there on merit. Imagine how good he’d be if he’d been tooting some kind of legal high!"

9:10 pmEd Malyon

Ed Malyon on Spain 2-2 Chile:

"Spain nabbed a stoppage-time equaliser to rob Chile of a deserved win in Geneva.

"An enthralling game was wide open throughout the first half with the energetic South Americans taking a 2-1 lead into the break, but a more fractured second half allowed Spain to dominate more.

"Manchester City pair Alvaro Negredo and Jesus Navas were the saviours for the world champs, coming off the bench and combining so that Navas could equalise from close range."

Mike Hewitt – FIFA 

9:12 pm

Roy Hodgson makes his first change, withdrawing Jack Wilshere for Ashley Young.

Not sure that move will delight the England fans but the Arsenal man hasn’t been anywhere near his best this evening.

Goal update: Macedonia equalise against Scotland.

9:18 pm

A lucky escape for England.

Kyle Walker commits a foul right on the edge of the area. The Ukraine players want a penalty but the referee awards a free-kick.

From the set piece, Konoplyanka hits a low shot that Phil Jagielka deflects just wide.

Goal update: Scotland retake the lead late on against Macedonia.

9:20 pm

Gary Lineker has clearly never watched England before. Keeping the ball is for those foreign types, don’t you know:

9:21 pmAndy Dawson

At least Andy Dawson is enjoying this (kind of):

"Still watching this on a train but enduring a dodgy spell of 3G coverage with lots of breaking up.

"As a result, Clive Tyldesley is beginning to sound like the backwards-speaking dwarf from the red dream room in Twin Peaks.

"It’s a vast improvement."

9:33 pm

We’re into stoppage time at the Olympic Stadium.

Will there be some late drama in Kiev?

9:35 pm

Close!

Frank Lampard almost celebrates his 100th cap in perfect fashion, arriving late in the box to meet a throw-in. He can only direct his header wide, however.

9:43 pm

Full-time: Ukraine 0-0 England.

A match so exciting that my computer decided to go kaput with joy at the final whistle. But while it was hardly a great spectacle, one senses Roy Hodgson will be delighted with a result that helps England edge towards the World Cup.

Other final scores:

Macedonia 1-2 ScotlandAustria 1-0 Republic of IrelandLuxembourg 3-2 Northern IrelandWales 0-3 Serbia9:56 pm

Three Lions dig deep in Kiev to ensure World Cup qualification remains in their own hands –

Reuters 

10:16 pm

That’s your lot for this evening, guys and gals.

But because we love you, here are some match reports to read before you hit the hay:

. Make sure you let us know what you think, and stay with Mirror Football to all the reaction to tonight’s games.

Stay tuned!