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  1. Newcastle owner Ashley backs Pardew
  2. Van Gaal eyes Premier League title
  3. Celtic's Tonev in racial slur probe
  4. Plus latest breaking news

Live Reporting

By Steve Canavan

All times stated are UK

Get involved

That's the end of today's Sportsday but, worry not, there will be more of the same on Tuesday and there's live text commentary of

Hull's Premier League clash with West Ham to keep you entertained throughout the evening.

Leicestershire 138 v Essex 153-3


All-rounder Jesse Ryder produced career-best figures of 5-50 as Essex dominated the opening day against Leicestershire at Grace Road.

The home side, bottom of Division Two,

were all out for 138 in 36.4 overs.

New Zealander Ryder was well supported by Graham Napier (3-43) and David Masters (2-43), while Dan Redfern's unbeaten 54 was the only score of note.

Somerset 266-5 v Middlesex


Middlesex only managed one point in their fight against relegation

on day one against Somerset.

Craig Kieswetter hit 69 off 80 balls in his return from severe facial injuries as Somerset reached 266-5 at stumps.

Youngster Tom Abell made exactly 50 before being unluckily run out backing up, and James Hildreth faced 173 deliveries for an unbeaten 70.

Victory at Taunton will ensure Middlesex remain in Division One next season and send Lancashire down.

Nottinghamshire v Sussex (358-9)


Chris Nash continued his special relationship with Trent Bridge by scoring his third County Championship century on the ground to help Sussex to 358 for nine on the first day of their match against Nottinghamshire.

Nash scored 178, the first time he had reached three figures this summer; his runs coming from 235 balls with 32 fours. It was the 31-year old's 17th first-class hundred, with four of them coming against Notts.

Zenit not over-confident - Villas-Boas


Andre Villas-Boas takes his in-form Zenit St Petersburg side to Benfica for their Champions League opener on Tuesday unworried by the threat of over-confidence threatening their impressive start.

Zenit finished a point behind Russian Premier League winners CSKA Moscow last year but are currently top of the table having won each of their opening seven fixtures.

"We should understand that when [a defeat] does happen, it won't be because we were too over-confident or anything like that," said the former Tottenham and Chelsea boss.

"It will be because our opponent was better than us and then you just have to jump right back again and show that you are stronger."

Liverpool are dark horses - Scholes


Former Manchester United and England midfielder Paul Scholes believes Liverpool could be a good outside bet to win this season's Champions League.

The 39-year-old, speaking in his role as a pundit for ITV's coverage of the competition, said: "Brendan Rodgers has done a fantastic job. The style of play he's adopted is exciting to watch and the players seem to have taken to him. I feel they will do well with the players they have.

"The big advantage they have is a home crowd. Anfield is always a hostile place to go, which is something Manchester City lack."

Paul Scholes
Getty Images

Who are Ludogorets?


Liverpool face Ludogorets in the Champions League on Tuesday. If you're unfamiliar with the Bulgarian side, here are some facts:

- Nicknamed "the Eagles" they were presented in 2014 with a live eagle, named Fortuna, by Europa League rivals Lazio whom they beat 4-3 on aggregate.

- Ludogorets are bankrolled by Bulgarian industrialists Kiril and Georgi Domuschiev, who bought the club in 2010.

- They have won the Bulgarian championship in each of the last three seasons.

- As their 6,000-seater Ludogorets Arena in Razgrad does not meet UEFA requirements, they play their home European fixtures 200 miles away in the national stadium in the Bulgarian capital Sofia.

Whitlock and Fragapane lead British team


British, Commonwealth and European all-around champion Max Whitlock has been included in

Britain's men's team for the World Championships in Nanning in October.

There is no place for Olympic silver medallist Louis Smith, who won pommel horse bronze at the Commonwealth Games.

Commonwealth all-around champion Claudia Fragapane has been selected in the women's team.

Claudia Fragapane
Getty Images

Haskell the perfect choice

Rugby Union

Wasps' James Haskell
Getty Images

Wasps boss Dai Young has said James Haskell has vindicated the decision to appoint him as skipper this season.

The 29-year-old England flanker has a strong presence on Twitter and is not unfamiliar with photo shoots, premieres or media launches.

"I think people were quite surprised when I picked him as captain," said

Wasps director of rugby Young.

"Outwardly he can be a little bit showbusiness I suppose. But in the camp he is a real role model."

Pardew needs results - Souness


Former Newcastle manager Graeme Souness is not surprised the pressure on current boss Alan Pardew is intensifying.

Pardew's future has become the subject of heavy speculation after a dismal start to the season.

Souness, in charge at St James' Park from 2004-06, told Sky Sports News: "If you are not winning football matches then it used to be you got half a season, or usually a season, now you get six games. If you are in a job you know that is the case."

Alan Pardew
Getty Images

Four days of non-stop swinging



New York Times has calculated how many swings New York Yankees' Derek Jeter has taken in his professional career, including training games. Jeter, who will retire after this season, is in his 20th as a major leaguer.

Before Sunday night's game against the Baltimore Orioles, Jeter had played in 2,734 games and had 3,450 regular-season hits, the sixth most in history.

And, according to the number crunchers, by the end of the season the American will have taken 341,960 swings - which is nearly four days of non-stop swinging.

Derek Jeter
Getty Images



Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said the club will cope with the

injury to right-back Mathieu Debuchy.

"In defence we of course have the Mathieu Debuchy injury, and that puts us in a position where we do not want more," said Wenger before Tuesday's Champions League tie with Borussia Dortmund.

"Hopefully there is good news after his scan today and he is back soon.

"We have Callum Chambers who can play in different positions, Nacho Monreal can play at centre-back and as well Hector Bellerin, who I think now is ready to play."

Who are Ludogorets?


Liverpool face Bulgarian side Ludogorets in the Champions League on Tuesday. If you're unfamiliar with the team's opponents - here are some facts:

- Founded in 2001 as Ludogorie Football Club, they acquired the licence of one of the first football clubs in the town of Razgrad, which itself was founded in 1945 but dissolved in 2006.

- They are the second Bulgarian team after Levski Sofia to reach the group stage of the Champions League.

- Last season, they reached the last 16 of the Europa League before exiting to Valencia.

Rodgers backs Balotelli to shine


Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes Mario Balotelli will relish the responsibility of being the side's senior striker as Liverpool make their Champions League return on Tuesday.

"Time will tell. The boy is only just in the door," he said before the clash with Ludogorets.

Mario Balotelli
Getty Images

"The best players enjoy that responsibility and I am sure it is one he is relishing but on the training field he is going to work hard to accept that responsibility knowing he has been brought in here to do a job which is to create and score goals and work hard."

Will an English club win Champions League?


English clubs in Champions League

BBC Sport's Ben Smith asks whether an English club will win this season's Champions League.

"Research by Deloitte shows that over the past two summer transfer windows in England, Premier League clubs have spent a total of £1.47bn, which again outstrips the combined spending of all top-flight clubs in Spain and Germany,"

writes Smith.

"That spending is bound to have an impact. Whether it will transform an English team from contenders to champions is unknown but without doubt, this season's Champions League looks as competitive as ever."

Spanish certain of Champions League success


Infostrada say that the big three Spanish clubs - Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid - are all but certain of progressing from the Champions League group stages.

The three Spanish clubs all have at least a 95% chance of reaching the second round, according to the Euro Club Index, while Bayern Munich and Chelsea have above 90%.

Euro Club Index

Falcao's joy at United debut


Radamel Falcao thanked Manchester United's fans after making his debut at the "extraordinary" Old Trafford.

Falcao came off the bench in the 67th minute of United's 4-0 win at home to QPR in the Premier League on Sunday.

He was unable to find the net but the deadline day signing clearly enjoyed his run-out.

"It felt good to make my debut at Old Trafford," he said. "It is an extraordinary stadium, a legendary stadium and I am happy to get the win. I will enjoy this moment."

Get involved


Former Arsenal and Real Madrid striker Nicolas Anelka is

set to join Indian Super League club Mumbai City. Here are a selection of your comments in response, taken from the
BBC Sport Facebook page.

Nicolas Anelka

Au Ga: Arsenal, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Manchester City, Bolton Wanderers, Chelsea, Shanghai Shenhua in China, West Brom Albion... and now Mumbai City. Anelka one of the BEST journeymen in football history.

Hans Pedersen: He's definitely up there amongst the most unsettled ones. There was a Brazilian player a few years ago called the beast, I think. He tended to switch clubs as often as the Fifa rules allowed him to. I guess Mario Balotelli will be a member of this list by the end of his career.

Liam Corneille: He'd be a nobody without Arsene Wenger and as soon as he left he just declined. £23m profit off of him and we ended up with Thierry Henry. Not too bad in the end.

Keep your thoughts coming on Twitter using

#bbcsportsday, leave a message on the
BBC Sport Facebook, or
Google+ page, or send us a text on 81111.

Van Gaal's honest can be frightening - Blind


New Manchester United signing Daley Blind says his boss Louis van Gaal's honesty can be frightening.

"He is very honest to everybody. He knows what he wants and he knows his philosophy," said the

£13.8m signing from Ajax.

"He can bring that to the players and he can make a team with everybody in. That is a good start for everybody if you want to work for each other. I have really learned a lot from Van Gaal and I like working under him.

"He is not frightening, he is just honest. That can be frightening, but I like it."

Eubank jnr 'better than his dad'


Chris Eubank Junior
Getty Images

Frank Warren has confirmed to BBC London 94.9 that Chris Eubank Junior will fight Billie Joe Saunders on the undercard of the Tyson Fury-Derek Chisora fight at the Excel Centre in London on 29 November.

Warren said: "They're two undefeated fighters and there's a bit of bad blood between them so it will be a cracking fight.

"The winner will go on and fight for the world title."

On Eubank Jnr, Warren said: "His father has been guiding his career - he says a lot of good things about him and in the last couple of fights he's looked extremely good.

"At this stage of his career he's a better fighter than his father."

Peacock extends record

Rugby League

Leeds Rhinos prop Jamie Peacock has been named in the Super League Dream Team

for the 10th time, extending his own record.

The former England captain, 36, is one of five Challenge Cup-winning Rhinos in the squad, along with Ryan Hall, Kallum Watkins, Zak Hardaker and Carl Ablett.

Liverpool training ahead of European tie


Raheem Stermling (left) with Mario Balotelli
Getty Images

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says his players deserve to be in the Champions League. Liverpool's squad seemed happy at the prospect of facing FC Ludogorets on Tuesday night in their first game in Europe's premier club competition for five years.

Steven Gerrard training
Getty Images

Kostner to appear before doping committee

Figure Skating

Former figure skating world champion Carolina Kostner will appear before Italian Olympic Committee officials investigating whether she was complicit in doping by her former boyfriend and Olympic race walking champion Alex Schwazer.

Schwazer, who won the 50km walk at the 2008 Beijing Games, was excluded from the 2012 London Olympics after testing positive for EPO before the games.

Get involved


Earlier today Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil posted a picture of himself with American actor Samuel L Jackson (see 13:10), who had come to watch Saturday's 2-2 draw with Manchester City.

Karthik: Ozil should have probably done some research before posting that. Samuel L Jackson is a well known supporter of Liverpool...

Ian Jones: Aww thanks Mesut, didn't know you cared! Mr Jackson is a Liverpool fan, and was happily tweeting while we hammered Arsenal 5-1.

Keep your thoughts coming on Twitter using

#bbcsportsday, leave a message on the
BBC Sport Facebook, or
Google+ page, or send us a text on 81111.

Hardaker plea over homophobic investigation

Rugby League

Leeds' Zak Hardaker
Getty Images

Leeds full-back Zak Hardaker has called for an end to the uncertainty over his immediate future for the sake of his family.

The 22-year-old England international is being investigated for an alleged homophobic comment during a match against St Helens.

Hardaker, who served a five-match ban in the summer after being found guilty of directing homophobic comments at referee James Child, has yet to be notified if he faces another charge, 17 days after the offence is alleged to have taken place.

"I've not got a clue what is happening," Hardaker said. "I was investigated last week and that's about as much as I've heard.

"I would just rather it be sorted and be over and done with because it's no good for anyone."

Pardew's Newcastle record


Alan Pardew BBC graphic
BBC Sport

How does Alan Pardew's record compare to previous managers at Newcastle United? This nifty little BBC graphic might help.

Get involved


We are asking whether Newcastle owner Mike Ashley is right to give manager Alan Pardew more time in charge of the club. Here are some of your opinions:

Jonny Lonn, via text: Pardew deserves backing. Newcastle gave him a long contract, he should be allowed to prove himself over again.


via Twitter: Of course Ashley isn't right to stand by Pardew but he will. Jermaine Jenas said it last night, we've lost our identity.

Matt Chicken,

via Twitter: We're stuck with Pardew. Ashley knows he can't get Pulis/Bruce/Moyes as they've got backbones and would stand up to him.

Keep your thoughts coming on Twitter using

#bbcsportsday, leave a message on the
BBC Sport Facebook, or
Google+ page, or send us a text on 81111.

Fasten your seatbelts please


Danny Welbeck

Arsenal new boy

Danny Welbeck gets comfortable for the Gunners' flight to Germany to take on Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League tomorrow.

Lovren's Champions League aim


Liverpool's Dejan Lovren
Getty Images

Dejan Lovren is sure that Liverpool are capable of qualifying from the group stage of the Champions League.

Talking at a press conference for tomorrow's game against Ludogorets, the centre-back said: "It's a pleasure to be back in the Champions League for everyone, after five years.

"We want success in the Champions League. I would not say we have an easy group but I'm sure that we can pass through it.

"The most important thing is to win the first game, then it will be much easier."

Liverpool also have Real Madrid and FC Basel in their qualifying group.

Race row in Scotland



update on the race row ongoing in Scotland.

The Scottish Football Association has now received referee Bobby Madden's report on Saturday's match between Celtic and Aberdeen, during which Aberdeen claim Shay Logan was racially abused.

Logan complained to Madden during the game that Celtic's Aleksandar Tonev had made a racist remark to him, although the Bulgarian winger insists the allegation is not true.

SFA compliance officer Vincent Lunny must now decide if there is sufficient evidence to issue a complaint.

St Helens prop charged

Rugby League

St Helens' Alex Walmsley
Getty Images

St Helens forward Alex Walmsley's participation in the Super League play-offs is under threat after he was charged with a grade C offence.

The prop faces possible suspension after he was sent off for a shoulder charge during Saints' 17-16 defeat at Huddersfield in their final match of the regular season last Friday, and has been charged by the Rugby Football League's match-review panel.

Saints face a qualifying play-off tie against Castleford on Friday.

Allen out, Sterling in


A little more team news on Liverpool's return to the Champions League after a five-year absence.

Midfielder Joe Allen will miss tomorrow's group game at Anfield against Ludogorets as he continues his recovery from a knee injury.

But forward Raheem Sterling will start after being dropped to the bench for Saturday's Premier League defeat at home to Aston Villa.

GB's Davis Cup draw


BBC Radio 5 live's tennis correspondent Russell Fuller: "Great Britain could face an away tie in Serbia, or a home tie with this year's finalists France or Switzerland, when the draw for the 2015 Davis Cup is made on Thursday.

"The seedings for next year's competition have just been confirmed and although GB are unseeded, they are guaranteed a home tie against six of their eight potential opponents."

The draw takes place in Dubai at 16:00 BST on Thursday.

Rodgers: Villa was a disappointment


More from Brendan Rodgers' press conference, with the Liverpool manager suggesting the number of new players was the reason behind the Reds'

weekend defeat at the hands of Aston Villa.

"We were disappointed at the weekend," said Rodgers. "When you dominate with the ball but don't score you at least want to get a point from the game, so we were disappointed with the goal conceded at the corner.

"Five players were making their Anfield debut and getting that cohesion does take a bit of time. At Spurs we mostly had players who had been working with us for a while.

"Our emphasis will always be positive, but for sure we need to tighten up in some areas."

Hull v West Ham build-up


Hull manager Steve Bruce
Getty Images

Steve Bruce and Sam Allardyce are looking forward to doing battle again in tonight's Premier League clash between Hull and West Ham (20:00 BST kick-off).

The pair have met 15 times as managers, Bruce racking up seven wins to Allardyce's five.

It is the first game for Hull since owner Assem Allam announced

the club is on the market.

Bruce said: "I urge the supporters to get behind the team. If we are to get bigger and better, we need them. We need to make our place a fortress."

It's West Ham's first outing since a

3-1 home defeat by Southampton and Allardyce said: "I didn't see that performance coming. It was perhaps one of those early-season results you get. We have to make sure our results from here on in become more consistent."

Victoria Cross on England shirts

Rugby Union

England will wear symbols of the Victoria Cross for the first time this autumn after rubber grip areas inspired by the military medal were added to the national side's new kit.

"The new shirts have a 'ball-deadening' rubber grip area on the chest, enhancing ball control and retention," a Rugby Football Union spokesman said. "The grip shape takes inspiration from the Victoria Cross."

England are expected to launch new kits in time for the 2015 World Cup, which starts next September .

From amateurs to Anfield


If your knowledge of Ludogorets, Liverpool's opponents tomorrow, is a little sketchy, then we can help.

BBC Sport's Sam Sheringham describes how the Bulgarians have gone from amateurs to Champions League in the space of four years.

"When Liverpool last appeared in the Champions League in 2009 Ludogorets had only been in existence for eight years and were still playing as amateurs in the third tier of Bulgarian football."

Read the full article here.

Rodgers 'prepared' for Euro test


Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers

More from Brendan Rodgers' press conference ahead of Liverpool's Champions League clash with Ludogorets at Anfield on Tuesday.

Talking about what he expects from their Bulgarian opponents, Rodgers said: "Their emphasis is on attacking football but I only worry about ourselves.

"We're used to starting games quickly but it's important that if we don't get an early goal, we know how to avoid conceding, go forward, invent and penetrate.

"Ludogorets signed a goalkeeper last night. We've got our guys working on who could play against us. We're prepared."

Skrtel out of Champions League tie


Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel
Getty Images

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers confirms Martin Skrtel has resumed training but says Tuesday's Champions League tie with Ludogorets will come too soon for the centre-back.

The Slovakian sustained an injury during the clash

with Manchester City on 25 August and missed the matches with Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa.

Vote for MOTD Goal of the Month

Mame Biram Diouf
Getty Images

Don't forget, the

Match of the Day Goal of the Month vote is still running until 5pm today.

There are some crackers to choose from, including superb strikes from Aiden McGeady, Lee Cattermole and Mame Biram Diouf.

You can vote via the football index of the BBC Sport website or by tweeting the hashtag of your favourite goal to @bbcmotd - Mark Chapman will be announcing the result on the Monday Night club on BBC 5 live from 7pm.

You'll also find the result on Twitter and the BBC Sport website where you'll also find

full terms and conditions.