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  1. Jose Mourinho puts faith in academy
  2. Preview of Champions League games
  3. Tommy Craig sacked by St Mirren
  4. Tributes paid to Phillip Hughes ahead of Australia v India
  5. Get Involved: Are Manchester United a pub team or title challengers

Live Reporting

By Elizabeth Hudson and Saj Chowdhury

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Thanks for joining us today - back again on Wednesday.

Hartley's very late tackle


Plymouth defender Peter Hartley has received a yellow card - 72 hours after giving away the penalty from which Sheffield United scored their second goal against Argyle in the FA Cup on Saturday.

Referee Gary Sutton originally cautioned Curtis Nelson for the foul on Blades forward Jamie Murphy by mistake, but upon review the decision has now been corrected.

Nigel Clough's side beat Plymouth 3-0 to book an FA Cup third-round date with QPR.

Wolves win van La Parra appeal


Wolves have

won their appeal against Rajiv van La Parra's red card against Bournemouth on Saturday, but Matt Doherty will serve a three-match ban.

Wanderers ended the Championship game at Molineux with nine men and

lost 2-1.

Dutch winger van La Parra, 23, was dismissed for violent conduct by referee Mike Jones following a collision with Bournemouth defender Steve Cook with Wolves leading 1-0.

Defender Doherty's suspension will stand after his stoppage-time red card.

Worcester run all about belief - Nti


Worcester City goal hero Daniel Nti says the non-league part-timers' FA Cup run is about

"belief" in each other.

City's 1-1 second round draw with Scunthorpe United on Sunday earned Carl Heeley's Conference North side a chance to make the third round for the first time since 1983.

Striker Nti says the secret ingredient is the team spirit instilled by Heeley.

"The management team have been great - they've upped everyone's confidence," he told

BBC Hereford & Worcester.

O'Reilly becomes Ireland's first top-level female referee

Rugby Union

Helen O'Reilly has become Ireland's first top-level female referee in a move that could eventually see her officiate in Pro12 and European Champions Cup matches.

The Irish Rugby Football Union has made the 39-year-old, who officiated at this year's women's World Cup in France the first female appointment to its national panel.

"Helen's appointment is based solely on merit. As the first female referee to make the panel she must be congratulated," said the IRFU's referee development director Owen Doyle.

'Jockeys to blame for Aintree start'

Horse Racing

An inquiry into the latest false start on the Grand National course at Aintree - in Saturday's Becher Chase - has concluded some of the jockeys involved were to blame, but decided not to penalise them.

The British Horseracing Authority said the decision was made because recently-amended rules were so new and that there was limited starting space for a record field (25 runners).


Konchesky red rescinded

Leicester full-back Paul Konchesky's red card against Aston Villa on Sunday has been rescinded.

The 33-year-old was dismissed by referee Craig Pawson following a clash with Villa defender Alan Hutton in the Foxes' 2-1 defeat at Villa Park.

A Football Association statement read: "Leicester City's Paul Konchesky, who was dismissed for violent conduct in the game against Aston Villa on 7 December, 2014 will not serve a suspension after a claim of wrongful dismissal was upheld following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing today."

Fabianski appeal dismissed


Swansea City's Lukasz Fabianski will serve a one-match suspension with immediate effect after his claim of wrongful dismissal was dismissed following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing today.

Fabianski was dismissed for denying a goal scoring opportunity against West Ham United on 7 December 2014.

Lydiate joins Ospreys

Rugby Union

As widely expected, the Wales flanker Dan Lydiate has joined the Ospreys on a dual contract with the

Welsh Rugby Union after being released by French club Racing Metro.

Lydiate, 26, chose to move to the Ospreys rather than return to his former regions the Dragons.

He joins the Wales captain Sam Warburton on a national dual contract, with more names to follow.

Westwood out for up to four weeks


Aston Villa midfielder Ashley Westwood is ruled out for up to four weeks with medial ligament damage.

The 24-year-old was taken off on a stretcher during Sunday's 2-1 win over Leicester following a strong tackle by Jamie Vardy.

Villa were confident the injury was not as bad as first feared but the former Crewe player will still miss up to five games, starting with Saturday's derby at West Brom.

Stephenson departs from Accrington


Accrington Stanley assistant manager Paul Stephenson has

left the League Two club by mutual consent.

The 46-year-old joined Stanley when Leam Richardson became boss in 2012 and stayed on as part of the coaching staff under James Beattie and, more recently, John Coleman.

Argyle's Smalley out for the season


Plymouth Argyle forward Deane Smalley has been

ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering a serious knee injury in training.

The 26-year-old, who has scored twice in 18 appearances for the club after being released by Oxford United, is to undergo surgery.

Crouch makes Uefa all-time list


Peter Crouch

Peter Crouch's overhead classic for Liverpool against Galatasaray in 2006 and Cristiano Ronaldo's blockbuster for Manchester United against Porto in 2009 make

Uefa's all-time top goals.

Diagouraga signs new Brentford deal



Toumani Diagouraga has signed a two-year contract extension.

The French midfielder, 27, was out of favour at Griffin Park earlier this year and

Webber and Batty to stay at Bath

Rugby Union

Hookers Rob Webber and Ross Batty, both 28, have

signed new contracts with Bath.

England international Webber arrived at the Rec in 2012 from Wasps and has made 28 Premiership appearances for the club, while Batty, 28, has played 55 league games in his four years with the West Country outfit since joining from Newcastle.

BBC Sports Personality tickets

Sports Personality
Sports Personality

BBC Sport: The last remaining tickets are on sale for BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
Full details

Woodward backs Burgess for World Cup

Rugby Union

Bath's Sam Burgess
Getty Images

Sir Clive Woodward is backing ex-rugby league star

Sam Burgess to make a rapid transition to rugby union and secure a place in England's World Cup squad.

Former league superstar Burgess will make his full debut and only third appearance for Bath in Friday's European clash with Montpellier at the Recreation Ground.

"Next year is going to be one of the biggest years in English rugby history because of the home World Cup and Sam has an outstanding chance of making the squad for that," Woodward told Press Association Sport.

"He's a great footballer, so there's no logical reason why he shouldn't play and it will be fun finding out what happens. He's a very good player.

"Burgess is looking at inside centre which is one of the toughest positions to play in terms of understanding the game."

Gateshead boss wants positive approach to Baggies tie


Gateshead manager Gary Mills wants his players to "show what they are about" when they face Premier League side West Bromwich Albion in the FA Cup third round next month.

The Conference club have not been to the third round since the 1954-55 season.

"We want to enjoy it but we have to go down there with the goal that if we don't win, we bring them back to our stadium,"

Mills told BBC Newcastle. "We've got to go and show what we're all about. It's something different for us."

Pele: 'I'm preparing for the Olympics'


Getty Images

Brazil legend Pele jokingly said he is preparing for the Olympics after he was discharged from hospital.

The 74-year-old three-time World Cup winner spent 16 days at the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo after being diagnosed with an infection that stemmed from an operation to remove kidney stones.

Quoted in Brazilian newspaper

O Globo, he told a news conference: "Thank God I'm well and recovered. I want to thank everyone who sent messages - I've been thrilled and surprised.

"I've had messages from China, Pakistan, from almost all the European countries.

"It is gratifying and good to know that I had the support of so many people around the world who were hoping the situation improved.

"Now I am preparing for the Olympics!"

Roma ready for City


Roma coach Rudi Garcia claims his side's decisive

Champions League Group E clash against Manchester City on Wednesday has the feel of a final.

The Italians can claim victory in what has been a tight three-way battle for the runners-up spot in the group with City and CSKA Moscow by beating the English champions at the Stadio Olimpico.

All three teams going into the crunch final round of fixtures are locked on five points.

Garcia said: "We need to make the most of every moment. We're looking to pull it off, a win would be incredible.

"We know that City are a good side and it will be very tough tomorrow but I'm sure we can do it.

"Every match is important but tomorrow's is special because it's like a cup final.

"We should have been out of the running by this stage because we were in the fourth (seedings) pot and yet we're still in the hunt."

A Question of Sport

A Question of Sport: Tonight on BBC1 22.35 Matt Dawson, Christian Malcolm and Alex Dowsett are against Phil Tufnell Robbie Savage and Katy McLean in a BBC Sports Personality Special

Coyle names as Houston manager


Owen Coyle

Former Bolton Wanderers and Burnley manager Owen Coyle has been named as the new coach of Major League Soccer side Houston Dynamo.

The 48-year-old becomes the first former Premier League manager to land a head coaching job in MLS since Ruud Gullit left the LA Galaxy in 2008.

Continuing with Xmas party theme..


Crystal Palace team
Dwight Gayle

We've had Southampton manager Ronald Koeman in his Christmas jumper on the way to the club party - check out the Crystal Palace team courtesy of striker

Dwight Gayle.

Scotland announce World Cup squad


Scotland announce their provisional 24-man squad for the ICC Cricket World Cup.

Among the names to make the cut are Matt Machan of Sussex and Leicestershire's Robert Taylor.

Scotland will face New Zealand, England, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Australia in Pool A.


BBC Sport's Scotland page.

Doping in athletics


It is alleged many of the 150 samples came from Russia, but at least one was from a Briton with others coming from Kenya, Germany, Spain and Morocco.

ARD has already alleged there is systematic doping in Russian athletics and implicated the IAAF in covering up the problem.

The BBC has not independently verified any of the claims but the Russian Athletics Federation has called them "lies".

Doping in athletics


A German television documentary

claims a top British athlete escaped a doping inquiry after the IAAF, the sport's world governing body, decided not to look into 150 suspicious blood samples.

Broadcaster ARD alleges an unnamed member of the IAAF's medical commission had a list of cases from 2006 to 2008 that were not investigated and according to the IAAF official, the samples were "highly suspicious".

Blyth can win Blues cup tie - Wade


Blyth Spartans boss Tom Wade believes their home FA Cup third round tie with Birmingham City

is winnable.

Spartans, who play in the seventh tier of English football,

beat League Two's bottom side Hartlepool in the second round and, with Birmingham 19th in the Championship, Wade senses another potential upset.

"Birmingham have picked up over the last six or seven games, but it's a home tie we could win," Wade told BBC Sport. "They've got to play terrible and we've got to play great, but it's possible."

Ipswich announce reduced losses


Ipswich Town have made sure of avoiding Financial Fair Play sanctions by

reducing their losses to £7.2m in the 12 months to the end of June.

The figure was £2.6 down on the previous 12 months and £800,00 under the £8m limit that would result in an FFP penalty, although their overall debt - mostly owed to owner Marcus Evans - rose to £86m.

Town are currently second in the Championship after five wins in their last six games, despite manager Mick McCarthy not having paid a transfer fee for a player since the end of 2012.

Wickham wonderland


Connor Wickham: Glad to have signed a new deal at Sunderland. Thanks to everybody involved.

Injured Della-Verde back at Fulham


Fulham youngster Lyle Della-Verde's loan spell at Conference club Bristol Rovers has been cut short by an ankle injury. The 19-year-old was injured against Wrexham last week and he has returned to Craven Cottage after scans revealed ligament damage.

'Tis the season...


Manchester United
Manchester United

Is there ever any excuse?

Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo (left) and Ander Herrera join in the [British] Christmas spirit by wearing festive headwear.

Wickham signs new deal


Connor Wickham

Sunderland: NEW CONTRACT FOR CONNOR: @ConnorWickham10 has penned a new deal with #SAFC until 2019. #hawaythelads

Cherries chairman feared for safety


Bournemouth chairman Jeff Mostyn has said he feared for his safety after his side's dramatic late 2-1 victory at nine-man Wolves on Saturday.

The match at Molineux included two red cards and saw Wolves owner Steve Morgan confront the referee, an incident for which he has since apologised and been
charged by the Football Association.

Mostyn said he "had a lot of abuse" from home supporters after the game.

"It was very intimidating," he told

BBC Radio Solent.

Christmas Countdown


day nine of the BBC Sport advent calendar, we go go back to the snowboard cross semi-final at the Sochi Winter Olympics as Great Britain's Zoe Gillings misses out on a place in the final.

After USA's Lindsey Jacobellis crashed, Gillings was edged out of third spot and qualification for the final by Italy's Michela Moili.

Morecambe aim to bring sunshine to Saturday


Sculptor Graham Ibbotson at work
Morecambe FC

Morecambe FC on Twitter: @ShrimpsOfficial vs @LutonTown this Saturday! Take a look at the unique piece of silverware at stake...

Saturday's League Two game marks the unveiling of the restored Eric Morecambe statue at the seaside resort and to mark the occasion, the inaugural Eric Morecambe Trophy is up for grabs.

The comedian was born in Morecambe and took the town's name as his stage name and he was also a big fan of Luton Town.

Redpath keen to lead a club again

Rugby Union

Sale Sharks head coach Bryan Redpath says he

wants to return to a director of rugby role in the future.

The 43-year-old former Scotland scrum-half

became Sale boss in the summer of 2012 following a three-year spell in charge of Gloucester, but was demoted to a coaching role later that year after their worst start to a Premiership season.

"I made the choice to come back to Sale as director of rugby and at that time it didn't work out," he told BBC Radio Manchester's Rugby Union Extra.

"Life doesn't just stop because you've had one kick in the teeth. I'll get back on track and I'll succeed somewhere."

Kompany and Silva train ahead of Roma game


Vincent Kompany at Manchester City training
Getty Images

Both Vincent Kompany and David Silva trained with Manchester City on Tuesday before the team travelled to Italy for Wednesday's Champions League game against AS Roma.

Kompany has missed the last two matches with a hamstring injury while Silva has been out since late October with a knee problem.

We'll be hearing from City manager Manuel Pellegrini from 18:30 GMT.

Coming up

BBC Radio 5 live

5 Live Sport tonight from 19:00 GMT will have commentary of Arsenal's Champions League game against Galatasaray in Istanbul

There will also be updates from Anfield as Liverpool bid to reach the knock-out stages of the competition when they take on FC Basel.

Then from 21:40, the 5 Live Football Social will have the best texts, calls and social media reaction to the night's games.

Champions League permutations


The final round of Champions League qualifiers take place over the next two nights.

Chelsea and Arsenal are already through to the last 16 but

here is a handy guide to what Liverpool need to do tonight against Basle and Manchester City tomorrow at Roma in order to join them.

Get involved

Martin in Southampton via text on 81111: Are Man Utd a pub team - no. Did they play like a pub team last night - yes. Do pub teams win sometimes - yes, they often beat other pub teams! Take it as you will.

John Pierce: A winning team and a good team can be mutually exclusive, Man Utd are proof of that.

So are Manchester United playing like a pub team or like title contenders?


#bbcsportsday, text in on 81111 or use the
BBC Sport Facebook page.