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Live Reporting

Gary Rose & Saj Chowdhury

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Thanks and goodbye

    That's all for Sportsday but pop on over to our Europa League coverage, which you will be able to find on the football section of the website shortly.

    We'll be back, as always, at 08:00 GMT on Friday. Cheers.

  2. Ebanks-Blake given time to earn Preston deal


    Former Wolves striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake will be given time to earn a contract with League One side Preston North End, says manager Simon Grayson.

    Ebanks-Blake, 28, has been without a club since being released by Ipswich in May and has so far failed to win a deal after trial spells at other Football League clubs.

    "We have said 'you can stay as long as you want because we want a striker and you are looking for a club'," Grayson told BBC Radio Lancashire. "He is a good player. If we can get him fit and see enough about him, then we could have an excellent signing on our hands."

  3. Football

    Hereford United suspension from football lifted by FA

    Hereford United's suspension from all football activity has been lifted by the Football Association.

    Chairman, and new majority shareholder, Andy Lonsdale confirmed on Thursday the FA have received the necessary documentation - including the transfer of shares in the club to Lonsdale.

    "I did say it was only a paperwork exercise and the ban would be lifted," said Lonsdale. "I hope people can see I am telling the truth. The FA are happy."

  4. Wolves news conference


    Wolves head coach Kenny Jackett again has a weakened squad to select from for Saturday's trip to face Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough, reports BBC WM's Mike Taylor.

    Nouha Dicko, Ethan Ebanks-Landell and Scott Golbourne are still out injured, while Matt Doherty begins a three-match suspension for his straight red card in last Saturday's 2-1 home reverse to Bournemouth - Wolves' fifth straight defeat.

    But Jackett hopes that striker Danny Graham, despite missing training this week with a stomach problem, will be fit to face the Owls, managed by former Wolves number two Stuart Gray.

  5. Oxford triumph in Varsity match

    Rugby Union

    Oxford have won the Varsity match for a fifth year in succession, thrashing Cambridge 43-6 at Twickenham. It is the first time Oxford have won the annual fixture five times in a row.

  6. Besiktas v Tottenham (18:00 GMT)


    Kyle Walker's Tottenham shirt

    Tottenham: This is @kylewalker2's first start since March 13.

    There will be live text commentary of the match on the BBC Sport website.

  7. Keepers' union


    Siobhan Chamberlain

    How many England stars can you fit into a photo booth?

    Goalkeepers - Arsenal's Siobhan Chamberlain (with wig), Southampton's Fraser Forster (with tongue out), West Brom's Ben Foster and non-keeper Gemma Bonner of Liverpool.

  8. Get involved #bbcsportsday

    Ex-Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson said the Reds are rudderless at the moment, following their Champions League exit. What do you think?

    Jazz Vo: Mark Lawrenson hit the nail on the head

    Jay Nielsen: Agree with Lawro. Benitez started doing the same thing with squad rotation and we saw negative results

  9. Pearson charged by FA

    Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson has been charged by the FA in relation to his side's game against Liverpool on 2 December 2014.

    "It is alleged that during the fixture Mr Pearson used abusive and/or insulting words towards a spectator," the FA says in a statement.

    Pearson has until 18:00 GMT on 16 December to respond to the charge.

  10. Spurs fined £11,870 by Uefa


    Tottenham have been fined 15,000 euros (£11,870) following pitch invasions during the Europa League tie against Partizan Belgrade at White Hart Lane last month, Uefa announces.

  11. Besiktas v Tottenham (18:00 GMT)


    Besiktas v Tottenham

    Tottenham: We're at @Besiktas for our final @EuropaLeague group stage game. A draw or better sees us top Group C. Team news soon

  12. Wigan's Christmas gift

    Wigan players are to 'go halves' with supporters on the first 500 away tickets sold in advance for the Boxing Day game at Leeds United.

    Tickets for the game are charged at £36 for advanced sales, and £41 on the day.

    "Christmas is an expensive time of year for everyone, especially football fans, and we want to show our appreciation to the fans who follow us week in week out by making this gesture," says captain Gary Caldwell.

  13. Cheyenne on top of the world

    Cheyenne Woods

    Cheyenne Woods, Tiger Woods' niece, poses for a picture on the helipad on top of the Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai after her second round of the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters

  14. Get involved #bbcsportsday

    Steven Todd: Lawro is right - Rodgers needs to pick 14 key players and stick with them...

  15. Europa League

    Everton boss Roberto Martinez intends to "celebrate" the club's progress into the Europa League knockout phase by naming an experimental line-up against Russian side Krasnodar.

    The Toffees have secured their place in Monday's last-32 draw after sealing top spot in Group H with a game to spare.

    Defender Tyias Browning, 20, full-back Luke Garbutt, 21, and forward Conor McAleny, 22, are all set to feature.

    We will have live Europa League coverage online from 17:30 GMT.

  16. Liverpool are "rudderless"

    Brendan Rodgers

    Liverpool are "rudderless" and "going backwards just as fast as they went forwards last season", according to former player Mark Lawrenson.

    Lawrenson says he is baffled by some of the team selections and accuses manager Brendan Rodgers of changing his side "like he does his socks". The BBC Sport pundit also says Daniel Sturridge will not prove to be the "saviour" of the Anfield club.

    "To be frank, Liverpool are all over the place at the moment. They are rudderless, low on confidence and do not seem to have a definitive way of playing," Lawrenson says.

    Do you agree with Lawrenson? Let us know via #bbcsportsday

  17. Stoke news conference

    BBC Sport's Luke Reddy: "What then to make of Mark Hughes on this cold Thursday? He was warm, relaxed and cut the jib of a man whose position in mid-table perhaps allows him to sleep at night.

    "Coy on reported moves for Steven Nzonzi to Napoli, Charlie Adam to Real Sociedad and Ryan Shawcross to Roma, Hughes didn't bite on players leaving and stressed the Potters do not need to sell in January. On Adam he said he "understands" frustrations at not starting games, on Bojan he highlighted a settled 24-year-old, who has had his fair share of clubs to date.

    "Can the Potters beat Palace on Saturday? Hughes seems pretty chilled about life. That may change when he's stood next to Neil Warnock on the touchline."

  18. Stoke news conference

    Mark Hughes

    BBC Sport's Luke Reddy: "Mark Hughes is asked about some harsh old comments made by Crystal Palace boss Neil Warnock last year. After leaving Leeds United, Warnock cheekily said he hoped Hughes replaced him so he could 'wreck another club of mine'.

    "Hughes had succeeded Warnock at Queens Park Rangers in 2012, but won't revisit Warnock's words ahead of their meeting on Saturday.

    "'Neil sometimes says things he knows will get picked up,' says Hughes. 'I have an opinion on it but I won't go into it.'"

  19. Get involved #myclpredictions

    The Nayak: Chelsea to reach the Semi-Final for sure. Barcelona to win it. Messi to be top scorer.

  20. Triumphant City homeward bound

    Manchester City

    It is a happy flight home for one Premier League team after their Champions League exploits, as Manchester City tweets: HOMEWARD BOUND: Next stop, Manchester!

    Man City
  21. Title challenge tough - McNamara

    Jackie McNamara admits it will be tough for Dundee United and Aberdeen to challenge Celtic for the Scottish Premiership title this season.

    But the Tannadice manager, whose charges entertain the Dons on Saturday, remains hopeful that a team can run Ronny Deila's side close.

    "Everybody wants to see a potential challenge to Celtic, which is a big ask with the finances and all the resources," McNamara says. "But both teams would love to do that."

  22. Gillingham sign former Hibs winger


    Gillingham have signed former Hibernian winger Danny Galbraith on a short-term contract to the end of the season.

    The 24-year-old, who left Hibs last year following injury problems, has spent the past fortnight on trial with the League One club.

  23. Stoke news conference


    Stoke manager Mark Hughes

    Stoke manager Mark Hughes: "Back to back wins in the Premier League is huge and the fact we haven't got them is surprising to us. I think a number of clubs look at their positon to this point and I think the international breaks have affected us and others - maybe we should have got points here or there but I think other clubs will be looking too that they are in a false position like us."

  24. Leicester team news


    Leicester manager Nigel Pearson: "Unfortunately Kasper Schmeichel will be having an operation on a broken metatarsal. The optimistic view is 4-6 weeks out."

    When it rains...

  25. Stoke news conference


    BBC Sport's Luke Reddy at the Britannia Stadium: Manager Mark Hughes says there is a doubt over Marc Muniesa, he has a hamstring issue. Jon Walters is a bit sore in his knee.

    And on defender Ryan Shawcross for England?

    "Hughes says, 'We have all had a view on this and thankfully Roy was at the game against Arsenal and would once again have seen a good performance from Ryan. That will help his case - he's been seen in a high profile game. In our point of view he can't do any more. An accomplished Premier League player for a very long time. I see him every day and I think his development has progressed year on year."

  26. Stoke news conference


    Stoke's press room

    BBC Sport's Luke Reddy at the Britannia Stadium: "Expect him to field questions on an in-form Bojan, inconsistent form and some reports today linking Charlie Adam with a move to Real Sociedad to join up with David Moyes."

  27. Button sympathy for Magnussen

    Formula 1

    Jenson Button: Feeling for my buddy @KevinMagnussen such a talent and great guy, he'll be back in F1 before we know it.

    Would it be Button or Magnussen confirmed for the other seat alongside Fernando Alonso. It remained with Button. Read the story on BBC's F1 page.

  28. Leicester City news conference


    Leicester manager Nigel Pearson: We've been in a difficult run for a while, so we certainly won't be dwelling on that against Manchester City. We deal with things when they happen, but I will always be as supportive as I can be of my players. We have to look at each game in terms of what we know we are capable of. I'm asking the players, to a man, to give themselves the best chance of winning the game. We need to get our performance right."

  29. West Brom news conference


    West Brom: Midfielder Chris Brunt remains sidelined through injury. Jonas Olsson will also miss the Aston Villa game as he continues recovery

  30. Stoke news conference


    Stoke striker Peter Crouch

    BBC Sport's Luke Reddy at the Britannia Stadium:

    "Stoke City boss Mark Hughes will glare from his seat at his news conference straight at an image hung proudly on the wall of Peter Crouch. The giant striker scored against Arsenal last weekend then attended a Kasabian gig in London.

    "He was filmed crowd surfing at the concert with a huge grin on his face. Back to London - the scene of the crime - this weekend to face Crystal Palace. Who knows, he may jump into the Potters' fans if he nets."

  31. Aston Villa team news


    Aston Villa: "Paul Lambert hoping to have midfielder Fabian Delph and defender Ron Vlaar in contention for the West Brom game. Midfielder Tom Cleverley's fitness will also be assessed on the eve of the West Brom match. He has a bruised foot."

  32. Haye v Klitschko (at breakfast)


    Vitali Klitschko and David Haye
    Image caption: Vitali Klitschko (left) and David Haye

    Remember these two?

    Here is what former British world heavyweight champion David Haye tweeted: "Breakfast with [former world heavyweight champion] Vitali talking all things family, politics & BIG FIGHTS 2015/16 [followed by a wink]."

  33. Stoke news conference


    Luke Reddy at the Britannia Stadium: Stoke City, buoyed by a win over Arsenal last weekend, travel to Crystal Palace this Saturday. The Potters are yet to record back to back wins in the Premier League this term. We will hear from gaffer Mark Hughes shortly.

  34. Southampton news conference


    Southampton manager Ronald Koeman: "Midfielder James Ward-Prowse is back in training with the group. He needs more time, but will be in the squad for the next two games. Defender Toby Alderweireld is back in training and will be fit for Saturday, while Morgan Schneiderlin has a chance for Tuesday."

  35. Uefa marks Christmas Truce centenary


    As part of Football Remembers, Uefa unveils its memorial close to the Christmas Truce site at Saint Yves, near Ploegsteert, during a ceremony attended by Uefa president Michel Platini.

    The Christmas Truce was an unofficial ceasefire saw British and German soldiers across the Western Front play football together in December 1914.

    "All those years ago, football provided a vital bridge for the spontaneous expression of humanity. So it was perfectly normal for European football to pay a glowing tribute to them now, to all those who decided on that evening to think about something positive and play the game they loved," says Platini.

  36. Burnley news conference


    Burnley: Manager Sean Dyche confirms that striker Sam Vokes will not feature in his thoughts for the weekend as the striker continues to work towards full fitness.

  37. Not a Schurrle thing


    Andre Schurrle says he will not be leaving Chelsea next month.

    The 24-year-old has struggled to hold down a regular first team place, and started for the first time in five weeks against Sporting Lisbon on Wednesday night.

    "I can just laugh all the talk of leaving off. I am not going to change the club in the transfer window," Schurrle tells the London Evening Standard.

  38. Sports Personality of the Year

    Sports Personality

    BBCSPOTY: Hot off the press, our #SPOTY2014 official programmes have arrived!

  39. Focus on Song

    Alex Song

    West Ham: Alex Song talks to BBC Sport Football Focus ahead of Saturday's trip to

  40. Newcastle news conference


    It appears that England Under-17 keeper Freddie Woodman will be on the bench for the Magpies for their trip to Arsenal on Saturday (17:30 GMT).

  41. Newcastle news conference


    Newcastle manager Alan Pardew: "Arsenal has not been a happy hunting ground for us in recent years. The games at SJP have been tight and we hope this one is too. Arsene Wenger has done an unbelievable job at Arsenal and in some ways their stadium should be named after him."

  42. Newcastle news conference


    Newcastle manager Alan Pardew: "Rob Elliot will be out for 6 or 7 games. Jak Alnwick will start in goal at Arsenal and we wish him well. There will be no Rolando Aarons or Davide Santon. We are pretty much where we were for Chelsea in terms of injuries."

  43. On this day in sport

    1985: The 21 goals produced in a National Hockey League match between the Edmonton Oilers and Chicago Blackhawks equalled a 65-year-old NHL record for the highest-scoring game. Edmonton won the game 12-9.

    2000: Murray Walker, aged 77 and the voice of Formula 1 for more than 50 years, announced he would retire from commentating at the end of the 2001 season.

    2006: Alan Pardew parted company with West Ham, with Alan Curbishley ultimately replacing him as manager at Upton Park.

    2011: Luke Donald became the first player to top the money list on both sides of the Atlantic in the same season after winning the European Tour's 'Race to Dubai'.

  44. What's behind door no.11?

    When you opened your advent calendar door this morning you probably did not expect to see a flying boot or two...


    ...well that's the case with door number 11 on our calendar. What are we talking about? Check the BBC Sport advent calendar to find out.

  45. AC Milan at the Emirates?


    AC Milan outline plans for a new all-seater venue that could be named the Emirates and be partly funded by the Serie A club's sponsors of the same name, reports said on Thursday.

    The proposals, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, would see the club move away from the San Siro ground they share with Inter to a site adjacent to the club's recently-built 'Casa Milan' headquarters in the neighborhood of Fiera, known for hosting some of Europe's biggest trade fairs.

  46. Going for gold


    Amir Khan

    Fancy some new shorts for Christmas?

    How about these from Amir Khan, who will wear boxing's "most expensive shorts" when he takes on Devon Alexander in a welterweight showdown in Las Vegas on Saturday.

    The shorts, made of white nappa leather, silk and featuring a waistband made of 24-carat gold thread, are reported to be worth at least £20,000.

  47. Get involved

    Champions League predictions

    Stef Barnes: Arsenal will do the usual, come 2nd in an easy group & go out to the 1st decent team they play & then say we have been in the CL for the last 17yrs..but they have never won it, so what's the point in turning up every year..

  48. Cellino - I am willing to resign


    Leeds president Massimo Cellino confirms he will comply with the Football League's ruling to disqualify him as owner of the club.

    Cellino is to appeal against the League's decision to ban him after it ruled he had failed its 'owners' and directors' test', but the 58-year-old Italian has told his fellow directors he will stand down from the board to safeguard the club against possible further sanctions.

    "I'm prepared to resign if it's what I have to do," Cellino told the Yorkshire Evening Post.

    "I said to the other directors that I don't want to bring any problems on the club so if I have to resign in 28 days and then wait to finish my appeal, I will.

  49. Get involved #myclpredictions

    Nick Cary: Don't think an English team will win it but wouldn't be surprised to see all three in the quarter finals

    Tatenda Chakaduka: I think City have come of age and with Kun Aguero at his peak they have every chance of winning it, I hope I'm wrong though

  50. McLaren announcement reaction

    Formula 1

    McLaren: Jenson Button - 'I am extremely excited to be embarking on my 16th year in F1 & my sixth season for McLaren.'

  51. McLaren announcement reaction

    Formula 1

    BBC Radio 5 live F1 reporter Jennie Gow: Interesting that Ron Dennis lays large portion of blame for 2007 failure at Lewis Hamilton's door...highlighting his immaturity. Ouch.

  52. Dortmund hope Reus stays


    Marco Reus

    Borussia Dortmund's general manager Hans-Joachim Watzke is optimistic Marco Reus will still be at the club next season.

    Reus is the focus of interest from Bayern Munich and reportedly from clubs in England and Spain, with a clause in his contract permitting him to leave for a set fee at the end of the current campaign.

    "I believe that fundamentally Marco would love to stay here because he loves the city and he loves Borussia Dortmund," Watzke told Stern magazine.

    "But I'm sure the people who are interested in him moving will provide him with other arguments."

  53. Athletics doping scandal


    UK Anti-Doping chief executive Andy Parkinson says: "UK Anti-Doping welcomes the news that the World Anti-Doping Agency is to undertake a full investigation into the allegations of doping made in the recent German television programmes.

    "UKAD fully supports this course of action from the world's independent anti-doping body and has advised WADA that UKAD will fully cooperate and assist with its enquiries."

  54. England beat Sri Lanka


    England beat Sri Lanka by five wickets to win the fifth one-day international. England were chasing 240 and won with five balls to spare. Joe Root top scored with an unbeaten 104. Sri Lanka lead the series 3-2.

  55. Burgess to start for Bath

    Rugby Union

    Bath confirm former rugby league star Sam Burgess will make first start, against Montpellier in the European Rugby Champions Cup clash on Friday at 19:45 GMT.

  56. Chelsea adopt Living Wage


    Chelsea website: "Chelsea FC is proud to announce we have become the first English professional football club to be accredited as a Living Wage employer.

    "Chelsea will pay all directly employed members of staff the Living Wage as a minimum - currently £9.15 in London or £7.85 an hour outside of London. This rate is significantly higher than the current national minimum wage of £6.50 an hour."

  57. McLaren announcement reaction

    Formula 1

    Simon Woodward: Great news about @JensonButton. 10 of the 32 drivers to win titles have won one older than he'll be next season so still in his prime

  58. McLaren news conference

    Formula 1

    BBC F1 commentator James Allen: "Ron Dennis says that part of the delay in signing Jenson Button was the possibility of needing to supply a third car with financial issues in F1.

    "Dennis also thinks two F1 teams may not make it and he wants to "help" them.

  59. Get involved #bbcf1

    Your thoughts on McLaren's driver line-up

    David McQueen: Alonso isn't the best driver in F1. Hamilton proved that in their time together.

    Andrew Neill: I'd love to see Rosberg dropped by Mercedes and replaced by Alonso. Fernando v Lewis Hamilton in that car would be truly epic.

  60. McLaren news conference

    Formula 1

    BBC Radio 5 live F1 reporter Jennie Gow: "'Our objective for the future...domination...winning races is challenging but domination is more challenging,' says McLaren chief Ron Dennis"

  61. "We have unfinished business"

    McLaren news conference

    McLaren chairman Ron Dennis: "I really respect that Fernando chose to change direction, come back to McLaren and address what we both feel is unfinished business."

  62. Mercedes driver announcement?

    Formula 1


    Well, we didn't expect this....

    Mercedes: DRIVER ANNOUNCEMENT: Click here

    Small italicised print: Pascal Wehrlein joins 2014 Race of Champions line-up in Barbados

  63. Russia chief steps down


    Dan Roan

    BBC sports editor

    "Russia's athletics chief - Valentin Balakhnichev - has stepped down as treasurer for the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) following doping claims. The sport's world governing body said it was unable to confirm reports that marketing consultant Massata Papa Diack - the son of its President Lamine Diack - and legal adviser Habib Cisse, had also quit pending the outcome of an investigation into allegations of a cover-up of systematic doping in Russia."

  64. McLaren news conference

    Formula 1

    Jenson Button

    BBC F1 reporter Jennie Gow: And the boys arrive for the news conference.

  65. McLaren announcement reaction #bbcf1

    Formula 1

    James Shepherd: Any chance of a red and white McLaren Honda next season?

  66. Dominant duo?

    Formula 1


    McLaren write in their press release that "In 1988, the McLaren-Honda partnership created arguably the single most successful Formula 1 car of all time: the all-conquering McLaren-Honda MP4/4, which was driven to victory by Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost in an amazing 15 of the season's 16 grands prix."

    Will Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button prove as good as those two?

  67. Get involved #bbcf1

    Your thoughts on McLaren's driver line-up

    Anne Elk: Brilliant news, pity there was so much faffing. Looks like the '15 McL story will be as engrossing as the Merc one!

    Abdel Khairoun: McLaren got rid of the racer and kept the systems manager - just what Fernando Alonso wants and needs

  68. McLaren duel?

    Formula 1

    Andrew Benson

    BBC Sport chief F1 writer

    "Alonso talks about his admiration of Senna; Button about his for Prost. Sets it up nicely, doesn't it?"

  69. Someone is happy

    Formula 1


    Fernando Alonso: #thePowerOfDreams

  70. Button contract

    Formula 1

    Andrew Benson

    BBC Sport chief F1 writer

    "Button's new contract is said by insiders to be for one year with a further year as an option."

  71. The grid in 2015

    Formula 1

    Mercedes - Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg

    Red Bull - Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat

    Williams - Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas

    Ferrari - Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen

    McLaren - Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button

    Force India - Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez

    Toro Rosso - Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr

    Lotus - Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean

    Sauber - Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson

  72. PSG fans stabbed


    Two Paris St-Germain fans were taken to hospital after being stabbed following Wednesday night's Champions League match against Barcelona at the Nou Camp, Catalan police announce.

    According to a statement by the Mossos d'Esquadra police force on Thursday morning, one of the fans remains in hospital after being attacked by two people wearing balaclavas while, soon after, another visiting supporter also suffered stab wounds but has already been discharged from hospital.

    Barcelona won the match 3-1 to finish two points ahead of PSG at the top of Group F, with both teams progressing to the last 16.

  73. Button confirmed at McLaren for 2015

    Formula 1

    Jenson Button
  74. McLaren reaction

    Formula 1

    Jenson Button: Just woken up, what's going on?!

    Shall we tell him?

  75. Get involved #bbcf1

    Your thoughts on McLaren's driver line-up

    Sardonically: McLaren will have trouble getting out of Q1 in 2015, Alonso will leave in a huff again after a year and Jenson will finally go.

    Ross Price: The McLaren line-up for 2015 is my favourite on the grid! It doesn't get better.

  76. Good move for Magnussen?

    Formula 1

    BBC F1 commentator Ben Edwards, on Kevin Magnussen dropping down to reserve driver at McLaren: It didn't do any harm to Alonso's career to have a year as a reserve driver after a season of racing. McLaren decision looking good.

  77. 'IAAF officials step down'


    Three senior IAAF officials, including the son of president Lamine Diack, step down from their posts with athletics' world governing body pending the outcome of an investigation into allegations of a cover-up of systematic doping in Russia, sources have told Press Association Sport.

  78. "We have the best drivers in F1"

    Formula 1

    McLaren chairman Ron Dennis, on the signing of Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button as the team's drivers for 2015: "We signed Fernando a little while ago, but we decided not to announce the fact until we had also re-signed Jenson as his team-mate.

    "For many reasons our negotiations with Jenson took quite a long time, but, now that they have been concluded, we are confident that our collaboration with him will continue to thrive in the future every bit as well as it has in the past. Make no mistake about it, Jenson is 100% committed to McLaren-Honda, to Formula 1, and to winning.

    "As a pair, he and Fernando are supremely experienced. I can safely say, therefore, that we now have by an order of magnitude the best driver line-up of any current Formula 1 team."

  79. McLaren chance exciting - Alonso

    Formula 1

    Fernando Alonso on rejoining McLaren: "I am joining this project with enormous enthusiasm and determination, knowing that it may require some time to achieve the results we are aiming for, which is no problem for me.

    "Over the past year I have received several offers, some of them really tempting, given the current performance of some of the teams that showed interest. But, more than a year ago, McLaren-Honda contacted me and asked me to take part, in a very active way, in the return of their partnership - a partnership that dominated the Formula 1 scene for so long.

    "McLaren-Honda's repeated and open desire, perseverance and determination in making it possible for me to join their exciting renewed partnership, have been some of the main factors that made me take this decision, not forgetting the most important factor of all: we share a common objective and expectations, and there is a very solid future, with confidence, ahead."

  80. McLaren reaction

    Formula 1

    Formula E driver Karun Chandhok: Wow - Mclaren have let Fernando keep his scruffy beard ! Clearly very keen to accommodate him.

  81. Button "raring to go"

    Formula 1

    Jenson Button after being confirmed as McLaren's driver for 2015: "I am extremely excited to be embarking on my 16th year in Formula 1 and my sixth season for McLaren.

    "I admired Ayrton Senna enormously, but, for me, it was the exploits of his McLaren-Honda team-mate Alain Prost that inspired me most as a boy. The way he stroked those beautifully brutal red-and-white cars to grand prix wins and world championships was to my mind poetry in motion, and I have tried to emulate his driving style ever since.

    "Being a part of new-look McLaren-Honda is a wonderful opportunity for all of us, and I am very pleased to have been invited to do my bit. In fact, I am absolutely raring to go."

  82. BreakingBREAKING NEWS

    Formula 1


    Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso are confirmed as McLaren's drivers for the 2015 Formula 1 season.

    Kevin Magnussen has been confirmed as test and reserve driver.

  83. Allardyce happy with clinical Hammers

    Sam Allardyce has just been holding his pre-Sunderland match news conference and the West Ham boss says the key to his side's impressive form this season is the fact they are more clinical in front of goal.

    The Hammers are fourth in the Premier League with 27 points from 15 games, and Allardyce says: "What we've got this year is that we're taking our chances more.

    "You play in the best way you can with the team you've got and we've never been short of creating chances."

  84. Johnson bouncer worries Lyon


    Virat Kohli (right)

    Australia spinner Nathan Lyon says he felt worried when a fearsome Mitchell Johnson bouncer crashed into the helmet of India captain Virat Kohli (right in the photo) in the first Adelaide Test on Thursday.

    Australian Test batsman Phillip Hughes died from injuries suffered when he was struck in the head by a short-pitched delivery in a domestic game late last month.

    "Your heart skips a beat, especially for those four [New South Wales] guys out there," Lyon said.

    "I went to everyone just to ask if they were okay because it's something that you don't want to see again when we were out there with Phil's [Hughes] incident and today that sound was pretty familiar.

    "That's why we all ran in there quite quickly to see if Virat was okay. That was the main thing."

  85. Waldrom wins Premiership award

    Rugby Union

    Exeter Chiefs number eight Thomas Waldrom has been named Premiership player of the month for November.

    The 31-year-old scored three tries as Exeter won all four games he played in, two of them in a

    "When you look through the fixtures we've had recently, they've been tough, top-of-the-table-type fixtures and Tom's been one of our high-level performers in those games," said head coach Rob Baxter.

  86. And now the sport with Rio Ferdinand...

    Rio Ferdinand

    Radio 1 had a special guest this morning as QPR defender Rio Ferdinand came into the studio.

    The former Manchester United defender was asked to read the sport bulletins, he duly obliged, prompting an amusing moment as he let out a huge sigh when he realised he had to speak about Manchester City's progression to the Champions League last-16.

    Now that's just cruel.

  87. Get involved #myclpredictions

    Oluwadare Isaac: Chelsea will go furthest, Messi will be the top scorer, Bayern Munich will win it.

    Paul Emeka Kalu: Arsenal to go furthest, Arsenal to win it . Don't tell me I am dreaming.

    Which Premier League club will go the furthest? Who will win it? Who will be top scorer?

  88. McLaren ready to press the Button?

    Formula 1

    Formula 1

    BBC F1 reporter Jennie Gow: "All us media types have been herded into buses and have been told we will be taken to HQ at 10am #F1 drama"

    McLaren are holding a news conference at 11:00 GMT, where it is expected they will confirm Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso as their drivers for 2015.

  89. QPR news conference


    QPR manager Redknapp on the rumours linking the club to signing veteran strikers in January: "We've not made an enquiry for Robbie Keane. I've not spoken to Jermain Defoe either. If we can get one or two players in that would be great. We certainly need a couple of additions in January."

  90. QPR news conference


    More from QPR manager Redknapp on the Caulker reports: "Surely there's more important things going on in the world than this to make the front page. It's crazy really.

    "The players were entitled to go out. It's done and dusted. We're focused on Monday's game at Everton. I've got no time for them going out together for Christmas, but they just went for a Sunday lunch, a few of the lads.

    "The headlines won't damage us. We've got a fine spirit here at QPR and these headlines won't affect that."

  91. QPR news conference


    QPR manager Harry Redknapp is talking ahead of his side's match at Everton on Monday. Although he is currently talking about other matters...

    A report in the Sun claimed defender Steven Caulker was injured after a fight broke out at a pub that Crystal Palace players were also at. The club denied he was involved in an altercation and say he was taken to hospital after cutting his head during a lunch with team-mates.

    "A few of the players went out for Sunday lunch. Steven fell over. He's okay. He's recovered. End of story," he said.

  92. Prior doubts


    Matt Prior

    Here is a piece in The Argus in Brighton reporting that an Achilles problem may force Sussex wicketkeeper Matt Prior to retire from cricket altogether.

  93. Cook out as England bid for victory

    Alastair Cook

    Captain Alastair Cook is dismissed in England's bid to win the rain-hit fifth one-day international against Sri Lanka. England are 35-2 and you can follow the action via live text and radio commentary.

  94. Rio with Grimshaw

    Rio Ferdinand

    QPR defender Rio Ferdinand: Funny morning on BBC Radio 1 with Nick Grimshaw.

  95. It's real love, it's reee-al love

    Lionel Messi

    Barcelona played, Lionel Messi scored. Standard.

    The Argentina forward grabbed his side's first as Barcelona beat Paris St-German 3-1 in the Champions League last night to finish top of Group F.

    There were no sad faces, though, in fact there were plenty of cuddles, with PSG also progressing as runners-up, despite the defeat.

  96. Manager of the month?


    Jose Mourinho, Alan Pardew, Sean Dyche and Manuel Pellegrini

    Barclays Football: Four managers contest November's #BPL Manager of the Month award, who would you give it to?

  97. Get involved #myclpredictions

    Johnny Naidoo: Chelsea to go furthest, Real to win it, Ronaldo to be top scorer. #CFC a lot stronger than City and #AFC

    Jima: Chelsea will go furthest and Lionel Messi will be the top goalscorer

    Paddy McNair: Chelsea will go furthest, Cristiano Ronaldo will be top goal scorer and Real Madrid will win it. They'll do it without a doubt.

    Let us know, via #myclpredictions, which English team you think will go the furthest in the Champions League, which team will win it and which player will finish as top scorer.

  98. City can go far - Milner

    Midfielder James Milner believes Manchester City can go on and make a big impression in the Champions League after snatching a place in the last 16 with Wednesday's 2-0 win at Roma.

    "We will take it step by step but I definitely think the quality is there to go far in this competition," says Milner.

    "We don't want to get ahead of ourselves, but the more seasons we play in the Champions League, and the more games we play in it, the experience helps and we get better as a team."

  99. Aguero's message of support

    Roma 0-2 Man City

    Sergio Aguero

    Manchester City's injured striker Sergio Aguero: Looking at the match from outside is nerve wracking. it´s a great joy seeing the work made by the team that always kept fighting till the end! I thank you all, from the heart, for each and every message you sent me, they give me strength.

  100. Mourinho wary of shark attacks

    Jose Mourinho is keen to avoid one of the "sharks in the ocean" awaiting Chelsea in the draw for the last 16 of the Champions League.

    The Blues topped their group with four wins from six games after a 3-1 win against Sporting Lisbon on Wednesday. Monday's draw will pair Chelsea against either Juventus, PSG, Basel, Bayer Leverkusen or Shakhtar Donetsk.

    "Last year we were close and we didn't have the team playing at such a high level as we do this season, so we can dream we will do it," says Mourinho. "But let's see if the sharks let us, because there are a few sharks in the ocean."

  101. City eyes are smiling


    Fernandinho and Fernando

    It's a been a Champions League campaign of smiles and sad faces. But for the moment the Manchester City players are as happy as a kid opening presents on Christmas morning.

    Here is Fernandinho (left) who tweeted a pic of himself and 'unnamed' man (right) - only joking - it's Fernando and #massimo as he calls him.

  102. Can English trio challenge?

    Champions League

    Phil McNulty

    BBC chief football writer

    "Manchester City's win at Roma was an impressive statement of intent as they completed a superb recovery from their Champions League struggles to reach the knockout phase. Manuel Pellegrini's side now join Chelsea and Arsenal as they try to challenge Europe's current superpowers Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

    "If the Premier League is to defy the odds, and plenty would suggest all logic too, and bring European club football's biggest trophy back to England for the first time since Chelsea's win in 2012, they will have to overcome the usual suspects."

    Can they do it? Read more in Phil McNulty's blog.

  103. Coming up

    QPR, Palace & West Ham news conferences


    As we mentioned earlier, there are 12 Premier League news conferences coming up today, all kicking off with QPR*, Crystal Palace and West Ham at 09:30 GMT. We'll have all the key comments here in Sportsday.

    *Harry Redknapp in a Christmas hat not guaranteed.

  104. Get involved #myclpredictions

    Now we know which teams are through to the last 16 we want to read your predictions for the rest of the Champions League.

    Let us know, via #myclpredictions, which English team will go the furthest? Who will win it and which player will finish as top scorer?

  105. Who's in?

    Champions League

    After last night's games the line-up for the Champions League knockout stages is complete.

    Into the last 16 are: Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Real Madrid, Basel, Monaco, Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Paris St-Germain, Schalke, Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk.



    Away from reports on last night's games, there is plenty of transfer gossip in today's newspapers, all neatly packaged in our gossip column. Here are three of the best bits:

    Inter Milan central defender Nemanja Vidic, 33, is on the verge of making a shock return to Manchester United. (Daily Star)

    Roma's Champions League exit could also clear the way for United to snap up long-term target Kevin Strootman, the 24-year-old Netherlands midfielder. (Independent)

    Sunderland and Leicester are interested in signing Hull City defender Curtis Davies, 29. (Daily Mail)

  107. Boring Chelsea?

    Newspapers round-up

    Champions League

    Manchester City unsurprisingly dominate the back pages of most of the national newspapers, although the Metro leads with Chelsea, describing how the Blues "have found it difficult to shake off their 'boring' tag, with many linking them for a long time with 'park-the-bus' style football, but they finished as the top scorers in the Champions League group stages this season, hitting 17 goals in six matches".

  108. Pellegrini hails his "gladiators"

    Newspaper round-up

    Champions League

    The Sun also leads with Samir Nasri celebrating his goal for Manchester City against Roma last night, with comments from City boss Manuel Pellgrini, who "hails his gladiators after a dramatic win inside Roma's cauldron".

  109. Champions League podcast

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Champions League

    On the morning commute? Why not pass the time by catching up on all the talking points from last night's Champions League games by downloading the BBC Radio 5 live Football Daily podcast.

    Mark Pougatch is joined by Henry Winter from the Daily Telegraph and former internationals Kevin Kilbane and Danny Mills.

  110. Man City "were amazing"

    Newspaper round-up

    Daily Mirror

    The Mirror's back page leads with Samir Nasri hailing "amazing" Manchester City after his stunning strike put them into the Champions League knockout stage.

    "With Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero missing, it was important to show we were a team, and we did it," he says.

  111. Post update

    So how have today's newspapers reacted to last night's Champions League results? Time to take a look...

  112. Swimming with the sharks

    Jose Mourinho

    "Yes, I like. In a cage. I did it in French Polynesia. I didn't want to go, but my wife and my kids, they pushed me."

    Classic Jose Mourinho. There was, however, a very valid reason behind his decision to discuss a past family holiday because the Chelsea boss was comparing the teams his side could face in the Champions League knockout stages as being "like sharks in the ocean".

    We'll expand on those comments in Sportsday this morning, plus have all the reaction to Manchester City's win against Roma and all the other results from the final round of group games.

    That's not all that's coming up today though, oh no, because there are TWELVE Premier League news conferences, while Celtic, Tottenham and Everton are all in Europa League action tonight.

    Add to that all the latest news in sport and it promises to be choc-a-block.

  113. Post update

    Well, Manchester City did it.

    Manchester City

    Winless in their first four Champions League group stage games, City won 2-0 at Roma on Wednesday night to join Europe's elite in the knockout stages.

    It was tense, considerably more so than it was for Chelsea.

    The Blues had already secured their passage into the next stage, allowing Jose Mourinho to spend last night not so much worrying about Sporting Lisbon, but reminiscing about a holiday spent swimming with sharks. Yes, really.


    Welcome to Thursday's Sportsday...