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Summary

  1. Liverpool, Spurs, Everton and Celtic in Europa League action
  2. Nine Premier League news conferences
  3. Fernando Alonso expected to start Australian GP, say McLaren
  4. Andy Murray defeated by Borna Coric at Dubai Championships
  5. Arsenal lose to Monaco in Champions League last 16

Live Reporting

By Steve Canavan and Shamoon Hafez

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Goodbye

That is it for another edition of Sportsday. You can follow all the evening's Europa League action on

the dedicated live text page, with Liverpool, Spurs and Celtic all in action.

Join us again tomorrow at 08:00 GMT where we will have reaction to those games, as well as more Premier League news conferences.

Goodbye.

Ex-Juve man joins Watford

Football

Marco Motta
Getty Images

Former Juventus defender Marco Motta has joined Championship side Watford, subject to international clearance.

The 28-year-old, capped once by Italy, was released by the Serie A leaders earlier this month after four and a half years with the Turin side.

He previously played for Udinese, the Italian top-flight side owned by the Pozzo family which also owns Watford.

The ex-Roma and Atalanta man also had loan spells with Catania, Bologna and Genoa during his time with Juve.

'I want to be legend' - Frampton

Boxing

Carl Frampton
Getty Images

IBF super-bantamweight champion Carl Frampton says he wants to become an Irish boxing legend as he prepares to defend against American Chris Avalos.

Unbeaten Frampton, 28, beat former champion Kiko Martinez on points to secure the title in September.

"I want to become an Irish boxing legend, but also a legend of Irish sport," stated the Belfast boxer.

"I want people to be talking about my fights for years to come the way they talk about Barry McGuigan's fights."

A friendly welcome for Liverpool

Football

Besiktas v Liverpool
Getty Images

Liverpool and their travelling supporters have been greeted with an ominous message from the Besiktas fans. Somewhat over the top wouldn't you say?

The English side lead 1-0 on aggregate.

Follow live commentary of the match here.

Is it possible to make Rugby Union safer?

Rugby Union

George North
Getty Images

After a brutal start to the Six Nations, with

George North being knocked unconscious, Jamie Heaslip receiving treatment for a damaged vertebrae and Mike Brown suffering with concussion.

BBC Sport's chief sports write Tom Fordyce has looked into potential ways to make rugby union a safer sport in his

latest feature.

Grimsby set for safe-standing area?

Football

Blundell Park
Getty Images

Conference side Grimsby Town want to become the first club in the country to use a safe-standing area.

However, FA regulations would prohibit their use if the club was promoted to the Football League, so the Mariners are seeking legislative change.

Their Blundell Park home has been all-seater since 1995.

Grimsby want to install rail seats, similar to those used in Germany and Austria, which can be unlocked or locked for either seating or standing.

Lennon wants to stick with Toffees

Football

Lennon
Getty Images

London Evening Standard: Tottenham winger Aaron Lennon is keen to seal a permanent switch to Everton following his loan move - but the Merseyside club could be put off by his £7m price tag.

Governing body condemns backside poster

Cycling

E3 Harelbeke promotional poster
E3 Harelbeke twitter

Cycling's governing body has condemned E3 Harelbeke organisers for a controversial billboard poster that promotes this year's race in Belgium.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) said it was "extremely unhappy" with the poster which shows a hand moving towards a girl's backside.

"We have reminded the organiser of its responsibility," said a UCI statement.

The poster mimics the antics of 2014 winner Peter Sagan who pinched a podium girl at the 2013 Tour of Flanders.

St Mirren signing

Football

Scottish Premier League side St Mirren have confirmed the signing of 26-year-old central defender Viktor Genev after a successful trial.

The Bulgarian, who last played for Spartak Semey in the Kazakhstan top flight, has signed a contract until the end of the season.

Genev, capped at under-21 level, began his career with Levski Sofia before leaving for city rivals Slavia in 2010.

He joined Spartak in January 2014 and played 29 times during his year with the club as they suffered relegation.

Osborne joins Colchester on loan

Football

Defender Karleigh Osborne has joined Colchester United on loan from Bristol City

until the end of the season.

The 26-year-old, who initially joined the Robins on loan from Millwall in November 2013, has featured just three times for Steve Cotterill's League One leaders this campaign.

Scottish lock out for season

Rugby Union

Edinburgh vice-captain Grant Gilchrist has been

ruled out for the rest of the season through injury.

Edinburgh lock Grant Gilchrist
SNS

The Scotland lock has been forced to have further surgery for the broken forearm he picked up in October's European Challenge Cup game with Lyon.

Inter in 'best possible shape'

Football

Roberto Mancini
Getty Images

Roberto Mancini believes his Inter Milan side are in the "best possible shape" ahead of their

Europa League last-32 second leg against Celtic.

The teams are tied at 3-3 ahead of the return tie at the San Siro Stadium.

And Inter recorded their third successive Serie A victory on Monday as they edged Cagliari 2-1.

"We've had the best possible preparation because we're coming off the back of some great performances and results," said the former Manchester City manager Mancini.

Orient sign Burnley defender O'Neill

Football

League One side Leyton Orient have signed Burnley right-back

Luke O'Neill on loan until the end of the season.

The 23-year-old

spent time at Scunthorpe United earlier in the campaign, making 15 appearances for the Iron in all competitions.

Opta Joe on Twitter: Liverpool's Jordon Ibe has completed 11 dribbles against Besiktas in the 1st leg at Anfield, a season-high in the the Europa League.

Racer given 10 month ban

Speedway

Poole Pirates' Darcy Ward has been banned from speedway for 10 months for failing a breathalyser test in August.

The 22-year-old Australian has been given a backdated suspension and will be unavailable until 28 June - halfway through the 2015 season.

However, Pirates owner Matt Ford says Ward could ride again before the end of the campaign.

"He'll be able to join the club at the business end of the season, should we need him," he told BBC Radio Solent.

Liverpool on the offensive

Football

Liverpool's team to face Besiktas has been announced and it's an attacking one.

Mignolet, Toure, Skrtel, Lovren; Ibe, Allen, Can, Moreno; Sterling, Sturridge; Balotelli.

Kick-off at 18:00 GMT, with live text commentary on the BBC Sport website. Liverpool lead 1-0 from the first leg.

Nani set for United return?

Football

Nani
Getty Images

Portugal winger Nani has opened the door to a possible return to Manchester United after admitting he still "loves" the club.

United sent Nani on a season-long loan to Sporting Lisbon as part of the deal that brought Marcos Rojo to Old Trafford last summer.

"I love Manchester United," Nani

told the Guardian.

"The only decision I made (last summer) was to play more and be me again, because I lost a lot of things there last season due to injuries and the change of manager. You never know the future."

Lotus appoint female driver

Formula 1

Spanish female racer Carmen Jorda will be a development driver for Lotus this season, the Formula One team has announced.

Jorda
Getty Images

The 26-year-old appeared in the GP3 junior series last year with little success, failing to finish in the top 10 with a car that then proved a winner when it was put in the hands of Britain's Dean Stoneman.

48-year-old goes on and on

Football

Kazuyoshi Miura
Getty Images

Former Japan striker Kazuyoshi Miura insists he has no plans to retire after turning 48 on Thursday, ahead of his 30th year as a professional footballer.

Dressed in a wine-red suit, he celebrated his birthday with a giant cake and the J-League's oldest player told local media: "This is the (Chinese) year of the goat and I was born under that zodiac sign, so I wanted to ring in my 30th season with a bit of colour.

"I'm not a pensioner yet, you know!"

Miura is Japan's second-highest goalscorer with 55 goals in 89 matches.

Hock signs for Leigh

Rugby League

Gareth Hock
Leigh Centurions

Championship side Leigh Centurions have signed prop Gareth Hock on a two-year deal after the 31-year-old left Salford on Monday following his latest disciplinary problem.

He is currently serving a six-game ban for twice using his knees against opponents in Salford's 52-6 defeat by St Helens on 12 February.

The Wigan-born player was also expelled from the England squad before the 2013 World Cup following "serious breaches of team discipline".

He received a seven-match suspension in 2014 for making deliberate physical contact with a referee in Salford's match against Hull, and was given five-match and four-match bans for committing similar offences in 2008 and 2013.

Opta Joe on Twitter: Tottenham Hotspur have played 43 competitive games this season; more than any other Premier League side. Incessant.

Gasquet out of Dubai Championships

Tennis

Richard Gasquet
Getty Images

Richard Gasquet has withdrawn from the Dubai Championships after losing the first set 6-1 to defending champion Rodger Federer.

The Frenchman signalled to the umpire that he could not continue due to what is thought to be an existing back injury.

Federer will now advance to the semi-final to play 18-year-old Borna Coric, who beat Andy Murray 6-1 6-3 earlier today.

Liverpool to escape punishment

Football

Liverpool are expected to be cleared of any financial fair play breaches tomorrow but Hull will be handed a small fine by UEFA.

The CFCB will meet on Friday and is expected to announce that investigations into Liverpool have ended without any sanctions to be brought against the Merseyside club.

It is understood that Hull, who played in the qualifying rounds of the Europa League, have agreed to settle for a small fine for FFP breaches.

Last year Levski Sofia and three Turkish clubs each received a 200,000 euro fine and Hull's sanction is thought to be of a similar level.

Forest players 'embracing challenge'

Football

Nottingham Forest boss Dougie Freedman has heaped praised his team after extending his unbeaten start as manager to five games.

Freedman
Getty Images

Victory over Bournemouth moved Forest up to ninth in the Championship, three places above where they were when Freedman replaced Stuart Pearce at the start of February.

"The players have been great," the former Bolton and Crystal Palace manager, 40, told

BBC Radio Nottingham. "They've come in every day embracing the challenges I'm putting on them."

"As a coach, it's great to see players that want to learn and want to turn up and want their lives to change - it's as simple as that."

Newcastle midfielder

Jonas Gutierrez on Twitter: "It was hard but I never lost faith. Big step can be this weekend, so happy to be in the squad again. Always looking forward."

The Argentine was named in the first-team squad for the first time since undergoing surgery for testicular cancer in September.

Garry Monk news conference

Burnley v Swansea (Saturday, 15:00 GMT)

Swansea City boss Garry Monk says

derogatory comments reportedly made about Louis van Gaal by one of the club's directors do not represent his or the club's views.

John van Zweden reportedly told a Dutch TV crew the Manchester United manager was "arrogant" after the

Welsh club's 2-1 win.

The Swans have said they will be investigating the allegations.

"They are not the views shared by myself or the club," said Monk

Moin Khan ushered to the eggs-it

Moin Khan
Getty Images

Pakistan chief selector Moin Khan, ordered back home from the World Cup following a visit to a casino, avoided running into an angry group of youths after he was ushered out of Karachi Airport on Thursday.

The former Test captain slipped away quietly into a waiting car as the angry youngsters stood outside the airport armed with banners and eggs.

Busquets to stay on at Barca

Sergio Busquets
AP

Barcelona have announced that midfielder Sergio Busquets will sign a new contract until the summer of 2019.

The Spain international has the option of a further year and has played 313 times for the Catalan side since making his debut in 2008.

The decorated 26-year-old has won four La Liga titles, two Champions League crowns, and the Copa Del Rey twice, as well the World Cup and European Championship with Spain.

Adams speaks truth about Gospel

Ice Hockey

Sam Gospel
Michael Poole

Sheffield Steelers coach Gerad Adams says he will "never forget" Telford goaltender Sam Gospel after his Challenge Cup semi-final heroics.

The 20-year-old was called up to face Nottingham Panthers after injuries to all four of the Steelers' keepers.

Gospel saved all three penalties in a shootout to send Sheffield through to face Cardiff Devils, after the tie ended in a 7-7 draw on aggregate.

"He's the reason we're in the final," Adams told BBC Radio Sheffield.

Happy birthday to...

Ole Gunanr Solskjaer
Getty Images

Former Manchester United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who scored the winning goal in the 1999 Champions League final, turns 41 today.

Former Wales rugby union winger Shane Williams turns 37 today. He is the nations's record try-scorer with 60 touchdowns.

2011 French Open tennis winner Li Na celebrates her 33rd birthday today.

Sean Dyche news conference

Burnley v Swansea (Saturday, 15:00 GMT)

Ashley Barnes
Getty Images

Burnley manager Sean Dyche has been speaking about Ashley Barnes after the striker escaped any FA action following a tackle on Chelsea' Nemanja Matic last weekend.

"The powers that be make decisions and they made one so there is no relief for me. I will leave them to do their job," he said.

"It is not the ideal situation we know how things get blown up very quickly at this level.

"I just want him to continue playing with the freedom he has been playing. That's it in a nutshell, it's very simple."

Tony Pulis news conference

West Brom v Southampton (Saturday, 15:00 GMT)

James Morrison and Saido Berahino have knocks but should be fit to train on Friday. Same goes for Victor Anichebe.

"We've only got three forwards in the club and it's important all three stay fit. They'll come a time when one of them needs a rest from now until the end of the season," added Pulis.

Berahino
Getty Images

"Saido has always shown he has got incredible talent. The thing with him is he needs to concentrate on his football and ignore everything else that goes on outside.

"Brown Ideye since he's scored a goal has looked a different player. But, he's always been a good lad with a wonderful attitude since I came in and scoring a goal has lifted that pressure off him and he's playing with a lot more freedom now."

Tony Pulis news conference

West Brom v Southampton (Saturday, 15:00 GMT)

Asked if he was surprised at the impact he's had since arriving at the Hawthorns, Tony Pulis said: "We've still got 12 games to go and there's eight or nine teams in a dogfight. I won't be saying anything until we've achieved what would be a huge achievement for us."

But what changes have you put in on the training pitch over the last six or seven games to turn fortunes around, the journalist persisted.

"Come and see me at the end of the season when we've stayed up and I'll tell you then," said Pulis, doing his best impression of a schoolteacher.

"But we haven't stayed up yet, we're still in a dogfight with every other club in the bottom eight or nine. Until that happens, I certainly won't be talking the team up or talking anything at this football club up."

Tony Pulis news conference

West Brom v Southampton (Saturday, 15:00 GMT)

Some bits and bobs from West Brom manager Tony Pulis.

Tony Pulis
Getty Images

Asked at his news conference how many points the Baggies might need to avoid relegation, he replied: "As many points as it takes to get to that 17th position. It's important you focus on every game, I don't think it's about a points tally at the moment.

"We've just got to focus on the game ahead and for us that's Southampton. Until that game is finished, everything is focused on that and irrespective of how other teams are going and how results go, we've just got to get as many wins as we can."

Sky Blues take time over new boss

Football

Coventry City have confirmed that

there will be no managerial appointment before this Saturday and Dave Hockaday and Neil MacFarlane will take charge for the home game with MK Dons.

Chairman Dave Waggott has, however, already had meetings with potential successors to sacked Steven Pressley and more are scheduled.

"We want to accelerate the process. There has been very positive interest in the position and some very interesting candidates have come forward," he said.

Finn backs Big Bash-style league

Cricket

A Big Bash-style franchise Twenty20 league would be a

"great step in the right direction" for English cricket, says England fast bowler Steven Finn.

Steven Finn
Getty Images

Incoming England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Colin Graves wants an English Premier League to boost crowds.

Finn, 25, said a move to franchise cricket was long overdue.

"I think that for a while now we've been a bit behind the times when it's come to T20 cricket," he told BBC Sport.

Player threatened at gunpoint

Football

A player with a Serbian top flight club was threatened by the team's own supporters at gunpoint after missing a penalty, the world players' union FIFPro said.

Two days after Novi Pazar's Zarko Udovicic hit an 85th minute penalty over the crossbar against FK Rad, FIFPro said several hooligans burst into the dressing-room at the club's training ground, drew a gun and held it in Udovicic's face.

It is "a new low in Serbian professional football", said FIFPro.

Meanwhile, Udovicic has since left the club.

Alonso will be fit for new season

Formula 1

Some breaking news on Formula 1's Fernando Alonso.

According to McLaren boss Ron Dennis, the Spaniard is "devoid of all injuries" and

expected to race in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

McLaren"s Formula One driver Alonso gestures to the media as he leaves a hospital where he has been hospitalized since Sunday, in Sant Cugat
Reuters

Alonso, 33, is now resting at home in Spain after being flown to hospital by helicopter following Sunday's crash in pre-season testing in Barcelona.

Dennis says Alonso was unconscious "for a few seconds" after the incident at the Circuit de Catalunya.

The new Formula 1 season begins in Melbourne on 15 March.

Maguire to miss Cheltenham Festival

Jason Maguire
Getty Images

Jockey Jason Maguire will miss the Cheltenham Festival for the second year running after his

appeal against a 14-day ban was dismissed.

The 2011 Grand National-winning rider was suspended under the "non-triers" rule at Ludlow on 18 February.

Maguire missed the 2014 Cheltenham meeting after being seriously injured in a fall on the eve of the fixture.

His ban runs from 4-17 March, with the four-day Festival starting on 10 March