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Summary

  1. Build-up to Everton-Dynamo Kiev in Europa League
  2. Cole Harden wins World Hurdle at Cheltenham
  3. Tony McCoy has first win of final Festival on Uxizandre
  4. Reaction to Chelsea's Champions League exit
  5. McCall confirmed as Rangers caretaker manager
  6. GET INVOLVED: Why are British teams struggling in Europe?

Live Reporting

By Steve Canavan and Elizabeth Hudson

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Sportsday Live

    That's it for Sportsday Live for Thursday.

    You can follow Everton's progress in the Europa League on the BBC Sport website and Sportsday will return at 08:00 GMT on Friday.

  2. Coming up

    BBC Radio 5 live

    There's plenty for sportlovers on BBC Radio 5 live on Thursday evening.

    At 19:00 GMT, Eleanor Oldroyd presents 5 Live Sport live from Cheltenham on the eve of the Gold Cup with all of the day's sports news plus a look ahead to Friday's big race.

    From 20:00, Alastair Eykyn previews the fourth round of matches in the Six Nations with guests including England flanker Maggie Alphonsi, former Wales international Martyn Williams, and ex-Ireland hooker Keith Wood.

    At 21:00, the focus switches to Formula 1 and this weekend's Australian Grand Prix in 5 live Formula 1.

  3. Players desperate to win games - Gerrard

    Football

    Steven Gerrard

    Players are so desperate to win football matches they will try "every trick in the book", says Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard.

    Chelsea's players have been criticised for surrounding referee Bjorn Kuipers during Wednesday's Champions League exit against Paris St-Germain after he sent off PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic for a tackle on Chelsea's Oscar.

    "I think it's normal when you play games at that level. Players want to win so much," said Gerrard

    "You've got managers who want to win so much, players will try every trick in the book to get over the line and try and win football matches. Sometimes it doesn't look nice, but we've all been guilty of it throughout our careers, of not always abiding by the rules."

  4. Everton's Naismith remains confident

    Everton v Dynamo Kiev (20:00 GMT)

    Steven Naismith

    Everton forward Steven Naismith believes his side can win the Europa League despite their poor Premier League form.

    The Toffees host Dynamo Kiev in the last 16 first leg on Thursday.

    "We believe we can go all the way to the final and win it, but we're at the stage now where every team is a quality team," said Naismith.

    Defender John Stones and midfielder Leon Osman face fitness tests, left-back Leighton Baines is out injured and winger Aaron Lennon is ineligible.

  5. RFU gives more money to Championship

    Rugby Union

    The Rugby Football Union has agreed to an increase in the amount of money it pays to clubs in the Championship.

    The new agreement between English rugby's governing body and second-tier clubs runs until the summer of 2020.

    Funds will also go towards player medical insurance, while clubs will be expected to invest in their facilities.

    It comes just weeks after discussions to expand the Premiership and scrap promotion and relegation to the Championship began.

  6. Weston airlifted to hospital after fall

    Horse racing

    Frank Keogh

    BBC Sport

    Amateur jockey Tom Weston has been airlifted to hospital following a fall at the Cheltenham Festival on Thursday.

    Weston was taken to Southmead Hospital in Bristol after his mount Benbane Head, trained locally by Martin Keighley, came down in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Chase.

    Racecourse spokeswoman Sophie Brudenell said he was undergoing further assessment and treatment.

    "He was breathing and conscious when he left," she said.

  7. Tony Pulis news conference

    West Brom v Stoke (Saturday 15:00 GMT)

    Tony Pulis

    West Brom head coach Tony Pulis says Chelsea's Champions League exit on does not mean English clubs are failing.

    "It was one game," he said. "I watched the game and I thought PSG were good and deserved their victory.

    "To write off Chelsea or English clubs in general after one game (is wrong), especially Chelsea, who have been outstanding this year but had a bad night.

    "Unfortunately it was the wrong time to do it. Jose will be very, very disappointed, as will the players and the club, but I'm sure they'll bounce back."

  8. Rugby League

    Huddersfield v Castleford (20:00 GMT)

    Thursday night's Super League action sees Huddersfield up against Castleford with both sides hoping for their second win of the season.

    Huddersfield recall Luke Robinson, who was rested for the last two matches and who comes in for Shaun Lunt, who has joined Hull KR on loan.

    There is also a first call-up of the season for prop Josh Johnson, who takes over from Anthony Mullally.

    Castleford have prop Andy Lynch and hooker Scott Moore back from injury and suspension respectively while Michael Channing is set to take over at centre from captain Michael Shenton, who dislocated his shoulder in last week's win over Wigan.

    You can hear the game live on 5 live Sports Extra and via the BBC Sport website.

  9. Sean Dyche news conference

    Burnley v Man City (Saturday 15:00 GMT)

    Burnley are without a win in two months and sit second bottom of the Premier League table, three points from safety.

    But City won't underestimate the Clarets after a stunning performance at the Etihad in December, when they fought back from 2-0 down to claim a draw.

    "City have got some fantastic players. We experienced that once before, we gave a good performance and I think overall deserved a point out of the game. But that doesn't guarantee us anything this time around," said Burnley boss Sean Dyche.

    "They're a highly-motivated group of players, still in the hunt, still right up there, very experienced and a fantastic manager, so obviously it's a big challenge once again."

  10. McCall's new Rangers role

    Football

    Stuart McCall

    Stuart McCall on his new role as caretaker manager of Rangers: "This is a big challenge, no doubt. Anyone who's seen the last few games will know this. I've got a million and one text messages wishing me good luck and I think I'll need them all.

    "It's something I'm really looking forward to. The aim for us is to get out of this league. It's been difficult for the boys today, getting a group text on their day off at 11.30 to be here at 2.30, but they got here, and we've had a good meeting.

    "This club has been kicked for too long. The fans don't want to come and boo."

  11. Defender's ban quashed

    Football

    Celtic's Virgil van Dijk will be available for the League Cup final after his ban for a red card against Dundee United was quashed.

    An altercation in the aftermath of a Scott Brown challenge on Nadir Ciftci resulted in Van Dijk and United's Paul Paton both being sent off.

    Van Dijk's sending off against Dundee United was his second red card in 10 days

    Celtic appealed against Van Dijk's red card, and the Scottish FA judicial panel ruled it should be rescinded.

    The decision on Paton's appeal has yet to be announced.

  12. McCall confirmed as Rangers manager

    Football

    Rangers have confirmed the appointment of Stuart McCall as manager until the end of the season.

  13. Sean Dyche news conference

    Burnley v Man City (Saturday 17:30 GMT)

    Sean Dyche added to his squad this week with the recruitment on a three-year deal of Norwegian midfielder Fredrik Ulvestad.

    The Burnley boss has been keen for the club to expand their scouting network into Europe and signed 22-year-old Ulvestad after a two-week trial.

    The Clarets were already short in midfield before Dean Marney was ruled out for the season with a knee injury last month but Dyche insisted Ulvestad will not be rushed.

    "At the moment it's that cooling-off period, him getting used to how we work. I don't know that much about the Norwegian league but I know it's not the Premier League," said the boss.

    "If he's needed this season and we think he's ready, then we'll use him."

  14. Drivers ready for season start

    Formula 1

    The new Formula 1 season starts this weekend with the Australian Grand Prix and drivers including Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, Jenson Button and Max Verstappen have told BBC Sport that they are looking forward to getting back to action.

    Toro Rosso rookie Verstappen says he will treat the event as "just another weekend" as the 17-year old is set to becomes the youngest driver in history to take part in a Grand Prix.

  15. Cole find £20,000 for abusive tweet

    Football

    West Ham striker Carlton Cole has been fined £20,000 after he admitted breaching Football Association rules in relation to social media.

    It comes after he sent an abusive tweet following West Ham's 2-2 draw with Tottenham on 22 February.

  16. Sean Dyche news conference

    Burnley v Man City (Saturday 17:30 GMT)

    Burnley boss Sean Dyche believes dressing-room spats between players are "a natural occurrence" at the highest level.

    Sean Dyche

    Manchester City visit Turf Moor on Saturday at the end of a week where the champions have been forced to play down reports that captain Vincent Kompany was dropped following a bust-up with team-mate Fernandinho.

    "I think it's a natural occurrence when you've got highly-talented, highly-motivated people, all in a working environment - that's very challenging," said Dyche.

    "Everyone wants a shirt, everyone wants to play, and also, I can only imagine, at that level you're borderline into 25 mini companies. It's not just players, you're dealing with the whole shebang - PR consultants, agents, PAs, who knows what else.

    "I imagine it's like having 25 CEOs and trying to align them all with whatever the bigger picture is. There's always going to be challenges because they're powerful-minded people, which is why they're at the top of the game."

  17. Get involved - European woes

    #bbcsportsday

    Why are British (with apologies to Gary; see below) teams struggling in Europe?

    Phillip Barlow: European football is peaks and troughs. English clubs peaked in the mid-late noughties. Now it's a trough.

    Gary Sweeney: Why say British? Ultimately its the English teams struggling. With their financial muscle they should be dominating Europe.

    Mark Fletcher: Prem is lower quality throughout. Bottom half sides in La Liga are technically miles ahead and can actually play good football.

    Peter: English teams aren't as good as we think. Best marketed league yet quality wise isn't. Not as competitive as people think either.

    More to #bbcsportsday

  18. Dermot's Day of Dance

    Comic Relief

    Dermot O'Leary in training

    As part of Comic Relief, DJ Dermot O'Leary is embarking on a special challenge later this evening - Dermot's Day of Dance - where he will dance for 24 hours continuously from 19:00 GMT to raise money for Red Nose Day, which takes place on Friday.

    You can follow the whole thing live on BBC Radio 2 and on the BBC Red Button.

    Discover more about Dance on the BBC Get Inspired website.

  19. The Package lands Cheltenham win

    Horse racing

    Jamie Codd and The Package ran out comfortable winners of the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase in the penultimate race on day three of the Cheltenham Festival.

    The 9-1 shot, trained by David Pipe, beat Bless The Wings (28-1), ridden by Nina Carberry into second with Buddy Bolero (20-1) in third while fourth went to Grand Vision (11-1).

    The final race of the day is the St Patrick's Derby charity race.

  20. Cherries mentally stronger - Surman

    Football

    Bournemouth midfielder Andrew Surman believes the Cherries are mentally prepared to win promotion to the Premier League after returning to the top of the Championship.

    Eddie Howe's side endured a five-match winless run in February, but have won two straight games in March to move ahead of Derby, Watford and Middlesbrough at the summit.

    "It's easy to get downhearted, but it's important not to," Surman told BBC Radio Solent.

    "We've come out of it mentally stronger. I think that is why we have won our last two games and hopefully we can put a run together now."

  21. Wickham knows strikers must improve

    Football

    Sunderland's Connor Wickham

    Sunderland's Connor Wickham has admitted that the club's misfiring strikers deserve the criticism they are getting.

    The Black Cats have managed only 23 goals in their 28 Premier League fixtures to date this season with the frontmen only getting nine.

    "Chances come and you do need to put them away. We are creating chances. The way we set up, we are setting up to attack at times when we get the ball. We do try to break as quickly as we can when we get the ball," Wickham told the Northern Echo.

    "We have done it in games but we have to get more consistent with it and get in to the box more. We will climb away from the rest of the group down there if we can start to put our chances away."

  22. Punishment for Cologne

    Football

    Bundesliga club Cologne have been ordered to play three matches partially behind closed doors and fined £142,000 for crowd trouble.

    getty

    Police made two arrests after a 30-strong group of Cologne fans dressed all in white stormed on to the pitch after their team's last-minute Bundesliga defeat to Borussia Moenchengladbach last month.

  23. 'He is a very nice person' - Murray

    Tennis

    Talking more about the newest member of his coaching team, Andy Murray added: "I know him very well from when he played. When I came on the tour when I was young, he was very good to me.

    "He is a very nice person with a good sense of humour, and obviously an exceptional tennis player who made the most out of his game.

    "He's got a good resume as a player and a lot of the Swedes turn out to be pretty good coaches."

    If you want to hear more from Murray - and watch Scotland's finest do a few kick-ups with a tennis ball to boot - you'll find video here...

    Murray
  24. Murray on new coach

    Tennis

    Andy Murray has been telling the BBC why he's keen to add Jonas Bjorkman to his coaching team - describing the 42 year old as "a very nice person with a good sense of humour."

    Andy Murray

    The former Wimbledon semi-finalist will spend a week with Murray at some point in the next month or so, with a view to joining the team on a permanent basis.

    Murray thinks Swedes tend to make good coaches, as they "have a good mindset, are very calm and extremely hard workers."

  25. Wiggins to ride in Tour de Yorkshire

    Cycling

    Sir Bradley Wiggins

    Sir Bradley Wiggins has confirmed his intention to ride in the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire in May.

    The 2012 Tour de France winner will leave Team Sky at the end of April to head up his own 'Team Wiggins' developmental squad, and revealed the three-day race in Yorkshire from 1-3 May will be among his first assignments for the new team.

    The race is a legacy event from last year's hugely successful Grand Depart of the Tour de France, which brought millions of fans to the region.

    Wiggins missed last year's Tour having been overlooked for the squad by Team Sky.

  26. All Rhodes lead to Blackburn

    Football

    Blackburn's owners Venky's will not sanction a loan move for striker Jordan Rhodes, manager Gary Bowyer has confirmed.

    Rhodes

    Speculation has been rife all week that the 25-year-old - who was left out of the starting line-up in the FA Cup against Liverpool last Sunday - could be jettisoned on a temporary deal to a fellow Championship club ahead of a permanent switch in the summer.

    However, Rovers boss Bowyer - speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph - said: "The owners are of the same opinion as ourselves - why would we want to be doing that?"

  27. Toffees time

    Football

    Well, after the exit of Chelsea - and the less-than-decent chances of Arsenal and Man City progressing in the Champions League (though never say never) - it is down to Everton to restore some British pride.

    The Toffees take on Dynamo Kiev at Goodison in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie.

    After Everton's recent travails in the Premier League, this tie might well be a pleasant distraction for Roberto Martinez and his players.

    Everton forward Steven Naismith (left) with manager Roberto Martinez

    Frontman Steven Naismith is certainly confident. "We believe we can go all the way to the final and win it," he said, but warned: "We're at the stage now where every team is a quality team."

    Kick off is 20:05 GMT with live text commentary on the BBC Sport website.

  28. Give us a cuddle

    Football

    And before we leave Villa, how about this picture we've just stumbled across taken before their game with West Brom last weekend.

    Sherwood

    Is it just us or does Tony Pulis look more than a little uncomfortable in the midst of this Tim Sherwood vice-like bear-hug?

  29. Tim Sherwood news conference

    Sunderland v Aston Villa (Saturday 15:00 GMT)

    Villa are still awaiting the results of a Football Association and police investigation into crowd trouble during the FA Cup win over West Brom at the weekend but Tim Sherwood wants to focus on their key game at Sunderland.

    crowd

    "It didn't take the shine off for me and the players. We just concentrate on the football side and other people can deal with the aftermath. I haven't looked into it too much," said Sherwood.

    "All I'm concentrating on is focusing the boys on the next one which is Sunderland away."

    Sherwood revealed that Libor Kozak has returned to first-team training after being out for over a year with a broken leg - but Kieran Richardson (calf) is a doubt, while Philippe Senderos (calf) is out and Jack Grealish and Alan Hutton are banned.

  30. Get involved - Euro woe

    #bbcsportsday

    Why are British teams struggling in Europe?

    Steven Ross: English clubs don't have a divine right to do well in Europe and maybe we are just not as good as we think we are!

    Lawal Sura: English teams should change their philosophy when going for European games, not stick to the same gameplan used in Premier League.

    Mark 4exmilitary: Teams can't complain about number of games and then swan off to China/USA, etc, for three weeks as part of a marketing ploy in the summer.

    Jono: No matter what you think about the Chelsea game last night, don't you think the PSG away kit is just awful?

    Let's have a reminder of it then...

    getty

    Awful's a bit strong. Bright maybe. But then again, just think how handy it would be if you find yourself on a dimly-lit country lane and need to be visible to oncoming traffic...

  31. Ibrahimovic ban stands

    Football

    Iba

    Paris St-Germain will not be able to overturn Zlatan Ibrahimovic's red card, despite Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho calling on the European governing body to cancel the dismissal.

    Uefa has announced that referees' decisions are viewed as final unless it is a case of mistaken identity.

    A Uefa spokesman pointed to its disciplinary regulations which state: "Decisions taken by the referee on the field of play are final and may not be reviewed by the Uefa disciplinary bodies."

  32. McDowall exits Rangers

    Football

    Rangers have announced caretaker manager Kenny McDowall has left the club.

    Rangers

    McDowall leaves the club after 10 games in caretaker charge, during which Rangers won just three times.

    His departure paves the way for Stuart McCall to take over as manager. McCall is expected to be confirmed as the new boss in the next few hours, after arriving at Murray Park earlier in the day.

  33. Tim Sherwood news conference

    Sunderland v Aston Villa (Saturday 15:00 GMT)

    Christian Benteke is set to return for Aston Villa's crunch relegation clash with Sunderland, confirms Villa gaffer Tim Sherwood.

    The striker missed the weekend's 2-0 FA Cup quarter final win over West Brom with a hip injury but will be in the squad for the trip to the Stadium of Light on Saturday.

    Benteke

    Villa are a place above the Premier League relegation zone and a point behind the Black Cats ahead of the game with Benteke looking to return.

    Boss Tim Sherwood said: "Christian is still feeling it. He'll be in the squad, we'll give him as much time as we can to get him fit."

  34. World Hurdle success for Cole Harden

    Horse racing

    It was a first Cheltenham winner for both Sheehan and Greatrex and was reward for a brave front-running display.

    Paul Nicholls-trained horses were second and third with the 5-1 favourite Saphir Du Rheu finishing just ahead of Zarkandar (6-1).

  35. World Hurdle success for Cole Harden

    Horse racing

    The 14-1 chance Cole Harden wins the World Hurdle at Cheltenham for trainer Warren Greatrex and jockey Gavin Sheehan.

  36. 'No crisis in Europe' - Gerrard

    Football

    Steven Gerrard also spoke about Chelsea's defeat by PSG and the struggles of English teams in the Champions League.

    He insisted there is "no crisis" and suggested English clubs would be back.

    "I don't think it has been our year but I don't think it is a crisis. I don't think it will repeat as the years go by," the Liverpool captain added. "It has happened before that teams have gone out early and the next year one comes back and wins it. I don't think it is a major problem but as a whole we haven't been good enough."

    Asked about Chelsea's behaviour, Gerrard said players do whatever it takes to win and added that "we have all been guilty of overstepping the mark on occasions".

  37. Gerrard wants big finish

    Football

    Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard has been speaking to the media today at an event to publicise an already sold-out all-star charity game - which takes place later this month at Anfield and will feature a number of former Reds stars (including Jamie Carragher), plus other greats of the game.

    Gerrard

    He said that he is aiming to sign off his Liverpool career by helping the side to FA Cup glory and a place in the top four.

    "I've just got over a hamstring injury and I am fit and available for the next game (against Swansea on Monday)," said the 34-year-old, who will join LA Galaxy in the summer.

    "I want to finish the season really strong and leave the team in the top four and hopefully go all the way in the FA Cup - that is how I want to sign off."

  38. Murray in perfect place

    Tennis

    Former ATP world number one Mats Wilander believes Andy Murray is "right where he wants to be" ahead of the Indian Wells Masters.

    Andy Murray celebrates his Davis Cup triumph

    The Swede won seven major singles titles, and the Wimbledon doubles gong between 1982 and 1988.

    "I think he (Murray) is right where he wants to be," he told BBC Scotland. "Most probably he needs a tournament win to gain that little bit of extra confidence.

    "I think it's possible that he wins a major this year - he's going to win a couple of tournaments here and there, that's for sure."

  39. Get involved - European woe

    #bbcsportsday

    Why are British clubs struggling in Europe?

    Thomas Jones: Collectively the Premier League is the best (the most players at Brazil 2014) but the best teams in Europe are still better than ours.

    Harry Partridge: I can see the new seeding system potentially allowing Spanish/English teams to dominate the knock-out stages next season.

    Daniel Farren: No teams ever defended the Champions League in it's current format, it's a hard competition not always reflecting league form.

    Vincent Manancourt: Perhaps English teams prioritise the Premier League because it is more exciting and competitive than Champions and Europa Leagues?

    Keep 'em coming to #bbcsportsday.

  40. Blackpool sign Wolves winger Jacobs

    Football

    Blackpool have signed winger Michael Jacobs from fellow Championship side Wolves on loan until the end of the season.

    The 23-year-old has made just four starts this season and has not appeared for Wolves since the start of December.

  41. Post update

    Frank Keogh at Cheltenham

    BBC Sport

    "There was a certain irony as retiring 19-time champion jockey AP McCoy returned to cheers after claiming his first win at his final Cheltenham Festival.

    "After 11 defeats this week, the Northern Irishman produced a perfect front-running ride to claim the Ryanair Chase on Uxizandre for trainer Alan King and owner JP McManus.

    "Who would have thought McCoy, the record-breaking winner of 4,300 races, would save the bookies with victory on an outsider?

    "And Uxizandre had actually unseated Barry Geraghty in his last run, the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury - won by Mr Mole, ridden by McCoy, who announced his retirement afterwards."

  42. Dunbar suffers serious injury

    Rugby Union

    Scotland centre Alex Dunbar is likely to miss the World Cup later this year, after being ruled out for between 6 and 9 months with a knee injury.

    Dunbar

    Dunbar ruptured his Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) in training this morning.

    Matt Scott has replaced him in the starting XV for Saturday's Six Nations match with England at Twickenham.

  43. Austin a wanted man

    Football gossip

    Charlie Austin

    Daily Mail: QPR striker Charlie Austin, 25, is wanted by Crystal Palace and Southampton should the Hoops be relegated from the Premier League.

  44. England Test squad announcement close

    Cricket

    England's Test Squad for the Tour to the West Indies will be announced on either Tuesday or Wednesday next week.

    The slight uncertainty is because they will have to wait on fitness scans for Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes, plus they want to consult Test captain Alastair Cook.

    Trott

    The main interest surrounds a possible recall for Jonathan Trott. If it happens, it would mark a first senior appearance since leaving the Ashes tour in Australia.

  45. Port Vale re-sign Cardiff midfielder

    Football

    League One side Port Vale have re-signed Cardiff City midfielderTommy O'Sullivan on loan until 14 April.

    The 20-year-old was on loan at Vale Park earlier this season, making his only Valiants appearance from the bench against Walsall in mid-February.

  46. Another win for the real McCoy

    Horse racing

    Champion jockey AP McCoy, on his Cheltenham Festival farewell, has won his first race of the four-day meeting which began on Tuesday.

    He won the Ryanair Chase on the 16-1 shot Uxizandre, trained by Alan King.

  47. New Rangers gaffer starts work

    Football

    Stuart McCall has arrived at Murray Park to begin work as the new Rangers manager.

    Rangers

    McCall was photographed driving through the gates of the club's training ground ahead of the anticipated announcement of his appointment.

    The 50-year-old is expected to deliver his first media conference as Rangers boss later today.

    McCall, Scotland assistant coach, resigned as Motherwell manager in November after collecting just seven points from the first 12 games of the season and suffering cup defeats to Hamilton and Icelandic side Stjarnan.

  48. Get involved - European woes

    #bbcsportsday

    Why are British clubs struggling so badly in Europe?

    Rob Leighton: Clowns measuring quality of British football by "marketing, entertainment and goals" - the descent into showbiz nonsense

    Ray O'Brien: English Teams had success from 2005-12. Premier League is now more competitive and demanding. Champions League rivals have it way too easy domestically.

    Jon-Michael Foxall: Premier League isn't great. It's predictable. Six of top seven will finish the same. One random, who struggles following year due to Europe.

    Hugh in France: Somebody should burn a football and put the ashes in a little urn. So sad.

    Thanks for cheering us up Hugh.

    More please to #bbcsportsday

  49. 'England will lose Ashes 5-0'

    Cricket

    Former Australia fast bowler Glenn McGrath has told the BBC that he expects England to lose the summer Ashes series 5-0 - because they don't have time to recover from the disappointment of their dismal World Cup.

    Alistair Cook

    "If you go back to the last Ashes series in Australia 18 months ago, they were beaten quite convincingly," said McGrath. "Then to play like this...

    "There's only a Test series against the West Indies in between to really turn things around so I think they are going to find it pretty tough.

    "I can't see why it won't be a 5-0 Aussie win. If Australia play like they did last summer I can't see England beating them."

  50. Zummack appointed GB head coach

    Curling

    Tony Zummack will lead the Scottish and British curling programmes up to and beyond the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

    The 47-year-old Canadian was formerly the head coach of the Scotland and GB wheelchair teams and helped guide Aileen Neilson's rink to bronze at last year's Sochi Paralympic Games.

  51. Nigel Pearson news conference

    Leicester v Hull (Saturday, 15:00 GMT)

    Foxes gaffer Nigel Pearson has admitted the game with Hull is a match "we need to win".

    "This is a game that a lot of people will see as being pivotal. It'll be difficult, as was the fixture at their place," Pearson said.

    "There will be a few twists and turns before the end of the season, and we need to make sure that we stay in contact.

    "It's a game that I imagine both sides will be trying to win. We certainly need to win it."

  52. Leicester City news conference

    Leicester v Hull (Saturday, 15:00 GMT)

    Leicester boss Nigel Pearson - not accompanied by this steward - is talking to the media and begins by revealing that midfielder Anthony Knockaert will miss Saturday's game.

    Pearson

    "He isn't available," says Pearson. "He is in France for family reasons.

    "Apart from that we've got more or less a fit squad - other than Dean Hammond, who trained today."

    Pearson confirms goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel is available.

  53. Freak injuries

    Football/medical

    Due to popular demand - well, a bloke in the office said he liked them - here are a few more unusual sporting injuries.

    David James: Pulled a muscle in his back reaching for the television remote control.

    Alex Stepney: In 1975 the Manchester United goalkeeper dislocated his jaw while shouting at his defenders during a match.

    Alex Stepney

    Chic Brodie: The Brentford goalkeeper's career came to an abrupt end in October 1970 when he collided with a sheepdog which had run on to the pitch and shattered his kneecap. "The dog might have been a small one, but it happened to be a solid one," he reflected.

    Alan Wright: The diminutive former Aston Villa full-back - height 5'4 - strained his knee stretching to reach the accelerator in his new Ferrari. He subsequently swapped it for a Rover 416.

    Kirk Broadfoot: The Rangers defender scalded a cheek when an egg he had poached in the microwave blew up and squirted into his face.

  54. How they'll line up

    Rugby Union

    Ireland team in full...

    Rob Kearney (Leinster); Tommy Bowe (Ulster), Jared Payne (Ulster), Robbie Henshaw (Connacht), Simon Zebo (Munster); Johnny Sexton (Racing Metro), Conor Murray (Munster); Jack McGrath (Leinster), Rory Best (Ulster), Mike Ross (Leinster), Devin Toner (Leinster), Paul O'Connell (Munster, capt), Peter O'Mahony (Munster), Sean O'Brien (Leinster), Jamie Heaslip (Leinster).

    Replacements: Sean Cronin (Leinster), Cian Healy (Leinster), Martin Moore (Leinster), Iain Henderson (Ulster), Jordi Murphy (Leinster), Eoin Reddan (Leinster), Ian Madigan (Leinster), Felix Jones (Munster).

  55. One change for Ireland

    Rugby Union

    Ireland have made one change to their side for Saturday's Six Nations match against Wales, with Jamie Heaslip replacing Jordi Murphy at number eight.

    Heaslip

    Heaslip missed the win over England because of a back injury.

    Meanwhile fly-half Jonny Sexton is fit after a slight hamstring injury, while captain Paul O'Connell is set to win his 100th cap for Ireland.

  56. Falcao will leave United

    Football gossip

    Falcao

    The Mirror: Misfiring striker Radamel Falcao is likely to leave Manchester United when his loan deal ends in the summer and the club want two strikers to replace the 29-year-old. Palermo's Paulo Dybala, 21, is one of the names in the frame.

  57. Ibrahimovic red to be reviewed

    Football

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Champions League ban for a red card as Paris Saint-Germain eliminated Chelsea will be reviewed next week.

    Chelsea

    UEFA says its disciplinary panel will study the case at its meeting on 19 March.

    All red-card offences in UEFA matches are reviewed to possibly extend mandatory one-match bans.

    Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho said Ibrahimovic had no ill intent and should be cleared to play in the quarterfinals next month.

    Ibrahimovic was sent off for a late challenge on Oscar in the first half of a last-16, second-leg match won by PSG on the away goals rule.

  58. Perez backed by Bale

    Football

    Perez has also backed Welsh winger Gareth Bale and goalkeeper Iker Casillas, who have been struggling for form.

    "Gareth Bale is one of the best players in the world," said Perez.

    Bale

    "The biggest clubs fought and continue to fight to secure his services.

    "The only thing I can say is that we shouldn't forget what he was able to achieve in his first year at Real Madrid."

  59. Perez issues support for Ancelotti

    Football

    Real Madrid president Florentino Perez called a surprise news conference on Thursday to express his support for Carlo Ancelotti and his players and deny a report the Italian coach was facing the sack.

    "To use the fact that we are not on our best form at the moment to report information that is not true is unacceptable," Perez told reporters.

    Ancelotti

    "I want to state categorically that the club has full confidence in our coach and in our players. And I want to say, contrary to a report published today, that whatever happens in the coming days and weeks Carlo Ancelotti will remain the coach of Real Madrid.

    "As president of Real Madrid, I appeal to our fans to support our coach and our players and ask that they feel proud of them for all they have given us and for all they will continue to give us."

  60. Vautour wins Cheltenham opener

    Horse Racing

    The 6-4 favourite Vautour wins the opening race on day three of the Cheltenham Festival, the JLT Novices Chase for jockey Ruby Walsh and trainer Willie Mullins.

    Vautour jumped brilliantly and won by a massive 15 lengths to give Walsh his fourth win of the week and Mullins his sixth.

  61. Magnificent seven

    Football

    It might have been a terrible Champions League night for Chelsea, but for Bayern Munich it could not have been better.

    Pep Guardiola's side put seven past a hapless Shakhtar Donetsk, though the visitors didn't really stand a chance given they had Olexandr Kucher sent-off after just three minutes - the quickest red card in the history of the competition.

    Bayern Munich

    Bayern enjoyed 74% of the possession as they equalled their biggest Champions League win as they reached their eighth quarter-final in 11 seasons.

    "Obviously the red card changed things but my players perfectly executed our game plan. Sometimes it is not that easy against 10," said Guardiola.

    It was all a far cry from the first leg, which, remarkably, had finished goalless.

  62. Eye on the ball

    Football

    Seems like Ashley Young was always destined for a career in football.

    The Manchester United forward has put this photo of himself as a youngster on Instagram, with the message: "Never far from a football".

    Ashley Young
  63. Cricket World Cup a shop window - Moles

    Cricket

    Afghanistan's English coach Andy Moles says the Cricket World Cup is a "shop window" for his side to show improvement as a team and demonstrate a different image of the country.

    Moles' side have broken new ground at this tournament, beating Scotland to claim their first ever World Cup win, and now have the chance to shock England on Friday's dead rubber, with both sides already eliminated.

  64. Thursday's Cheltenham races

    Horse Racing

    In case you need a reminder, here is the list of Thursday's races at the Cheltenham Festival.

    13:30 GMT: JLT Novices Chase (2m 4f)

    14:05: Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle (3m)

    14:40: Ryanair Chase (2m 5f)

    15:20: Ladbrokes World Hurdle (3m)

    16:00: Brown & Merriebelle Stable Plate (2m 5f)

    16:40: The Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Chase (3m 5f)

    17:15: The St Patrick's Derby (1m 5f charity race)

  65. Hot finish puts Morgan on top

    Golf

    Wales's Becky Morgan finished with a flourish as a trio of birdies over her last three holes gave her a share of the first-round lead at the World Ladies Championship in China.

    The 40-year-old carded a four-under 69 and was joined as clubhouse leader at Mission Hills in Hainan by world number two Inbee Park.

    England's Trish Johnson is three shots off the lead after an opening 72.

  66. Jockeys ready for Cheltenham action

    Horse Racing

    Frank Keogh

    BBC Sport at Cheltenham

    Jockeys Sam Twiston-Davies, Aidan Coleman and Richie McLernon

    "Jockeys have been arriving for day three of the Festival, where the feature race is the World Hurdle at 15:20 GMT.

    "Pals Sam Twiston-Davies, Aidan Coleman and Richie McLernon came in together but are rivals on the track.

    "They will have a big day on Friday with rides in the showpiece Cheltenham Gold Cup - Sam Winner (Twiston-Davies), Houblon Des Obeaux (Coleman) and Holywell (McLernon)."

    You can listen to live commentary from Cheltenham now on BBC Radio 5 live or via the BBC Sport website

  67. Terry defends Chelsea conduct

    Football

    Angry Chelsea players at Stamford Bridge

    John Terry has defended Chelsea's conduct during their Champions League elimination at the hands of Paris St Germain on Wednesday which was criticised by television pundits Graeme Souness and Jamie Carragher.

    "Once they're charging the ref, the only thing we can do is respond," Terry said. "You can't as a group of players let them surround the ref, trying to get our players booked.

    "For me if I have to run 20, 30 yards, it doesn't look great but when you're standing back and seeing five or six of their players surrounding the ref, for me I think I support my team-mates.

    "And once I go, four or five go with me, it doesn't look good at all but that's part of the game. We'll match it if people want to mix it, that's part of our game as well. You have to stick up for your team-mates. Every other side is as bad as each other. It's part of the game."

  68. Arter named in Republic of Ireland squad

    Football

    Harry Arter

    There was bad news earlier for Bournemouth midfielder Harry Arter (see 11:40 entry) after he was given a one-match ban and a fine for improper conduct

    But the day has got better for the 25-year-old after he was included in a 35-man Republic of Ireland squad for the Euro 2016 qualifier against Poland on 29 March.

    The squad will be reduced before the players meet up on 22 March.

    There was a place too for defender Paul McShane following his return to action at Hull, although not for Crystal Palace counterpart Damien Delaney.

  69. Tribute to Bianchi

    F1 driver Nico Hulkenburg on Twitter...

    Twitter
  70. Freak injuries

    Football/medical

    After the news earlier than Enner Valencia is a doubt for West Ham's trip to Arsenal after he cut his toe standing on a teacup, let's have a quick gander at some other unusual footie injuries.

    Richard Wright: Warming up pre-match for Everton at Chelsea, he Ignored a notice warning him not to practice in the goalmouth and promptly fell over the sign, suffering a twisted ankle. Wright - a man for whom comical injuries come naturally - also damaged his shoulder falling through a loft as he was trying to pack away a suitcase.

    Ferdinan

    Rio Ferdinand: While at Leeds had his foot up on a coffee table while watching TV for several hours and damaged a tendon behind his knee.

    Sean Flynn: The then Kidderminster captain suffered a broken nose, busted lip and bruised toes after tripping over his son's toy cars.

    Dave Beasant: The veteran goalkeeper managed to rule himself out for eight weeks in 1993 when he dropped a bottle of salad cream on his foot, severing the tendon in his big toe.

  71. Line-up in full

    Rugby Union

    Confirmation of the Scotland team to face England at Twickenham in Saturday's Six Nations showdown.

    BBC
  72. Get involved - European woes

    #bbcsportsday

    Why are British teams struggling so badly in European competitions?

    Teboho: British teams don't invest in young talent, They prefer importing players, German philosophy is best, bring young lads through.

    Tambuwal: Premier League might not be the best in terms of quality any more but in terms of marketing, entertainment and goals it is the best.

    Geoff Naylor: Our teams often have 11 foreigners playing for a foreign coach. The public though demands a high-tempo English style of play.

    Odoma Michael: There is so much pressure on British teams to perform in Europe. Needless to say, many times they buckle under this pressure.

    More please to #bbcsportsday

  73. Reading seal the deal

    Football

    Confirmation that Reading have signed ex-Aston Villa and Bolton defender Zat Knighton a free transfer until the end of the season.

    Knight

    The 34-year-old former England international left Bolton at the end of last term and had a brief spell with Colorado Rapids in Major League Soccer.

  74. Wenger's title plan

    Football gossip

    Petr Cech

    The Mirror:Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is hoping to turn his side into Premier League title contenders by signing Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin, 25, Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech, 32, and Borussia Dortmund defender Neven Subotic, 26.

  75. Change afoot for Scots

    Rugby Union

    Scotland have made five changes for Saturday's Six Nations meeting with England at Twickenham.

    Jim Hamilton (pictured), David Denton, Finn Russell, Matt Scott and Dougie Fife all come into the side selected by head coach Vern Cotter.

    Hamilton

    Denton is the only player among the quintet not to have featured in the Championship so far.

    The Scots suffered an embarrassing home defeat to Italy last time out, though Saturday's opponents England will also have something to prove after they were beaten by Ireland.

  76. McCoy decides on rides for final day of Cheltenham

    Horse Racing

    Tony McCoy

    Ned Buntline will provide Tony McCoy with his final Cheltenham Festival mount on Friday.

    The 19-times champion has plumped for the Noel Meade-trained runner in the race named in his honour, the AP McCoy Grand Annual Handicap Chase, preferring him to the Jonjo O'Neill-trained pair of Eastlake and Festive Affair or Philip Hobbs' Bold Henry, who was pulled up earlier in the week.

    McCoy has five rides on his final day of Festival action, including Carlingford Lough in the Gold Cup.

    He also rides Princely Conn in the Vincent O'Brien County Hurdle and Fletchers Flyer in the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle, but he rates the Nicky Henderson-trained Hargam as his leading chance of a victory in the Triumph Hurdle.

  77. Thursday's back pages

    The i

    More on - yes you've guessed it - Chelsea in the papers. This is the back page of The i, Thiago Silva pictured heading in the extra time goal which secured PSG's place in the Champions League quarter-finals.

  78. Get involved - European woe

    #bbcsportsday

    Why have been so poor in Europe this season?

    Andrew Priestley: A lot of very good footballers ply their trade in the Premier League, but the world-class players are found in Spain & Germany.

    Harry Partridge: Chelsea may be out but City and Arsenal are still in it (just). Let's wait and see what happens before condemning the Premier League.

    Gary Sweeney: Face it the premier league is full of foreign average journeymen only there for the pay cheque.

    Hawwa Katsina: In the past nine years six finals have had English Clubs. What are you talking about?

    More please to #bbcsportsday

  79. Ward falls

    Tennis

    Good news for Watson then, but not so good for James Ward.

    The British men's number two will not compete in the main draw at Indian Wells after losing in the final round of qualifying.

    Ward

    The world number 108 - who hot-footed it to California straight from GB's Davis Cup win over the USA - when he won that unbelievable five-setter - went down 6-3 6-1 to Germany's Mischa Zverev.

  80. Watson survives scare

    Tennis

    Heather Watsonreached the BNP Paribas Open second round at Indian Wells with a nervy win over German Julia Goerges.

    Watson

    Watson won the first set and served for the match at 5-3 in the second but lost five games in a row as Georges took the second set and led the decider.

    But the British number one rallied to win 6-4 5-7 6-3 and book a second-round meeting with 29th seed Camila Giorgi.

    "I was definitely a bit nervous and it showed," said Watson, 22. "But I found the right way to finish the match."

  81. Bournemouth man suspended

    Football

    Bournemouth midfielder Harry Arter will miss Saturday's home game against Blackpool after an independent regulatory commission hearing found him guilty of improper conduct after their 3-1 loss at Brentford last month.

    He has also been fined £2,000 for the incident relating to his "language and/or behaviour in or around the tunnel area".

  82. Post update

    Frank Keogh at Cheltenham

    BBC Sport

    "Action shifts from the Old Course at Cheltenham to the New Course for Thursday and Friday, with pretty quick ground on the cards.

    "The official going on the hurdle course is Good; while on the chase course it is Good, Good to Soft in places, but rain is forecast after racing ahead of Gold Cup Day on Friday.

    "Clerk of the course Simon Claissse says anything between 5mm and 12m could fall with the possibility of Good to Soft, or even Soft, ground for the week's big race."

  83. Podolski has future at Arsenal?

    Football gossip

    Podolski

    Guardian: Germany forward Lukas Podolski, 29, has not ruled out returning to Arsenal once his loan spell at Inter Milan comes to an end.

  84. 'I needed glasses to eat pasty'

    Football

    A football match has been abandoned after just 58 seconds because of fog.

    The game between title-chasing St Austell and mid-table Launceston in the South West Peninsula Premier League was called off.

    The fog at Poltair Park

    "We only knew the game had kicked off because the whistle went," said Mike Sampson from the league. "We sat there, the linesman put his flag up and it took the referee 58 seconds to see him."

    It was so bad, said Sampson, "I had to put my glasses on to eat my pasty".

    The 150 people in the crowd at St Austell's Poltair Park were refunded the cost of match tickets.

  85. Get involved - European woe

    #bbcsportsday

    Why have we been so poor in Europe this season?

    Sam Payne: We used to play with so much pace and power. Now we try to beat Bayern or Barca at their own game with worse players.

    TheGame: The Premier League has quality from top to bottom, always a challenge whereas other leagues don't [have] as much.

    YourBoiKofi: Maybe they should give the teams more rest and time to prepare. Three games in eight days and you want to win a European cup.

    Matt Curran: Can you say Celtic have underachieved in Europa League alongside Liverpool/Spurs? How much did they all spend in the summer?

    More opinions please to #bbcsportsday

  86. Van Gerwen and Taylor showdown

    Darts

    Michael van Gerwen

    Fresh from his UK Open victory last weekend, world number one Michael van Gerwen continues his bid for a second Premier League title in Nottingham this evening.

    The 25-year-old Dutchman faces 16-time world champion Phil Taylor in round six of the group stage, while Dave Chisnall, the current league leader, takes on former BDO world champion Stephen Bunting.

  87. Thursday's back pages

    The Times

    These morning papers can't be very pleasant to read for Chelsea fans. More on the Blues Champions League exit in The Times.

  88. Hillsborough inquests

    The match commander at Hillsborough has told the inquest into the disaster that the reason he did not admit lying about fans' behaviour on the day sooner was maybe because he was "in denial".

    David Duckenfield admitted he lied about Liverpool fans forcing a gate open to enter the ground on Wednesday.

    He did not know when he realised he had made "such grave mistakes", he said and added the inquests were the "first [opportunity] to apologise fully without fear of seeing anybody misrepresenting what I was saying".

    Mr Duckenfield was in charge when a crush developed in terraced pens during a FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Sheffield Wednesday's stadium on 15 April 1989.

  89. Saint-Andre makes changes for France

    Italy v France (Sunday, 15:00 GMT)

    France coach Philippe Saint Andre

    France head coach Philippe Saint-Andre has reshuffled his team big-time, making eight changes, and reverting to his preferred half-back pairing of Sebastien Tillous-Borde and Camille Lopez for Sunday's Six Nations game against Italy.

    The pair started all three November tests but Tillous-Borde missed the first two Six Nations games through injury before starting on the bench for the third.

    Scrum-half Morgan Parra, centres Remi Lamerat and Wesley Fofana as well as wing Sofiane Guitoune have all been ruled out.

    Full-back Brice Dulin is replaced by Scott Spedding while wing Noa Nakaitaci and number eight Loann Goujon have been handed their first start for Les Bleus while centre Maxime Mermoz will make his first appearance in this year's championship.

  90. Get involved - European woes

    #bbcsportsday

    Why are British clubs performing so poorly in Europe?

    Opoku-Appiah Manu: British media making mediocre players look like world beaters. A great dose of realism needed.

    Laurie Armitt: The league's best players are exported and replaced by imports that are cast-offs.

    Lewis Malone: Chelsea lost to a better team on away goals. You can't win it all, I'd hardly call that a struggle.

    Jay: It's one poor season. It happens. Get over it.

    True to a point Jay, although Chelsea aside, last season wasn't great either.

    Keep your views coming on Twitter at #bbcsportsday

  91. Zimbabwe thrown out of World Cup qualifying

    Football

    Fifa has expelled Zimbabwe from qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia after they failed to pay their national team coach.

    Fifa's disciplinary committee says it took the action "as a result of the non-payment of an outstanding debt" by Zimbabwe's football federation to Brazilian coach Jose Claudinei Georgini, nicknamed Valinhos, who managed the national team from January to November 2008.

    They payments were not made, despite a grace period.

  92. Nicholls bids for more at Cheltenham

    Horse Racing

    Paul Nicholls celebrates

    Today's big race at the Cheltenham Festival is the World Hurdle (15:20 GMT) with Saphir Du Rheu and Zarkandar hoping to give trainer Paul Nicholls more success in the race which his star stayer Big Buck's won four times.

    Nicholls had that winning feeling again on Wednesday in the Queen Mother Champion Chase with Dodging Bullets - you can read all about that win on the BBC Sport website and the rest of the day's action and also look ahead to Thursday's action.

    And a reminder that 5 Live's coverage starts from 13:00.

  93. 'We'll be better' - Ricciardo

    Formula 1

    Daniel Ricciardo says Red Bull have confidence, reliability and "a plan" to beat the Mercedes pair Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in the new Formula One season, starting with Sunday's Australian Grand Prix.

    Mercedes won the constructors' championship last season and although Red Bull were runners-up they were still nearly 300 points behind.

    Ricciardo

    But Ricciardo said: "If you look back on last year for sure we're in a better position this year.

    "We're going to Australia with a lot more confidence and reliability and we've actually got a plan for Sunday - whereas last year it was a case of putting the car on the track and hoping to see the chequered flag."

  94. Sam Allardyce news conference

    Arsenal v West Ham (Saturday, 15:00 GMT)

    More from West Ham manager Sam Allardyce who knows that the Gunners will pose a tough challenge to his side on Saturday.

    "Facing Arsenal is more difficult at their own place," he says. "On the day at our ground there was not much between the two teams. They have a few weaknesses but if we can expose them and take our chances... It is down to how well we perform on the day.

    "They have adapted to change the way they play to win football matches. We must take our chances and defend strongly.

    "Our lack of goalscoring power is a worry. Not having alternatives to use is concerning going into the last 10 games."

  95. Demichelis signs new City deal

    Football

    Martin Demichelis

    Manchester City defender Martin Demichelis has signed a contract extension with the club until the end of the 2015/16 campaign.

    The 34-year-old Argentine international has made 30 appearances this season in all competitions.

    "Manchester City is a club with a lot of ambition. We want to grow every year," he said. "When you get to hold a trophy, it's the best feeling for any player.

    "I want to say that I will fight for this club and for my team-mates until the end of my contract. I will fight to try and win titles."

  96. Sam Allardyce news conference

    Arsenal v West Ham (Saturday, 15:00 GMT)

    Enner Valencia

    Big Sam also says that striker Enner Valencia could miss the game at the Emirates after a domestic accident.

    "Enner has had an accident at home and has cut his big toe quite severely on a broken cup. It has been stitched," he said.

    "We're not sure if he will be considered for this game. It was a freak accident."

  97. Sam Allardyce news conference

    Arsenal v West Ham (Saturday, 15:00 GMT)

    Sam Allardyce

    West Ham manager Sam Allardyce believes his side are feeling the benefit from not having a game last weekend as they prepare to take on Arsenal on Saturday.

    "Hopefully the little bit of rest physically and mentally will help us win more games in the last ten," Big Sam told his pre-match news conference.

    "I've been doing it for ten years and the stats say we should have a break as it reduces the risk of injuries in the New Year.

    "We've gone to Arsenal a couple of times and got in front, but unfortunately the leads haven't lasted very long. All we can hope is that we produce the level of performance we did against Chelsea and hope that is good enough."

  98. And the nominees are...

    Football

    Hull's Steve Bruce, Liverpool's Brendan Rodgers, Tony Pulis at West Brom and Swansea's Garry Monk are the four contenders for the Premier League Manager of the Month award for February, it has just been announced.

    The winner will be revealed on Friday at 10:00 GMT.

    If Steve wins, then presumably he'll be a little happier than he appears in this photo...

    Bruce
  99. Spain fall out of world top 10

    Football

    Spain celebrate their Euro 2012 win

    European champions Spain have fallen out of the top 10 in Fifa's rankings for the first time since 2007 after dropping to 11th in the latest standings.

    World Cup winners Germany top the list ahead of Argentina, Colombia, Belgium and the Netherlands, with Brazil sixth.

    England are 17th with Wales 37th, Scotland 39th, Northern Ireland 43rd and the Republic of Ireland 66th.

  100. Post update

    Frank Keogh

    BBC Sport at Cheltenham

    Cheltenham Racecourse

    "We're over the hump at the Cheltenham Festival, and it was noticeably quieter earlier on in town as punters take a breather and regroup for day three.

    "Today is billed as St Patrick's Thursday. Yes, I know that's actually five days early.

    "But it will feel like an Irish holiday for the Emerald Army who descend on Gloucestershire if they can extend an 8-6 lead for winners over Great Britain."

  101. Not so good for Diego

    Football

    Diego Costa
  102. Good 12 months for David

    Football

    David Luiz
  103. Thursday's back pages

    The Mirror

    Nice headline in The Mirror on Chelsea's Champions League exit, the paper neatly summing up the whole nature of the night. There's also a story suggesting Man City are keeping tabs on the situation at Real Madrid - and may try to bring in Carlo Ancelotti as manager if he gets the chop at the Bernabeu.

  104. Get involved - European woes

    #bbcsportsday

    We asked why British clubs have been so poor in Europe this season. Here's what you're telling us.

    James Layhe: Because our overrated league is full of overrated players. Good domestically, not in Europe.

    Alan Simon: Is the long fixture list taking its toll? A Christmas break would help but fans love their holiday season football too much!

    K Prins: Paying ridiculous transfer fees for very average players. And the best players go to Madrid, Barcelona or Bayern.

    Keep them coming please to #bbcsportsday.

  105. Sauber appeal fails

    Formula 1

    Sauber have failed in an appeal to overturn a court ruling that says Giedo van der Garde should race for the team at Sunday's Australian Grand Prix.

    Van der Garde, 29, a former test driver for Sauber, says he was promised a race seat for this season, a claim backed by the Victoria Supreme Court this week.

    Giedo van der Garde

    Three appeal judges ruled against the team on Thursday, clearing the way for the Dutchman to compete this weekend.

    Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr are the team's nominated drivers for 2015.

  106. No excuses - Mourinho

    Football

    Aside from complaining his team should have had a penalty when Diego Costa appeared to be tripped in the area, Jose Mourinho did not make too many excuses following Chelsea's Champions League

    "Our performance was not good enough," said the Blues boss. "The opponent was stronger than us, they coped better with the pressure of the game.

    Jose Mourinho

    "We tried to win but the moment they had 10 men we felt too much pressure."

    "Paris St-Germain deserved it. When a team can't defend two corners and concedes two goals to corners they don't deserve to win."

  107. And the result is in...

    Football

    Timor-Leste v Mongolia

    Remember that first qualifying match for the 2018 World Cup that we told you about earlier?

    Well it is now all over, and what an incredible finish it was.

    Timor-Leste scored in the 89th and 90th minutes to stretch their lead to 4-0, but Mongolia grabbed a late away goal in the second minute of stoppage time to give them hope for the return leg in the Ulaan-Bataar Football Centre.

    Tell you what, if the rest of the World Cup is as good at that…

  108. Thursday's back pages

    The Sun

    Not surprisingly, Chelsea are dominating the back pages today. The Sun goes with this headline - and there's also a story about out-of-favour Man United striker Radamel Falcao "throwing more doubt on his future" after he missed a day out at Cheltenham with his team-mates.

  109. 'The world will stop'

    Boxing

    There was thumping disco music, lots of dry ice, strobe lights, and generally all the hubbub and hype you'd expect from a news conference to publicise what will almost certainly be the richest boxing match in the history of the sport.

    What are we talking about? Floyd Mayweather's press conference with Manny Pacquiao, of course, which took place in Las Vegas last night and is the last time the pair will meet before their bout on 2 May.

    Mayweather

    Mayweather has won all 47 of his fights, Filipino Pacquiao has a record of 57 wins, two draws and five losses.

    "May 2 - the world stops. This is the biggest fight in history," Mayweather said, sounding not unlike the fella with the deep voice who does the voiceover for blockbuster movie trailers.

    For more ego and self-importance, you will find a full account of the press conference is here.

  110. Get involved - European woes

    So, with Chelsea exiting the Champions League in inglorious fashion, and Arsenal and Manchester City facing the most uphill of battles in their ties next week, it looks likely that no British clubs will feature in the quarter-finals of the world's most prestigious club competition

    Chelsea

    Throw into that the dismal showing (Everton aside) of our clubs in the Europa League - Liverpool, Tottenham and Celtic all failing to reach the last-16 - and it is clear this season has not been the finest hour for British teams in Europe.

    We want to know why. Why are British clubs struggling in Europe? Are we getting worse or are teams on the continent getting better? And what do you make of the behaviour of the players?

    Let us know your thoughts now at #bbcsportsday.

  111. Chelsea 'acted like babies'

    Football

    Chelsea's players acted like "babies" during the incident that led to Zlatan Ibrahimovic's red card on Wednesday, said the Paris St-Germain striker.

    The Swede was sent off for a tackle on Oscar after 31 minutes and Chelsea's players surrounded Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers following the lunging tackle on Oscar.

    Chelsea PSG

    He said: "When I got the red card all the Chelsea players come around. It felt like I had a lot of babies around me.

    "I don't know if I have to get angry or start to laugh. For me when I saw the red card I was like 'the (referee) doesn't know what he's doing'."

  112. All over

    Cricket

    We were going to bring you an update from the latest match at the Cricket World Cup but we can't - it's already all over.

    South Africa have recorded a resounding victory over the United Arab Emirates, hitting 341-6 from their 50 overs - AB De Villiers with 99 - and then bowling out their opponents for 195.

    South Africa v UAE

    That means a 146 run for South Africa, who have now qualified for the quarter-finals.

    Full scorecard here.

    NB - We will do our best to refrain from mentioning the English cricket team in today's Sportsday on the grounds that it is too depressing.

  113. Post update

    Opta stat: José Mourinho had not been eliminated at the Champions League Round of 16 stage since March 2009 (Inter v Man Utd)

  114. Sale coach departs

    Rugby Union

    Bryan Redpath has left his coaching role at Sale Sharks with immediate effect, the Aviva Premiership side announced on its website.

    The 43-year-old Scot ends an eight-year association with the club, having spent five years with them as a player and three as a coach.

  115. 'Ugly eyesore of a match'

    Football

    This was a recurring theme from the Chelsea-PSG match.

    Chelsea PSG

    Diego Costa and David Luiz had a running battle throughout, with both perhaps a little fortuitous to stay on the pitch for the duration of the match.

    "It was an ugly eyesore of a match punctuated by fouls and contentious incidents," wrote the BBC's chief football writer Phil McNulty.

    "For Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho, who sets such store by the Champions League having won it with Porto and Inter Milan, this will be a devastating blow but he can hardly make a case that his side were unlucky after such a flat performance, even with a numerical advantage."

    Read McNulty's full match report here.

  116. Chelsea crash out

    Football

    And so to Chelsea and their exit from the Champions League.

    Playing at Stamford Bridge and with an away goal from the first tie, they were big favourites to progress to the quarter-finals against PSG.

    David Luiz

    But Laurent Blanc's side had other ideas, twice levelling in normal and extra time - David Luiz (who else?) responding to Gary Cahill's strike, then Thiago Silva burying a header after a Eden Hazard penalty.

    It was a display of great character and resilience from PSG, who had to play for the last hour of normal time, and the added 30 minutes, without talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic after he had been sent off for a foul on Oscar.

  117. New face in top role

    Rugby League

    Some breaking news... Former England and Wales Cricket Board chief executive David Collier has been appointed the new CEO of the Rugby League International Federation.

    Collier, who who spent 10 years with the ECB and has also worked for the International Hockey Federation, takes up his new role on 1 April,

  118. It starts... three years early

    Football

    Now don't laugh but the 2018 World Cup is under way. No, really.

    Timor-Leste are facing Mongolia in the first qualifying match for the tournament, which takes place in Russia in three-and-a-half years time.

    We know you're just desperate to find out who's winning so, just for you, the latest score, with 40 minutes to go, is... 2-0 to Timor-Leste.

  119. Feeling bossy

    Football

    No Premier League last week due to the FA Cup quarter-finals, but it's back with a vengeance this weekend.

    There are a several juicy-looking fixtures, including Chelsea v Southampton and Man United v Tottenham.

    All the Premier League bosses will be speaking over the next 48 hours. Here's who is due to face the media today.

    Sam Allardyce

    Sam Allardyce (West Ham) 09:00 GMT; Sean Dyche (Burnley) 13:00; Tim Sherwood (Aston Villa) 13:30.

    Nigel Pearson (Leicester) 14:00 GMT; Garry Monk (Swansea) 14:00; Tony Pulis (West Brom) 14:00.

    We'll bring you the best of what they say.

  120. And we're off

    We're not even going to say good morning and welcome to another Sportsday, for there is not enough time for pleasantries.

    Loads going on throughout the course of the day, including six Premier League news conferences, the Cheltenham Festival and the Cricket World Cup.

    David Luiz

    Throw into the mix the fall-out of Chelsea's Champions League exit, the build-up to Everton's Europa league last-16 tie, a look-back at the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao head-to-head, plus the rest of the breaking sport news, and you get the idea - it's going to be non-stop.

    Enjoy, here we go...