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Bayern Munich v Barcelona – live Champions League

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE LIVE: Bayern Munich v Barcelona – as it happens from the Allianz Arena

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25min: GOAL! BAYERN MUNICH 1-0 Barcelona

It's been coming and finally the German side's pressure pays off. A corner eventually finds Dante inside the area and his headed effort back across goal is powerfully nodded home by Thomas Muller.

22min: Bayern are slightly fortunate to win a corner as Jordi Alba was adjudged to have failed in keeping the ball in play, but Robben's set-piece is punched clear by Valdes before the visitors win a free-kick for an infringement inside the box.

19min: The home side continue to look dangerous as they go forward but whether it's by handball or other means, the Barcelona back-four isn't struggling too much to cope with the German side. Going forward though it's a different story as Lionel Messi and Co have yet to get into the game.

Clash of the titans: Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery fight for the ball

Clash of the titans: Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery fight for the ball

16min: A strong penalty claim from Bayern Munich, as Philipp Lahm's shot is clearly blocked from a raised Pique arm. It's very subtle from the defender but he is very fortunate to get away with that.

14min: From InfostradaLive:

Bayern have never lost a CL semifinal match at home (5W – 1D). Their only draw was in April 1995: 0-0 against Ajax.

11min: A very even opening to a game which neither side has yet to take control of. Barcelona's passing looks better at this stage but it's Valdes who has had to make the only save of the match so far.

Aiming low: Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben sees a shot saved by Barcelona's Victor Valdes

Aiming low: Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben sees a shot saved by Barcelona's Victor Valdes

8min: In fact one or two players are slipping on other areas of the watered pitch as Barcelona win their first corner, which is headed wide by Gerard Pique.

5min: The home side have settled now but we have the bizarre case of a waterlogged pitch.

There's been no rain in Munich today but the centre-circle is holding standing water from what is most likely from the sprinklers that watered the pitch before the game.

2min: It takes nearly 80 seconds for Bayern to touch the ball but they carve out the first opportunity. Arjen Robben's through pass feeds in Javi Martinez, and after the forward returns the favour with a cut-back, the winger's low shot is well blocked by Victor Valdes.

Ready to go: The players arrive on the pitch at the Allianz Arena

Ready to go: The players arrive on the pitch at the Allianz Arena

Kick-off: Away we go at the Allianz Arena as Barcelona possession is immediately jeered by the home crowd.

19.41: Both sets of teams are on the field, as the home fans raise red and white cards to represent Bayern Munich's colours.

19.36: From InfostradaLive:

Bayern are the first German team to play two consecutive Champions League semifinals since 1998/1999, 1999/2000 and 2000/2001, when they themselves achieved this feat.

Preparing: Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer saves a shot warming up

Preparing: Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer saves a shot warming up

19.31: Viktor Kassai is in charge of tonight's game – with the Hungarian a lucky charm of some sort for Barcelona.

He oversaw their 4-0 win over AC Milan at the Nou Camp earlier this year and was also in charge of the 2011 Champions League final at Wembley where the Spanish side defeated Manchester United 3-1.

Bayern Munich last had the official in their 2-1 defeat at Real Madrid in last year's semi-final.

19.26: They may be stars everyone wants to see but Barcelona were greeted by jeers from the home fans as they took to the pitch for their warm-up.

19.23: Whatever you think of this current Bayern Munich team there is no denying how impressive their current form is. They have won 19 of their last 20 matches in all competitions – with that one blemish being the second-leg defeat against Arsenal in the last 16.

Jupp Heynckes' team have won all 13 Bundesliga games this year and are on course for the treble having reached the final of the German cup following a 6-1 semi-final win over Wolfsburg.

Club legend: Bayern president Uli Hoeness arrives at the Allianz Arena

Club legend: Bayern president Uli Hoeness arrives at the Allianz Arena

Flying the flag: Bayern Munich and Barcelona fans gathered outside of the Allianz Arena

Flying the flag: Bayern Munich and Barcelona fans gathered outside of the Allianz Arena

Flying the flag: Bayern Munich and Barcelona fans gathered outside of the Allianz Arena

19.18: From InfostradaLive:

Victor Valdes plays his 48th CL KO match, overtaking Ryan Giggs (47) as player with most CL KO appearances.

19.13: Full line-ups from the Allianz Arena:

Bayern Munich v Barcelona
Bayern Munich: Neuer, Lahm, Boateng, Dante, Alaba, Javi Martinez, Schweinsteiger, Robben, Muller, Ribery, Gomez. Subs: Starke, Van Buyten, Shaqiri, Rafinha, Pizarro, Gustavo, Tymoschuk.

Barcelona: Valdes, Dani Alves, Pique, Bartra, Jordi Alba, Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta, Sanchez, Messi, Pedro. Subs: Pinto, Fabregas, Villa, Thiago, Montoya, Abidal, Song.

Referee: Viktor Kassai (Hungary)

19.08: From OptaPaolo:

25 – Bayern have always scored at home in the Champions League against Spanish opposition (13 games), scoring 25 goals in total. Assurance.

Way back when: Bayern Munich's Stefan Effenberg (right) tracks Barcelona's Sonny Anderson

Way back when: Bayern Munich's Stefan Effenberg (right) tracks Barcelona's Sonny Anderson

Revenge: First leg goals from Lionel Messi, Samuel Eto'o and Thierry Henry helped Barcelona thump Bayern Munich 5-1 on aggregate in the 2009 Champions League quarter-finals

Revenge: First leg goals from Lionel Messi, Samuel Eto'o and Thierry Henry helped Barcelona thump Bayern Munich 5-1 on aggregate in the 2009 Champions League quarter-finals

Revenge: First leg goals from Lionel Messi, Samuel Eto'o and Thierry Henry helped Barcelona thump Bayern Munich 5-1 on aggregate in the 2009 Champions League quarter-finals

19.05: Bayern Munich won two Champions League group stage meetings in 1998, but Barcelona finally triumphed over the German side when they strolled to a 5-1 aggregate victory in the Champions League quarter-finals four years ago.

In fact they effectively won the tie by half-time of the first leg at the Nou Camp, following a brace from Lionel Messi and strikes from Thierry Henry and Samuel Eto'o.

19.00: Despite their regular participation in Europe's top competition – these sides have only clashed in three previous seasons.

The first was in the 1996 UEFA Cup semi-final when Bayern edged through 4-3 on aggregate – a tie where in the clash at the Nou Camp, Sergio Busquets' (who starts tonight) father Carles featured – as did Pep Guardiola.

18.55: Mario Mandzukic is suspended for Bayern, so therefore Mario Gomez plays up top. The more agile Jerome Boateng starts in front of Daniel van Buyten.

French following: A fan holds a France flag with Bayern's Franck Ribery on the front

French following: A fan holds a France flag with Bayern's Franck Ribery on the front

18.50: So Messi returns for Barcleona and will lead an attack along with Pedro Rodriguez and Alexis Sanchez. Marc Bartra starts in defence in place of injured pair Javier Mascherano, Carlos Puyol and the suspended Adriano.

18.45: Barcelona starting XI:

Valdes, Alves, Bartra, Pique, Alba, Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta, Pedro, Messi, Alexis.

18.40: Bayern Munich starting XI:

Neuer, Lahm, Boateng, Dante, Alaba, Schweinsteiger, Martinez, Robben, Muller, Ribery, Gomez.

On the move: Mario Gotze (centre) will join Bayern Munich this summer

On the move: Mario Gotze (centre) will join Bayern Munich this summer

18.35: Bayern Munich have already been making headlines today, after it emerged Mario Gotze will join the club from Borussia Dortmund for 32m in what will be Pep Guardiola's first signing when he takes over at Munich this summer.

A huge statement of intent that, with the 20-year-old midfielder one of Europe's most highly sought after players.

18.30: From OptaJean:

1 – Barcelona have only won one of their 6 competitive encounters with Bayern Munich (D2, L3). Stress.

18.25: The fact that Barcelona are not huge favourites (if they are favourites at all) to win tonight shows just how far Bayern Munich have come this season.

They continue to shine in Europe of course but their domestic form has been nothing short of devastating – it should be quite a contest.

Back in business: Lionel Messi is poised to return for Barcelona

Back in business: Lionel Messi is poised to return for Barcelona

18.20: It's been a lovely sunny St. George's Day in the UK, and the weather is looking good in Munich too ahead of tonight's game. It's 16 degrees at the Allianz Arena where fans are already arriving.

18.15: No full team news yet but it seems Lionel Messi is fully fit for Barcelona, having not featured since coming off the bench in the quarter-final win against Paris Saint-Germain in the last round. That's a big boost for Barca who have stuttered at times on their travels around the continent this term.

18.10: There may be no English teams left but what a final four we have in this season's Champions League!

As it turns out it will be a double dose of Spain v Germany, and while Real Madrid are favourites to edge past Borussia Dortmund, it appears much closer between Bayern Munich and Barcelona – the latter of course, the main event this evening.

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On the ball: Bayern Munich's Bastian Schweinsteiger trains in preperation for the semi-final

On the ball: Bayern Munich's Bastian Schweinsteiger trains in preperation for the semi-final

Picture: Why is Arsenal star Emmanuel Frimpong waving a Spurs scarf ahead of north London derby?

Who is this Arsenal star with a Spurs scarf ahead of Sunday's north London derby

By
Dave Wood

PUBLISHED:

23:56 GMT, 28 February 2013

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UPDATED:

08:13 GMT, 1 March 2013

The build-up to this Sunday's eagerly-awaited north London derby is reaching fever pitch but it seems one Arsenal player may have lost all leave of his senses.

Bizarre images of Emmanuel Frimpong wearing a Captain America style mask and hat and waving a Tottenham scarf surfaced on the internet on Thursday night.

Star attraction: Frimpong entertains his fans with unusual outfit

Man overboard: Frimpong goads Spurs fans during live stream

frimpong

Centre stage: Frimpong took part in live stream with his cousin, rap star Lethal Bizzle

The midfielder, currently on loan at Fulham, donned the strange garb and goaded Spurs fans during a live stream with his cousin and rap star Lethal Bizzle.

Although it was a bit of light-hearted fun, Frimpong should really have thought twice about his internet show after being caught out using social media in the past.

He was fined 6,000 and warned over his future behaviour after admitting to a Football Association charge of improper conduct related to comments made on Twitter.

frimpong

Super hero Frimpong does his best Captain America impression

frimpong

Frimpong responded to a comment made by a Tottenham fan on July 15 and although he soon removed the tweet from the social networking site, it caught the attention of the FA.

The comment made by the Spurs supporter was retweeted by Frimpong, who also added the derogatory term that incurred the FA's wrath.

Everton 1 Chelsea 2: Frank Lampard double helps Blues to victory

Everton 1 Chelsea 2: Lampard delivers again as Blues recover from early blow to move back into third place

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UPDATED:

21:50 GMT, 30 December 2012

Frank Lampard has made a habit of being in the right place at the right time over his years at Chelsea.

How peculiar, then, that from the end of this season, he will probably be somewhere else entirely.

Of all the bizarre events that have characterised Chelsea’s recent history, the apparent decision to jettison one of their most important players next summer is among the more perplexing.

At the double: Lampard celebrates his second and decisive goal

At the double: Lampard celebrates his second and decisive goal

MATCH FACTS

Everton: Howard, Jagielka, Heitinga, Distin, Baines, Naismith (Vellios 76), Osman, Hitzlsperger (Barkley 78), Pienaar (Oviedo 80), Anichebe, Jelavic.
Subs not used: Mucha, Gueye, Duffy, Browning.
Goal: Pienaar 1.
Bookings: Distin, Pienaar.

Chelsea: Cech (Turnbull 46), Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Cole, Ramires, Luiz, Lampard, Mata (Oscar 85), Torres, Hazard (Moses 74).
Subs not used: Ferreira, Marin, Piazon, Ake.
Goals: Lampard 42, 72.
Bookings: Cole, Luiz, Cahill.

Referee: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire)

Lampard has made almost 400 Barclays
Premier League appearances for Chelsea as the club have established
themselves as one of the best in Europe. He has been a cornerstone of
all that has been achieved in the Roman Abramovich years. However, those
who suggest that Lampard should be rewarded for his loyalty with a new
contract miss the point.

He should be invited to stay at
Stamford Bridge not out of sentiment but simply because he still has
something to offer a squad that needs continuity more than most others.

Lampard’s two goals at Goodison Park
yesterday were certainly timely. They enabled his team to recover from a
second-minute Everton goal to continue their impressive recent
progress and they also provided a reminder of his enduring worth as a
footballer. At 34, Lampard may not be as mobile or as dynamic as he once
was. Time has inevitably diminished him.

Nevertheless, the England midfielder’s ability to pass and read and anticipate play remains undimmed.

One senses that Rafael Benitez
recognises this and it is a shame that it is someone else other than the
club’s interim manager who would appear to be making the decisions
about players at Chelsea.

Certainly, yesterday, Benitez will have been grateful.

Giving Everton the Blues: Lampard scores Chelsea's winner

Giving Everton the Blues: Lampard scores Chelsea's winner

Heads up: Frank Lampard scores Chelsea's first half equaliser

Heads up: Frank Lampard scores Chelsea's first half equaliser

Chelsea fell behind after only 63
seconds and then had to withstand something of a blitz from David
Moyes’s progressive Everton team.

That they did so says much for the
manner in which Benitez has organised his team and the confidence that
has come from recent victories.

Putting eight goals past a poor Aston
Villa team at home is one thing but moving forward to win at Norwich and
then here on Merseyside is arguably more impressive.

Get in there, Frank: Lampard is congratulated after scoring

Get in there, Frank: Lampard is congratulated after scoring

Are you listening, Roman A Chelsea fan holding up a special banner at Goodison Park

Are you listening, Roman A Chelsea fan holding up a special banner at Goodison Park

The first half-hour belonged to
Everton. Unfortunately for the home side, it brought them only one goal.
Ultimately, that proved critical.

A good goal it was, though, as Everton
took advantage of Eden Hazard’s misplaced early pass to sweep down the
right through Phil Jagielka.

The emergency right back’s cross was a
good one, and it enabled Victor Anichebe to climb above Cesar
Azpilicueta — with the help of a shove in the back — and head powerfully
against the post. If Chelsea thought the danger had passed, they were
wrong. Steven Pienaar was lurking 12 yards from goal and the technique
he showed in drilling the ball low past Petr Cech was exemplary.

What a start: Steven Pienaar fires Everton in front after just a minute

What a start: Steven Pienaar fires Everton in front after just a minute

Pure delight: Pienaar celebrates his goal

Pure delight: Pienaar celebrates his goal

A goal to the good so quickly, Everton
were effervescent and inventive. For a while, Chelsea had no answer.
The likes of Lampard, David Luiz and Juan Mata were slow into the game,
and they were almost invisible as the hosts swept forward.

Moyes’s players created chances but
couldn’t take them. Nikica Jelavic struck a free-kick against the post
with Cech stranded before Anichebe headed over after a throw-in was
flicked on from the right.

Perhaps the turning point arrived in
the 24th minute, though, as another Jagielka cross reached the
impressive Leon Osman and Cech somehow managed to smuggle a fierce low
drive past his left-hand post.

Had Chelsea fallen two goals behind at
this point, there might have been no way back. They really had offered
very little at this point.

As it was, though, Cech touched a
Jelavic cross-shot wide after a superb Pienaar pass, and Chelsea sprung
forward to equalise just before half-time.

The goal hadn’t exactly been coming, but Chelsea had been improving quietly as time went on.

Making his point: Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez (right) and Everton boss David Moyes on the sidelines

Making his point: Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez (right) and Everton boss David Moyes on the sidelines

Battle: Sylvain Distin clashes with Fernando Torres

Battle: Sylvain Distin clashes with Fernando Torres

In the 34th minute, Ashley Cole had
been an inch away from diverting a low Azpilicueta cross into the net at
the far post, and they equalised when Fernando Torres ran the ball down
the right, fed Ramires and watched the Brazilian drop a right-foot
cross on the forehead of Lampard eight yards from goal. He simply wasn’t
going to miss.

No doubt relieved to be level, Chelsea
began the second half the stronger, even though they had lost
goalkeeper Cech at half-time to an ankle injury.

With Luiz, Mata and Ramires now
looking more like themselves, a Luiz chipped pass deserved better than a
poor Torres touch while Chelsea’s centre forward found a much better
contact in bringing a superb save from Tim Howard in the 67th minute.

At the other end, Everton’s threat was
by now more sporadic, but they remained very much in the game and
superb work from Leighton Baines down the left enabled Jelavic to head
against the bar as the game hung in the balance with 20 minutes left.

Moyes was later to rue his team’s failure to follow up rebounds.

It was pertinent, then, that Chelsea
won the game just minutes later when a superb move involving Ramires,
Torres, Mata and Hazard ended with Lampard bundling the ball in from
close range after Howard had saved.

Still there was time for Jelavic to
dawdle over a late chance after another Baines cross, and perhaps
Everton would have deserved a point.

Chelsea, though, are threatening to become as ruthless on the field as they are off it.

Frank Lampard knows this well.

Fan-tastic: Everton supporters watch the action unfold on the final Sunday of 2012

Fan-tastic: Everton supporters watch the action unfold on the final Sunday of 2012

Alistair Cook"s bizarre dismissal the latest in a long line of unusual wickets

Captain Cook will be kicking himself for his freak dismissal in Kolkata… but he's not the first batsman to be left scratching his head

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UPDATED:

11:21 GMT, 7 December 2012

England captain Alastair Cook lost his wicket in bizarre circumstances on day three of the third Test in Kolkata.

He failed to ground his bat on returning to his crease and jumped out of the way of Virat Kohli's shy at the stumps.

Cook hung low on his bat for a second as the realisation of what he had done sank in.

And he joins the list of batsmen – including a couple of fellow England captains – to lose their wickets in bizarre circumstances after looking well set at the crease.

Bizarre dismissal: Alistair Cook, ten shy of a double hundred, forgot to ground his bat when leaping out of the way of Virat Kohli's throw at the stumps

Bizarre dismissal: Alistair Cook, ten shy of a double hundred, forgot to ground his bat when leaping out of the way of Virat Kohli's throw at the stumps

Graham Gooch v Australia – Old Trafford (1993)

The England opener was on 133 in the opening Ashes Test in Manchester and slowly but surely was guiding England towards an improbable draw when he was undone by a steep riser from Merv Hughes.

As the ball bounced down towards the stumps, Gooch brushed the ball away with his glove and umpire Dickie Bird had no option but to raise his finger.

His dismissal made him only the fifth batsman in history to be given out for handling the ball and ended any remaining hope of England saving the Test.

Decent fist of it: Graham Gooch punches the ball away as a Merv Hughes bouncer heads for the stumps in the second innings of England's Ashes first test defeat in 1993

Decent fist of it: Graham Gooch punches the ball away as a Merv Hughes bouncer heads for the stumps in the second innings of England's Ashes first test defeat in 1993

Michael Vaughan v India (2001-02)

Needing a win to level the series on their 2001 tour of India, England weren't helped when Michael Vaughan was given out for handling the ball in their first innings.

Attempting to sweep Sarandeep Singh, the Yorkshire batsman, who was well set on 64, missed completely and the ball trickled underneath his pads towards the stumps.

Without thinking, Vaughan knocked the ball away with his right hand to prevent it hitting. It didn't fool Virender Sehwag at short leg and Vaughan became the seventh batsman to be dismissed for handling the ball in Test cricket.

The Test was eventually drawn and the series lost 1-0.

Not much comfort: Mark Ramprakash tries to find the right words for Michael Vaughan after the latter knocks the ball away with his hand to stop it hitting the stumps on England's 2001 tour of India

Not much comfort: Mark Ramprakash tries to find the right words for Michael Vaughan after the latter knocks the ball away with his hand to stop it hitting the stumps on England's 2001 tour of India

Wayne Phillips v England (1985)

An incident that cost Australia the fifth Test of the 1985 Ashes series and many believe should never have been given out.

Wayne Phillips, offering stout final day resistance on 59, hit a ball from Phil Edmonds onto the instep of Allan Lamb, who was trying to get out of the way at silly point.

The ball ricocheted tamely for David Gower, standing a couple of yards away, to take a simple catch.
Umpire David Shepherd, not having a clear view of the incident, asked square leg umpire David Constant for his version of events. He said conclusively that the ball had not touched the ground.

England had wrapped up victory 48 minutes later when it seemed an Old Trafford Test full of rain delays would fizzle out into a draw.

Out! Australia's Wayne Phillips lost his wicket in a freak incident that saw his shot rebound off the foot of Allan Lamb into the grateful hands of David Gower

Out! Australia's Wayne Phillips lost his wicket in a freak incident that saw his shot rebound off the foot of Allan Lamb into the grateful hands of David Gower

Kevin Pietersen v West Indies (2007)

Pietersen was going well on 68, punishing the West Indian bowlers in the third Test at Old Trafford in 2007, when he was removed in the most bizarre way.

A Dwayne Bravo bouncer struck Pietersen on the helmet, dislodging it and sending it flying onto the stumps.

The look on KP's face as he staggered round is one of pure disbelief, but he had no choice but to walk. It didn't affect the result too badly – England won the Test by 60 runs and the series 3-0.

Disbelief: Kevin Pietersen looks on in horror after a Dwayne Bravo bouncer dislodges his helmet onto the stumps in the third test with the West Indies at Old Trafford in 2007

Disbelief: Kevin Pietersen looks on in horror after a Dwayne Bravo bouncer dislodges his helmet onto the stumps in the third test with the West Indies at Old Trafford in 2007

Ian Bell v India (2011)

Bell was on 137 when Eoin Morgan had played the ball towards the long leg boundary where the fielder made a diving attempt to stop the ball, before falling over the boundary rope.

The fielder in question, Praveen Kumar, thought the ball had gone for four and threw it back towards the stumps. The ball ended up in the hands of Abhinav Mukund, who broke the wicket.

But by this time Bell and Morgan were about to make their way up the steps, back to the pavilion for tea, thinking 'over' had been called.

Cue much lobbying during the break where India captain MS Dhoni and coach Duncan Fletcher agreed to reinstate Bell who scored another 12 runs.


Run out: Ian Bell and Eoin Morgan (bottom left) are already heading in for the tea interval, unaware that Bell has been run out

Run out: Ian Bell and Eoin Morgan (bottom left) are already heading in for the tea interval, unaware that Bell has been run out

Debate: Bell and Morgan are prevented from leaving the pitch for tea as the decision is reviewed

Debate: Bell and Morgan are prevented from leaving the pitch for tea as the decision is reviewed

Manchester City v Aston Villa, West Brom v Chelsea plus four more live Premier League games

PREMIER LEAGUE LIVE: Follow the action from around the grounds as it happens

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UPDATED:

16:19 GMT, 17 November 2012

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the Barclays Premier League as Manchester City host Aston Villa at the Etihad Stadium in one of six 3pm kick-offs. Elsewhere it is Liverpool v Wigan, Newcastle v Swansea, QPR v Southampton, Reading v Everton and West Brom v Chelsea. Send me your thoughts on the action at [email protected] or contact me on Twitter @Ripinho.

Live scores

Click here for the live goals as they go in

Arsenal 5-2 Tottenham FT

Liverpool 1-0 Wigan

Manchester City 2-0 Aston Villa

Newcastle 0-1 Swansea

QPR 1-2 Southampton

Reading 1-1 Everton

West Brom 2-1 Chelsea

Click here for the live Premier League table

All the latest from the Championship

All the latest from League One

All the latest from League Two

All the latest from the SPL

16.15: GOAL! Newcastle 0-1 SWANSEA

A poor clearance from Krul leads to Pablo Hernandez crossing from the flank into the penalty area where Michu powers home with a header.

16.12: GOAL! MANCHESTER CITY 2-0 Aston Villa

Absolutely bizarre scenes at the Etihad Stadium. The host win a penalty in the softest of circumstances after Silva's corner takes the slightest of brushes off Andreas Weimann's arm.

There is no sympathy from Sergio Aguero though who buries home 12 yards.

16.11: PENALTY (Manchester City)

16.10: GOAL! LIVERPOOL 1-0 Wigan

Finally some action! Raheem Sterling wins the ball before crossing from the byline for Luis Suarez to fire home.

16.09: GOAL! READING 1-1 Everton

The Royals have improved on a poor first half showing and equalise as Nicky Shorey's free-kick is converted from close range by Adam Le Fondre.

16.09: GOAL! WEST BROM 2-1 Chelsea

Now this is against the run of play following Chelsea's quick start to this half as Long's cross is bundled in by Peter Odemwingie.

16.08: GOAL! QPR 1-2 Southampton

Mark Hughes' half-time team-talk looks to have had some impact as Taarabt's cross is headed home by Junior Hoilett.

16.06: Chelsea start much better at West Brom as Boaz Myhill reacts well to block a snap shot from Sturridge.

16.04: One change for QPR as Jamie Mackie has replaced Alejandro Faurlin.

16.03: Away we go again for the second halves of the Premier League.

16.00: From InfostradaLive:

David Silva scored his first PL goal since April 11. The club have won each of the last eight PL matches in which he has found the net.

15.57: Not too many goals in that first half, but it can't just be me that notices the goals tend to rifle in after the break.

Will there be any for QPR though If the Hoops can't score past this leaky Southampton defence then it's crisis o'clock at Loftus Road.

15.54: It sounds like Sportsmail's Dominic King is enjoying himself at Anfield:

Half-time 0-0. Can't provide anything witty or insightful other than saying it is a pretty humdrum game with some odd refereeing decisions.

First to the ball: David Silva pounced before half-time to put Manchester City in front against Aston Villa

First to the ball: David Silva pounced before half-time to put Manchester City in front against Aston Villa

15.51: And now it's finally half-time at Anfield.

15.48: It's half-time everywhere but Liverpool…which I promise has actually kicked off.

15.47: GOAL! QPR 0-2 SOUTHAMPTON

What a disaster for QPR. Southampton have been much the better side so far and take a deserved two-goal lead after Jason Puncheon beats Julio Cesar at his near post with a curling effort.

15.45: GOAL! MANCHESTER CITY 1-0 Aston Villa

The champions finally make a breakthrough as David Silva shows he is the most alert player on the pitch after bundling home a loose ball from inside the box.

15.43: GOAL! West Brom 1-1 CHELSEA

It's against the run of play but Cesar Azpilicueta's cross is converted by Eden Hazard inside the box, taking a touch of Billy Jones along the way.

15.41: More goalkeeping masterclass at Reading now, as Federici rushes off his line to prevent Leon Osman from doubling Everton's lead after a through ball from Naismith. Alex McCarthy might not get his place back in the Royals goal at this rate.

15.38: Williamson nearly goes from hero to zero at Newcastle. The defender hesitates on the ball, allowing Swansea's Itay Shechter to get a shot in on goal, only to be denied by the onrushing Krul.

15.35: Don't worry folks I haven't forgot the action at Anfield – it's just there isn't much to report so far. We've had just one shot from Liverpool against Wigan and it wasn't on target from the hosts.

Red alert: Rickie Lambert heads Southampton ahead at QPR despite the best efforts of Samba Diakite

Red alert: Rickie Lambert heads Southampton ahead at QPR despite the best efforts of Samba Diakite

15.32: Despite that Benteke chance, it's backs to the wall for Aston Villa who are frustrating Manchester City with men behind the ball.

Yaya Toure sums up the frustration of the home side with a long distance strike that flies well over.

15.29: Newcastle go close to opening the scoring against Swansea as Demba Ba heads Hatem Ben Arfa's cross off target.

15.26: From InfostradaLive:

QPR conceded the opening goal for the ninth time this season – they have drawn two and lost six of the previous eight.

15.24: GOAL! QPR 0-1 SOUTHAMPTON

Scrappy as anything I have ever seen but this goal is huge. Following a scramble inside the box, Puncheon is denied on the line by Armand Traore before Rickie Lambert eventually smashes home.

15.21: But this is an even better save from Joe Hart. Christian Benteke out jumps Matija Nastasic to head into the turf, but the Manchester City keeper leaps to tip away the ball and deny Aston Villa the lead. Almost Gordan Banks-esque.

Heads I win: Shane Long nodded West Brom in front after peeling off Chelsea's David Luiz

Heads I win: Shane Long nodded West Brom in front after peeling off Chelsea's David Luiz

15.19: Still Swansea attack at Newcastle and this time the visitors get past the defence but not Tim Krul, as the Toon keeper parries away Michu's shot.

15.16: Jason Puncheon has hit the post for Southampton at QPR, but the hosts respond as Adel Taarabt dancing past three defenders before forcing a smart stop from Paulo Gazzaniga.

15.13: GOAL! WEST BROM 1-0 Chelsea

The Blues started well but they have fallen behind after Shane Long lost David Luiz at the back post to head home. The striker then revealed a shirt reading 'RIP Nan.'

First blood: Steven Naismith handed Everton the lead at Reading

First blood: Steven Naismith handed Everton the lead at Reading

15.11: GOAL! Reading 0-1 EVERTON

And now for something completely different. Reading make an absolute hash of clearing the ball from their box and after some deft touches from Marouane Fellaini and Jelavic, Steven Naismith rifles home.

15.09: And even more great defending – this time from West Brom! Victor Moses cuts the ball back from the byline after being set clear by Daniel Sturridge, before Ryan Bertrand's shot is cleared off the line by Liam Ridgewell.

15.06: Top defending from Mike Williamson. Nathan Dyer looks to be through on goal for Swansea but the Newcastle defender gets across to make a great tackle.

15.03: Fast start from Everton and they nearly take the lead. Adam Federici makes a top save from Phil Jagielka before Nikica Jelavic volleys into the ground and over.

Denied: Everton's Phil Jagielka sees his shot saved by Reading keeper Adam Federici

Denied: Everton's Phil Jagielka sees his shot saved by Reading keeper Adam Federici

15.00: Away we go then folks.

14.57: The teams are out across the country – let's hope they can follow the lunchtime kick-off where Arsenal recorded a 5-2 victory over Tottenham at the Emirates Stadium.

14.54: So as kick-off approaches why not check out Martin Keown's boot room where he previews all of this weekend's Premier League action.

14.51: Last but not least from the Madejski Stadium where Reading are searching for a first win and Everton will want to continue their challenge for a Champions League spot:

Reading v Everton
Reading: Federici, Gunter, Morrison, Gorkss, Shorey, Robson-Kanu, Leigertwood, Tabb, McAnuff, Roberts, Le Fondre. Subs: Stuart Taylor, Mariappa, Pogrebnyak, Hunt, McCleary, Harte, Cummings.

Everton: Howard, Coleman, Heitinga, Jagielka, Baines, Naismith, Osman, Fellaini, Hitzlsperger, Pienaar, Jelavic. Subs: Mucha, Oviedo, Distin, Vellios, Junior, Kennedy, Duffy.

Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)

14.48: It seems like madness but a win for Wigan today and they would go above Liverpool in the table, full team news from Anfield:

Liverpool v Wigan
Liverpool: Reina, Wisdom, Agger, Skrtel, Jose Enrique, Johnson, Gerrard, Allen, Sterling, Suarez, Fernandez Saez. Subs: Jones, Sahin, Cole, Henderson, Coates, Carragher, Shelvey.

Wigan: Al Habsi, Ramis, Caldwell, Figueroa, Boyce, Watson, McCarthy, Beausejour, Maloney, Di Santo, Kone. Subs: Pollitt, Jones, Gomez, McManaman, Boselli, Stam, Miyaichi.

Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)

14.45: Interesting game at West Brom as Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo returns to the club that sacked him only last year…how times change:

West Brom v Chelsea
West Brom: Myhill, Jones, Olsson, Tamas, Ridgewell, Morrison, Yacob, Mulumbu, Gera, Long, Odemwingie. Subs: Luke Daniels, Reid, Popov, Rosenberg, Brunt, Dorrans, Fortune.

Chelsea: Cech, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Luiz, Bertrand, Romeu, Mikel, Hazard, Sturridge, Torres, Moses. Subs: Turnbull, Ivanovic, Cole, Ramires, Mata, Oscar, Marin.

Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)

Forced to sit out: Senegal have evoked a clause preventing Papiss Cisse's (left) from playing for Newcastle

Forced to sit out: Senegal have evoked a clause preventing Papiss Cisse's (left) from playing for Newcastle

14.42: Two mid-table sides at St James' Park who will fancy their chances of three points and a push for a European spot. Full news:

Newcastle v Swansea
Newcastle: Krul, Simpson, Steven Taylor, Williamson, Santon, Ben Arfa, Anita, Tiote, Ferguson, Sammy Ameobi, Ba. Subs: Elliot, Amalfitano, Bigirimana, Marveaux, Shola Ameobi, Tavernier, Abeid.

Swansea: Tremmel, Rangel, Williams, Monk, Davies, Britton, De Guzman, Dyer, Michu, Hernandez, Shechter. Subs: Cornell, Chico, Graham, Routledge, Moore, Tiendalli, Agustien.

Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)

14.39: Mario Balotelli is again left out of the Manchester City squad as the Barclays Premier League champions take on Aston Villa at the Etihad Stadium.

The controversial striker, who played in Italy's friendly against France on Wednesday, does not even make the bench for his club side for a second successive week.

Maicon and Samir Nasri come into the City line-up for Pablo Zabaleta and Aleksandar Kolarov while Villa are unchanged from the side beaten by Manchester United last week.

14.36: Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo makes five changes for the Barclays Premier League clash with his former club West Brom at the Hawthorns.

Strikers Victor Moses and Daniel Sturridge, midfielder Oriol Romeu and centre-backs Gary Cahill and David Luiz replace Juan Mata, Oscar, Ramires, Branislav Ivanovic and the injured John Terry respectively.

Gabriel Tamas replaces injured Albion centre-back Gareth McAuley (hamstring) while midfielder Zoltan Gera and striker Peter Odemwingie come in for Chris Brunt and ineligible on-loan Chelsea player Romelu Lukaku.

Incoming: Victor Moses (centre) and Gary Cahill (right) feature for Chelsea but Juan Mata makes way

Incoming: Victor Moses (centre) and Gary Cahill (right) feature for Chelsea but Juan Mata makes way

14.33: QPR and Southampton both name unchanged starting line-ups for today's vital encounter between the Premier League's two bottom sides.

The hosts name Fabio on the bench after a two-month absence with a hamstring problem, while Bobby Zamora misses out on the squad with a hip injury.

Southampton name the same side that drew 1-1 with Swansea last weekend, with 17-year-old Luke Shaw again preferred at left-back.

14.30: Reading boss Brian McDermott makes two changes for the visit of Everton as he goes in search of the Royals' first Barclays Premier League win of the season.

Hal Robson-Kanu and Adam Le Fondre are introduced by McDermott with Garath McCleary and Noel Hunt both dropping to the bench.

David Moyes hands midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger his first Everton start in place of captain Phil Neville with Steven Naismith replacing Kevin Mirallas who misses out with a hamstring injury.

14.27: The big one. QPR boss Mark Hughes has already led a rally cry before the Premier League's bottom two in the table battle it out. Here are the full line-ups from Loftus Road:

QPR v Southampton
QPR: Julio Cesar, Bosingwa, Ferdinand, Nelsen, Traore, Diakite, Faurlin, Granero, Taarabt, Hoilett, Cisse. Subs: Green, Derry, Wright-Phillips, Mackie, Dyer, Da Silva, Ehmer.

Southampton: Gazzaniga, Clyne, Fonte, Yoshida, Shaw, Schneiderlin, Cork, Puncheon, Ramirez, Lallana, Lambert. Subs: Kelvin Davis, Hooiveld, Steven Davis, Rodriguez, Fox, Ward-Prowse, Mayuka.

Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)

14.24: Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is dealt a blow as he is unable to name striker Papiss Cisse in his side for this afternoon's Barclays Premier League clash with Swansea.

The 27-year-old is conspicuous by his absence amid a row with the Senegal Football Federation following his failure to report for international duty because of a back injury.

He and the injured Yohan Cabaye and Jonas Gutierrez are replaced by Sammy Ameobi, Cheick Tiote and Vurnon Anita.

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup makes two changes to the side which drew 1-1 at Southampton last weekend, meaning there is no place for Wayne Routledge on his return to St James' Park with the winger and Ki Sung-yueng being replaced by Nathan Dyer and Itay Shechter.

Back up to speed: Maicon (left) impressed after coming off the bench for Manchester City last weekend

Back up to speed: Maicon (left) impressed after coming off the bench for Manchester City last weekend

14.21: Three points for Manchester City and they will go top until at least tea-time, here is the team news from the Etihad Stadium:

Man City v Aston Villa
Man City: Hart, Maicon, Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy, Toure, Barry, Silva, Tevez, Nasri, Aguero. Subs: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Lescott, Dzeko, Sinclair, Kolarov, Javi Garcia.

Aston Villa: Guzan, Stevens, Vlaar, Clark, Lowton, Bannan, Westwood, Agbonlahor, Ireland, Weimann, Benteke. Subs: Given, El Ahmadi, Albrighton, Holman, Delph, Bowery, Baker.

Referee: Jon Moss (W Yorkshire)

14.18: Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Reina is named in the starting line-up for the first time since October 7 for the visit of Wigan.

The Spain international missed four Barclays Premier League matches with a hamstring injury and his return is one of three changes from the draw at Chelsea with Martin Skrtel and Suso also restored.

Wigan, unbeaten in five matches against the Reds, name the same side which lost to West Brom.

14.15: But if it's goals you want first folks (and red cards) then may I point you towards our live coverage of the north London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham at the Emirates Stadium. Click here to follow a game which has already had five goals with Rik Sharma.

14.10: No propeller kicks today folks, (it seems you have to go to Serie A to have a chance of seeing that sort of action.)

But from the 3pm games this afternoon I can bring you matches involving the Premier League champions and the European champions – that has to top Zlatan Ibrahimovic's acrobatics surely Team news coming up.

Six of the best: Liverpool, Manchester City, Everton and Chelsea feature in six 3pm Premier League fixtures

Six of the best: Liverpool, Manchester City, Everton and Chelsea feature in six 3pm Premier League fixtures

Ravel Morrison has seven teeth removed in emergency surgery

Tooth scary! Dental emergency sees departing Hammer Morrison have SEVEN teeth removed

|

UPDATED:

06:47 GMT, 7 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Ravel Morrison’s career has taken another twist after it emerged he was sent home from West Ham’s pre-season tour to have seven teeth removed.

Morrison, who joined Championship side Birmingham on loan yesterday, shocked Hammers staff when he complained of toothache in Germany last week.

Club officials were initially preparing to fine the former Manchester United midfielder for failing to turn up for training when they made the gruesome discovery.

He was flown back to England for
emergency treatment and told his teeth are in such poor condition that
up to seven will have to be extracted.

New boy: Ravel Morrison has joined Birmingham on a season-long loan

New boy: Ravel Morrison has joined Birmingham on a season-long loan

Morrison, who has failed to make an
impact at Upton Park since he moved from United last season, has been
advised to have dental implants, costing around 28,000.

He will initially wear temporary moulds while the implants are being made.

Morrison leads a chaotic lifestyle
and surprised Hammers staff on their pre- season tour with his
increasingly bizarre behaviour.

The midfielder refused to drink anything other than official ‘West Ham bottled water’ during their short stay in Germany.

Morrison, who made his senior United
debut in the Carling Cup against Wolves in 2010, has struggled to
convince West Ham boss Sam Allardyce he is ready for regular first-team
action.

Although there is no doubt he has the ability to be a top player, he lacks maturity.

Birmingham manager Lee Clark will
take the 19-year-old on loan this week, but it represents another huge
gamble for the cash-strapped Championship side.

Ravel Morrison emergency tooth surgery

Tooth scary! Dental emergency for Morrison means chance to impress Big Sam is missed

|

UPDATED:

22:04 GMT, 6 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Ravel Morrison’s career has taken another twist after it emerged he was sent home from West Ham’s pre-season tour to have seven teeth removed.

Morrison, who joined Championship side Birmingham on loan yesterday, shocked Hammers staff when he complained of toothache in Germany last week.

Club officials were initially preparing to fine the former Manchester United midfielder for failing to turn up for training when they made the gruesome discovery.

He was flown back to England for
emergency treatment and told his teeth are in such poor condition that
up to seven will have to be extracted.

New boy: Ravel Morrison has joined Birmingham on a season-long loan

New boy: Ravel Morrison has joined Birmingham on a season-long loan

Morrison, who has failed to make an
impact at Upton Park since he moved from United last season, has been
advised to have dental implants, costing around 28,000.

He will initially wear temporary moulds while the implants are being made.

Morrison leads a chaotic lifestyle
and surprised Hammers staff on their pre- season tour with his
increasingly bizarre behaviour.

The midfielder refused to drink anything other than official ‘West Ham bottled water’ during their short stay in Germany.

Morrison, who made his senior United
debut in the Carling Cup against Wolves in 2010, has struggled to
convince West Ham boss Sam Allardyce he is ready for regular first-team
action.

Although there is no doubt he has the ability to be a top player, he lacks maturity.

Birmingham manager Lee Clark will
take the 19-year-old on loan this week, but it represents another huge
gamble for the cash-strapped Championship side.

Amir Khan angry after Danny Garcia father makes x-rated racial jibe

Khan promises to knock out Garcia after title-rival's father makes X-rated racial jibe

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UPDATED:

00:32 GMT, 13 July 2012

Danny Garcia's eccentric father stole the show as the WBC light-welterweight champion came face to face with Amir Khan ahead of Saturday's unification fight in Las Vegas.

The outspoken Angel Garcia lived up to his reputation once again as he gave an impassioned, heated speech at the main pre-fight press conference.

Garcia, who trains his son, has made unsavoury comments about WBA champion Khan's Pakistani heritage in the past as well as more run-of-the-mill trash talk.

Heckler: Amir Khan (left) speaks as Danny Garcia's trainer and father Angel Garcia (right) gestures

Heckler: Amir Khan (left) speaks as Danny Garcia's trainer and father Angel Garcia (right) gestures

After making a speech in which he again touched on religion – before moving on to a bizarre rant about the strength of Latin America – he sat making gestures when it was Khan's turn to speak, holding up his son's belt, pulling faces, pretending to punch himself in the face and shouting comments.

At one stage, reacting to jeers from Khan's entourage, he was heard shouting 'f****** retards'. When Khan reacted to his previous comments about Pakistan, he repeatedly said of the Briton: 'His DNA is f***** up'.

Khan, speaking on the podium, said: 'Garcia's team can say whatever they want.

'I promise you – I've never said this at a press conference – I will knock Danny Garcia out and win the titles.

All smiles: Khan, Oscar De La Hoya and Garcia at the pre-fight press conference in Las Vegas

All smiles: Khan, Oscar De La Hoya and Garcia at the pre-fight press conference in Las Vegas

'I will knock him out and if his dad wants it afterwards…That will shut his dad up anyway. I'm not going to do anything physical because his dad talks so much.

'I'm going to hurt his son. I'm going to do it in the ring. I cannot wait until after the fight, when I've knocked his son out and I'm stood here with the titles.

'Another thing, it's funny when he said he's never seen a Pakistani fight. He's going to see a Pakistani fight on Saturday and knock his son out.

'I can't wait to get in there. You're going to see a British Pakistani fight on Saturday and you're going to see him knock your guy out.'

Newly reinstated WBA champion Khan is ready to move on from what he describes as the worst six months of his career.

Khan endured a 'devastating' spell as he lost his WBA and IBF titles in a surprise defeat by Lamont Peterson last December.

Mind games: Garcia attempts to psyche out Khan at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino

Mind games: Garcia attempts to psyche out Khan at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino

The fall-out from that fight was messy and controversial as Khan raised a number of grievances relating to issues inside and outside the ring.

The saga reached new levels before their scheduled May rematch when American Peterson tested positive for banned synthetic testosterone, before admitting he had already used it before their first fight in December, albeit for medical reasons.

While Peterson's positive test vindicated Khan and undermined the defeat, it also robbed the 25-year-old of the chance to avenge his second career loss. His bitterness has been eased, however, by the news that the WBA have stripped the title from Peterson and strapped it around his own waist once more.

'It was the hardest six months of my career,' Khan said ahead of Saturday's bout with WBC champion Garcia in Las Vegas.

'Straight after the fight I was devastated because I'd lost the fight and I was so upset. Then when I got into the camp I was so happy that I'd got the rematch, because even that was so hard to negotiate. I agreed to whatever they said.'

Peacekeeper: Khan's strength and conditioning coach Ruben Tabares (left) separates the pair

Peacekeeper: Khan's strength and conditioning coach Ruben Tabares (left) separates the pair

However, the rematch was cancelled and Khan welcomed the WBA's announcement yesterday that he will go into the fight with WBC king Garcia as a title-holder himself.

The bout has been given added prestige by the presence of two recognised world titles and, importantly, the respected Ring Magazine belt which is awarded to fighters regarded as the best in their division.

'I'm glad the WBA are reinstating me as champion again,' Khan said. 'It means I walk into this fight as world champion and the WBC title is on the line but not only that, the Ring magazine title will be on the line as well.

'It means this fight will really show who is the best fighter in the 140lb division and it will show I'm the best.

'Justice has been done.'

France v England – Euro 2012 live

EURO 2012 LIVE: France v England – follow the action from Donetsk as it happens

|

UPDATED:

14:55 GMT, 11 June 2012

Last but not least in Euro 2012, Group D gets underway as England open their campaign against France in Donetsk. Follow Sportsmail's coverage of Roy Hodgson's first major game in charge of the Three Lions as they bid to take a positive result from the group favourites. Send me your thoughts on the match at [email protected] or contact me on Twitter @Ripinho.

15.56: Full line-ups from Donetsk:

France v England
France: Lloris, Debuchy, Rami, Mexes, Evra, Nasri, Cabaye, Diarra, Malouda, Ribery, Benzema. Subs: Mandanda, Giroud, Matuidi, Reveillere, Menez, M'Vila, Martin, Ben Arfa, Valbuena, Clichy, Koscielny, Carrasso.

England: Hart, Johnson, Terry, Lescott, Cole, Milner, Gerrard, Parker, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Young, Welbeck. Subs: Green, Walcott, Henderson, Carroll, Baines, Jones, Jagielka, Downing, Defoe, Butland.

Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (Italy)

15.51: Some bizarre images are emerging from Donetsk. The official match balls seem to be covered in flies! Forget the magic sponge, we may need some insect repellent in the kit bag today. Pictures coming shortly.

15.48: It seems some of you agree with me so far:

Gotta start with The Ox… eager to play and will probs end up with more assists/goals after one game than Downing all season!! With Joe Hart in goal, we’ve got a great chance!

Georgia Key, email.

15.45: So as Sportsmail's Matt Lawton exclusively revealed, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will make his major international debut for England.

It's a bold gamble from Roy Hodgson but I think there will be very few of you out there who would argue against it. After all if you're good enough, you're old enough – just remember the impact Michael Owen made at the 1998 World Cup. He was barely out of nappies.

Fizz: England fans spray beer in the countdown to the clash against France

Fizz: England fans spray beer in the countdown to the clash against France

Ready: Security attend a briefing before the match at the Donbass Arena

Ready: Security attend a briefing before the match at the Donbass Arena

Face to remember: A heavily-tattooed England fan drinks beer in the sunshine

Face to remember: A heavily-tattooed England fan drinks beer in the sunshine

Beer we go: England fans enjoy a refreshing drink ahead of the match with France

Beer we go: England fans enjoy a refreshing drink ahead of the match with France

Ready: Members of the MIGS (Men In George Suits) supporters club stand in front of the statue of Lenin in Donetsk

Ready: Members of the MIGS (Men In George Suits) supporters club stand in front of the statue of Lenin in Donetsk

Fun times: British police speak to England fans outside the Golden Lion in Donetsk

Fun times: British police speak to England fans outside the Golden Lion in Donetsk

Let's go! England supporters lap up the sun ahead of the big match

Let's go! England supporters lap up the sun ahead of the big match

Euro 2012 email button

15.40: Sixteen years ago football (nearly) came home. Today it looks further away than ever, but with expectation of the national team at its lowest for quite some time, can Roy's boys spring a big and welcome surprise on us today

Here are your 11 lions looking to brighten up your Monday:

Hart, Johnson, Terry, Lescott, Cole, Milner, Parker, Gerrard, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Young, Welbeck

At full stretch: Steven Gerrard will captain England against France in Donetsk

At full stretch: Steven Gerrard will captain England against France in Donetsk

Floyd Mayweather accuses Manny Pacquiao of taking drugs

He's at it again! Mayweather accuses Pacquiao of taking drugs in bizarre rant

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UPDATED:

10:16 GMT, 2 May 2012

Floyd Mayweather Jnr has accused Manny Pacquiao of taking performance-enhancing drugs – casting further doubt over whether the two will ever meet in the ring.

The pair are considered the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world but have repeatedly failed to agree terms to fight.

And just days before he faces Miguel Cotto in Las Vegas, Mayweather, 35, has taken another swipe at his Filipino rival during a sensational expletive-ridden ten-minute rant.

Sitting on his throne: Floyd Mayweather lashed out at his rival Manny Pacquiao

Sitting on his throne: Floyd Mayweather lashed out at his rival Manny Pacquiao

Pacquiao, 33, has denied taking drugs
and is already suing his great rival for defamation after he made
similar accusations in 2009 but that did not stop Mayweather having his
say yet again.

The
latter, the WBC wwelterweight champion, has continually insisted that
Pacquiao adhere to strict testing in the run-up to any fight.

Pacquiao,
currently the WBO welterweight belt holder, is an eight-weight world
champion having moved from flyweight through to light-middleweight and
Mayweather queried whether this was a natural progression.

Fans favourite: Mayweather takes on Miguel Cotto in Las Vegas on Saturday

Fans favourite: Mayweather takes on Miguel Cotto in Las Vegas on Saturday

Fans favourite: Mayweather takes on Miguel Cotto in Las Vegas on Saturday

‘I’m going up in weight but I’m not just walking through no damn fighters,’ Mayweather said. ‘This motherf***er was 106lbs [when he started] and he’s just walking through Cotto. And Cotto can’t knock down [Shane] Mosley, but he can Come on man.

‘Go back and look at the pictures. His head is small and then all of a sudden his head just grew Come on man, stop this. Go back and look at the pictures and tell me this man’s head didn’t get bigger. You’re going to tell me this s*** is all natural. Come on man, stop.’

When asked why the super-fight has yet to happen, Mayweather revealed he was concerned his health would be in danger, giving another nod to his suspicions.

Hitting out: Mayweather has repeatedly accused Pacquiao (right) of taking drugs

Hitting out: Mayweather has repeatedly accused Pacquiao (right) of taking drugs

Health is more important than anything,’ he said. ‘Because guess what When my career is over, if I’m hurt because of something that has happened in a fight, I can’t come to you and say, “I need [money].”

‘People say, “We don’t give a f*** if he’s taking or not; we just want to see the fight. We don’t give a f*** about your health and we don’t give a f*** about your family.”

‘I care about my family. I love my family. They’re going to be there when no one else is there. When my career is over, you’re all going to move on to the next one.’

In training: Mayweather takes part in a public workout ahead of his bout with Cotto this weekend

In training: Mayweather takes part in a public workout ahead of his bout with Cotto this weekend

Mayweather’s fight with Cotto on Saturday was made after he was unable to agree terms with Pacquiao despite calling him out on Twitter and making a personal phone call.

Pacquiao meanwhile will fight Timothy Bradley on June 9, also in Las Vegas, by which time Mayweather will have started a prison term for attacking his ex-girlfriend. He was initially to begin his stretch inside in January but was given special dispensation in order to fight Pacquiao, which he has been unable to do.

He will spend 90 days inside, pushing what would be the richest fight in history back to later this year at the earliest.

Last dance: Mayweather will begin a prison term next month after being found guilty of assault

Last dance: Mayweather will begin a prison term next month after being found guilty of assault

Last dance: Mayweather will begin a prison term next month after being found guilty of assault

Mayweather has vowed to see out his jail term and stay in training however as he looks to extend his 42-fight unbeaten record.

'I want to stay active, I want to
fight again in 2012 before the year is up,' he revealed. 'I want to
constantly go out there and test my skills and I want to continue to
push myself to the limit. I still plan to retire at 37 – but I want to
fight plenty of times before then.

'You've got certain obstacles that
get in your way throughout your career, but you have to be a strong
individual. If anyone has followed my career they know that there's been
a lot of obstacles and a lot of ups and down through my career.

Next up: Miguel Cotta will take on Mayweather on Saturday in Las Vegas

Next up: Miguel Cotta will take on Mayweather on Saturday in Las Vegas

'My thing is I try to turn anything
negative into something positive. That's why when I go to the gym, when I
see my family and I see my team and I see my fans come support me every
day it's a motivational builder for me.

'So even when I go away, the only thing it can do is make me mentally strong and grow mentally strong as a person.

'It's all part of life, you have good days, you have bad days. But the main thing is to grow mentally.'