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Basle v Chelsea – live Europa League

EUROPA LEAGUE LIVE: Basle v Chelsea – follow the semi-final as it happens from St Jakob-Park

By
Dan Ripley

PUBLISHED:

03:00 GMT, 25 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:17 GMT, 25 April 2013

Live scores

Click here for the live goals as they go in

Basle v Chelsea

Fenerbahce v Benfica

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the Europa League as Chelsea visit Basle in the first leg of their semi-final at St Jakob-Park.

The Blues remain on course to win a European trophy in successive years following last season's Champions League triumph, but face a tough test when they travel to the Swiss league leaders.

Basle have already proven their pedigree against Premier League opposition having eliminated Tottenham in a penalty shootout in the quarter-finals.

Send me your thoughts on the action at [email protected] or via Twitter @Ripinho.

*This page will auto refresh every two minutes*

18.16: From Sportsmail's Neil Ashton:

Interesting Chelsea team in training last night. Luiz defensive midfield, Ramires right, Moses left, Hazard in behind Nando, but no Mata.

18.13: If that's not good enough for you though, if the Europa League ends up at Stamford Bridge this season, Chelsea will become only the fourth side to win all three of UEFA's major club competitions.

They would join Juventus, Ajax and Bayern Munich (good company) in having won the Europa League, the Champions League and the European Cup-Winners' Cup.

Chelsea won the latter in 1970/71 and 1997/98 and it's still a competition I miss after being scrapped in 1999 (bring it back UEFA!)

The Italian job: Chelsea's Gianfranco Zola and Gianluca Vialli lift the 1998 European Cup-Winners' Cup

The Italian job: Chelsea's Gianfranco Zola and Gianluca Vialli lift the 1998 European Cup-Winners' Cup

18.10: For a club often accused of lacking history compared to its current stature, you sure can't fault Chelsea's recent record at trying to make up for lost time.

After becoming the first London club to be crowned European champions last year, the Blues are now attempting to become the first team to win the Europa League a year after becoming champions of Europe.

It's not quite the desired order to achieve the double – but it's uncharted territory nonetheless.

18.05: Kick-off is not for another two hours but we have plenty to keep us going between now and then, including the team news which should be with us in around an hour's time – possibly quicker.

18.00:
At many times this season, the Chelsea ship has taken a number of
hammer blows and has looked anything but stable, but for all the
turbulence we have seen at Stamford Bridge, the Blues are
just one step away from yet another European final.

Rafael Benitez may not be a manager
remembered fondly by the majority of the west London club's fans, but the Spaniard is on the brink of leading Chelsea into the record books

Good evening folks, welcome to Sportsmail's live coverage of the Europa League semi-finals.

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On the charge: Chelsea remain on course to lift the Europa League trophy

On the charge: Chelsea remain on course to lift the Europa League trophy

Lennon and Conte come to blows Celtic Juventus

And tonight's main event…Wrestlemania II! After first leg farce, Celtic and Juve get set for another royal rumble in Turin

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Mick McManus (right)

Fight night: Dwayne ''The Rock'' Johnson and John Cena in action (left) during WrestleMania XXVIII at Sun Life Stadium in April, 2012 and Seventies British TV hero Mick McManus (right)

WHo's the Daddy Wrestler Big Daddy (Shirley Crabtree) poses up with some fans in the 1970s

WHo's the Daddy Wrestler Big Daddy (Shirley Crabtree) poses up with some fans in the 1970s

'Before the ball’s kicked, he’s not doing anything. He’s entitled to stand where he likes. So he’s talking nonsense.

'We were getting hauled back and the referee is looking straight at it.

'Are the rules different in Spain and Italy to what they are in Britain On that showing they must be.'

Striker Georgios Samaras echoed Lennon's words, saying he hopes the referee in the second leg can deal with the antics better.

'It wasn't fair, I think everybody saw that,' said Samaras, who missed the first leg. 'It is how they defend set-pieces, like most Italian teams.

'Hopefully, the referee will have his eyes more open tomorrow and see clearly what's going on and it can be a fair game.'

With his side being three goals ahead in the tie, Juventus boss Conte is likely to leave out defender Giorgio Chiellini who made his return from injury in the 1-1 draw with Napoli on Friday night after for nearly three months.

Ring star: Hulk Hogan would have felt right at home in the Parkhead penalty box during the first leg visit of Juve

Ring star: Hulk Hogan would have felt right at home in the Parkhead penalty box during the first leg visit of Juve

Celtic manager Neil Lennon gestures during the UEFA Champions League, Round of Sixteen match at Celtic Park, Glasgow.

Juventus coach Antonio Conte argues during the match against Genoa in their Serie A match in Turin

Verbals: Both Lennon and Conte have locked horns in the last few weeks, with different perceptions on events in the first leg at Celtic Park, which Juventus won 3-0

Pride of Leeds: WWF Wrestler The British Bulldog

Pride of Leeds: WWF Wrestler The British Bulldog

Martin Caceres and Nicolas Anelka (both back) are also a doubt, while Paolo De Ceglie, Nicklas Bendtner and Simone Pepe (all thigh) are all long-term injuries.

Celtic need a miracle, and were boosted by Georgios Samaras returning during the 2-1 defeat away to Motherwell in the SPL last Wednesday.

However, Scott Brown's ongoing abductor problems will force him to miss the trip. Swedish fullback Mikael Lustig (thigh) also looks set to sit the game out. Lennon hopes Charlie Mulgrew can feature at some stage after injury.

‘Charlie’s all right,’ said Lennon. ‘He trained yesterday but that was his first proper training session, so it might be a bit much to stick him in straight away. We’ll see how he is.’

VIDEO: Big Daddy's big entrance on World Of Sport…

VIDEO: Wrestlemania VII featuring the British Bulldog…

Marco Tardelli says Juventus will have to break the bank for Luis Suarez

Splash out, Old Lady: Juve should break the bank for Suarez, says legend Tardelli

By
Sunni Upal

PUBLISHED:

12:09 GMT, 4 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:56 GMT, 4 March 2013

Juventus legend Marco Tardelli believes that Liverpool star Luis Suarez could be the missing piece of the jigsaw for the Italian champions and solve their attacking problems.

Juve are six points clear of Napoli in
Serie A and on course to retain their title but they are desperately
seeking a big-name striker to add to their squad.

Scroll down for video

Prolific: Luis Suarez scored a hat-trick at Wigan on Saturday to take his Premier League tally this season to 21

Prolific: Luis Suarez scored a hat-trick at Wigan on Saturday to take his Premier League tally this season to 21

Hero: Luis Suarez celebrates his hat-trick goal during Liverpool's dominant win

Suarez's outstanding season continued at Wigan on Saturday as he netted a hat-trick in Liverpool's 4-0 win.

Tardelli admitted, though, that luring Liverpool's prized asset to Turin could be a step too far and Juve have been linked with moves for Barcelona's Alexis Sanchez and Fiorentina's Stevan Jovetic.

Tardelli told Tuttosport: 'It's obvious that a striker who scores 20 goals a season would be a good addition for any team. Good players are not cheap, though.'

'Suarez would be ideal due to his power, technique and directness, but I'd say signing him could be a complicated matter. (Gonzalo) Higuain could be a more realistic option.'

Juventus host Celtic in the second leg of their Champions League tie this week having won the first leg 3-0 in Glasgow.

Tardelli added: 'Teams like Manchester United, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have something extra, but the Champions League is a strange competition.

'If Barcelona and Real Madrid are eliminated in this round, things are different for the other teams. And at that stage, Juventus could go far with their great organisation.'

Suarez's three-goal haul on Saturday took him to 21 Premier League goals for the season as he leapfrogged Robin van Persie in the race for the Golden Boot.

VIDEO: Watch match highlights and Suarez's stunning hat-trick…

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Nicklas Bendtner drink driving incident: Striker booked by police after being on "wrong side of the road"

Bendtner in trouble after 'drunken driving on wrong side of the road'

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

14:09 GMT, 3 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

14:12 GMT, 3 March 2013

Nicklas Bendtner has been booked by police for what he described as 'a mild case of drink driving'.

The Arsenal striker, currently on loan at Juventus, was allegedly driving on the wrong side of the road in Copenhagen.

He apologised for his actions on his Twitter account, saying: 'Dear friends, I was booked for a mild case of drink driving last night.

Whoops: Nicklas Bendtner apologised on Twitter for drink-driving

Whoops: Nicklas Bendtner apologised on Twitter for drink-driving

'It was a quiet night but I am very very sorry to all my friends and fans.

'It is not OK to drink and drive. I take full responsibility.'

Bendtner, 25, who has not scored for the Italian side in nine appearances is set to return to the Emirates at the end of the season.

Celtic want UEFA answers over referee"s performance in Champions League defeat to Juventus

Celtic demand answers from UEFA over Champions League ref with boss Lennon still furious at Juventus wrestle tactics

By
John Mcgarry

PUBLISHED:

14:01 GMT, 15 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

22:56 GMT, 15 February 2013

Celtic will go to UEFA to seek an explanation as to why referee Alberto Mallenco failed to apply the letter of the law in the 3-0 defeat to Juventus on Tuesday.

Neil Lennon’s side were comprehensively beaten by the Italian champions, but much of the aftermath focused on the reluctance of the Spanish official to penalise the roughhouse tactics of the visitors while defending set-plays.

Despite Juve’s back-line repeatedly bear-hugging their opponents at the 10 corners Celtic forced, Mallenco’s actions were limited to yellow cards for Stephan Lichtsteiner and Simone Padoin, while Gary Hooper and Scott Brown were also cautioned.

Corner chaos: Juventus keeper Gianluigi Buffon got to grips with Celtic striker Gary Hooper

Corner chaos: Juventus keeper Gianluigi Buffon got to grips with Celtic striker Gary Hooper

NOW READ GRAHAM POLL

Celtic
were beaten by Juve – but they were let down by the referee. Big Daddy,
Giant Haystacks and Mick McManus were all that was missing from this
wrestling extravaganza

And Lennon, who does not dispute that Juve deserved to win the match, will now dispatch a DVD of the visitors’ tactics to Nyon in the coming days together with a letter seeking an explanation for Mallenco’s inaction.

‘We have DVD footage of the game and we would like someone to give us some answers,’ said the Celtic manager.

‘I am compiling it myself along with the video-analysis guys and writing a letter (to UEFA) asking for a ruling.

‘I have asked this question again and still haven’t had an answer. We played Juventus 11 years ago.

Too close: The tussle between Buffon, Hooper and Stephan Lichtsteiner was like a wrestling match

Too close: The tussle between Buffon, Hooper and Stephan Lichtsteiner was like a wrestling match

‘We were awarded a penalty from which Chris Sutton scored. What is the difference from 2001 to 2013 Can somebody please give me an answer

‘What Juventus did was way beyond the limit of the law in football.

‘This wasn’t even close to a bit of shirt-tugging. This was arms up around players preventing them from forward momentum.

‘They were basically pulling and holding them at every opportunity.

Now for the headlock: Hooper is held in the box by Lichsteiner

Now for the headlock: Hooper is held in the box by Lichsteiner

‘You may as well turn the game into a wrestling match.’

The performance of Efe Ambrose was also under close scrutiny in the wake of the defeat after the Nigerian —fresh from winning the Africa Cup of Nations — made errors that contributed to Juve’s first and third goals.

Ambrose only arrived back in Glasgow the day before the game.

Lennon, though, insists that if he had to select his side again, Ambrose would be included.

Hands off: Hooper and Lichsteiner carry on their struggles

Hands off: Hooper and Lichsteiner carry on their struggles

‘Efe is all right. He was very apologetic after the game,’ said Lennon. ‘He made basic errors but, if I had my time over again, I would still pick him.

‘Efe has been fantastic for us. He’s added a different dimension to the way we play, particularly in Europe.

‘His performances away from home in Barcelona, Lisbon and Moscow were as good as any centre-half I’ve seen at the club for a long time.’

Up in arms: Scott Brown gets the treatment too, from Simone Padoin

Up in arms: Scott Brown gets the treatment too, from Simone Padoin

Lennon stressed there was no issue between Kris Commons and Ambrose on account of the former’s outspoken remarks.

‘I would imagine he has apologised privately, yeah,’ he said. ‘I have dealt with it internally.’ Mikael Lustig, Scott Brown and Rami Gershon will miss today’s game against Dundee United, while Victor Wanyama is a doubt.

Pushing their luck: Brown has words with Andrea Pirlo after another round of shoving

Pushing their luck: Brown has words with Andrea Pirlo after another round of shoving

Domenico Crolla creates pizzas to mark Celtic"s Champions League tie with Juventus

Is this what victory tastes like Scottish restauranteur creates commemorative pizzas for Celtic's tie with Juventus

By
Liv Lee

PUBLISHED:

11:43 GMT, 11 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:44 GMT, 11 February 2013

Juventus are gearing up to battle Celtic for a place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, and it looks as though fans are keen to get a slice of the action.

Scottish-born Italian pizza specialist Domenico Crolla has chosen to mark the occasion in his own particular way, by baking one-of-a-kind pizzas emblazoned with the team's crests.

Celtic take on the Italian giants, who are currently top of the Serie A table, on Tuesday night.

Crolla is known for his designs and won Pizza Desginer of the Year in 2009

Creative: Domenico Crolla is known for his designs and won Pizza Desginer of the Year in 2009

Domenico Crolla created the pizzas to mark Celtic's clash with Juventus in the last 16 of the Champions League

Football fan: Crolla created the pizzas to mark Celtic's clash with Juventus in the last 16 of the Champions League

Celtic will fight the Italian side for a place in the quarter-finals on Tuesday night

Battle: Celtic will fight the Italian side for a place in the quarter-finals on Tuesday night

Celtic are in a similar position, currently topping the Scottish Premier League, and are aiming to become the first Scottish team to make it into the final eight with the competition in its current format.

They warmed up to the tie with a 3-1 win over Inverness CT at the weekend, while Juventus are also on winning form, having beaten Fiorentina 2-0 last week and Chievo before that.

The man behind restaurant chain Bella Napoli, Crolla, decided that this was a tie worth celebrating, and set about creating the original pizzas to get people salivating over the match.

The artistic restauranteur has previously adorned pizza's with the faces of Kate Middleton, Bruce Forsyth, Marylin Monroe and Jackie Chan, among others.

So renowned is his culinary artistry that he was named Pizza Designer of the Year in 2009.

Six Nations 2013: venue guide

Six Nations venue guide: A look at the stadiums playing host to this year's Championship

By
Duncan Bech, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

12:10 GMT, 28 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

18:57 GMT, 1 February 2013

The Six Nations kicks off in February and ahead of the annual feast of rugby Sportsmail runs through the venues that will host this year's games.

TWICKENHAM – LONDON

A capacity of 82,000 identifies the home of England as the world's largest rugby-dedicated venue and the nation's second-largest stadium behind Wembley. When England are winning there are few more rousing places to be – witness the atmosphere against New Zealand last autumn for example – but long spells of quiet can often dampen the occasion. Travelling there can be hellish as the roads become gridlocked while the all-too-infrequent rail service can see trains become horribly overcrowded.

HQ: England's Twickenham Stadium in Surrey

STADE DE FRANCE – PARIS

Just pipped by Twickenham in capacity terms, the 81,338 seater Stade de France was built for the 1998 football World Cup and remains an impressive sight within the unwelcoming district of Saint-Denis, where it is inadvisable to linger after dark. Seasoned Les Bleus supporters still yearn for the more gladiatorial Parc des Princes, the previous home of French rugby, not least because of some poor results at the Stade de France.

General view of the Stade de France in St Denis,Paris.  Mandatory Credit: David Rogers /Allsport Z0111169

AVIVA STADIUM – DUBLIN

Ever since returning to their revamped home, Ireland have spoken of the need to turn Aviva Stadium into a fortress but it has proved an uncomfortable relationship so far after losing seven of their 13 games there. A superb, modern venue, the 51,700 ground is among the finest rugby stadia in the world and access is relatively painless partly thanks to the battalions of available taxis. The atmosphere can be eerily silent, however, and contrast markedly with the noise generated at Irish provincial games.

Aviva Stadium

STADIO OLIMPICO – ROME

Italian rugby has a new home while work continues on the Stadio Flaminio, with the 82,000 capacity Stadio Olimpico proving a superb addition to the list of Six Nations stadia. More traditionally known as the home of Lazio and Roma football clubs, it is one of Italy's most cherished sporting venues and was home to the 1960 Rome Olympics. A running track surrounds the pitch and this affects the atmosphere.

Stadio Olimpico

MURRAYFIELD – EDINBURGH

The declining fortunes of Scottish rugby are evident at Murrayfield, where a dwindling number of spectators turn out to watch a team that has suffered like no other amid the transition to professionalism. Located in the west of the Scottish capital, the superb 67,130 stadium is capable of generating some rousing atmospheres – if only those attending were given something to celebrate on a regular basis once again.

Murrayfield

MILLENNIUM STADIUM – CARDIFF

The finest rugby stadium in the world An argument could certainly be made for what many regard as the jewel in the Six Nations' crown. Brilliantly designed and situated in the heart of Cardiff, it is a spectacular centre-piece for Welsh rugby that can take noise levels to a new dimension. When Wales are firing, it becomes an inspiring venue. The only negative is the difficulty getting out of the city – by car or train – after a match.

Millennium Stadium

QPR have second bid for Brede Hangeland rejected by Fulham

Fulham reject QPR's second bid for Hangeland as Redknapp looks to shore up defence

By
Laura Williamson

PUBLISHED:

15:05 GMT, 30 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

15:45 GMT, 30 January 2013

Fulham have refused an increased bid from Queens Park Rangers for captain Brede Hangeland.

Rangers are close to bringing in Christopher Samba to replace Ryan Nelsen but have still not given up their pursuit of Hangeland, 31, as Harry Redknapp looks to bring in at least one experienced Premier League defender.

Going nowhere: Fulham have rejected a second bid from QPR for Brede Hangeland

Going nowhere: Fulham have rejected a second bid from QPR for Brede Hangeland

The Norway centre half is out of contract at Craven Cottage in the summer and has so far delayed signing an extension to bring him in line with top earners such as Mark Schwarzer and Dimitar Berbatov.

Fulham, though, have so far resisted all Rangers' attempts to lure Hangeland to Loftus Road.

Tall order: Hangeland's contract is up at the end of the season

Tall order: Hangeland's contract is up at the end of the season

Manager Martin Jol said last week: 'He's our strength and we would be silly to get rid of him or sell him now.'

QPR missed out on another target as Porto defender Rolando opted to join Italian side Napoli.

Mario Balotelli on his way out of Manchester City after fee agreed with AC Milan

Goodbye and good riddance: City agree 17m deal with Milan to sell 'Super' Mario

By
Chris Wheeler

PUBLISHED:

15:32 GMT, 29 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:49 GMT, 29 January 2013

Mario Balotelli will become an AC Milan player after Manchester City agreed terms with the Italian club this afternoon.

Juventus were also in contention to take the controversial striker back to Italy, but City have accepted an offer from Milan understood to be in the region of 17million plus 2.5m in add-ons. He is scheduled to have a medical tomorrow and sign a four-and-a-half year deal.

Balotelli has also helped the deal to go through by agreeing a pay-cut of nearly 1m so he could join his boyhood club on a 3m-a-year deal. He is now set to pull out of the City squad for tonight’s game at QPR and fly to Milan to complete the move.

New name: AC Milan's official website was quick to offer fans the chance to buy a Balotelli shirt

New name: AC Milan's official website was quick to offer fans the chance to buy a Balotelli shirt

Thanks for the memories: Mario Balotelli (pictured in training on Monday) is on his way to Milan

Thanks for the memories: Mario Balotelli (pictured in training on Monday) is on his way to Milan

On Monday, Balotelli was seen carrying some belongings from the club's HQ before he joined his team-mates in London for Tuesday's game against QPR at Loftus Road.

Earlier, coach Brian Kidd asked the striker for an autograph after training, which some interpreted as a sign the Italian's time in Manchester was coming to an end.

Samir Nasri also stopped and talked to Balotelli through the window of his camouflaged Bentley as he left the Carrington complex.

And he's off: Balotelli seemed to say his goodbyes at City's Carrington training base on Monday

And he's off: Balotelli seemed to say his goodbyes at City's Carrington training base on Monday

And he's off: Balotelli seemed to say his goodbyes at City's Carrington training base on Monday

Happy to be leaving This old image of Balotelli just about summed up his time in England

Happy to be leaving This old image of Balotelli just about summed up his time in England

Sportsmail revealled the City striker’s personal lawyer Vittorio Rigo, who works closely with his agent Mino Raiola, flew into Manchester over the weekend in readiness to try and negotiate a deal.

In a bid to help force the move through, Balotelli has taken a drop in wages from 4.3m per year, to 3.4m.

Only yesterday, first-team coach David Platt played down speculation about the striker's future.

'I saw that speculation yesterday but I've not heard anything,' he said. 'As far as we are concerned I think he is still a Manchester City player. I don't think there is anything is going to happen.

Balotelli moved to the Etihad in 2010, following boss Roberto Mancini from Inter Milan.

AC Milan reject chance to re-sign David Beckham

AC Milan reject chance to re-sign Beckham after midfielder set his heart on Italian job

By
Dave Wood

PUBLISHED:

08:21 GMT, 16 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

10:05 GMT, 16 January 2013

David Beckham had set his sights on
ending his glittering career with AC Milan but the Serie A giants turned down the chance to sign the veteran midfielder for a third time.

The 37-year-old had been expected to reveal
his next move on Tuesday amid interest from 12 clubs in England,
Europe, China, Australia and the Middle East.

But Beckham's dream was an Italian swansong and his representatives approached the Rossoneri about a third spell at the San Siro, according to reports in Italy.

Under his hat: David Beckham was not giving anything away in London on Tuesday

Under his hat: David Beckham was not giving anything away in London on Tuesday

Sky Italia claimed on Wednesday Milan had turned down the chance to re-sign Beckham despite Milan-based newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport reporting the Serie A club were still considering the proposal.

Beckham played for Milan on loan from LA Galaxy in 2009 and 2010, taking advantage of the MLS close season from January to June.

The fomrer England captain finished his career in America in June, winning the MLS Cup last year in his final match for the LA Galaxy.

Monaco ended their interest in signing Beckham after the French Second Division side balked at his excessive wage demands.

San hero: Beckham has already enjoyed two successful spells in Milan

San hero: Beckham has already enjoyed two successful spells in Milan

West Ham and QPR had also expressed interest in Beckham and he has moved his family into a 20milllion mansion in south London.

But
he is likely to snub both offers given the clubs' current predicament
in the Premier League and the fact he has said he could never play for
another English team after Manchester United.

Paris
Saint-Germain would be attractive to Beckham given their involvement in
the Champions League and his close links to director Leonardo, whom the
midfielder worked with at AC Milan.

Russian
club Anzhi Makhachkala are also interested in signing the former Real
Madrid man, with other options including big-money moves to China or
Australia, as Didier Drogba and Alessandro Del Piero have done in recent
months.