Sportsday - 5 March 2013

Build-up to Manchester United's Champions League meeting with Real Madrid, plus London Welsh's hearing.

5 March 2013 Last updated at 18:06

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As it happened

  1. 1804: 

    That is it for Sportsday for today, and we'll be back at 0700 GMT tomorrow morning but stay across the BBC Sport website for live text commentary on tonight's mouth-watering match at Old Trafford. The build-up has already begun, and kick off is at 1945 GMT.

  2. 1801: 

    Over in Turin, Celtic manager Neil Lennon is hoping to restore a little pride tomorrow night when his side take on Juventus, who won 3-0 in Glasgow.

    "Go and play" he has urged his players. "The pressure is really off so try to restore some respectability in the tie, play your football and win the game.

    "So we have a lot to play for, there are a lot of incentives. However, to qualify would take a minor miracle."

  3. 1755: 

    Paul Jones: "'The world will stop to watch this match. Didn't know Mourinho was a Bolton Wanderers fan. Big derby game tonight v Blackburn.'"

    Stay across the BBC Sport website and BBC Radio 5 live for coverage from Old Trafford, and updates on a busy programme in the Championship and elsewhere.

  4. 1749: 

    Wladimir Klitschko will next defend his WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight crowns against unbeaten cancer survivor Francesco Pianeta.

    Klitschko is seeking to make his 14th successful world title defence against the German-based Italian southpaw in Mannheim on 4 May.

    Pianeta, 28, has won eight fights in a row since recovering from cancer in 2010.


    Darryl Quested: "A neutral here, looking forward to a great match. After all they hype I will not be happy if Utd park the bus!"

    Hari Sri: "Carrick and his partner will be key. Need to provide good defensive cover, whilst being ready to move on the counter."

    Wil: "Nearly every tweet throughout the day is about United getting annihilated tonight. I'm going 3-1 United. Kagawa to run riot"

    Let us know what you think of tonight's United v Real game at #bbcsportsday

  6. 1738: 

    Gary Lineker: "The more I ponder tonight's huge match, the more I'm convinced, tough opposition that they are, that Leicester can beat Leeds"

  7. 1734: 

    More from Madrid - Atletico Madrid, that is, who have handed coach Diego Simeone a new, four-year contract.

    Atletico currently trail La Liga leaders Barcelona by 11 points, but are two ahead of third-placed Real.


    William Terry: "I'd love to see Hernandez starting with RVP and Rooney either side. United would beat RM with quality in the counter attack"

    Kyle Everitt; "Surely the script is written already. Giggs to score the winner in Fergie time. Cue repeat celebration of THAT celebration"

    Paul Baker: "This is where Van Persie shows his class! If he is there that is... Big players turn up in big games"

  9. 1723: 

    Former Man United star Quinton Fortune speaking to BBC Sport News Correspondent Dan Roan on 5 live:

    "United have everything to play for tonight. I think the pressure's on Madrid, because they have got to come out and score. They have got the players to do it, but with the way United have been playing this season I can only see one winner tonight."

  10. 1718: 

    England begin their Test series against New Zealand in Dunedin at 21:30 GMT, with live commentary on 5 live sports extra and live text commentary on the BBC Sport website.

    BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew on 5 live says: "England go into this series very much as favourites. Nick Compton has credit in the bank for the way he applied himself in India, but he'll need to kick on here and cement his position with a big score or two.

    "Joe Root's progress suggests that he could readily open, and with Jonny Bairstow keen to return to number six, that is all in Compton's hands. Stuart Broad also needs to make an early impact, as much to restore his confidence as anything else."

  11. 1708: 

    The Daily Telegraph's Paul Hayward reports from outside Old Trafford: "'Viva Ronaldo. Put him on a plane, bring him home from Spain,' sings a Man Utd fan outside Old Trafford. Nice thought, but can't see it."

  12. 1705: 
    Cristiano Ronaldo and Denilson of Arsenal

    Cristiano Ronaldo is pictured here in his last appearance at Old Trafford, the goalless draw with Arsenal on 16 May 2009 that clinched the Premier League title for United.

  13. 1700: 

    Callum Barnes: "De Gea kept Utd in this tie with his first leg performance, they need another big game from him tonight."

    Andrew Priestley: "The Old Trafford crowd must exercise a bit of patience & not demand an all out attacking performance too soon tonight. Can't over commit."

    Chris Dodds: "All the build up about CR7 is reminiscent of Trojan horse - Argentine duo of Di Maria and Higuain will do the damage tonight."

  14. 1654: 

    Not that it's needed but, just to get you in the mood for tonight's Champions League tie between Manchester United and Real Madrid, you can watch the 1968 European Cup semi-final first leg between the two teams when George Best got the winner.

  15. 1650: 

    Sascha Riether is on loan at Fulham from Cologne and talks about the Craven Cottage club signing him permanently could start soon.

    Riether told the club's website: "I'd like to remain here. Fulham have an option to buy me and so I think in the next few weeks there will be talks about my future."

  16. 1642: 

    OptaJoe: "Wayne Rooney's last eight Champions League goals have come away from Old Trafford. He last scored there almost three years ago (10/3/2010)."

  17. 1635: 

    Paren: "A lot of talk on #bbcsportsday about containing Ronaldo tonight. No one has mentioned the key is to cut off his supply."

    Rob Clark on Twitter: "Hoping for some Van Persie magic tonight - I think we may see something special from him."

    Matthew Chalk: "Don't know why United fans are so optimistic tonight. Madrid outplayed them first leg and will do again tonight."

  18. 1629: 

    Former Manchester United defender Clayton Blackmore on BBC Radio 5 live talking about Manchester United v Real Madrid: "I want a nice entertaining game for everybody and then Manchester United to go through."

  19. 1618: 

    Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott adds: "Take it easy people I was joking. I will be watching the game."

  20. 1615: 
  21. 1612: 

    OptaJoe: "Since losing 1-0 to Milan in Feb 2005, Man Utd have won 13 and drawn one of their 14 CL knockout games at Old Trafford."

  22. 1609: 

    What is going to be the key to tonight's Champions League tie between Manchester United and Real Madrid at Old Trafford? Let us know your thoughts at #bbcsportsday

    Liam Gouldson: "How long United can keep Madrid out shapes the whole game for me, one goal and both team talks change."

    Dubem Samuel: "Ronaldo vs Rafael, Van Persie vs Varane and Di Maria being precise with his decisions because Evra can't contain him."

    Raj: "It could be down to the goalkeepers. I personally think De Gea could be the difference."

  23. 1558: 

    Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke begins a three-day tour to check on Brazil's preparations with about three months to go before the Confederations Cup starts.

    Valcke will visit three host cities and will participate in a board meeting of the local World Cup organising committee at the end of his trip.

  24. 1546: 

    What is going to be the key to tonight's Champions League tie between Manchester United and Real Madrid at Old Trafford? Let us know your thoughts at #bbcsportsday

    Barrel Roll Jones: "Very nervous with Jones out. But the best defence is a good offense, and UTD have that in spades!"

    Nick Moreland: "A victory over two legs would be incredible for a Manchester United squad that isn't as strong as those of previous years."

    Josh Orwin: "This game tonight is going to prove why Rafael is one of the best right backs in the world."

  25. 1539: 

    Nicklas Bendtner is been fined just over £97,000 and has his driving licence suspended for three years after admitting to drink driving in Copenhagen.

    The striker, on loan at Juventus from Arsenal, was banned for six months by the Danish FA on Monday.

  26. 1522: 

    BBC Radio 5 live: "The BBC is the only British broadcaster that will be commentating live on radio from INSIDE Old Trafford."

  27. 1515: 

    Manchester United and Real Madrid are 1-1 going into the last-16 second leg Champions League tie at Old Trafford tonight. Let us know your thoughts ahead of the game at #bbcsportsday.

    Sophie Gayter: "Going for 2-1 United win. All this talk of Ronaldo, people seem to forget Utd have a world class superstar of their own: RVP."

    Santa Singh: "Man Utd will have to be patient tonight. A 0-0 draw will do so they'll have to sit deep and hit Madrid on the break. 1-0 United."

    Jack Crosby:" On route to Old Trafford. Hoping for the most boring 0-0 ever played."

  28. 1503: 

    West Brom defender Jonas Olsson is believed to have a get-out clause in his contract which can be triggered if six specified clubs bid a certain amount.

    But the Swedish international says: "I don't like to speak about what is in my contract. It's confidential.

    "But I made it clear that I am happy here when I signed for four years in September. I think that says it all."

  29. 1457: 

    Michael Owen has played for both Real Madrid and Manchester United and says: "Seems like everyone is split. I picked Man Utd prior to the first leg so I'm just siding with them."

  30. 1453: 

    Fulham full-back Sascha Riether made Garth Crooks's team of the week and the Cottagers player has tweeted: "Team of the week :-)proud!!!"

  31. 1444: 

    Understandably, there is a lot of attention around Real Madrid star and ex-Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo. What is it like marking the prolific goalscorer.

    Former Reading defender Graeme Murty says: "Before my first game against Ronaldo, I spoke to Darren Fletcher at United, who was my team-mate with Scotland at the time.

    "He just gave me one piece of advice: don't kick him. If you do that, you'll make him angry and he'll try to make you look as bad as possible for the rest of the game."

  32. 1435: 

    Graeme Anderson: "Varane's recent performances against Barcelona make him just as important as Ronaldo."

    Lee Hanson: "Chaos outside Hilton people waiting to see Ronaldo but all they got was McManaman in another dodgy suit!"

    Stuart Watt: "After an entertaining first leg draw, I can only see one result in the big game tonight. Dortmund to win comfortably!"

  33. 1427: 

    Juventus lead Celtic 3-0 going into the second leg of their last-16 Champions League tie in Italy.

    The Serie A side's coach Antonio Conte says: "Celtic are a strong side and they're proud - we have to focus on the task at hand because we're only halfway through qualifying for the quarters.

    "Football is full of surprises. That makes it all the more important to keep focus. We also have to be wary of dead ball situations."

  34. 1417: 

    What are you views going into the last-16 second leg tie between Manchester United and Real Madrid at Old Trafford? It's 1-1 after the game at the Bernabeu so let us know at #bbcsportsday.

    Laurence Moore: "Not saying we won't concede but the defensive issues have improved of late. Four clean sheets in the last 6 for Manchester United."

    Elliot T-W: "Ronaldo and Ozil to be surprised by a formidable Rafael this evening based on current form."

    John Ranjith: "Gonna sleep now and wake up at 1:30 am (India) in the morning to see the match! Four Alarm clocks on."

  35. 1410: 

    Former Manchester United midfielder Quinton Fortune tells BBC Radio Manchester he senses his old club are in the right mood to beat Real Madrid:

    "It's a great challenge. The way Manchester United have been playing for the manager and the experience they have, I think it is their time. They're hungry for success again."

  36. 1405: 

    Didi Hamann says: "Massive test for United against the strongest team, with Munich, left in the competition. Never easy to win CL, but this year harder than ever."

  37. 1401: 

    Angel Di Maria's four assists in the Champions League this season have all been delivered against Manchester teams. Three of them were against Manchester City and one against United.

    Source: Opta

  38. 1357: 

    Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay refuses to talk about a new deal for Frank Lampard while promoting his club's summer tour in Thailand.

    He tells the club's website: "I am not prepared to discuss this at this time.

    "Obviously conversations must remain confidential between the club and the players at all times so that is as much as I can say."

  39. 1353: 

    Ireland make three changes to the team to play France in the Six Nations on Saturday - although Declan Kidney is yet to name his fly-half for the game.

    Mike McCarthy and Cian Healy come into the forwards in place of Donncha O'Callaghan and Tom Court. While Fergus McFadden replaces Craig Gilroy on the wing.

    Ireland are waiting on the fitness of Paddy Jackson, who has a tight hamstring, before deciding who will play fly-half.

  40. 1348: 

    UK Anti-Doping confirm professional boxer John Donnelly is being suspended from all competition for two years following an anti-doping rule violation.

    Mr Donnelly tested positive for benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, following an in-competition test on 9 November 2012.

  41. 1345: 

    On his travels around Manchester, BBC Sport's David Ornstein spotted a few United big wigs in town for the game.

    He says: "Avi Glazer waiting at #mufc hotel to greet squad. They'll have an afternoon rest then leave for OT."

  42. 1342: 

    Who do you think will be the key men in Manchester United's clash with Real Madrid tonight? Tell us your views on #bbcsportsday.

    Mike O'Callaghan: "Ozil will be the key for Madrid tonight, his through balls to Ronaldo and Di Maria cutting in could win it for Madrid."

    Nabil Dhala: "De Gea to have a great performance today, he will silence his critics and impress Madrid, who are already looking to sign him."

    Julie Gregory: "Can't wait to get to Old Trafford tonight. Would be amazing to see Giggs score. 3-1 to United."

  43. 1337: 

    BBC Sport's Phil Cartwright reports: "Blackpool complete a one-month loan deal for Leicester striker Marko Futacs."

  44. 1332: 

    BBC Sport's David Ornstein has been out and about in Manchester and reports a real big game atmosphere building in the city ahead of tonight's clash between United and Real Madrid.

    He says: "Lots of Real Madrid fans at #rmfc hotel. Sun's out & even tram announcements being made in Spanish."

  45. 1328: 

    Michael Carrick tells BBC Radio Manchester that Manchester United need to back each other up if they are to contain Cristiano Ronaldo tonight.

    "He has got pretty much everything. He can shoot and cross with both feet, he can manoeuvre the ball and generate space for himself and we saw in the last leg how good he is at heading.

    "You've just got to defend as best you can, work as a unit and help each other out."

  46. 1323: 

    Everton defender John Heitinga is getting excited about the big game tonight.

    He says: "Having lunch in #Manchester. A lot of fans of Man.Utd and @RealMadrid in town. Great game tonight."

  47. 1317: 

    Sri Lanka batsman Thilan Samaraweera wants to retire from all forms of cricket but bosses are trying to persuade him otherwise.

    Sri Lanka Cricket secretary Nishantha Ranatunga confirmed that Samaraweera had handed a resignation letter to him on Tuesday.

    "We requested Thilan to have a meaningful dialogue with the national selectors before finalising such a decision," Ranatunga told reporters.

  48. 1312: 

    More Welsh rugby news. Sam Warburton is back in the team to face Scotland in the Six Nations but Ryan Jones stays as captain.

    Justin Tipuric drops out for Warburton while Alun Wyn Jones and Paul James also come into the team.

  49. 1307: 

    Alan Pardew admits Newcastle will have to negotiate a significant step up in class if they are to book a place in the Europa League quarter-finals.

    The Magpies face big-spending Anzhi Makhachkala in Moscow on Thursday.

    He says: "It would be massive if we could beat this team because they are a really strong side."


    This game really is catching the imagination of the world. Who do you think Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho will pick tonight. Tell us your views on #bbcsportsday.

    Jonesy: "Watching from Perth .. Australia."

    ShaMraiz: "The clock is crawling slowly, will be Watching it live in Cinepax Cinema in Rawalpindi. Epic Encounter."

    George Quinn: "Supporting ManU for one night only here in Lebrija, Andalucia!"

  51. 1301: 

    Prop Gethin Jenkins is out of Wales's Six Nations match against Scotland on Saturday due a calf muscle injury.

  52. 1257: 

    Manchester United have had their woodwork rattled six times - the most of any side in the tournament this season.

    Source: Opta

  53. 1250: 
    Raul Raul was at his peak when Real Madrid last played Manchester United, back in 2003, scoring two goals in the first leg as the Spaniards knocked out Alex Ferguson's side.
  54. 1246: 

    Plenty of predictions coming in for tonight's game. What do you think the scoreline will be? Tell us your views on #bbcsportsday.

    Neil Rennie: "The main thing is for United to prevent Real Madrid scoring. For that reason I can see them sitting deep. 1-0 Madrid win."

    Ali Bin Zahid: "Watching from Calgary, Canada. Going for a 2-1 home win; a @Persie_Official brace and a @Cristiano special."

    Scott Cairns: Real Madrid 2-1 and Ronaldo to end Rafael's career."

  55. 1238: 

    Former Manchester United striker Michael Owen says his old club are capable of nullifying the threat of Cristiano Ronaldo tonight.

    He tells "If anyone knows how to look after him it will be Manchester United with him having played there for so long.

    "And let's not forget that Manchester United have a lot of good players that Madrid will have to be aware of."

  56. 1230: 

    Bournemouth have made several staff redundant, but co-owner Eddie Mitchell says it is down to restructuring rather than cost-cutting.

    "We are spending our finances wisely," Mitchell tells BBC Radio Solent. "But if we need to re-structure staff then that is what we will do."

  57. 1226: 

    Arsenal want Swansea's Ashley Williams to shore up their defence with Liverpool also keen, according to Guardian journalist Daniel Taylor.

  58. 1221: 

    Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick tells BBC Radio Manchester it is not just fans getting excited about tonight's big game with Real Madrid.

    "There is just something in the air. It is special. Everyone comes in with a spring in their step.

    "We appreciate there is a different feeling around the camp.

    "For any big game there is always a slightly different feeling - slightly more focused, an appreciation for how hard the game coming up will be and knowing that we have to be at our very best to get a result."

  59. 1216: 

    Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson says being involved in the big football occasions, like tonight's clash with Real Madrid is maintaining his hunger for the job and staving off retirement thoughts.

    In tonight's matchday program Ferguson writes: ``People ask me why I don't retire after so many years in the game.''

    `How could anyone with an ounce of passion for football in their soul voluntarily walk away from the opportunity to be involved in this kind of occasion?''


    The interest in Manchester United and Real Madrid is certainly global. Here are some of the places you are watching.

    ro mi: "Angkor What? Watching from Siem Reap, Cambodia at 2:45am."

    Darren Porter: "In Al Khobar Saudi Arabia and somehow got to find somewhere showing the big match at 23:00 local time! No bars!"

    Lexxes: "I will be watching the match in Jos Nigeria with friends in my room."

  61. 1209: 

    World number six Tomas Berdych plans to play at this year's Aegon Championships at Queens.

    Berdych has only once played in the Wimbledon warm-up event - back in 2005.

  62. 1205: 

    The 2010 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Imperial Commander is out of this year's race because of a lung infection says his trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies.

    Twiston-Davies was convinced the 12-year-old was back in the same sort of form which saw him defeat Denman and Kauto Star in 2010.

    Having pulled up with a broken blood vessel the following year he missed a whole season but came back at Cheltenham in January with a fine run when only narrowly denied by Cape Tribulation in the Argento Chase.

    Twiston-Davies said: "He's got a lung infection so he won't be going to Cheltenham, that's that."

  63. 1202: 

    Real Madrid have only won once in their last five games in England in the Champions League - that win came against Tottenham at White Hart Lane in April 2011.

    Source: Opta

  64. 1158: 

    Fly-half Duncan Weir will make his first start for Scotland in Saturday's Six Nations clash with Wales.

    Weir's replaces Glasgow team-mate Ruaridh Jackson with the 2009 British and Irish Lion Euan Murray returning as tight head prop in the side named by interim head coach Scott Johnson.

    Weir says: "It's a moment I'll cherish and hopefully I can do the coaches justice for giving me the start."

  65. 1152: 
    Fernando Redondo Fernando Redondo produced one of the best bits of skill seen in a Manchester United clash with Real Madrid back in 2000. His back-heel turn got him away from Henning Berg to set up Raul to score in the 3-2 win.
  66. 1146: 

    Former England defender Martin Keown says Manchester United need Robin van Persie to rediscover his scoring touch if they are to beat Real Madrid tonight.

    He tells the Daily Mail: "Van Persie has gone four games without scoring now — his longest run in a United shirt — and ending that drought will surely be the key to Sir Alex Ferguson's side progressing."

  67. 1140: 

    The National Basketball Association is taking to the road and are bringing a high-profile game to England.

    Oklahoma City Thunder are taking on the Philadelphia 76ers at the Manchester Arena on 8 October in a pre-season game.

  68. 1135: 

    Turns out Jose Mourinho was not quiet right when he said the world would be watching Manchester United play Real Madrid tonight. Some of you have other plans. Let us know if you are going to watching tonight and you think the key men will be on #bbcsportsday.

    Andrew Webb: "I won't be watching the United v Real match, i be at another big game tonight - Leicester v Leeds."

    Mike Evans: "Why would I be watching Man Utd against Real Madrid? Forest are at home to Ipswich tonight."

  69. 1129: 

    Today's #QSTeaser from @QofS_Official is unsurprisingly centred around Champions League football today.

    Name the EIGHT players whose surnames end in the letter O to score 20 or more Champions League goals?

  70. 1123: 

    Wonder horse Frankel has proved his fertility at stud - and his owners can breathe a £100m sigh of relief.

    A mare is in foal to the stallion, whose mating fee is £125,000 a time. He is expected to breed with hundreds of mares during his stud career.

  71. 1118: 

    It's a big claim by Jose Mourinho but he tells ITV Sport that Cristiano Ronaldo is probably the best player the game has seen - ahead of Pele and Diego Maradona.

    He says: "He is the best. The best in the world, yes. Probably the best ever."


    Alex Green: "The clock on my computer has never moved so slowly. Hyped for the match tonight."

    Jake Waring: "Got a feeling De Gea could be the difference tonight."

    rohidas mali: "Forget Ronaldo, Its Di Maria, who needs special attention, Will be a nightmare for united's leaky defence."

  73. 1108: 

    Ryan Giggs could make his 1000th appearance for Manchester United tonight. In a touch of cross sport conversation rugby's Leicester Tigers are putting his feat in context by revealing the Welshman's debut came two months before their England centre Manu Tuilagi was born.

  74. 1104: 

    Former Manchester United player Mickey Thomas tells BBC Radio 5 live that Cristiano Ronaldo can look forward to a warm welcome from Manchester United supporters when he returns to Old Trafford for the first time since leaving for Real Madrid.

    "I think he will get a great reception, I really do.

    "You have to understand he has been a magnificent player for Manchester United and he deserves a great reception."

  75. 1100: 

    You can listen to live commentary of England's first Test against New Zealand from 21:00 on 5 Live Sports Extra and Radio Four Long wave.

    Expert analysis is being provided by Michael Vaughan, Geoff Boycott and Jeremy Coney

  76. 1055: 

    England captain Alastair Cook has given fellow opener Nick Compton a vote of confidence going into the first Test against New Zealand on Wednesday.

    Compton averages 34.66 after his only Test series so far and, despite doubts over his place against the Kiwis, Cook has faith in the 29-year-old.

    "I'd just love to see him get in and get that one big score which will get him up and running," said Cook, 28. "He's definitely got the class to do that at international level."


    Emmett Curran: "Watching the game in Colombo, Sri Lanka 1.15am local time. At least my local pub is called 'The Manchester' and it staying open."

    Floyd: "Hello from Chicago! We are expecting 6-10" of snow today. Hopefully work closes and I can watch the game of the year live!"

    Alastair Spiers: "Alarm set for 2.45am in Battambang, Cambodia to wake up at kick off. Fergie to top trump Mourinho."

  78. 1050: 

    Celtic assistant manager Johan Mjallby has warned his players to stay calm if they face familiar tight marking by Juventus in tomorrow night's Champions League clash.

    He said: "We just need to be strong mentally and maybe move about a wee bit more and see if it's harder for them to mark us.

    "We are a threat at set-pieces. We have to believe we can score when we have corner-kicks for example, and we are not going to change things because during this campaign we have been quite successful at set-pieces."

  79. 1046: 

    Spanish newspaper Marca is speculating about what colours Real Madrid will wear at Old Trafford tonight with the problem being caused by Manchester United's white shorts.

    Marca claim Real's players do not like their green away kit, despite being unbeaten in the two Champions League away matches they have worn it in.


    Peter Koech: "I'll be watching the epic duel between Manchester United and Real Madrid in Kenya as I wait for the election results to come through."

    Charles Braunstein: "A masterstroke by Fergie keeping Giggs 1000th cap for Madrid game. Ryan Giggs Ryan Giggs running down the wing. Ronaldo who?"

    Grant: "A 2-2 draw. Ronaldo tore Rafael apart in the first leg. He'll do it again and again."

    Get involved at #bbcsportsday.

  81. 1039: 

    Lyon were the last team to knock Real Madrid out at the last 16 stage in the Champions League, back in 2009/10 (0-1, 1-1).

    Source: Opta

  82. 1035: 

    Michael Carrick has told the Manchester Evening News that Manchester United can restate their European pedigree against Real Madrid tonight.

    He said: "These are the nights you live for. It is extra special. Every supporter is that little bit more vocal. They appreciate how important it is and what it means to get through.

    "The prestige and history of the club suggests we should be challenging in the later stages of these tournaments. It is up to us to go out there and do it."

  83. 1031: 

    Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs says he is proud to reach 1,000 senior appearances in his career.

    Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that the 39-year-old Welshman will be involved in Tuesday's second leg of United's Champions League last-16 tie against Real Madrid and that will be his 1,000th game for club and country.

    He says that he has "worked hard" over the years but has been helped by the "continuity of manager" and "playing with good players".


    Tony McFadden: "Champions League heaven tomorrow morning. Getting up early to watch RVP and Rooney win it. #Australia."

    James Foster: "Petrified right now. Weirdly not because I've stayed up all night working on a paper. Clash of the Titans at Old Trafford soon."

    Enterii: "People are saying a close game, I just have this feeling that United are going to be on the receiving end of a hammering."

  85. 1026: 

    Manchester United have conceded three goals in each of their two home games against Real Madrid in the Champions League.

    Source: Opta

  86. 1021: 
    Ronaldo and Steve McManaman

    The last time Manchester United hosted Real Madrid at Old Trafford was in April 2003 in what is widely considered one of the greatest matches in European club competition.

    Manchester United won 4-3 on the night but a hat-trick by Brazilian Ronaldo - described as the "older, fatter Ronaldo" - ensured Real progressed 6-5 on aggregate.

  87. 1018: 

    The Liverpool Echo is reporting that Everton defender Phil Jagielka will miss three weeks after undergoing surgery on a badly-gashed ankle sustained in the 3-1 win over Reading at the weekend.


    Tom Cappleman: "Will hopefully be watching it in Queenstown if anyone knows anywhere open at 8am?"

    Moe Muntz: "Old Trafford is anything BUT frenzied. That honour goes to Etihad Stadium. OT is the most quiet after the Emirates."

    George Crawford: "Giggs with a 1999-esque mazy run to score early. Real pile on the pressure but United break with some RVP magic. 2-0 United."

    Where will you be watching tonight's match? What is your prediction and why? And what are the key selections? Let us know your opinion at #bbcsportsday.

  89. 1013: 

    Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is confident tonight's match against Real Madrid will live up to the pedigree of the two clubs:

    He told tonight's matchday programme: "Manchester United and Real Madrid are indelibly written into football history, with so many great players gracing the stage here over the years, and from time to time enjoying the glory that comes with winning this most elusive of prizes.

    "The tales of 'derring-do' as we strive to prove we are the best in Europe illuminate the seasons and I like to think that the pioneers like Sir Matt Busby and Santiago Bernabeu, the president of Real Madrid who gave his name to the stadium, will be up there smiling and as excited as the rest of us at the prospect of another dramatic night featuring the best that the game can provide."

  90. 1009: 

    Sir Alex Ferguson has claimed matches such as tonight's Old Trafford meeting with Real Madrid are the reason he cannot walk away from the game.

    "People ask me why I don't retire after so many years in the game but how could anyone with an ounce of passion for football in their soul voluntarily walk away from the opportunity to be involved in this type of occasion?" Ferguson told tonight's match programme.

    "This is what it is all about - a packed Old Trafford, the floodlights on, the pitch glistening and two of the greatest and romantic clubs in the game about to do battle."

  91. 1008: 

    Former England fly-half Andy Goode has confirmed he will join Wasps from Worcester next season.

  92. 1004: 

    Former Manchester United winger Terry Gibson tells BBC Radio 5 live Ryan Giggs should make his 1000th appearance as a starter against Real Madrid tonight:

    "I would start him, not just bring him on as a sub. Even in the first match he came on against Arbeloa who I think is a weak link for Real Madrid.

    "Giggs is a clever and a talented footballer and the different positions he picks up and plays in really caused Arbeloa a problem. I wouldn't be surprised seeing him playing left-sided later."

  93. 1000: 

    Toby Gallagher: "Attempting to do work, but keep accidently writing 'United' in my introduction."

    Michael Black: "Actual goosebumps for the game tonight. First goal probably all important, United in trouble if Real get it."

    Niklas Lanwehr: "Khedira and Alonso will outplay and outwork Carrick and whoever plays alongside plus key role for Di Maria, like against Barca."

    Get involved at #bbcsportsday.

  94. 0957:  
    BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio 5 live

    From 1900 GMT, Mark Pougatch presents a round-up of today's sports news from Old Trafford and from 1945 GMT we have live commentary from on Manchester United v Real Madrid in the Champions League round of 16, second leg.

    There is also full coverage on BBC Radio Manchester from 1900 GMT.

  95. 0955: 

    The Times has revealed that Sir Alex Ferguson was twice approached by Real Madrid - in 1991 and 2003.

  96. 0954: 

    Manchester United have only lost once in their last 14 Champions League home games (nine wins, four draws), the last one against CFR Cluj during the group stage this season.

    Source: Opta

  97. 0952: 

    Ukraine's Vladimir Klitschko will defend his four world heavyweight title belts against former sparring partner German-Italian challenger Francesco Pianeta in Mannheim on 4 May.


    Mikesh Patel: "Watching from Thailand, 02:45 KO, no room booked expect for a prime seat in front of big screen in the bar. Thais up for this."

    Darren McConville: "Everyone says a 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu is key. Wonder how Barcelona got on with that."

    Jason Garwood: "I'm predicting 0-0 tonight as both teams will be sat back waiting to counter attack! Be a very nervy night though."

    Where will you be watching the game? What is your prediction and why? And what will the key selections be? Let us know your opinion at #bbcsportsday.

  99. 0948: 

    Manchester United's Ecuador winger Antonio Valencia insists his side's 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu will count for little against Real Madrid tonight.

    He told the club's official website: "I think it's going to be a close match. Real are a team that exploits the counter-attack and we must be very cautious and focus the entire game.

    "I don't think we have a real advantage after the first leg. In these types of games no-one has the edge. It's exciting. I hope I get to play and we do a great job to send the fans home happy."

  100. 0943: 

    Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho says "the world will stop to watch" Tuesday's Champions League last-16 match at Manchester United.

    The tie is well poised after the two sides drew 1-1 in the first leg at the Bernabeu and Real coach Mourinho believes the game will live up to all the expectations of it.

    "The world will stop to watch this tie. I doubt expectations can be bigger than for this one," he said. "Nobody knows what will happen because the teams are well matched."


    Matthew Beattie: "I'm just glad it's not my job to face Ronaldo tonight."

    Jamie Hardesty: "Man U to win tonight in true Man U fashion, a late, late winner. Hernandez off the bench anyone? 2-1."

    Chris Butt: "If the game goes to extra time, my uncle is in for a long wait at Manchester Airport for his lift."

    We want to know what would your teams be? Where in the world are you watching the game? Who will win and why? Send us your view at #bbcsportsday.

  102. 0938: 

    Wayne Rooney believes a frenzied Old Trafford crowd could tip the tie Manchester United's way when they face Real Madrid tonight:

    He told the club's official website: "The fans are great especially for the Champions League games. The night games always seem to be a bit more special and I think the crowd always sense when it's a big match and when the players might need the crowd more than in other games.

    "The crowd always play their part and, with the atmosphere, it's fantastic to play in so it is a special night."

  103. 0935: 

    Spanish journalist Begona Perez from El Mundo tells BBC Radio 5 live that Real Madrid will have little left to play for this season if they go out of the Champions League at Manchester United tonight:

    "The Real fans are nervous because we have to think that Manchester United are favourites because of the score in the first leg. If they don't win they only have the (Copa del Rey) final left.

  104. 0931: 

    "I remember Lee Dixon saying to me that I should have shown Cristiano Ronaldo down the line instead of letting him come inside. I just laughed and said: 'How on earth are you supposed to stop the best player in the world from going where he wants?!'"

    Want to know what it is like to try to stop Cristiano Ronaldo? Read former Reading defender Graeme Murty's views on our football page.


    Thulani Banda: "Watching the game from Zambia and hoping De Gea has the best game of his current career. RVP for two goals."

    Chris Blackburn: "Got a feeling that Manchester United will go all out attack from the kick off and Rooney to score within 10 minutes."

    Jon Mason: "All the United fans pinning their hopes on Nani will be disappointed tonight, he will only let you down AGAIN! Real 2-1."

  106. 0927: 

    Former Manchester United player Mickey Thomas tells BBC Radio 5 live that midfield will be the crucial area at Old Trafford tonight:

    "It's a difficult game for United tonight because Real Madrid are excellent at counter attacking and it will be difficult for United to stop them scoring.

    "But United have fire power in that final third and they can score goals as well. I've seen so many special nights at Old Trafford and hopefully it will be another one tonight."

    "At Old Trafford we have to play to our strengths and that is attack, and the midfield will be crucial tonight. Whoever wins that area will win the game for sure."

  107. 0923: 

    The two Champions League encounters between Manchester United and Real Madrid at Old Trafford have produced 12 goals.

    Source: Opta


    Ben Tavassoli: "To be honest, I just want to see another epic touch line sprint from 'The Special One'."

    Jake Parker: "Valencia has to play with Rafael down the right to double up on Ronaldo."

    Elliott Hackney: "Ronaldo never showed any remorse scoring against sporting for united, so sure he will have no problems slotting tonight"

    Let us know your view at #bbcsportsday.

  109. 0921: 

    PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor tells BBC Radio 5 live he disputes reports that three out of five former Premier League players go bankrupt:

    "Footballers, with very few exceptions, aren't going to earn as much money when they finish playing. We encourage young players to save for the future, for when they retire.

    "The fact is, as regards them going bankrupt, it's nothing like those figures."

  110. 0919: 

    "Jose Mourinho was quiet - too quiet. This was the respectful, serene "Special One" back at the place where he came to the world's attention with a 100m sprint down Old Trafford's touchline that not even a long overcoat could slow down."

    Read Phil McNulty's blog on tonight's match on our football page.

  111. 0914: 

    Celtic striker Tony Watt has been ruled out of the Champions League last-16 second leg against Juventus.

    The teenager suffered a bruised foot in training yesterday and did not travel with the squad as they left for Turin this morning.

    Scott Brown (abductor) and Mikael Lustig (thigh) remain out but Charlie Mulgrew could return to the team after missing three games with a muscle problem.

  112. 0913: 

    Uncapped Wakefield Trinity Wildcats winger Ben Cockayne has been named in England's 30-man elite training squad.

    The 29-year-old, the only newcomer, has scored six tries in five matches this term, to add to 15 in 26 last season.

    "To be recognised amongst the elite is my biggest honour to date," he said.


    Dion Mayhew: "Are people being sarcastic when they say they hope Nani plays tonight?"

    Conor Cooke: "So tonight we need RVP's goals, Madrid need Ronaldo's but the main man is Wayne Rooney tonight! His playmaking is key."

    Jake Waring: "I've got a feeling it could go to extra time. Hoping for a classic."

  114. 0911: 

    Manchester United skipper Nemanja Vidic is also quoted in the Sun, claiming Real Madrid could run out of ideas at Old Trafford tonight:

    "When they play against teams who drop deep, they can have a bit of trouble because Real aren't a team that crosses the ball a lot.

    "They don't have many alternatives. They have Ronaldo, who can jump when he is in the box but he's the only one. I don't think the other players are good in the air."

  115. 0909: 

    Real Madrid are one of two Spanish teams to have beaten Manchester United at Old Trafford in the Champions League (Deportivo La Coruña won 3-2, 19 April 2000).

    Source: Opta

  116. 0907: 

    Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic has told the Daily Telegraph that he believes Cristiano Ronaldo, who joined Real Madrid in 2009, could return to the club in the future.

    "I could see it," Vidic said. "He is a United supporter and he still follows United, he still misses the club and the environment here, so I wouldn't be surprised to see him come back. It would be a big ask for many reasons, but I would love to see him here.

    "I think he was a bit nervous in the first game, but it will be different at Old Trafford. He will be focused and we shouldn't think that he will have a bad game. He will be motivated to have a great game and to win it for Real Madrid."

  117. 0903: 

    Pete Sampras believes tennis is free of performance-enhancing drugs now, as well as during his 14-year pro career that ended in 2002.

    The winner of 14 Grand Slam titles says other than ``a random case here and there'' he doesn't see the top players engaging in doping.

    "I don't think players are that sophisticated in tennis,'' he said, referring to the elaborate system Lance Armstrong used to avoid detection. "It's not their culture. I don't think it's in their nature.''


    Ahead of tonight's Champions League game between Manchester United and Real Madrid, we want to know what would your teams be? Where in the world are you watching the game? Who will win and why?

    Send us your view at #bbcsportsday.

  119. 0859:  
    BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio 5 live

    From 1900 GMT, Mark Pougatch presents a round-up of today's sports news from Old Trafford and from 1945 GMT we have live commentary from on Manchester United v Real Madrid in the Champions League round of 16, second leg.


    Mufadal Jiwaji: "Walking to work and already seen a few Real fans in good spirits. Manchester is buzzing."

    Jay: "It would be a good time tonight for RVP to put his mini slump behind. He has to play well if United are to stand any chance."

    Matthew Wilson: "Can't wait for tonight. Hope its settled by a moment of magic rather than some controversy. Prediction 3-1 United."

    Get involved at #bbcsportsday.

  121. 0853: 

    Former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel on Twitter: "Good morning all, BIG day and I've got a great feeling about tonight."

  122. 0848: 

    Spanish journalist Begona Perez from El Mundo tells BBC Radio 5 live she is certain Cristiano Ronaldo will be on top form tonight:

    "He will relish this and it is a very special occasion for him. Considering what we have seen from him throughout his career he gets stronger and extra motivated on these special occasions so we will see the best of him.

    "Mourinho said he would have preferred to hear criticism from Ferguson and the United players rather than compliments and they were being intelligent, meaning that Ronaldo gets more motivated under provocation."

  123. 0844: 

    Former Manchester United winger Terry Gibson tells BBC Radio 5 live Sir Alex Ferguson's defence will be vital tonight:

    "I make Manchester United favourites now. It was always going to be a close tie and still is, but it was a magnificent result for United to get the draw at the Bernabeu.

    "At the moment the onus is on them to score a goal and the main thing tonight is don't let Real Madrid score early or score first, that could cause some problems."


    Jack Robson: "I hope United play Nani on the left, he'll rip Arbeloa to pieces."

    Danny Needham: "I love reading the opinions on tactics and 'who to watch' for tonight's Real v Man Utd match. In reality, it could go either way."

    Stephen: "Everybody's talking about Ronaldo and Jose for Madrid but remember United have got the killer weapon in Chicarito and Nani."

    What do you think? Get in touch at #bbcsportsday.

  125. 0840: 

    Rory McIlroy has told Sports Illustrated he was wrong to withdraw from the Honda Classic last week, saying he regrets his decision to stop playing.

    "It was a reactive decision," he said. "What I should have done is take my drop, chip it on, try to make a five and play my hardest on the back nine, even if I shot 85.

    "What I did was not good for the tournament, not good for the kids and the fans who were out there watching me - it was not the right thing to do."

  126. 0837: 

    BBC Radio 5 live's Conor McNamara on Manchester City's 1-0 win at Aston Villa: "It was quite a close game and that's what created the agony for Villa fans.

    "If they could have got an equaliser, that one point would have moved them out of the bottom three but they are very much in the relegation zone. They now travel to Reading for a six-pointer and then have a home game against QPR.

    "For the first time I was sitting in Villa Park last night thinking there could be Championship football there."

  127. 0834: 

    Rob Earnshaw says his move to Toronto is designed to improve his hopes of playing for Wales rather than signal the end of his international career.

    The striker, 31, has joined the Major League Soccer club on a free transfer having been released by Cardiff.

    "I love playing for Wales. I'm never going to give that up," he said.

  128. 0831: 

    Jack Rodwell could be out for a month after a recurrence of a hamstring problem in the 1-0 win at Aston Villa, manager Roberto Mancini has said.


    Si Hawkes: "As a neutral, I want to see an exciting game. No diving, and no malice (I'm looking at you, Pepe). Just a good football match."

    Vinay MP: "All eyes on big guns, expect Kagawa to steal the show with a brace, 2-1 United, Ramos to score for Madrid."

    Luirez Naidoo: "The key is going to united's full backs who need to support the counter attack but watch out for Ronaldo and Di Maria."

    Do you agree? Let us know at #bbcsportsday.

  130. 0826: 

    Last night Manchester City closed the gap on leaders Manchester United to 12 points with a 1-0 victory at Aston Villa, who remain in the Premier League relegation zone.

  131. 0824: 

    BBC Radio 5 live's Conor McNamara on tonight's Champions League match between Manchester United and Real Madrid:

    "No-one can call it. You can make arguments for both teams. They both ooze quality.

    "People can say that if Cristiano Ronaldo is on form you expect them to go through but if Robin van Persie is on top form and plays as well as he has done, you could expect United to go through.

    "He's only score once in the last seven games and in the last five years he's only once had a spell worse than this - which was none in seven. Is he due a goal?"


    James Joseph: "Few teams have coped with United or Real on the counter-attack. Possession won't mean anything. Defensive discipline is key."

    What will decide the Champions League tie between Manchester United and Real Madrid? Let us know your view at #bbcsportsday.

  133. 0820: 

    Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville on tonight's game with Real Madrid: "Those asking for a prediction I would take 0-0 at half-time. Think of Dortmund/Monaco/Madrid games historically and being sunk before we set sail!

    "The reason I say get to HT 0-0 is to keep the crowd in the game. They will get you through second half. It's the first half where it can go for me."

  134. 0818: 

    Laura Robson will face Sweden's Sofia Arvidsson and Heather Watson will face Irina-Carmelia Begu of Romania in the first round at Indian Wells.

  135. 0814: 

    Spanish journalist Begona Perez from El Mundo tells BBC Radio 5 live that tonight's match could define Jose Mourinho's reign at Real Madrid:

    "It's a defining moment for Real Madrid and Jose Mourinho as well. He was appointed to be able to defeat the mighty Barcelona and as we saw in the last week he has done so but, more than anything else, to win a tenth European Cup for Real Madrid.

    "He has been close in the last two seasons because they have reached two semi-finals. If they don't win they only have the Copa del Rey left."


    We want to hear your views ahead of Manchester United's Champions League last 16 second leg with Real Madrid. What will decide the tie? What is your prediction?

    Get involved at #bbcsportsday.

  137. 0810: 

    London Welsh's Aviva Premiership fate could be decided today when the club appear in front of a Rugby Football Union competitions hearing.

    The Exiles are charged with fielding an ineligible player - scrum-half Tyson Keats - in "a number" of Premiership games this season.

  138. 0808: 

    India made light work of Day Four, beating Australia by an innings and 135 runs in the second Test in Hyderabad to take a 2-0 lead in the four-match series.

    Australia became the first team in Test history to declare in their first innings and then lose by an innings.

  139. 0806: 

    Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho appears to have hinted that he will not be replacing Sir Alex Ferguson as Manchester United manager in an interview with MUTV's Paddy Crerand.

    Mourinho jokingly said he wanted Crerand to arrange a free annual subscription for the channel and Crerand said the only people who did not pay the £6 monthly fee were club employees.

    To this, Mourinho replied: "There is no chance. I have to pay.

    Crerand responded: "You never know. One day?"

    "One day? Nah. I don't think so," Mourinho said.

    "You never know? Life is strange," Crerand persisted.

    "You never know, but I don't think so," Mourinho said, before changing the subject.

  140. 0805: 

    As we kick off the build-up to tonight's Champions League last 16 second leg between Manchester United and Real Madrid, Sir Alex Ferguson insists his team should not fear Cristiano Ronaldo.

    He said: "It is not something we should fear. If we worry about the danger Cristiano can give us we will forget some of the things we can do ourselves."

  141. 0803: 

    As always we start with three top stories from our football gossip column:

    Brazil forward Neymar, who has been linked with Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester City and Bayern Munich, insists he is happy to stay with Santos - but the 21-year-old would be open to a move to Europe in the future. (Sky Sports)

    Manchester City's Edin Dzeko, 26, has emerged as a top target for Borussia Dortmund, who seem resigned to losing striker Robert Lewandowski. (Metro)

    Manchester United are poised to open talks with Leicester City over a £1.5m deal for 20-year-old Jeffrey Schlupp, who can play at left-back or as a striker. (Daily Telgraph)

  142. 0800: 

    Good morning and welcome to Tuesday's Sportsday Live. Stay with us for all of the breaking sports news and build-up for tonight's Manchester United's Champions League clash with Real Madrid throughout the day.

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