Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Cricket World Cup 2015: Ireland edge out UAE in Pool B

Ireland batsman Gary Wilson
Gary Wilson hit 80 to help Ireland to a nervy two-wicket World Cup win over the United Arab Emirates in Brisbane.
Shaiman Anwar scored a maiden ODI century as the UAE part-timers hit 147 from their last 15 overs to post 278-9.
They then pegged Ireland back to 97-4, but Kevin O'Brien (50) and Wilson put on 72 from 36 balls for the sixth wicket to help rebuild the innings.
Ireland, who have two wins from their opening two Pool B games, next face South Africa in Canberra on 3 March.
O'Brien and Wilson were both dismissed as William Porterfield's side closed in on the target, but Brisbane-born Alex Cusack and off-spinner George Dockrell kept their nerve to lead Ireland to victory with just four balls to spare.

Former England spinner Graeme Swann

"Ireland have put their fans through it today. I don't think I could have been an Ireland fan for the last 10 minutes. I now know why my dad refused to watch me play cricket in the last 10 years."
World cricket's governing body the ICC has decided to limit the next World Cup to 10 teams, but two associate sides who may struggle to qualify for the event in England in 2019 arguably played out the most exciting match of the tournament so far, one that was finally settled in the 100th and final over after 557 runs and 17 wickets.
The game ebbed and flowed, with Ireland reducing the UAE to 131-6 in the 35th over, before Shaiman (106 from 83 balls) and Amjad Javed (42 from 35 balls) put on a World Cup record seventh-wicket stand of 107 to set up a challenging total on a turning wicket.
Ireland struggled for any fluency in their reply, until the more expansively minded O'Brien joined Wilson at the wicket in the 39th over with 108 runs still needed.
O'Brien and Wilson's six-over partnership seemed to turn the match decisively in Ireland's favour, but when O'Brien, Wilson and John Mooney all fell in the final seven overs, the UAE sensed a first win over Ireland since 2001.
Dockrell and Cusack came together with 12 runs still needed from 15 balls, and after a series of wild swings and unconvincing hacks, the pair finally wrapped up victory in the final over.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Marussia team could make Formula 1 return this season

Marussia in 2014
The Marussia team's chances of returning to Formula 1 this season have increased.
The team ceased trading last November but there is now a plan for them to come out of administration on 19 February and receive new investment.
Administrators FRP Advisory said the company was making "progress towards a longer-term viable solution".
Marussia's president Graeme Lowdon has sourced new investors, the identity of which is not yet known.
BBC F1 chief analyst Eddie Jordan
Archive: Loss of Marussia devastating - Jordan
Banbury-based Marussia have entered an arrangement called a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA), which is where the creditors accept a write-down - fixed amount - for the money they are owed.
It is the first step to liquidating the company and reconstituting its assets into a new business.
This latest news follows the cancelling last month of an auction of the team's remaining assets, including the 2014 cars they will need if they are to race in 2015.
But even if the money is secured, Marussia still require agreement from the other teams to allow them to run last year's cars this season, as they do not comply with the latest rules.
There is a meeting of the rule-making strategy group on 5 February when this matter will almost certainly be raised.
Administrator Geoff Rowley said: "Since the appointment of administrators, negotiations have taken place with a number of parties to try to secure a long-term solution for the team.
"We can confirm that negotiations continue towards a longer-term viable solution for the business and participation of a team in the 2015 season.
Jules Bianchi sits in the cockpit of his Marussia
One of Marussia's drivers, Jules Bianchi, remains unconscious in hospital with severe head injuries following a crash at the Japanese GP last season
"It is envisaged that, prior to the commencement of the first race of the 2015 season, investment into the business will be made upon the company exiting from administration via a Company Voluntary Arrangement, which is planned for 19 February 2015."
Marussia, whose name may change as a result of the new investment, have not raced since the 2014 Russian Grand Prix - they missed the final three races after they collapsed with £31 million of debt.
The largest creditor by far is engine supplier Ferrari, which was owed £16.6 million and would be expected to provide engines again this year should the team recover.

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen ends Jerez pre-season test on top

Kimi Raikkonen
Kimi Raikkonen completed a successful first pre-season test for Ferrari by setting the pace on the final day at Spain's Jerez track.
It is the third time in four days a Ferrari has been fastest, as the teams reached one-third distance in their preparations for the 2015 season.
Sauber's Marcus Ericsson was second ahead of Lewis Hamilton, whose Mercedes team completed by far the most mileage.
McLaren had another tough day, still struggling with their new Honda engine.
Jenson Button did only 35 laps and was 6.8 seconds off the pace as he was hit initially by a problem with oil levels and then was forced to abandon the day's running following a fuel-pump failure.
McLaren posted 79 laps over four days - compared to more than 500 by Mercedes. But director of engineering Matt Morris insisted the team had had a positive test as they bedded in their relationship with Honda.
"We have had a number of problems," Morris said. "We have had some operational issues - all of us working together as a team for the first time - things you take for granted when you have been with an engine supplier for many years.
Jenson Button
It was another tough day for McLaren as Jenson Button managed just 35 laps
"You drop the ball sometimes, like saying getting oil levels wrong and all these sorts of things. We have had a few issues like that.
"We have also had some minor electrical issues, which resulted in a lot of downtime but have actually been relatively easy to fix.
"The main thing is that we have not been burning bodywork or blowing up engines.
"I am pretty happy that we are going to come out of this test with no major issues to resolve."
Hamilton had a harmless spin at the chicane in the morning but still managed 117 laps as Mercedes completed an impressive overall distance of 1,419 miles in four days.
Hamilton told his team over the car radio: "Well done, guys. Great first week back."
On his spin he said: "It was a bit damp, I was the first on slicks, so I just had a spin.
"But reliability has been pretty special this week. It's one of our highest weeks of mileage.
"The car feels very similar to last year. It's very difficult to pick out any differences, really."
Lotus also had an encouraging final day as they completed their first test with a Mercedes engine, after switching from Renault last year.
New F1 cars already faster than 2014
New F1 cars already faster than 2014
The team, who slipped from fourth to eighth in the championship last season, had initially not planned to be at this test with their new car, but ended up ahead of schedule and ran for two and a half days.
Frenchman Romain Grosjean was sixth fastest and his day was ended by an engine problem, but the team said they were confident the car was a major advance on last year.
"It's a shame it's ended early," said trackside operations director Alan Permane. 'It's been going really well, especially as a week ago we did not even expect to be here.
"The car is most definitely a big step forward over last year, even though we are still short of a lot of parts so it's not very representative.
"It's surprising we were running as quickly as we were given that. It's very encouraging - in fact, Romain was just saying that the car feels a lot like the 2013 car. He's a lot happier.'"
The second test is at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya from 19-22 February.

Fastest lap times, final day of first pre-season test in Jerez

1 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari 1:20.841
2 Marcus Ericsson (Swe) Sauber-Ferrari 1:22.019
3 Lewis Hamilton (GB) Mercedes 1:22.172
4 Max Verstappen (Ned) Toro Rosso-Renault 1:22.553
5 Felipe Massa (Brz) Williams-Mercedes 1:23.116
6 Romain Grosjean (Fra) Lotus-Mercedes 1:23.802
7 Daniil Kvyat (Rus) Red Bull-Renault 1:23.975
8 Jenson Button (GB) McLaren-Honda 1:27.660

F1; Ferrari better. Mercedes brilliant.

Formula 1 Jerez testing
Are Ferrari about to bounce back to the front of Formula 1? That is what the headline lap times from the first pre-season test suggested. All, though, is unlikely to be as it seems.
Everyone looks at the list of fastest times of the day in testing. You can't help yourself. But they are essentially meaningless, as it is impossible to know the specification in which the cars were running - and there are so many variables, whether it be fuel load, tyres, engine mode or whatever.
For completeness' sake, though, here is the list of fastest single lap times by each team, with the driver who achieved them in brackets:
1 Ferrari (Kimi Raikkonen) one minute 20.841
2 Sauber (Felipe Nasr) 1:21.545
3 Mercedes (Nico Rosberg) 1:21.982
4 Williams (Felipe Massa) 1:22.276
5 Toro Rosso (Max Verstappen) 1:22.553
6 Lotus (Pastor Maldonado) 1:22.713
7 Red Bull (Daniel Ricciardo) 1:23.338
8 McLaren (Jenson Button) 1:27.660
Anyone out there think Sauber will be on the second row of the grid at the Australian Grand Prix on 15 March? Thought not. Not even Sauber do.
A far more effective way of analysing real pace in testing is to look at race-simulation runs - when teams fill up their cars and deliberately run a trial race distance.
No-one did these in Jerez, not even world champions Mercedes, because it was too early for the new cars. But averaging out every team's laps over the four days irons out some of the discrepancies.
That produces these times:
1 Ferrari 1:23.873
2 Red Bull 1:25.214
3 Williams 1:25.286
4 Mercedes 1:25.309
5 Sauber 1:26.053
6 Toro Rosso 1:26.105
7 Lotus 1:26.564
8 McLaren 1:28.382
Leaving aside the most obvious anomalies of Ferrari and McLaren, that looks a lot more sensible.
lewis hamilton

Mercedes - 'taking the mickey'

All the teams know that "Mercedes are still the benchmark", as Red Bull team principal Christian Horner put it.
The world champions hit the ground running on the first day of the test, when Rosberg completed an astonishing 157 laps - believed to be a world record for any day of F1 testing, let alone for the public debut of a new car.
Mercedes were clearly not interested in setting headline lap times. There were no short runs of the sort that produced fastest times of the day for Ferrari and Sauber. Instead, aware that their only weakness in 2014 was reliability, it was about clocking up the miles with long runs. And, boy, did they do that.
Despite problems on each of the last three days, Rosberg and Hamilton completed 516 laps - or 1,419 miles - over four days. In a brand new car with an engine that has been significantly developed over the winter. That is astonishing. No-one else even managed 400 laps.
Mercedes might not have been the fastest overall - but they were not far off. And the consistency of their performance was remarkable. All this with the new engine running in a very conservative mode while the Mercedes teams gathered data.
The other teams did not miss the message this sent out, whether it be the amount of running Mercedes achieved, or the way they conducted the test.
"To turn up and do 157 laps on the first day is taking the mickey," Horner said.
"What was more frightening is they were doing pit-stop training on the first day," McLaren racing director Eric Boullier said. "So their confidence level is very high.
"They had such an advantage in 2014 I don't see them failing in 2015. The only thing we can expect is everybody is closing the gap."
Sebastian Vettel drives during the F1 Testing at the Circuito de Jerez

Ferrari - too fast to be real?

It was Ferrari, not Mercedes, who produced the fastest laps of the test - with Sebastian Vettel and Raikkonen quickest on three of the four days.
A note of caution, though. Raikkonen was also fastest on the first day in Jerez last year - before the team's worst season for more than two decades.
And up and down the pit lane there was scepticism. As one leading engineer pointed out: "I don't know what Ferrari are up to - they're not going to be two seconds faster than Mercedes."
This was the mystery of Ferrari's performance. The car appeared genuinely fast - but it was surely too fast to be real. The team's average lap time over the whole test was 1.5 seconds quicker than anyone else's.
F1 history - and basic engineering logic - is clear. For one thing, a team as dominant as Mercedes were last year is never going to lose that edge this quickly; for another, a team in as much trouble as Ferrari were in 2014 is not going to dominate the year after.
A clue to what might be going on was in Ferrari's run plan - where Mercedes were generally doing 30- or 40-odd laps at a time, rare was the run on which Ferrari did more than 10.
The longer the run, the more fuel is needed to complete it (although a team can of course start a short run on a lot of fuel). And the more fuel in the car, the slower it goes.
New F1 cars already faster than 2014
New F1 cars already faster than 2014
But while it would be a surprise to see the two Ferraris on the front row come Melbourne in six weeks' time, there are signs the team has made a genuine step forward.
One of them came from Raikkonen. Not exactly known for his effusiveness, and notoriously sensitive to the way a car behaves, the Finn was much more positive about the new car than he needed to be at its first test.
"This year is a completely different story to last year," said Raikkonen, who rarely felt comfortable in the 2014 Ferrari, and was annihilated by team-mate Fernando Alonso as a result.
"I had a good feeling straightaway when I went out. We've improved in all areas. It's definitely a positive start."
The other indicator is the progress the team have made on the engine - their biggest weakness last year, when it lacked overall power, driveability and performance from its hybrid system.
Insiders say Ferrari have found at least 50bhp already since the end of last year and could have another 30bhp or so to add before the first race.
This information was lent extra credence by Sauber driver Felipe Nasr. Now using a Ferrari engine, the Brazilian has experience of the 2014 Mercedes from a year as Williams reserve driver. He said the two engines "feel similar".
Ferrari were reckoned to be about 40bhp down on Mercedes on peak power last year, and even if Mercedes add the 50-60bhp they were said to have for this season, this sort of improvement could put Ferrari, as one rival said, "right up with Mercedes" on engine performance.
With an apparently better car, too, could Alonso's patience with Maranello have run out at just the wrong time?
Fernando Alonso during pre-season testing at the Jerez racetrack

McLaren - a thing of beauty (with electrical issues)

Having deserted Ferrari after five frustrating years, Alonso moved to McLaren, believing their new relationship with Honda would produce a car capable of taking him to the title first.
But things have not got off to a particularly auspicious start.
Alonso and team-mate Button completed only 79 laps over four days in Jerez. The first two days were hit by a series of recurring electrical issues and, even when these were fixed, other engine-related problems badly limited mileage.
Still, 79 laps is not an altogether terrible total, given that McLaren had done just 12 after two days - and it is not that different from the experiences of many teams last year, when Honda's rivals were all trying to sort out their new turbo hybrid V6s.
With such limited mileage, it is hard to come to any conclusions about McLaren-Honda's potential, especially given the contradictory signals.
On the one hand, racing director Boullier said he was "confident the base was good", and added that the "driver comments were very, very positive".
Equally, on the third day of the test, Alonso was lapping on intermediate tyres on a damp track at the same time as Rosberg's Mercedes. He was not losing much time, and at one point the timing screens showed a 'purple' time - for fastest of the day so far - in the first sector of the lap.
The McLaren car itself is a thing of beauty, with a wonderfully tightly packaged rear end, and leaning heavily on the lessons learned at Red Bull by new chief engineer Peter Prodromou.
On the negative side, though, the car was never remotely close to the pace in the dry. And when it finally got some dry running on the final day, Button was 16.6km/h slower through the speed trap than the next slowest car - and a whopping 30km/h off Felipe Massa's Williams, which was fastest.
Rivals looked at that and concluded the Honda was way down on power.
But sources close to McLaren said the car was running on 50% power for much of the day, and chairman Ron Dennis has already made it clear there will be new, more developed engines for the second test, and another iteration again for the final one.
It will, as Boullier says, take some time before it is clear exactly how much work McLaren and Honda have to do.
sauber at the f1 test in jerez

The rest

Red Bull had almost as disappointing a test as McLaren. They recorded the second lowest mileage after McLaren and were hamstrung by repeated problems with the Renault engine, which carried echoes of the troubled start to 2014 by the French manufacturer.
But they will surely not be far away when it matters.
The same looks to apply to Williams, third in 2014, who went about their work in the same quietly understated and impressive way they did in free practice sessions last year.
Sauber - fresh from a dire 2014 - caught the eye with the fastest time on day three, and second fastest on the other three, apparently underlining the progress made by supplier Ferrari on their engine.
And Lotus, having initially thought they might not even make the test at all, ended up running for two and a half days. The indications are that they, too, have made big steps forward after a disappointing year, as was expected, especially considering they have switched to Mercedes engines.
Tom Clarkson
Which new F1 car is the loudest?
"The whole package is better," driver Romain Grosjean said. "You could say that I am quite a happy driver."


Predicting form at the first race from testing is always a very difficult business - and it is almost impossible after just one test as fractured as this was for many.
Mercedes remain favourites, but it will take until at least the next test in Barcelona in two weeks' time to reach any conclusions beyond that.

Coutinho stunner completes dramatic comeback

Bolton 1-2 Liverpool: Coutinho stunner completes dramatic comeback
Philippe Coutinho celebrated his new contract with a sensational stoppage-time winner as Liverpool left it late to beat 10-man Bolton 2-1 and secure progression to the FA Cup fifth round.

Steven Gerrard's 700th Liverpool appearance looked set to end in defeat when a 59th-minute penalty from Eidur Gudjohnsen put hosts Bolton ahead in Wednesday's fourth-round replay.

However, Raheem Sterling's fine volley pulled Liverpool level with four minutes remaining - following the dismissal of Neil Danns - and the Championship side were subjected to further heartbreak when Coutinho, who signed a new long-term deal at Anfield earlier this week, found the net with a sublime 25-yard strike.

By Destiny

If the swagger has been returning to Liverpool's play in recent weeks, then this was a display that showed the Reds have the resilience to go with all their flair.

Philippe Coutinho's winning goal may have been something special, but Liverpool sides in the first half of the season would have run out of belief far earlier in the piece.

Brendan Rodgers has managed to get his players back onside, and though they were playing against 10 men for the final 20 minutes, they deserved to eventually find a way past the excellent Andy Lonergan.

They are still a long way off the team that swept almost all before them last term, but this is another big step in the right direction.
Defeat would have been harsh on Brendan Rodgers' men, who hit the woodwork on three occasions prior to their late goals.

Liverpool will now travel to Crystal Palace in round five, while Bolton will return to Championship action having given their more illustrious opponents a major scare over 180 minutes.

Home goalkeeper Andy Lonergan had to be alert early on to deny Gerrard - who followed Ian Callaghan and Jamie Carragher in reaching 700 games for Liverpool - and Sterling as the visitors made a fast start.

Bolton gradually grew into the game, and Gudjohnsen should have done better when he was played in by Josh Vela, only to shank his effort high over the bar.

The underdogs could well have taken the lead when David Wheater connected with Liam Feeney's free-kick, but the centre-back's header was well held by Simon Mignolet.

Liverpool responded by going even closer to an opener, as Sterling picked up the ball outside the area and curled a superb effort that rattled off the crossbar.

Mignolet was called into action again to keep out a dipping half-volley from Bolton's joint top-scorer Matt Mills, who led the line rather than occupying his usual position in defence.

Liverpool threatened to seize control as the opening half drew to a close though, with Coutinho – looking bright cutting in from the left flank – driving just wide of the right-hand upright from the edge of the box.

Bolton made a strong start to the second period and were buoyed further when Sterling started limping, with an apparent recurrence of an ankle knock picked up in the first half.

That didn't stop the forward twice testing the Bolton defence – breaking through only to be halted by Dorian Dervite's terrific last-ditch tackle before forcing Lonergan into another fine stop.

Liverpool were left stunned when referee Roger East penalised Martin Skrtel for a foul on Zach Clough in the area, with Gudjohnsen coolly side-footing home the resulting spot-kick.

However, Bolton then suffered a setback when Danns picked up a second yellow card for a late challenge on Joe Allen and Liverpool twice hit the woodwork, through Jordan Henderson and Emre Can, as they surged forward in search of an equaliser.

Former Bolton forward Daniel Sturridge was introduced by Rodgers, but it was Sterling who eventually equalised with a controlled left-footed volley from Can's exquisite pass.

Coutinho then took centre stage, firing a dipping shot beyond Lonergan to leave Bolton devastated.

I banned chips as Man Utd players got fat. says; Moyes

Moyes: I banned chips as Man Utd players got fat
Former Manchester United manager David Moyes has revealed that he banned the eating of chips by his squad during his spell at the club last season because he felt that some of his players were overweight.

Moyes came in for criticism following his sacking in April, with former United centre-back Rio Ferdinand critical of the Scot's decision to remove chips from the menu, with eating low-fat fries having been a ritual under Sir Alex Ferguson prior to Moyes' arrival.

But the 51-year-old, now in charge of Spanish club Real Sociedad, says that it was necessary.

"Yes, I did ban chips," Moyes, who only lasted 10 months of his six-year contract at United, told FourFourTwo. "It was because a couple of players were overweight and I didn't think chips were good for their diet."

The Sociedad boss also admitted that he was disappointed with the reception that he received when United travelled to Goodison Park in 2013-14.

After 11 years as manager at Everton, Moyes returned to a chorus of boos on Merseyside as United crashed to a 2-0 defeat against his former club.

The Scot, who was sacked just days after that loss, said: "I wasn't surprised because I know how supporters react and I had left their club but I was disappointed.

"I got Everton competing at the top end of the league with a mid-table budget. I gave everything I could in trying to make Everton the best I could. It was a long process but we did it - my staff, my players and others at the club.

"We had some glorious nights at Goodison and the fans were superb. I've got huge affection for Everton; it was my life for over a decade."

I won't discuss Napoli future until April

Benitez: I won't discuss Napoli future until April
Napoli boss Rafael Benitez has reiterated that he will not discuss extending his stay at the San Paolo until April.
The Spaniard took charge of the Partenopei in the summer of 2013 and led the club to Coppa Italia glory and a third-placed finish in Serie A in his first season at the helm.
Benitez is currently on course to surpass that achievement this term, with the Partenopei once again trailing only Juventus and Roma in the league and through to the last four of the cup thanks to a 1-0 win over Inter on Wednesday night.
Crucially, though, they have already lifted the Supercoppa Italiana, in December, and will play in the last 16 of the Europa League later this month.
However, despite his success, the former Liverpool boss is expected to leave Naples at the end of the season.
Benitez, though, would not be drawn on his plans after the Coppa Italia victory, which came courtesy of a dramatic injury-time winner from Gonzalo Higuain.
"My contract? I repeat: we'll talk about it in April," the 54-year-old Madrid native told reporters.
"We're fighting on three fronts. We're taking things game by game, so the goal is always the next game - this is a winning mentality.
"We deserved our win tonight against a team of a very high level. The individual quality of Inter is exceptional and they deserve to be higher up the table.
"We have given a great show for Italian football, an intense game between two squads that wanted to win and in a full stadium.
"The team played more or less how they did before the Supercoppa but now we have more confidence in ourselves."
Benitez also reserved some special words of praise for matchwinner Higuain, who has rediscovered his best form after a slow start to the season.
"Higuain is very strong," he added. "He's one of the greatest forwards in the world."

Ancelotti relieved by Ronaldo return for Madrid derby

Ancelotti relieved by Ronaldo return for Madrid derby
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti hailed Cristiano Ronaldo's availability for Saturday's derby against Atletico as "very good news" after a nightmare evening on the injury front against Sevilla.

The Liga leaders triumphed 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu to move four points clear of Barcelona at the top of the table but the victory came at a cost, with James Rodriguez, who opened the scoring, ruled out for two months with a foot fracture, and Sergio Ramos suffering a suspected hamstring tear.

In addition, Marcelo picked up a booking that means he will miss the derby through suspension, meaning Madrid will be particularly short on numbers at the back, with Pepe already having been ruled out of the trip to the Vicente Calderon through injury.

Ancelotti, though, is looking on the bright side, buoyed by the fact that Los Blancos will be buoyed by the return of their top goalscorer, who missed their last two games on account of his red card in last month's victory at Cordoba.

"Cristiano Ronaldo's comeback is important for us," he told reporters. "It's very good news.

"We won two games without him, but he's certainly going to help us against Atletico."

Ancelotti added that Madrid have not given up hope on having Marcelo available for the derby, but he insists that no matter what happens, the reigning European champions have sufficient strength in depth to defeat their city rivals.

"We will appeal Marcelo's yellow because it was not a foul on Vitolo but Fabio Coentrao trained this morning and is available for the derby," the Italian coach said.

"We'll have less experience without Pepe and Sergio Ramos, but we'll have the enthusiasm of Nacho and Raphael Varane."

The Italian has also been lifted by the performance of Jese, who scored Madrid's second goal after coming on as a replacement for the injured James.

"We have seen the Jese Rodriguez we saw last year," the former Chelsea boss said. "He has worked very hard to recover from last year's injury and his performance today was very good.

"He was important in attack, helped in defence and scored. A complete game."

Madrid confirm broken foot for James

Madrid confirm broken foot for James
Real Madrid have confirmed that James Rodriguez has broken a bone in his foot, while the European champions are also sweating on the availability of injured centre-back Sergio Ramos for this weekend's derby with Atletico.

James was replaced midway through the first half of Wednesday night's Liga clash with Sevilla after taking a blow to his right foot. The Colombia international, who opened the scoring in the 2-1 win, was taken to hospital for further assessment, where it was confirmed his fifth metatarsal was broken. Early reports suggest he could be sidelined for around two months.

Ramos, meanwhile, came off just nine minutes in with a suspected hamstring problem.

Blancos boss Carlo Ancelotti will be desperately hoping that the defender's injury does not prove so serious, with the Liga leaders set to travel to the Vicente Calderon for a crunch clash with their city rivals.

Madrid will, at least, be buoyed by the return of star forward Cristiano Ronaldo, who sat out Madrid's meeting with Sevilla, as well as last weekend's 4-1 win over Real Sociedad, after picking up a two-game ban for his dismissal against Cordoba on January 24.

However, the prospect of losing James and Ramos will be of great concern to Ancelotti. James has stepped up to the mark in Ronaldo's absence, netting in both of the games the Portuguese missed through suspension. Furthermore, the loss of the Spain international would leave Madrid with just two fit centre-halves - Raphael Varane and Nacho Fernandez - given veteran defender Pepe is still sidelined through injury.

Los Blancos will also have to make do without full-back Marcelo, who picked up a booking against Sevilla, ruling him out of the derby due to a mandatory ban.

Camp Nou in line for potential name change

Camp Nou in line for potential name change
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker has revealed that the company's name could be added to Camp Nou following negotiations with Barcelona over a new deal.
The airline's current contract as the Catalans' main sponsor is due to expire in 2016 and they are ready to step up their sponsorship a notch.
"Everything is a possibility for our company, we’re open to surprises and one of these could be connected to the name of Camp Nou," Al Baker said at a press conference.
"Qatar Airways and Barcelona have the same values. It is possible that our name is added to Camp Nou."
Barcelona vice-president Javier Faus, meanwhile, has confirmed that both parties are set to discuss a new contract.
"Barcelona have nothing but gratitude for Qatar Airways. We are extremely satisfied with Qatar Airways and I can assure you there are zero problems with Qatar Airways, zero with Qatar and we definitely hope that this partnership lasts many, many, more years.
"We are set to negotiate a new deal with them. A final decision will be made this year."

Coutinho is our new Suarez says; Rodgers

Rodgers: Coutinho is our new Suarez
Brendan Rodgers has compared Philippe Coutinho to Luis Suarez after the Brazilian's late stunner saw Liverpool reach the FA Cup fifth round.

Late goals from Raheem Sterling and Coutinho cancelled out Eidur Gudjohnsen's earlier opener for Bolton, who had Neil Danns sent off when they led 1-0.

And Rodgers lavished praise on Coutinho after the game, predicting the former Inter man to match Suarez's "world-class" talent in the years to come.

"You just pay money to watch that kid," he told reporters.

"Watch how he plays football. He can be a great role model for young British players who, for many years, may have been discarded because they didn’t have the stature. He’ll become world-class in the next few years.

"With Luis Suarez, he was at a level when he played in this team, and he grew with the model before getting into that world-class bracket.

"I can see Coutinho following in a similar sort of line. He may not be as prolific but he’s on his way to that level. He’s a wonderful player."

It was a nervy end for Liverpool, who were staring at an embarrassing exit, until an exquisite pass from Can after 86 minutes set up Sterling for the equaliser - and Rodgers singled out the summer signing.

He added: "He's a kid that’s going to go on and be a big player for this team and Germany. He can defend, pass, he’s quick, he’s powerful. A lot of these young players are standing up to be counted now."

Liverpool now travel to Crystal Palace on February 14 for a place in the FA Cup quarter-finals, with Rodgers noting the 3-1 Premier League loss at Selhurst Park in November.

"[Going back] is a great thing," he said. "We didn’t play anywhere near our level and that the lowest point of the season in terms of performance.

"We go back there very soon with a different frame of mind and level of performance. Alan has lifted the club since he’s gone there but we go with big confidence."

Liverpool staged a stirring late comeback

Bolton 1-2 Liverpool
Eidur Gudjohnsen's contentious penalty just before the hour gave Bolton a lead they were clinging on to with increasing desperation in the concluding moments - especially after Neil Danns was sent off for a second yellow card.
Raheem Sterling broke Bolton's resistance with a cool finish in the 86th minute before, with extra time looming, Philippe Coutinho curled a magnificent winner into the top corner to seal a 2-1 victory and a fifth-round tie at Crystal Palace.
Bolton were out on their feet with that numerical disadvantage near the end and simply could not survive a Liverpool siege, with Jordan Henderson and Emre Can striking the woodwork before Sterling made the crucial breakthrough.
This was a real scare for Brendan Rodgers' side but they will be relieved to advance after an FA Cup fourth round that claimed giants such as Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham.
It keeps Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, making his 700th appearance for the club, on course for that Wembley appearance on his 35th birthday on May 30 before he leaves the club for LA Galaxy.
The real hero was diminutive Brazilian Coutinho, who celebrated signing a new deal to keep him at Liverpool until 2020 with a sensational winner to provide the decisive moment in a fiercely fought tie.
Gerrard returned to the side to reach that landmark, making him only the third Liverpool player to play 700 games. He is third on the club's all-time list behind Ian Callaghan, who made 857 appearances, and Jamie Carragher on 737.
And he was the first to raise the alarm for Bolton with a shot that brought a smart save from Andrew Lonergan, who also did well to save from Sterling.
Bolton's best chance looked to be exploiting Liverpool's occasional frailty at set pieces and it almost worked when Liam Feeney's free-kick found David Wheater, but he could only direct his header straight at Simon Mignolet.
Liverpool were still working the openings, however, with Sterling hitting the outside of the post after taking his time in the area and the influential Coutinho firing inches off target seconds before the break.
Sterling was the big danger to Bolton and it needed a brilliant recovery tackle from Dorian Dervite to stop him as he raced through, but Liverpool's man in form was still quick enough to regain his balance and bring a flying save from Lonergan.
Bolton 1-2 Liverpool: Neil Lennon 'not happy with referee's performance'
The game took a dramatic twist on the hour when Bolton were awarded a penalty as Martin Skrtel tangled with Zach Clough. Contact appeared minimal but Skrtel paid the price for making a poor decision in that position.
Gudjohnsen slotted the penalty in with complete calm to the huge delight of Bolton's fans, who were suddenly sensing another FA Cup upset.
Bolton were inevitably going to come under severe pressure and Danns made the situation even more difficult with a senseless lunge at Joe Allen that was only ever going to bring a second yellow card.
Gudjohnsen then spurned a glorious opportunity to seal victory for Bolton as he directed a free header straight at Mignolet.
As Liverpool's urgency increased, Rodgers introduced Daniel Sturridge as his third and final substitute with 20 minutes left - but it was another replacement, Henderson, who almost brought them level with a shot that deflected off a Bolton defender on to the post.
Lonergan had distinguished himself as the replacement for Adam Bogdan and did so again with seven minutes left as he turned Can's rising shot on to the bar.
Bolton were struggling to keep Liverpool at bay and the leveller finally came when Can's perfect pass picked out Sterling, who demonstrated great composure with a low first-time finish.
The home side wilted visibly and were not even able to hang on for extra time as Coutinho settled matters with that outstanding 20-yard strike, curled past Lonergan into the top corner from 20 yards.
Raheem Sterling
Raheem Sterling's volley hauled Liverpool level
Eidur Gudjohnsen scores
Striker Eidur Gudjohnsen, 36, gave Bolton the lead from the penalty spot
Brendan Rodgers and Neil Lennon
The match pitted Northern Irishman Brendan Rodgers against his compatriot Neil Lennon

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (4)

Bolton Wanderers

  • 24 Lonergan
  • 31 Wheater
  • 14 Dervite
  • 05 Ream
  • 07 Feeney
  • 25 Vela
  • 18 Danns Dismissed after an earlier booking
  • 03 Moxey
  • 22 Gudjohnsen
  • 04 Mills
  • 40 Clough (Trotter - 72' )


  • 02 McNaughton
  • 11 Hall
  • 17 Trotter
  • 34 Fitzsimons
  • 41 Threlkeld
  • 46 Iliev
  • 52 Walker


  • 22 Mignolet
  • 23 Can
  • 37 Skrtel
  • 17 Sakho
  • 50 Markovic (Borini - 65' )
  • 08 Gerrard
  • 24 Allen Booked (Sturridge - 70' )
  • 18 Moreno
  • 20 Lallana (Henderson - 54' )
  • 10 Coutinho
  • 31 Sterling


  • 02 Johnson
  • 09 Lambert
  • 14 Henderson
  • 15 Sturridge
  • 19 Manquillo
  • 29 Borini
  • 52 Ward
Ref: Roger East
Att: 22,171

Match Stats


9 21

On target

4 9


1 10


12 10

Live Text Commentary

Full time
Full Time Match ends, Bolton Wanderers 1, Liverpool 2.
90:00 +6:18 Full time
Full Time Second Half ends, Bolton Wanderers 1, Liverpool 2.
90:00 +5:34 Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Andy Lonergan.
90:00 +5:32 Attempt saved. Fabio Borini (Liverpool) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Daniel Sturridge.
90:00 +4:27 Attempt missed. Liam Trotter (Bolton Wanderers) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Dorian Dervite with a headed pass following a set piece situation.
90:00 +3:48 Foul by Emre Can (Liverpool).
90:00 +3:48 Matt Mills (Bolton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
90:00 +0:45 Goal scored
Goal! Goal! Bolton Wanderers 1, Liverpool 2. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Jordan Henderson.
89:58 Attempt blocked. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.
89:20 Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Josh Vela.
87:59 Attempt saved. Fabio Borini (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Steven Gerrard with a cross.
85:18 Goal scored
Goal! Goal! Bolton Wanderers 1, Liverpool 1. Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Emre Can.
84:28 Emre Can (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
84:28 Foul by Matt Mills (Bolton Wanderers).
83:26 Foul by Fabio Borini (Liverpool).
83:26 Eidur Gudjohnsen (Bolton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
82:51 Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Andy Lonergan.
82:46 Attempt saved. Emre Can (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Alberto Moreno.
81:21 Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
81:21 Foul by David Wheater (Bolton Wanderers).
81:08 Delay over. They are ready to continue.
80:40 Delay in match Fabio Borini (Liverpool) because of an injury.
80:13 Attempt missed. Jordan Henderson (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.
79:14 Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Dean Moxey.
78:41 Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Dorian Dervite.
78:38 Attempt blocked. Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.
78:36 Attempt blocked. Fabio Borini (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.
78:34 Attempt blocked. Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jordan Henderson.
74:34 Attempt blocked. Jordan Henderson (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
74:11 Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Dean Moxey.
74:09 Attempt blocked. Emre Can (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Steven Gerrard.
72:18 Attempt missed. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right from a direct free kick.
71:55 Substitution
Substitution Substitution, Bolton Wanderers. Liam Trotter replaces Zach Clough.
71:06 Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
71:06 Foul by Zach Clough (Bolton Wanderers).
70:32 Attempt saved. Eidur Gudjohnsen (Bolton Wanderers) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Liam Feeney with a cross.
70:04 Martin Skrtel (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
70:04 Foul by Matt Mills (Bolton Wanderers).
69:42 Substitution
Substitution Substitution, Liverpool. Daniel Sturridge replaces Joe Allen.
67:51 Attempt missed. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Philippe Coutinho with a cross following a corner.
67:33 Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Zach Clough.
66:35 Attempt missed. Zach Clough (Bolton Wanderers) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Matt Mills.
66:04 Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Dean Moxey.
65:20 Dismissal
Dismissal Second yellow card to Neil Danns (Bolton Wanderers) for a bad foul.
65:17 Joe Allen (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
65:17 Foul by Neil Danns (Bolton Wanderers).
64:28 Substitution
Substitution Substitution, Liverpool. Fabio Borini replaces Lazar Markovic because of an injury.
63:27 Delay over. They are ready to continue.
62:25 Delay in match Lazar Markovic (Liverpool) because of an injury.
60:38 Corner, Bolton Wanderers. Conceded by Emre Can.
59:18 Booking
Booking Joe Allen (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
59:04 Foul by Joe Allen (Liverpool).
59:04 Zach Clough (Bolton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
58:10 Goal scored
Goal! Goal! Bolton Wanderers 1, Liverpool 0. Eidur Gudjohnsen (Bolton Wanderers) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.
57:24 Penalty conceded by Martin Skrtel (Liverpool) after a foul in the penalty area.
57:24 Penalty Bolton Wanderers. Zach Clough draws a foul in the penalty area.
56:00 Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by David Wheater.
54:04 Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the right wing.
54:04 Foul by David Wheater (Bolton Wanderers).
53:58 Substitution
Substitution Substitution, Liverpool. Jordan Henderson replaces Adam Lallana.
52:46 Attempt saved. Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top right corner.
49:09 Offside, Liverpool. Philippe Coutinho tries a through ball, but Steven Gerrard is caught offside.
48:07 Offside, Bolton Wanderers. David Wheater tries a through ball, but Eidur Gudjohnsen is caught offside.
47:29 Foul by Martin Skrtel (Liverpool).
47:29 Matt Mills (Bolton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
46:12 Simon Mignolet (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
46:12 Foul by Eidur Gudjohnsen (Bolton Wanderers).
Second Half begins Bolton Wanderers 0, Liverpool 0.
45:00 +1:08 Half time
Half Time First Half ends, Bolton Wanderers 0, Liverpool 0.
45:00 +1:02 Foul by Emre Can (Liverpool).
45:00 +1:02 Matt Mills (Bolton Wanderers) wins a free kick on the left wing.
45:00 +0:26 Attempt missed. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Lazar Markovic.
44:03 Attempt missed. Neil Danns (Bolton Wanderers) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.
41:07 Offside, Liverpool. Philippe Coutinho tries a through ball, but Raheem Sterling is caught offside.
36:04 Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
36:04 Foul by Dorian Dervite (Bolton Wanderers).
35:44 Attempt saved. Matt Mills (Bolton Wanderers) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
35:16 Offside, Liverpool. Philippe Coutinho tries a through ball, but Alberto Moreno is caught offside.
34:10 Foul by Joe Allen (Liverpool).
34:10 Eidur Gudjohnsen (Bolton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
33:45 Attempt saved. Adam Lallana (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.
31:44 Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
31:44 Foul by Zach Clough (Bolton Wanderers).
30:34 Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the centre of the box. Assisted by Adam Lallana.
28:16 Booking
Booking Neil Danns (Bolton Wanderers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
28:08 Emre Can (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the right wing.
28:08 Foul by Neil Danns (Bolton Wanderers).
24:56 Attempt missed. Dorian Dervite (Bolton Wanderers) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Matt Mills.
24:02 Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Dean Moxey.
22:22 Foul by Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool).
22:22 Neil Danns (Bolton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
19:33 Attempt saved. David Wheater (Bolton Wanderers) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Liam Feeney with a cross.
18:50 Foul by Adam Lallana (Liverpool).
18:50 Neil Danns (Bolton Wanderers) wins a free kick on the left wing.
15:26 Attempt missed. Eidur Gudjohnsen (Bolton Wanderers) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Josh Vela with a cross.
13:53 Attempt saved. Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Adam Lallana.
11:53 Attempt missed. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Steven Gerrard.
10:05 Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
10:05 Foul by David Wheater (Bolton Wanderers).
9:11 Emre Can (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
9:11 Foul by Matt Mills (Bolton Wanderers).
8:24 Foul by Lazar Markovic (Liverpool).
8:24 Josh Vela (Bolton Wanderers) wins a free kick on the left wing.
7:57 Delay over. They are ready to continue.
7:13 Delay in match Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) because of an injury.
6:45 Attempt saved. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Adam Lallana.
First Half begins.
0:00 Lineups are announced and players are warming up.