Diary

Friday 1 Leeds’ administrators are to recount the votes taken at a creditors’ meeting, which appeared to narrowly favour Ken Bates’s proposed takeover. Nigel Worthington is to manage Northern Ireland until the end of their Euro 2008 qualifiers in November. England concede a last-minute equaliser in a 1‑1 draw with Brazil, John Terry having put them ahead in their return to Wembley. “The key thing was the amount of passion that the players showed,” says Steve McClaren, as desperate as ever.

Tuesday 1 Liverpool beat Chelsea on penalties to reach the Champions League final. “In extra time we were the only team who tried to win,” says José, pouting more than ever. Joey Barton is suspended by Man City for a training‑ground fight with team‑mate Ousmane Dabo. The FA are to investigate Oldham chairman Simon Blitz, who made a £500,000 loan to Queens Park Rangers.

Sunday 1 “As the beaten team, you think all kinds of sinister motives,” says Steve Coppell, one step away from blaming the CIA for Robbie Keane’s disputed penalty as Spurs move up to sixth with a 1-0 home win against Reading. DJ Campbell scores twice as Birmingham defeat Coventry 3-0 to go back into second in the Championship. Hearts beat Hibs 1-0 at Easter Road.

Thursday 1 Emre is accused of having racially abused Ali Bangura of Watford; the Newcastle player was previously charged with insulting Everton’s black players in December. Anton Ferdinand will face trial for alleged assault over an incident at an Essex nightclub last year. Alan Knill is dismissed by Rotherham, who are without a win in 14 games.

Friday 2 All league football in Italy is suspended after the death of a policeman in a riot outside Catania’s stadium during their match with Palermo. “What we’re witnessing has nothing to do with football, so Italian football is stopping,” says Federation boss Luca Pancalli.

Monday 1 Manchester United miss a chance to go nine points clear, drawing 2‑2 at injury-hit Newcastle. Liverpool’s 3‑0 win over Bolton takes them third. “They’ve shown me in the last couple of weeks why they are down there,” says Alan Curbishley as West Ham crash 6‑0 at Reading, their third successive defeat. Wigan drop to 17th after a fifth straight loss, 3‑0 at home to Blackburn. Antti Niemi is hospitalised with a serious neck injury in Fulham’s 0‑0 draw with Watford. Derby’s 2‑1 win at Preston takes them to within three points of Championship leaders Birmingham, beaten by a 90th‑minute goal at Ipswich. Torquay are six points adrift in League Two after losing 1‑0 at Bristol Rovers.

Saturday 2 Man Utd go six points clear with a 2‑1 win at Middlesbrough. Gareth Southgate accuses Cristiano Ronaldo of cheating to earn a penalty for the opening goal. “The lad’s got history,” he growls, sounding like he’s on The Bill. “I’m not scared of the word ‘crisis’,” says Arsène, as Arsenal beat Spurs 3‑0 to go third, helped by two iffy penalties awarded by Graham Poll. Arsène and Thierry have a pre-match row over the latter being rested. Liverpool end their away hoodoo, winning 4‑0 at Wigan. Charlton lose 2‑1 at Sheffield United, Keith Gillespie scoring the winner in the 88th minute. “There is a confidence problem being bottom of the league,” says Les Reed. Birmingham top the Championship with a 3‑0 win at home to Plymouth. Preston lose 2‑0 at Luton. Cardiff draw 0‑0 at Colchester, their fourth game without a goal. Leeds stay in the drop zone after a 2‑2 draw at home to Barnsley. In the Cup, Tamworth are into round three, while four League One clubs lose to League Two sides including Tranmere, beaten 2‑1 at home by Peterborough, and Port Vale, who crash 4‑0 at Hereford.

Wednesday 1 “You cannot coach a player to score from five yards,” says Arsène as Arsenal squander a sackload of chances in a 0‑0 draw with CSKA Moscow. Man Utd lose to a late Marcus Allback goal in Copenhagen. Celtic crash 3‑0 at Benfica. Former Portsmouth owner Milan Mandaric makes a bid for Leicester City. 

Sunday 1 “We have something to hold on to now,” says Sir Alex as Man Utd go top, two Solskjaer goals beating Newcastle. Blackburn’s sub keeper Jason Brown saves a penalty and a rebound in his side 2‑1 win over Wigan. Mido is left on the bench as Spurs beat Portsmouth 2‑1; referee Chris Foy apparently apologises to Harry Redknapp for the dubious penalty that gives Spurs the lead: “The ref has gone home knowing people will be saying what a giant ricket he has made.” West Ham lose again, 1‑0 at home to Reading. Nigel Worthington is sacked by Norwich after a third successive defeat, 4‑1 at home to Burnley.

Friday 1 David Moyes is to sue the Daily Mail over claims that Wayne Rooney said he was “forced out” of Everton by the manager. Bristol City’s Bradley Orr and Scott Brooker and a former team-mate, David Partridge, now at Leyton Orient, are jailed over a nightclub brawl last October.

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