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31.12.2007 International


By sportinglife

1 Liverpool reached the Champions League final with a penalty shoot-out victory over Chelsea at Anfield. Daniel Agger scored the Reds' goal in the first half, which tied the aggregate scores at 1-1...Manchester City suspended Joey Barton for the rest of the season after what was thought to be a training ground altercation with Ousmane Dabo...Bolton appointed midfielder Gary Speed as first-team player-coach, to work under new manager Sammy Lee...Jason Robinson was named England captain for the two-Test tour of South Africa beginning later that month...Worcester Warriors confirmed former Wales coach Mike Ruddock as their new director of rugby on a three-year contract.

2 Manchester United were beaten 3-0 by AC Milan in their Champions League semi-final at the San Siro to lose 5-3 on aggregate...England captain Michael Vaughan hit 72 in his first first-class match for 11 months in Yorkshire's County Championship encounter against Hampshire at the Rose Bowl...Former champion Shaun Murphy came from 11-5 down to beat Matthew Stevens 13-12 in a classic quarter-final at snooker's World Championship, while John Higgins beat Ronnie O'Sullivan 13-9.

3 England's youngest player in the 1966 World Cup final, Alan Ball, was given a public goodbye as a funeral and thanksgiving service was held at Winchester Cathedral...Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was fined £2,500 and severely censured by a Football Association disciplinary commission after being found guilty of improper conduct and/or bringing the game into disrepute following media comments about an assistant referee in the Carling Cup final...Wigan boss Dave Whelan said his team were one of a handful of sides who could sue West Ham and the Premier League over the signings of Javier Mascherano and Carlos Tevez.

4 Leeds' relegation to Coca-Cola League One was confirmed when they went into administration and therefore incurred a 10-point penalty...Charlton, Fulham, Sheffield United and Wigan confirmed they were taking legal advice following the Premier League's decision only to fine West Ham over the signings of Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano...Steven Gerrard revealed he was in talks with Liverpool about signing a new contract which could keep him at Anfield for the rest of his career.

5 Manchester United moved within touching distance of the Barclays Premier League title with a 1-0 victory over Manchester City at Eastlands, Cristiano Ronaldo scoring a first-half penalty...Carlos Tevez scored twice to inspire West Ham to a 3-1 victory over Bolton at Upton Park, which lifted the Hammers out of the relegation zone...John Higgins and Mark Selby booked their places in snooker's World Championship final at the Crucible. Higgins beat fellow Scot Stephen Maguire 17-15 before qualifier Selby saw off former champion Shaun Murphy 17-16.

6 Manchester United were confirmed as Premier League champions after Chelsea could only draw 1-1 with Arsenal at Emirates Stadium...Sunderland clinched the Championship title courtesy of a 5-0 win at Luton and previous leaders Birmingham's 1-0 defeat at Preston...Glenn Roeder resigned as Newcastle manager a day after his side lost 2-0 at home to Blackburn.

7 Charlton were relegated from the Premier League after losing 2-0 at home to Tottenham...The England and Wales Cricket Board announced that former Zimbabwe wicketkeeper Andy Flower would replace Matthew Maynard as assistant coach of the national side...Newcastle confirmed the club's board had accepted manager Glenn Roeder's resignation.

8 John Higgins won snooker's World Championship in the early hours after beating Mark Selby 18-13 in the final at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre...A consortium was rumoured to be preparing a bid for newly-relegated Charlton...Gloucester back Iain Balshaw was named as Ben Cohen's replacement for England's two-Test tour of South Africa. But it was revealed Leicester and England scrum-half Harry Ellis could miss the autumn's Rugby World Cup with knee ligament damage suffered in his club's Guinness Premiership semi-final win over Bristol.

9 With the title already at Old Trafford, Chelsea and Manchester United fielded under-strength teams at Stamford Bridge as they fought out a drab goalless draw...Sheffield United chairman Kevin McCabe insisted his club would sue the Premier League for failing to dock West Ham points over the signings of Javier Mascherano and Carlos Tevez if the Blades were relegated...Former Leeds director and property entrepreneur Simon Morris, 29, launched a £10million bid to buy the club and build a new 50,000-seater stadium as part of a £400million "world-class leisure venue".

10 Michael Owen was named in Steve McClaren's first England B squad for the match against Albania in a bid to assess his fitness following his comeback for Newcastle. Also included in the squad were uncapped quartet Joleon Lescott, David Bentley, Phil Jagielka and Nicky Shorey...Blackburn's UEFA Cup hopes were shattered when Jermain Defoe's equaliser cancelled out Benni McCarthy's 17th goal of the season in a 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane. It was the 1,000th live match broadcast on Sky.

11 Lawrie Sanchez signed an "indefinite rolling contract" as Fulham manager, severing his ties as Northern Ireland coach...Liverpool confirmed Robbie Fowler's second spell at his home-town club would finish at the end of the season as his contract would not be renewed...A statue of Bobby Moore was unveiled at the new Wembley.

12 Leicester won the domestic double after a 44-16 victory over Gloucester in the Guinness Premiership final at Twickenham...Ospreys won the Magners League with a 24-16 victory over Borders in the Reivers' final game before going out of existence...Derby beat Southampton 2-1 in the first leg of their Championship play-off at St Mary's Stadium...Dunfermline were relegated from the Scottish Premier League after a 2-1 defeat by Inverness CT...Rafael Nadal broke John McEnroe's record for consecutive victories on a single surface when he claimed his 76th successive win on clay by beating Nikolay Davydenko in the Rome Masters...Chris Hoy failed to break the world record for the kilometre time-trial at altitude at the Alto Irpavi velodrome in Bolivia. The Scot produced an effort of 59.103 seconds which was 0.228s outside Arnaud Tournant's seven-year old world record.

13 Sheffield United were relegated from the Premier League after losing their winner-takes-all clash with Wigan 2-1 at Bramall Lane. Former Blade David Unsworth scored the winning goal from the penalty spot. Tottenham, Everton and Bolton alll qualified for the following season's UEFA Cup after finishing fifth, sixth and seventh in the table...Ferrari's Felipe Massa won the Spanish Grand Prix ahead of the McLarens of Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso...Michael Vaughan was ruled out of England's first npower Test against West Indies after failing to recover in time from a broken finger. Andrew Strauss was appointed temporary captain and Sussex wicketkeeper Matt Prior was set for Test debut after being included in a 12-man squad...West Brom came from 2-1 down to win the first leg of their Championship play-off semi-final at Black Country rivals Wolves 3-2.

14 Wigan chairman Dave Whelan confirmed Chris Hutchings as the club's new manager following the resignation of Paul Jewell. Hutchings was Jewell's assistant manager at Wigan, and earlier at Bradford...Manchester City terminated the contract of manager Stuart Pearce with immediate effect...

England scrum-half Harry Ellis was ruled out of the World Cup to undergo knee surgery after damaging ligaments in Leicester's Guinness Premiership semi-final win against Bristol.

15 Newcastle appointed Sam Allardyce as their new manager on a three-year contract, taking over from the recently-departed Glenn Roeder...FIFA announced they would investigate whether West Ham should have been docked points for breaching Premier League rules over signing of Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano...Derby beat Southampton on penalties to secure a Coca-Cola Championship play-off final place. Leading 2-1 from the first leg, the Rams lost 3-2 at home to level the aggregate score and take the game to extra-time and a shootout.

16 Manager Neil Warnock left Sheffield United by mutual consent following the Blades' relegation from the Premier League...Sevilla beat Espanyol 3-1 on penalties at Hampden Park to retain the UEFA Cup following a 2-2 draw after extra-time...West Brom beat Wolves 1-0 at The Hawthorns to claim a 4-2 aggregate victory and a place in the Championship play-off final at Wembley against Derby.

17 Alastair Cook scored his fifth Test century as England closed a rain-interrupted first day of the opening Test against West Indies at Lord's on 200 for three...Wigan chairman Dave Whelan called for Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore and chairman Sir Dave Richards to resign "over a dereliction of duty" regarding the Carlos Tevez affair...Gretna were cleared to play in the Scottish Premier League after officials accepted their bid to ground-share with Motherwell while they upgraded their own stadium.

18 Matt Prior became the first England wicketkeeper to score a century on debut with an aggressive 126 not out on the second day of the first Test against West Indies at Lord's. Paul Collingwood and Ian Bell also reached three figures...American businessman Will Chang, owner of MLS side DC United, announced he was considering a move for an English Premier League club...The Football League revealed they were to close a loophole - exploited by both Leeds and Boston United - which allowed clubs to enter administration late in the season in order to avoid a 10-point deduction the following campaign.

19 Chelsea beat Manchester United to win the FA Cup thanks to a solitary goal from Didier Drogba four minutes before the end of extra-time in the first final to be played at the new Wembley...Andy Murray pulled out of the French Open after failing to recover from a wrist injury...England seamer Matthew Hoggard strained a thigh muscle on the third day of the first Test against West Indies at Lord's, casting doubt on his chances of playing in the second Test on his home ground of Headingley.

20 Wasps won the Heineken Cup, ending opponents Leicester's dreams of an unprecedented treble with a 25-9 victory at Twickenham. European Rugby Cup Ltd earlier announced leading English and French clubs would take part in next year's Heineken Cup and European Challenge Cup after a long-standing row ended...Bayern Munich president Franz Beckenbauer told German television England midfielder Owen Hargreaves was leaving the club...Morecambe beat Exeter 2-1 in the Conference play-off final to win promotion to the Football League...Aberdeen qualified for the UEFA Cup after securing third place on the final day of the Scottish Premier League season, edging out Hearts...Roger Federer ended Rafael Nadal's world-record 81-game winning streak on clay, beating him in the final of the Hamburg Masters.

21 The first Test between England and the West Indies ended in a draw after rain and bad light limited them to only 20 overs on the final day. Chasing 401, the visitors were 89 without loss when the match finished...Wolves were sold to Steve Morgan by Sir Jack Hayward for £10 on condition £30million was invested in the club. Morgan had previously tried to buy Liverpool.

22 Readingmidfielder Steve Sidwell agreed to move to Chelsea once his Royals contract expired on July 1...Bryan Robson was appointed as Sheffield United manager, with Brian Kidd moving up from coach to assistant manager...European Ryder Cup captain Nick Faldo named Jose Maria Olazabal and Paul McGinley as his two assistants for the 2008 competition in America...Ryan Sidebottom was selected for the second Test against the West Indies at Headingley. It was only Sidebottom's second call-up and the first since he played against Pakistan in 2001...Andy Murray withdrew from the French Open with a wrist injury.

23 AC Milan beat Liverpool 2-1 to win the Champions League final in Athens. Filippo Inzaghi gave the Italians a two-goal lead before Dirk Kuyt pulled one back for Liverpool in the last minute...Billionaire businessman Mike Ashley launched a £133.1million offer for Newcastle. The offer came after the retail entrepreneur bought a 41.6% stake in the Magpies from Sir John Hall's family for more than £55million...Portsmouth signed former Manchester City captain Sylvain Distin on a free transfer.

24 Liverpool fans were blamed by UEFA for crowd problems at the Champions League final in Athens...Lewis Hamilton crashed during practice for the Monaco Grand Prix.

25 Skipper Michael Vaughan scored 103 in his first Test innings in 18 months as England reached 366 for five at the end of the first day of the second Test against West Indies at Headingley...Michael Owen made his international comeback after almost a year as England B defeated Albania 3-1 at Turf Moor thanks to goals from Alan Smith and Stewart Downing (two)...The ECB appointed former South Africa bowler Allan Donald to assist the national side's fast bowling programme on a "short-term consultancy basis''...Martin Allen was confirmed as the new manager of Leicester.

26 Former England captain David Beckham was recalled by manager Steve McClaren after 10 months out of the international side...Kevin Pietersen hit a Test-best 226 as England amassed 570 for seven before declaring in the second Test against West Indies at Headingley. They ended the day well in control after bowling out the tourists for 146 and enforcing the follow-on...Richard Walker scored twice as Bristol Rovers won promotion with a 3-1 win over Shrewsbury in the League Two play-off final...Jean-Joel Perrier Doumbe netted an 84th-minute winner as Celtic beat Dunfermline 1-0 in the Scottish Cup final.

27 Lewis Hamilton finished second to McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso at the Monaco Grand Prix...Robbie Williams and Keigan Parker scored as Blackpool beat Yeovil 2-0 in the League One play-off final at Wembley...Anders Hansen won a dramatic play-off with Justin Rose to claim his second PGA Championship title at Wentworth...The third day's play in the second Test between England and West Indies at Headingley was washed out without a ball bowled.

28 Derby were promoted to the Premier League after beating West Brom 1-0 in the Championship play-off final at Wembley...England won the second Test at Headingley by an innings and 283 runs after bowling West Indies out for 141. It was the tourists' heaviest ever Test defeat...The Formula One governing body, the FIA, revealed they were to investigate McLaren's victory at the Monaco Grand Prix for a "possible breach of the International Sporting Code"...Kenny Miller, Steven Pressley and Craig Beattie were all ruled out of Scotland's friendly against Austria and the European Championship qualifier against Faroe Islands because of injury.

29 Rio Ferdinand and Michael Dawson pulled out of the England squad to face Brazil and Estonia with groin injuries...Tim Henman was knocked out of the French Open. The British number two lost his first-round match against Latvia's Ernests Gulbis 6-4 6-3 6-2...The FA opted to have an independent chairman from 2008 after the AGM voted in favour of Lord Burns' structural review of the governing body.

30 Ryan Giggs confirmed he would retire from international football after Wales' Euro 2008 qualifier against the Czech Republic...It was confirmed that Andrew Flintoff would miss the entire Test series against West Indies after it was confirmed his injured left ankle would require urgery...Manchester United announced they had agreed "in principle" to sign Brazilian attacking midfielder Anderson from Porto and Portuguese winger Nani from Sporting Lisbon...Andy Farrell, James Simpson-Daniel, Mike Brown and Andy Hazell were ruled out of England's second Test against South Africa in Pretoria. Uncapped Bath full-back Nick Abendanon flew out to join the squad...Ray Ranson withdrew his bid to buy Manchester City. He reserved the right to renew his interest in the future were former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to make a formal offer...The nomination of John McBeth to be FIFA vice-president was withdrawn by the four British associations. Geoff Thompson, Football Association chairman, was named as his replacement...Portsmouth completed the signing of Ghana international midfielder Sulley Muntari from Udinese on a five-year deal for an undisclosed fee...The FIA, motorsport's governing body, decided McLaren's actions during the 2007 Monaco Grand Prix were entirely legitimate and no further action was necessary...Inter Milan announced Chelsea striker Hernan Crespo would remain on loan in Italy for second season.

31 Manchester United confirmed Owen Hargreaves would join them from Bayern Munich on July 1...Sepp Blatter was re-elected unopposed as FIFA president for a third term...Newcastle's board announced they would "consider" an offer from Mike Ashley following discussions with the billionaire businessman.