The Morning Score: Thursday

Everything you need to know by 9am – except who drank all the orange juice.

GAA President Christy Cooney speaks to the assembled media.
GAA President Christy Cooney speaks to the assembled media.
Image: ©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

Every weekday morning, we bring you all the sporting knowledge you need to keep you going until at least 10am.

1. #CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Apoel Nicosia just keep marching on and on. Last night they beat Lyon 1 -0 after extra time and, with the last 16 tie all square on aggregate, the Cypriots knocked the French side out of the competition on penalties.

Barcelona took a 3-1 lead into their home leg with Bayer Leverkusen. That was not enough for Lionel Messi, however. The “little flea” scored five (count them) goals helping Barca to a 7-1 win on the night. It all amounted to a massive 10-2 aggregate win for the reigning champions.

2. #SIX NATIONS Declan Kidney yesterday named his side to face Scotland on Saturday evening in Dublin.

Rory Best will lead the side in the absence of Paul O’Connell. The injured Munster man will be replaced by provincial team-mate Donnacha Ryan while Eoin Reddan deputises for Conor Murray, who is also injured.

3. #EUROPA LEAGUE Both Manchester clubs are in European action tonight. United host La Liga outfit Athletic Bilbao while Manchester City head for Lisbon to meet Sporting.

You can check out a preview of both those game right here.

4. #GAA We were at Croke Park for a briefing with GAA President, Christy Cooney. Income was down by almost 20% in 2011, but that drop was largely expected by the association as it partly owed to the rental incomes from the FAI and IRFU for the use of Croke Park.

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The President was also pleased by the progress made on the thorny issue of payments to managers. Find all that juicy stuff here.

5. #ROUND NUMBER ONE Rory McIlroy will tee off as the world’s number one ranked golfer for the first time today. The County Down star is competing in the WGC Cadillac Championship in Miami. His playing partners for the round will be former number ones, Luke Donald and Lee Westwood.

6. #PARIS NICE Belgian Gianni Meersman clinched stage four of the Paris-Nice as Bradley Wiggins retained his overall lead on Wednesday.

Lotto-Belisol’s Meersman outsprinted Grega Bole (Lampre-ISD) and Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM) to clinch the 183-kilometre stage from Brive-la-Gaillarde to Rodez.

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Cooney pleased by feedback on manager payment proposals

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