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Dublin: 7°C Monday 12 April 2021

The Morning Score: Wednesday

Birrr… we hope you’re some place warm.

Rory Best leads training as Ulster keep cosy, indoors at Jordanstown.
Rory Best leads training as Ulster keep cosy, indoors at Jordanstown.
Image: ©INPHO/Presseye/Matt Mackey

1. #CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Lionel Messi reached yet another landmark last night (does he ever stop?) as Barcelona dumped AC Milan out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage.

The Blaugrana won 3-1 on the night and the little flea’s penalty double pushed him into joint third of the competitions all-time leading goalscorers. Only Raul and Ruud Van Nistelrooy now lay ahead of him.

Elsewhere, Ivica Olic also notted twice to ensure safe passage for Bayern Munich. The Germans won 2-0 on the night, 4-0 on aggregate, over Marseille.

They are likely to meet Real Madrid in the semi-final, Jose Mourinho’s side will protect / more than double a 3-0 lead going into tonight’s second leg at the Bernabeu.

Chelsea are favourites to meet Barcelona in the final four. Last week they beat Benfica 1-0 at the Stadio de Luz and they hope home advantage will see them through.

2. #HEINEKEN CUP Leinster were dealt a major fillip, yesterday, with the news that Jamie Roberts will miss this weekend’s Heineken Cup clash at the Aviva.

The welsh centre, who partnered Brian O’Driscoll to devastating effect on the 2009 Lions tour, will require surgery on his knee. The op will rule him out for six months, meaning he will also miss Cymru’s summer tour to Australia.

3. #MAJOR  AHOY! We’re almost there. The first major of the year is just over 24 hours away. Today the fun and games continue with the par 3 tournament, but Rory McIlroy must have forced a smile yesterday when he learned his partner for the opening rounds would be Angel Cabrera.

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The big Argentine was also alongside the Down man for his implosion during last year’s final round at Augusta. Bubba Watson will take the remaining bag in the three-ball.

4. #FIGHT NIGHT Andy Lee has been rewarded with a shot at the WBC middleweight title. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr is the reigning champion and he will face lee in Texas. Promoter, Lou Di Bella confirmed the bout on Twitter. A date has not yet been confirmed, but 16 June is considered to be the preferred option.

5. #GAA Ciaran McKeever has been cleared to play for Armagh against Donegal this weekend. The half back was red carded in the Orchard county’s defeat to Laois last month after reports of violence in the tunnel. McKeever’s (and Armagh’s) initial response was to claim they were the victim of ‘sectarian abuse’. The county subsequently dropped the accusation and now no charge has been issued from the CCCC as they reportedly deemed one eye-witness report as insufficient.

6. #HONEY MONSTER Richard Dunne looks to be in line for an early return to Aston Villa. The defender had faced a race against time to recover from a dislocated shoulder when facing his former club, Manchester City. However, speaking yesterday, Giovanni Trapattoni indicated he was in constant contact with Dunne and he has hinted he could return at the end of this month.

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Sean Farrell

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