Sport Sunderland manager Gus Poyet, pictured here at an earlier match, refused to comment on the decision

The Black Cats lead 2-1 after the first leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final

Bruce looks for high profile Sunderland signings

Steve Bruce has promised his summer transfer blitz will not prevent the club's youngsters from getting their chance.

United offer £9m for teenage Lens defender

Manchester United have bid €10.5m (£9.2m) for the French central defender Raphaël Varane, as they continue to set the pace in the summer transfer market. The 18-year-old Lens centre-half is seen as a player for the future but the price United are willing to pay reflects his reputation as one of the rising stars of the French game.

Sunderland deny Asamoah Gyan is for sale

Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn today moved to dismiss speculation that striker Asamoah Gyan has been offered for sale.

Sunderland complete permanent signing of Elmohamady

Sunderland today completed the signing of Egypt international Ahmed Elmohamady on a permanent deal.

United's class of 2011 could be the next Busby Babes

The club's 10th FA Youth Cup win heralded the emergence of a new generation of talent. Tim Rich looks at the leading lights

John O'Shea revels in Manchester United success

Republic of Ireland defender John O'Shea has voiced his pride at leading Manchester United into the Champions League final.

Chelsea clash clouds Manchester United's European preparations

Manchester United's title showdown with Chelsea on Sunday will hang like a heavy black cloud over their attempts to reach the Champions League final.



Manchester United wait on Rafael fitness ahead of Chelsea tie

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has a major injury doubt over Brazilian defender Rafael ahead of tomorrow's Champions League quarter-final second leg against Chelsea at Old Trafford.

Alex Ferguson slams police officer over Wayne Rooney comments

Sir Alex Ferguson has accused Superintendent Mark Payne of "needing to be noticed" after his pointed comments about Wayne Rooney yesterday.

Michael Carrick hopes to avoid defensive role for Manchester United

Michael Carrick is keeping his fingers crossed that he is not pressed into service as an emergency defender for Manchester United when they tackle Bolton on Saturday.

Ferguson breaks his silence to put positive spin on United's troubles

Manager refuses to dwell on Liverpool defeat but accepts Arsenal are close rivals for title

Letters: Census

I'm no enemy of enterprise

Chelsea led out of the darkness by Luiz to keep title hopes alive

Chelsea 2 Manchester United 1

Manchester United deserve to be top insists Nemanja Vidic

Nemanja Vidic insists the Premier League table does not lie.

United set for tense home tie after toothless turn by the sea

Marseilles 0 Manchester United 0

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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there