Sport A referee uses vanishing spray

The technology helps officials battling to keep players creeping forward at free-kicks

Merson heals his rift with Gregory

PAUL MERSON healed his rift with John Gregory after talks at Aston Villa's training ground yesterday, but the new rapport does not guarantee the midfielder a return to the starting line-up for Monday's Premiership home match with Everton.

Football: Italian barrier on two battlefronts

The initial skirmishes over, United must begin to win.

Football European round-up: Zamorano off as Inter's new coach made to sweat

A GOAL from Michael Silvestre spared Internazionale's new coach, Mircea Lucescu, a disastrous start with an injury-time equaliser at Vicenza in Italy's Serie A yesterday, while Juventus slipped to their second successive defeat at home to Lazio.

Troops keep peace at football 'war'

THE Champions League clash between the Italian and Turkish teams of Juventus and Galatasaray passed without the feared security breaches last night. Some 22,000 troops and police were drafted in for the game in Istanbul's Ali Sami Yen stadium which ended in a tense 1-1 draw.

Football: Lucescu to be Inter coach

INTERNAZIONALE YESTERDAY signed Mircea Lucescu to coach their star-studded but volatile team to the end of the Serie A season in May.

Football: Fiorentina appeal Uefa ban

FIORENTINA HAVE appealed against the decision to expel them from the Uefa Cup because of an explosion that injured a match official in last week's game against Zurich Grasshopper, the governing body of European football has said.

European Football: Sun shines on island team

THE SUN-KISSED beaches of Majorca are likely to be eerily empty today. The usual loungers will instead be found watching Mallorca - the island's football team who hit the summit of the Spanish League for the first time last weekend - take on Deportivo La Coruna.

Alex in the shadowlands

The unsettling of Ferguson

Football: Johnson criticises Kendall signings

THE EVERTON chairman, Peter Johnson, yesterday launched a vigorous attack on the club's former manager, Howard Kendall, as he responded to charges of "gross mis-management" levelled against him at yesterday's annual meeting.

Football: Ferguson refuses to talk about Juve job

ALEX FERGUSON, the Manchester United manager, is refusing to be drawn on speculation that he has been targeted to manage the Italian giants Juventus.

Football: Pearce crowns remarkable return

Newcastle United 2 Juventus 1

Football: Folly of Hoddle's muddled thinking

England's leadership: The national coach's indecision makes a mockery of optimism possible a few months ago

Only style will satisfy the French

The host nation have many of Europe's finest players in their side, but Paul Newman says the French sporting public demand

Football: Inzaghi hat-trick seals Italian title for Juventus as Inter lose at Bari

FILIPPO INZAGHI scored a hat-trick as Juventus beat Bologna 3-2 in a roller-coaster match in Turin yesterday to clinch their 25th Italian title.

Football: Luca the gaffer all grins as he takes over

Chelsea's new Italian player-manager is clearly at ease with his recent elevation at Stamford Bridge. Glenn Moore reports
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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