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AS Roma
LIVE 85'
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Apoel Nicosia
Athletic Bilbao
LIVE 83'
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Tottenham Hotspur
KAA Gent
8:05 PM UTC
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Borussia Monchengladbach
8:05 PM UTC
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Shakhtar Donetsk
Celta Vigo
8:05 PM UTC
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FC Dallas
Arabe Unido
1:00 AM UTC Feb 24, 2017
Leg 1
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Europa League round of 16 draw

Europa League

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Bruce defends choosing Beckham

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has defended his decision to name former Manchester United team-mate David Beckham as England's man of the match against Belarus.

• Beckham move to Milan "a done deal"
• Greaves: Capello should axe Beckham

Bruce, working on the game as a television pundit, handed Beckham the award after he came off the bench to play his part in a 3-0 World Cup qualifying victory at Wembley.

One newspaper columnist later described the decision as "grotesque'', while England boss Fabio Capello likened it to Barack Obama receiving the Nobel Peace prize just months into his term as American president.

However, Bruce was unrepentant when questioned on the topic today.

"It's incredible," he said. "I have never known such a carry-on. When I was in the stadium, he came on to the pitch and let's be fair, for 50 minutes, it was dull, boring, uninteresting. That's the way I looked at it.

"David Beckham comes on to the scene, the whole stadium in unison rises to him and I thought, 'Blooming heck! Wow! Fantastic! Now Dave, what have you got?'

"For me, for the 35, 40 minutes, he lit up Wembley, the way his attitude was, and I suppose that's why Mr Capello keeps picking him to go into the squad, to do something like that for him. Maybe he can't do it for 90 minutes. However, for me, he had an impact. That's the way I saw it, that's the way I called it.''


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