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The Sport Matrix: Friday 18 April 2014

Liverpool and Chelsea strike first

Natasha Dowie struck the winner for defending champions Liverpool Ladies as they beat Manchester City 1-0 at the Select Security Stadium in their opening game of the new Women’s Super League season, while Chelsea Ladies beat Bristol Academy 2-0.

Rodgers: City’s slip is a warning for us

Brendan Rodgers says Manchester City’s inability to overcome Sunderland is a warning for his Liverpool squad in their title push. “I said to the players before training, if there was any delight at one of our rivals dropping points they should take it as a warning sign,” he said. MORE

Lambert refuses to discuss assistants

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert refused to discuss the suspension of his assistants, Ian Culverhouse and Gary Karsa, for legal reasons but called for investment. Villa sit four points above third-bottom Fulham and he said: “I don’t want another season like this.” MORE

Wenger tips Özil to shine... next season

The Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger has tipped Mesut Özil, who could return for Sunday’s trip to Hull after five weeks out with a hamstring injury, to show he is the real deal next campaign. Wenger said: “I would put him on the list to be player of the season next season.” MORE

Injured Robson to miss Wimbledon

Laura Robson will have surgery on her injured wrist, ruling her out of the French Open and Wimbledon. She said she will have “minor wrist surgery at the Mayo clinic with one of the best wrist doctors in the world, Dr Richard Berger”. MORE

Remarkable Hull set for O’Sullivan

Robin Hull has no fears about taking on Ronnie O’Sullivan in the World Championship first round. The Finn recovered from a life-threatening virus suffered in 2002. “It’s mad really,” said Hull, ranked 122. “I’m just glad to still be playing.” MORE

Real hail Bale for stunning winner

Gareth Bale’s stunning solo goal that clinched the Copa del Rey for Real Madrid has been hailed as a hero in Spain. “It just shows what an incredible athlete he is to produce that kind of run so late in the game,” said assistant coach Paul Clement. MORE

Howard signs new Everton contract

Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard has pledged his future to the club by signing a two-year contract extension. “It is fantastic news,” said his manager Roberto Martinez. “I cannot see past him to choose the best keeper in the league.” MORE

Hall seals 21-20 victory for Hull KR

Hull KR edged Hull FC 21-20 in an enthralling Humberside derby at New Craven Park last night. A drop goal from Craig Hall 46 seconds from time ensured a thrilling victory against his former club. MORE

Ben Stokes

Durham all-rounder, who is tipped to be an England star, reveals he has sought help from a sports psychologist after breaking his right wrist while punching a locker in frustration on tour. MORE

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