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The Sport Matrix: Friday 24 May 2013

City chief Soriano wants five trophies in next five years

Manchester City’s chief executive, Ferran Soriano, has declared that he expects at least five trophies in the next five years from the club’s next manager, who will inherit a stronger squad than Manchester United’s – and one which should “absolutely” have retained last season’s Premier League.

Manuel Pellegrini, 59, pictured above, is expected to be revealed as City’s new head coach within days, and Soriano said that the squad now needed an older leader who knows about man-management because it would be impossible for the club to win the Champions League if they did not possess “a group that behaves like a family… where everybody respects everybody”.

He said the City squad was “difficult, only in the sense that it is diverse in terms of nationalities and languages”. Soriano said he would have sacked Mancini even if he had won the FA Cup for City. “We can lose the final of the FA Cup, disappointing as it was, but it is not about one game, it is about whether the football we play evolves properly,” he said. MORE

Cook calls for England focus

Captain Alastair Cook says England must focus on today’s second Test against New Zealand despite the Ashes looming. He said: “We know how exciting it is to play in an Ashes series, but that’s when that comes. We have to focus on this game and these five days now.” MORE

ICC dumps Rauf over investigation

The IPL’s corruption scandal claimed another victim when umpire Asad Rauf was withdrawn from the Champions Trophy. Rauf was reported in India to be part of Mumbai police’s investigation into alleged spot-fixing in the event. MORE

Alonso predicts Mercedes success

Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso believes Mercedes are favourites for Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix. He said: “They have been on pole position for the last three grands prix so we expect them to be very strong again.” MORE

Müller clinches Wolfsburg victory

Wolfsburg won the Women’s Champions League after beating holders the Lyons 1-0 in the final at Stamford Bridge last night. Martina Müller’s 74th-minute penalty proved decisive against the French side, who were playing their fourth consecutive Champions League final.

Superb Nibali has one hand on Giro

Vincenzo Nibali strengthened his grip on the Giro d’Italia race lead with a commanding victory in the stage 18 mountain time trial in the Dolomites yesterday. The Astana rider won the 20.6- kilometre race against the clock from Mori to Polsa. MORE

Bonus for Europa League winners

The winners of the Europa League will be rewarded with a place in the following season’s Champions League from 2015 as part of an attempt by Uefa to make its secondary competition more attractive. Uefa is set to announce the incentive at its congress in London today. MORE

O’Grady adds to Woods race storm

European Tour chief executive George O’Grady waded into the Tiger Woods race row, saying: “Most of Sergio Garcia’s friends are coloured athletes”. Woods called Garcia’s “fried chicken” remark “wrong, hurtful and clearly inappropriate”. MORE

Interview: Thomas Müller

Before tomorrow’s Champions League final at Wembley, Bayern Munich midfielder tells Tim Rich that his side must lose their ‘chokers’ tag as they bid to beat Borussia Dortmund.

FA under pressure over racism ban

The FA will come under pressure to re-think its newly agreed five-match ban for discriminatory offences after Uefa’s executive committee confirmed a 10-match sanction for European competition and called on the continent’s national governing bodies to follow suit.

Whelan hopeful Martinez will stay

Wigan’s chairman, Dave Whelan, is confident manager Roberto Martinez will stay to lead their bid for promotion back to the Premier League. The pair have held talks and Whelan said: “If he wanted to move he would’ve said, ‘I’m going’.” MORE

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