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The Sport Matrix: Monday 03 March 2014


Pellegrini eyes domestic treble after cup victory

Manuel Pellegrini secured his first silverware as Manchester City manager as they produced a second-half comeback to defeat Sunderland 3-1 to win the Capital One Cup at Wembley yesterday.

Sunderland took the lead through Fabio Borini’s 10th-minute effort before City turned the final around just after the interval. Yaya Touré levelled with a stunning long-range finish in the 55th minute and Samir Nasri struck one minute later. Substitute Jesus Navas scored in the final minute to embellish the scoreline for City.

Pellegrini (above) said the club would now attempt to clinch a treble of FA and League Cups and Premier League title – with the FA Cup quarter-final against Wigan next. He said: “We are going to try. It’s not easy. We have respect for Wigan.”

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet said: “The quality decided the game because they were two wonder finishes. There’s not much we can do with Yaya Touré unless we shoot him. It’s not nice, when you are on the losing side, I hate it.” MORE

Benteke stars as Norwich crumble

Aston Villa came from behind to thrash Norwich 4-1. Wes Hoolahan gave Norwich an early lead before Christian Benteke scored two in as many minutes, his first a stunning a volley. Leandro Bacuna also struck before Sebastien Bassong’s own goal completed Norwich’s misery. MORE

Tuilagi ready for England return

Manu Tuilagi links up with Stuart Lancaster’s England squad today after making a successful return to Leicester in their 41-18 win over Newcastle, following a chest injury. Tuilagi said: “If Stuart asks me if I’m ready, I’ll say ‘absolutely’.” MORE

O’Sullivan wins Welsh title in style

Ronnie O’Sullivan made a record 12th competitive 147 break to complete a 9-3 win over Ding Junhui in the Welsh Open final. O’Sullivan led 7-1 after the opening session and, after Ding hit two centuries, he sealed the win.

Sherwood hopes Soldado can shine

Spurs manager Tim Sherwood hopes Roberto Soldado can go on a scoring run after his first-half strike earned his side a 1-0 home win over Cardiff. Sherwood said: “I just hope this is a platform for him to go on and score 20 goals between now and the end of the season.” MORE

Wood fired up to exact revenge

England’s Tom Wood wants to “reciprocate” the hurt inflicted by Wales in last year’s tournament when they play on Sunday. Wood said: “The important thing is to use the disappointment to fuel your analysis, your training, your preparation.” MORE

Pulis pins Palace’s hopes on Murray

Glenn Murray’s late penalty earned Crystal Palace a 1-1 draw at Swansea. Murray cancelled out Jonathan de Guzman’s first-half strike and his manager, Tony Pulis, said: “We are hoping he [Murray] will get four or five before the end of the season because we will need them.” MORE

Bopara and Broad lead England home

England clinched the second ODI against West Indies by three wickets to level the series at 1-1 with one match left. Set a target of 160, Ravi Bopara’s and captain Stuart Broad’s stand of 58 saw England home despite a middle-order collapse. MORE

Opinion: Sam Wallace

For a long time, Alan Pardew (left) has looked like a man on the edge. When he headbutted David Meyler, Newcastle’s manager did not so much vacate the moral high ground as fling himself off it. MORE

Ronaldo earns Real derby draw

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a late equaliser as La Liga leaders Real Madrid earned a 2-2 draw at Atletico Madrid. In a fiercely contested derby, Karim Benzema put Real ahead before goals from Koke and Gabi put Atletico 2-1 up. But Ronaldo struck with eight minutes left for Real.

Premier League serves up riches

Owners of the four city franchises that will compete in the inaugural International Premier Tennis League at the end of this year have committed to paying players a total of nearly $24m (£14.3m). Andy Murray has been recruited by Bangkok. MORE