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The Sport Matrix: Monday 11 November 2013


United continue revival as ‘nervous’ Arsenal fall to RVP

Robin van Persie tormented his former club Arsenal by scoring the only goal in Manchester United’s 1-0 win over the Premier League leaders yesterday, lifting the resurgent champions to fifth place.

The Dutch striker met Wayne Rooney’s corner with a header into the top corner in the 27th minute to condemn Arsenal to their second loss of the campaign and reduce their lead to two points over Liverpool after the weekend’s action.

It was Van Persie’s fifth goal in the last five meetings between the sides, and his third against Arsenal since leaving the Emirates in the summer 2012.

David Moyes (above) said the win was his most significant as United manager, extending the club’s unbeaten run to nine matches.

“We have got a lot of big steps to make,” he said. “It is going to take a while for me to get it where I’d like it to be.”

The Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger, admitted that United retained a psychological grip over his Premier League leaders as they failed in their biggest test so far this season. “Maybe with the fact we haven’t won for a long time here and it was a big game [caused our] nervousness,” he said. MORE

City extend losing run on Wearside

Phil Bardsley scored the only goal of the game to give Sunderland a 1-0 win and condemn Man City to their fourth defeat in the league this season. City dominated possession after the 21st-minute strike but failed to make it count, meaning a fourth successive 1-0 defeat on Wearside. MORE

Wales bring in four to patch up squad

Wales have called up four players to train with the squad following their injury-hit 24-15 defeat to South African on Saturday. Props Samson Lee and Rhodri Jones, plus backs Hallam Amos and Tom Prydie will provide the cover. MORE

Raikkonen pulls out of last two races

Kimi Raikkonen will miss the last two races of the Formula One season in the US and Brazil after deciding to have back surgery next week. Raikkonen is third in the championship, 34 points behind second.

Rémy on target to see off Tottenham

Tim Krul pulled off 14 saves against Tottenham – the highest number made by any keeper in the top flight this season – to help his Newcastle side to a 1-0 victory at White Hart Lane. Loïc Rémy’s early goal, his seventh in the league this term, was enough for all three points. MORE

Swann: Age on our side to win Ashes

Graeme Swann says England are not too old ahead of their bid to win the Ashes for a fourth successive time. Despite having six players over 30 and drawing comparisons with Dad’s Army, Swann said: “We’re not ready for the Home Guard yet.”MORE

Adam earns Stoke draw in thriller

Charlie Adam’s last-minute penalty gave Stoke a dramatic 3-3 draw at Swansea. Stoke led 2-0 through Jonathan Walters and Stephen Ireland before two Wilfried Bony goals either side of a Nathan Dyer strike looked to have completed a comeback for the Swans. MORE

Coyle: McClean did not reject poppy

The Wigan manager Owen Coyle is “embarrassed” at claims that James McClean was dropped for the 1-0 win at Yeovil yesterday because he refused to wear a shirt embroidered with a poppy. “He was injured, it’s as simple as that,” said Coyle. MORE

Opinion: Sam Wallace

Ashley Cole, the man who has been a fixture in the England team since September 2001, can no longer be the first-choice left-back. That position must surely now belong to Leighton Baines. MORE

Djokovic and Nadal poised for top finale

Novak Djokovic will meet Rafael Nadal in the final of the ATP World Tour Finals in London’s O2 Arena after beating Stanislas Wawrinka 6-3, 6-3 in the semi-final last night. Earlier in the day, Nadal beat Roger Federer 7-5, 6-3 to reach his 14th final of the year in his 75th match. MORE

Marquez youngest ever to win title

Marc Marquez became the youngest rider to win the MotoGP world title after a controlled race to third place in Valencia. The 20-year-old Spaniard needed to finish fourth or higher to be sure of beating Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo.