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The Sport Matrix: Monday 13 May 2013

Ferguson reveals reasons behind decision to retire

Sir Alex Ferguson last night used his final post-match interview at Old Trafford to finally lift the lid on his decision to call it a day at Man-chester United.

“I decided to retire  last Christmas,” the 71-year-old said following the 2-1 victory over Swansea, secured after a late goal from Rio Ferdinand, above. “Things changed when my wife Cathy’s sister died. For 47 years she’s been the leader of the family, looked after our sons and sacrificed for me. Now she’s got the grandchildren and they dote on her. She’s lost her best friend, her sister Bridget, so I think that was important. To go out as a winner was also important.”

Ferguson’s departure was confirmed last Wednesday and he admitted it had become impossible to withhold the news any longer. “It was difficult,” he said. “We nearly blurted it out to the family but told our sons about March. My brother didn’t know until Tuesday [as] I wanted to tell the players first. Unfortunately there were rumours going around. Stuff leaks out and it shouldn’t leak out.”  match report, MORE

Mancini nearing end of road at City

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is expected to be relieved of his duties within the next 48 hours, with the club eager to resolve the issue ahead of next week’s tour to the US. Manuel Pellegrini, the Chilean coach of Malaga, has been tipped as his replacement. MORE

Saints shock hosts to reach final

Northampton surprised table-toppers Saracens in the Premiership semi-finals yesterday, winning 27-13 at Allianz Park after leading 17-0 at the break. Jim Mallinder’s side will face Leicester Tigers in the final later this month. MORE

Hamilton bereft as Alonso takes flag

Lewis Hamilton endured a disappointing afternoon at the Spanish GP, dropping from the front row to finish 12th. Home favourite Fernando Alonso took the flag to maintain his title  challenge. MORE

Adebayor keeps Tottenham in hunt

Emmanuel Adebayor scored with seven minutes remaining as Tottenham won 2-1 at Stoke City yesterday to keep alive their hopes of a Champions League place. Elsewhere, Daniel Sturridge scored a hat-trick as Liverpool overcame Fulham 3-1 at Craven Cottage. MORE

Warrington coast into Cup quarters

A strong start helped holders Warrington ease to a 52-6 win over Salford and make the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup. Joel Monaghan and Stefan Ratchford both went over twice as the hosts converted four tries in the opening 25 minutes. MORE

Newcastle safe as Sunderland sweat

Newcastle confirmed their Premier League safety with a 2-1 win at relegated Queens Park Rangers, although neighbours Sunderland remain in peril after they were held 1-1 at home to Southampton. Norwich thrashed West Brom 4-0 to secure their top-flight status. MORE

England warned  to raise their game

Geoff Miller has warned his England players to improve their performances if they are to avoid further embarrassment against New Zealand. “We didn’t play to the capabilities we have shown in the past,” the selector said. “That has to be rectified.”

Opinion: Sam Wallace

We have become so accustomed to writing off British managers that the game has talked itself out of promoting them. David Moyes’  appointment was a welcome parting of the clouds over the coaching fraternity. MORE

Moyes bows out with Goodison win

Everton gave outgoing manager David Moyes a victory in his last home match, Kevin Mirallas scoring twice in a 2-0 win over West Ham at Goodison Park. “It was really emotional,” the Scot said. “I am fortunate I had the reception I had today. I am humbled.”

Murray out to recapture lost form

Andy Murray heads into this week’s Rome Masters seeking valuable game time ahead of the French Open. “I’ll try to find ways to win matches,” the Scot said. “It doesn’t always matter how well you’re hitting the ball if you find a way to win.” MORE

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