The Sport Matrix: Monday 16 December 2013


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The Independent Online

Pressure piles on Villas-Boas after humiliating defeat

Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas last night admitted he is fighting to save his job after being humiliated  5-0 by Liverpool at White Hart Lane.

The 36-year-old, who has been in the job since July 2012, acknowledged that his future was out of his hands, and that all he could do was work hard.

“It is not my call, I cannot control it,” said Villas-Boas when asked about his job security. “I have to get down to work. That’s the only thing I can focus on. The call on that decision is not mine.”

Luis Suarez put Liverpool ahead in the 18th minute, with Jordan Henderson and Jon Flanagan striking either side of half-time. Suarez added another with six minutes remaining, before Raheem Sterling rounded off the embarrassment.

Despite two wins on the bounce at struggling Fulham and Sunderland, Villas-Boas’ job is now under pressure having taken just two points in games against the current top six in the Premier League.  MORE

United bounce back with convincing win

Manchester United found the winning habit again as Danny Welbeck’s first-half double and Tom Cleverley’s strike condemned Aston Villa to a 3-0 defeat at Villa Park. David Moyes’ side were staring at three straight defeats for only the third time in the  Premier League era. MORE

Gloucester hopes dashed after shock

Gloucester’s Heineken Cup quarter-final hopes were left hanging by a thread after Edinburgh stunned them 16-10 at Kingsholm. It leaves them five points behind Pool Four leaders Munster before they host the Irish heavyweights next month. MORE

Garcia claims first victory of 2013

Sergio Garcia claimed his first win of the year after he shot a final round of 68 at the Thailand Golf Championship yesterday. The Spaniard finished 22 under par, four strokes ahead of Henrik Stenson.

Dyer suffers injury in Norwich draw

Gary Hooper scored a superb 25-yard volley to earn Norwich a 1-1 draw against Swansea at Carrow Road. Nathan Dyer looked to have suffered a serious ankle injury after putting the visitors in front, just before Hooper took the ball on his chest and volleyed home in first-half injury time. MORE

Last-gasp try keeps Tigers in the hun

A last-gasp Niki Goneva try and a Ryan Lamb conversion gave Leicester a stunning 15-14 Heineken Cup win in Montpellier to keep the pressure on Pool Five leaders Ulster. Leicester are three points behind with two games to play. MORE

Murray wins Sports Personality award

Wimbledon champion Andy Murray won BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year award flast night. Shooter Amber Hill, the youngest winner of a senior World Cup in skeet shooting at just 16, won the Young Sports Personality of the Year award at the ceremony in Leeds.

McManaman gives Rösler first victory

Uwe Rösler’s first home game in charge of Wigan ended in victory as Callum McManaman snatched the winner in a  pulsating derby to overcome Bolton 3-2 at the DW Stadium. Wigan move up to 14th, three points ahead of Bolton.

Opinion: Sam Wallace

A new ground in West London is one of those opportunities for QPR that might never come again. The site is the modern London planner’s dream. So why was Old Oak Common never an option for Chelsea? MORE

Rogers warns: You sledge, we sledge

Australia’s Chris Rogers took the view of “what goes around, comes around” after England’s sledging inspired David Warner’s century in day three of the third Ashes Test. “There is a lot of intensity. It just means it is going to come back round in the next innings.” MORE

Sacked Clarke wanted more time

Steve Clarke last night bemoaned his sacking by West Bromwich Albion, claiming he felt he could still have been a success at the club. “I believe I have unfinished business,” he said. “So it is with deep regret that I was relieved of my duties.” MORE