The Sport Matrix: Monday 16 June 2014


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The Independent Online

I earn my place in the team on merit, insists Rooney

Wayne Rooney yesterday hit out at critics who suggest he keeps his place in the England team merely on reputation. The forward’s place in the team came under more scrutiny in the aftermath of Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Italy, in which Rooney was again played out of position but missed one presentable chance from inside the area and struck another wide from outside the box.

“I don’t expect to play,” he said when pressed over his inclusion. “I work hard. I want to play. “Why would I feel my place is guaranteed? I work hard to try and get into that team.”

Rooney covered 11,223 metres during the defeat, more than any other player on either side. “I have never said my place is guaranteed,” he continued. “We lost but I was involved in the game [and] felt I had an influence.” MORE

Sky Blue struggles give England cheer

Uruguay’s unexpected defeat to Costa Rica on Saturday gave England renewed hope ahead of their meeting with the South American side on Thursday evening. The 2010 third-placed side struggled at the back and forward Luis Suarez’s participation remains in doubt. MORE

Seferovic gives Swiss late victory

Haris Seferovic scored in injury-time to get Switzerland off to a winning start against Ecuador in Brasilla. Enner Valencia had headed the South American side into the lead before the break only for substitute Admir Mehmedi to level. MORE

Benzema downs rough Honduras

Karim Benzema scored twice and created another as France strolled to a 3-0 victory against a feisty Honduras. Wilson Palacios was dismissed after a running battle with Paul Pogba. MORE

Ballance helps put England in control

A maiden Test century from Gary Ballance helped England take command of the first Test against Sri Lanka at Lord’s yesterday. The batsman’s unbeaten 104 took England to 267 for  eight in their second innings, a healthy lead of 389 ahead of today’s final day. MORE

Morgan shines as Notts struggle

A masterful 191 from Eoin Morgan helped Middlesex take the game away from Nottinghamshire on the second day of their county match at Trent Bridge. With the visitors all out for 505, Notts were reduced to 258 for four at the close, still 247 runs short of parity. MORE

Salford find form to sink sad Bulls

A first league victory since April boosted Salford Reds as they overcame lowly Bradford 46-18 at the AJ Bell Stadium. Rangi Chase contributed 22 points and Junior Sa’u also went over twice to leave Bradford mired in relegation trouble.

Injuries dog England to the last

England may change tack again when they face New Zealand in the final Test, with Owen Farrell struggling with a knee injury. Billy Twelvetrees and Luther Burrell both have ankle worries, while Danny Care is suffering with his shoulder.

Dimitrov and Ivanovic enjoy wins

Grigor Dimitrov and Ana Ivanovic enjoyed warm-up victories ahead of Wimbledon. Dimitrov saved a match point in beating Feliciano Lopez to win at Queen’s, while Ivanovic beat Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova in the Aegon Classic. MORE

Froome falls away to finish twelfth

Chris Froome had a frustrating end to the Critérium du  Dauphiné, faltering to a 12th place finish. The Briton’s efforts were hampered by an injury suffered on Friday as Andrew Talansky won the event. MORE

Rafael Benitez

A strong aspect of England’s play against Italy was the exchange of positions between attacking players. Rooney and Sterling switched while Barkley and Lallana gave different options. MORE