The Sport Matrix: Monday 16 September 2013


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The Independent Online

Rooney on the way back to his best, believes Moyes

Manchester United's manager, David Moyes, has ruled out any immediate prospect of Wayne Rooney being deployed in midfield, declaring on the eve of a new Champions League campaign to which the player is so integral that his Old Trafford rehabilitation is under way.

Rooney, above, was dropped for United's last Champions League night at Old Trafford, which irreparably damaged his relationship with the club's then manager Sir Alex Ferguson and contributed to the player agitating to leave for Chelsea.

But before tomorrow night's Champions League opener, at home to Bayer Leverkusen, Moyes said that Rooney's goal against Crystal Palace on Saturday was a key moment in his rehabilitation with supporters.

"I can only see Wayne playing up top and as a forward," Moyes said. "I don't have a goals target for him. But his targets have been big in recent years." Moyes also said he expects Rooney to be aiming for 30-plus goals this season. MORE

Sami Hyypia

Last season the Leverkusen coach, whose side play Manchester United tomorrow, developed a counter-attacking style perfect for their squad. He is also calm and fair, rarely losing his temper. MORE

Murray leads GB back to world elite

Andy Murray helped Britain return to the elite group of the Davis Cup for the first time since 2008 as they won 4-1 in Croatia. The Scot overcame Ivan Dodig in the first of yesterday's singles to secure the tie, before Dan Evans cemented the victory with a win over Mate Pavic. MORE

Big brother blasts 'numpty' Brownlee

As Jonathan Brownlee was lauded by most for his near-miss in the world triathlon, his brother Alistair, the Olympic champion, blasted his efforts. "He's thrown a world title away for being a com- plete tactical numpty," he said. "I saw him make his move and thought, 'What an idiot'."

Hammers hold out for draw at St Mary's

A determined defensive display from West Ham helped secure a goalless draw for Sam Allardyce's side at Southampton in the Premier League. Veteran goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen impressed for the visitors, while James Collins wasted a late chance. 2

Ronaldo signs new deal at Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo's studs-up training ground lunge at Gareth Bale will not be an issue between the players, according to Carlo Ancelotti's English assistant Paul Clement. The Portuguese yesterday signed a five-year, £76m deal that makes him the best-paid footballer in the world.

Final ODI scene set for blaster Buttler

The final, decisive, One-Day International between England and Australia in Southampton today gives Jos Buttler another chance to display his talents. The 23-year-old smashed 65 from just 45 balls in Saturday's victory in Cardiff.

Beaten Farah welcomes rivalry

Mo Farah has welcomed the competition of Kenenisa Bekele after being beaten by the Ethiopian in the Great North Run. "It's exciting," Farah said. "Kenenisa is stepping up to roads and this is what athletics should be about, competition like this." MORE

Cavendish falters on opening stage

Mark Cavendish faltered near the end of the first day of the Tour of Britain yesterday to allow Italian Elia Viviani to take the first stage. The 2012 Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins crossed nine seconds off the pace for Team Sky.

Wood woe leads to Gloucester gloom

Nick Wood was shown the second-fastest red card in Premiership history as his Gloucester side lost 44-12 at Saracens. The 30-year-old was dismissed after just 73 seconds before Gloucester surrendered an interval lead to go down heavily. MORE

Mayweather win asks new questions

Floyd Mayweather Jnr collected a record guarantee of £26m in beating Saul Alvarez in Las Vegas on Saturday night. He also raised a few questions, the main two being: how good is he and who is next? MORE