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The Sport Matrix: Monday 20 January 2014

Eto’o’s hat-trick downs United and gives Moyes blues

Manchester United’s woeful defence of their Premier League title hit another low yesterday as they lost 3-1 at Chelsea, for whom Samuel Eto’o scored a hat-trick.

The striker opened the scoring with a deflected shot before tapping home his second just before half-time. Another close-range finish brought only the fourth hat-trick against United in the Premier League era, before Javier Hernandez’s consolation. Nemanja Vidic (left) was sent off in injury time.

“The game came down to set-pieces and we didn’t defend them well,” United manager David Moyes said. MORE

Adebayor double  stokes Spurs’ European hopes

Emmanuel Adebayor scored twice as Tottenham eased to a 3-1 victory at Swansea City yesterday to move up to fifth place in the Premier League.

The Togo striker (left) headed in Christian Eriksen’s cross in the first half before stroking in his second when unmarked. In between, Chico Flores had put through his own net.

Wilfried Bony volleyed in a consolation for Swansea but Tim Sherwood’s side held on for a fourth successive league victory.

“I’m delighted with how it’s gone,” Sherwood said. “It has been a good start, but there will be tougher tests to come.” MORE

Martinez backs Mel to fire up Baggies

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has backed Pepe Mel to be a success at West Bromwich Albion. “He gets his teams well drilled but wants to get control of possession,” Martinez said ahead of tonight’s meeting. “He’s not happy just being a team that  looks solid.” MORE

Cook could quit as England captain

Alastair Cook has hinted he may quit as England captain after the team’s latest ODI loss gave Australia the series, following the 5-0 Ashes whitewash. Cook said he will consider his position when he arrives home next week. MORE

England closer to retaining Ashes

England beat Australia by seven wickets in the first one-day international in Melbourne to move to within a victory of retaining the Ashes. Lydia Greenway (69 no) helped England to their 210 target with three overs to spare. MORE

Opinion: Sam Wallace

In February the squad for Brazil’s friendly against South Africa is named – their last game before the coach announces his World Cup squad. Julio Cesar surely cannot afford still to be kicking his heels at QPR by then. MORE

Flood agonised over quitting England

Toby Flood admits he agonised over his decision to quit Leicester and England for Toulouse. “It was a very tough decision,” the fly-half  said. “There were a few sleepless nights. It came down to what I felt was right for me.” MORE

Serena exits in fourth-round shock

Serena Williams was surprisingly knocked out of the Australian Open at the fourth-round stage yesterday, her back problems to the fore as the five-time champion went down 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 to Ana Ivanovic. MORE

Larrazabal profits after Rory blunder

Pablo Larrazabal made the most of Rory McIlroy’s blunder and a late collapse by Phil Mickelson to take the Abu Dhabi Championship by one shot. The Spaniard birdied the final hole to end on 14 under, a shot clear of the duo.

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