The Sport Matrix: Monday 30 December 2013


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The Independent Online

Mourinho attacks 'shot' Suarez as Chelsea prevail

Jose Mourinho claimed Luis Suarez dived to try to win a penalty against Samuel Eto'o after Chelsea beat Liverpool 2-1 at Stamford Bridge.

The Chelsea manager denied it was a clear penalty missed by referee Howard Webb, when Eto'o stepped across Suarez with seven minutes left as the Liverpool player tried to retrieve the ball from Cesar Azpilicueta.

In an interview on television, Mourinho added it looked "like somebody shot him [Suarez] in the back" and that the player should have been booked. In his press conference, Mourinho said Suarez was a "very nice boy" who had been successfully changed by Rodgers, but that there was another side to his character.

Mourinho also added he felt it was in the Liverpool striker's "cultural nature" to do anything to win games.

Mourinho, though, praised his team's performance but said he believed Manchester City were title favourites. "I keep thinking there is a big difference between Man City and the other teams," he said. MORE

Giroud goal gives Gunners top spot

Olivier Giroud scored the only goal as Arsenal defeated Newcastle 1-0 at St James' Park to overtake Manchester City at the top of the Premier League. The French striker converted Theo Walcott's free-kick in the 65th minute for Arsène Wenger's side. MORE

Tottenham too strong for Stoke

Tottenham Hotspur earned a comfortable 3-0 victory over Stoke City. Roberto Soldado got a penalty, Moussa Dembélé added a second and Aaron Lennon also found the net at White Hart Lane as Tim Sherwood claimed a second win as Spurs head coach. MORE

Victorious Everton move into top four

Everton moved into the Premier League's top four after seeing off Southampton 2-1. Seamus Coleman put Everton in front and Gaston Ramirez levelled for Southampton before Romelu Lukaku's first goal in six games ensured victory for Roberto Martinez's side. MORE

Anelka startled by gesture fallout

Nicolas Anelka was said to be "gobsmacked" by the fallout from the gesture he made in support of a controversial French comedian after scoring one of his two goals at West Ham. West Bromwich's striker tweeted last night: "The meaning of 'quenelle' is anti-system." MORE

Cook keen to carry on as captain

Alastair Cook has declared his desire to continue as the captain of England, despite a fourth straight Ashes Test loss. "I'm 100 per cent wanting to carry on [as captain]," he said. "In a strange way, I'm enjoying the job and the challenge." MORE

Kallis signs off with stunning ton

Jacques Kallis became the third-highest ever Test run scorer after hitting 115 in his final Test to emphasise his status as one of the cricketing greats. His ton in the second Test against India took him to 13,289 Test runs, one ahead of Rahul Dravid. MORE

Twelvetrees helps Gloucester prevail

Gloucester defeated fellow strugglers London Irish 22-19. Billy Twelvetrees impressed for Gloucester, converting Jonny May's try and kicking four penalties to underline his international class ahead of the Six Nations Championship. MORE

Murray could wait months to hit form

Tim Henman believes it could take months for Andy Murray to return to top form after back surgery. With the Australian Open 14 days away, he said of the Scot: "It would be unrealistic to suddenly think it's going to be 100 per cent." MORE

Hurricane blows away pretenders

The Champion Hurdle winner Hurricane Fly gained an 18th Grade One victory when beating two of the main Irish rivals for his Cheltenham crown, Jezki and Our Conor, in the Ryanair Hurdle at Leopardstown.

Villa and Ole alert

Tim Rich assesses what could be learnt from Saturday's games, explaining why Villa are now relegation candidates – and why Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should think twice before joining Cardiff. MORE