The Sport Matrix: Monday 6 May 2013


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The Independent Online

Ferguson attacks Chelsea’s Luiz over ‘dying swan’ act

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson last night claimed the overreaction of David Luiz forced the red card shown to Rafael as Chelsea claimed a late 1-0 victory at Old Trafford.

Luiz, above, was kicked by fellow Brazilian Rafael minutes after Chelsea’s late own-goal winner, falling to the ground before smiling at the crowd.

“[Rafael] retaliates but [Luiz] quite clearly elbows him twice then rolls about like a dying swan,” Ferguson exclaimed. “That convinces the referee. He was smiling, it’s bad. What kind of professional is that?”

Ferguson also admitted that his team had lost their “edge” since securing the Premier League title a fortnight ago, after Juan Mata’s shot was deflected past Anders Lindergaard by Phil Jones with three minutes remaining.

Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez praised his side, who can all but secure a Champions League place with victory over Spurs on Wednesday. “We are in the driving seat,” the Spaniard said. “Hopefully we can stay there until the end.” MORE

Wiggins powers Team Sky to win

Sir Bradley Wiggins helped Team Sky to stage two of the Giro d’Italia yesterday, moving into second place overall as his side took the team time trial in Ischia. Italian team-mate Salvatore Puccio took the leader’s pink jersey from previous leader Mark Cavendish. MORE

Watling impresses as Kiwis build lead

BJ Watling struck a second fifty of the match as New Zealand continued their preparations for next week’s first Test with England against Derbyshire. The hosts were bowled out for 154 before the Kiwis extended their lead, ending the second day on 199-5, 334 ahead.

Distin despair in derby stalemate

Sylvain Distin had an effort ruled out as Liverpool and Everton played out a goalless draw in the Premier League at Anfield yesterday. The defender had his header from a corner ruled out by referee Michael Oliver after Victor Anichebe impeded Pepe Reina. MORE

Di Canio ready for goal from Graham

Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio has backed Danny Graham to open his account for the club against Stoke tonight, after claiming he was “not fit” when he took charge. “He was not fit enough to play,” Di Canio said. “I talked to him. He feels part of the club. I’m sure he is going to score.”

Mallinder looking for Quins rematch

Jim Mallinder remains optimistic his Northampton side can secure a Premiership final place against Harlequins. “We can go and spoil people’s unbeaten home records,” he said, with both sides facing away matches in the play-off semi-finals.

Resolute Robson’s back in the groove

Laura Robson found some of her better form as she overcame Magdalena Rybarikova in her opening Madrid Open match. The Briton made a slow start but prevailed 6-7, 6-2, 6-2 to set up a meeting with world No 4 Agnieszka Radwanska.

Saunders: I’m right man for Wolves job

Dean Saunders has insisted he is the right person to help Wolves regain their place in the Championship. “The worst thing you can have at a club is uncertainty,” the manager said following Saturday’s relegation. “Someone’s got to do this job and I’m up for it.”

Newport bounty as Welsh side go up

Newport County return to the Football League for the first time in 25 years after beating compatriots Wrexham in the Blue Square Bet Premier play-off final yesterday. Christian Jolley and Aaron O’Connor scored late on to secure a 2-0 win at Wembley.

Mayweather’s on easy street again

Floyd Mayweather took control of his WBC welterweight title defence against Robert Guerrero after two rounds to retain his unbeaten record. The American turned the first of six ShowTime fights into one of his easiest. MORE

Sam Wallace

It is not unreasonable to ask for Stoke to evolve. It is natural, not greedy, for supporters to hope to see progress. It might seem unfair to Tony Pulis, but it can hardly be regarded as a surprise.