The Sport Matrix: Thursday 18 September 2014


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The Independent Online

Balotelli shows the class Reds require

Mario Balotelli demonstrated the class that Liverpool need in the Champions League this campaign, with his excellent finish in the club’s narrow victory over Ludogorets at Anfield on Tuesday. “It was a brilliant finish with great technique and it was exactly what we needed at the time – that bit of genuine Champions League class,” said his Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers.

Solskjaer set to leave Cardiff

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s brief spell as Cardiff City manager was on the brink of ending last night with the Norwegian’s departure from the struggling Championship club expected to be announced today. Tony Pulis was last night installed as the early favourite to replace Solskjaer, only weeks after he walked out on Crystal Palace on the eve of the new season.

Martinez casts doubt on FA idea

Roberto Martinez has cast doubt on the FA’s scheme to reduce the number of non-European Union players in the top flight. He felt the best way for FA chairman Greg Dyke to realise his ambition of developing a stronger England team was to devote more resources to youth development, rather than halve the number on non-EU footballers.

RFU apologise for use of Victoria Cross

The Rugby Football Union has apologised for causing offence with its decision to use the Victoria Cross as part of England’s new kit.

An image of the medal, which is the highest award for gallantry that armed forces from Britain and the Commonwealth can receive, is replicated on the new jerseys.

Charities including the Victoria Cross Trust had criticised the design as disrespectful and inappropriate.

“We would like to apologise to those who may have taken offence with our new kit,” the RFU said in a statement. “It was certainly never our intention to cause this.”

Froome in GB team with Wiggins

Chris Froome and Sir Bradley Wiggins will race in the same team for the first time in a year when Great Britain takes part in the Road World Championships. The pair last competed together in the championship a year ago and have not been in the same Team Sky squad since the Tour of Oman.