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The Sport Matrix: Thursday 20 March 2014

Van Persie treble rescues United

Robin van Persie’s hat-trick gave Manchester United manager David Moyes breathing space as a 3-0 win over Olympiakos took them through to the last eight of the Champions League. The Dutchman’s double levelled the tie by the interval, before his free-kick took United through.  MORE

I decide transfers, claims Sherwood

Tim Sherwood has claimed he will have the final say over future transfers at the club. “We have to see a lot more of these guys before they come in, not just highlights,” he said before tonight’s Europa League tie at Benfica. “Nobody else will come in unless I sanction it.” MORE

England Cup pitch needs urgent repair

The Manaus pitch on which England will open their World Cup campaign against Italy in 12 weeks’ time has had to undergo emergency repair work after being damaged by the overuse of fertiliser. Green crystals are visible in the affected bald areas of the pitch. MORE

England defeated again in Twenty20

England completed their preparations for the World Twenty20 with a second defeat inside 24 hours as they went down by 20 runs to India. Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina hit fifties as India made 178 for four in Mirpur, before England were restricted to just 158 for six.

Whistle-blower forced into hiding

The whistle-blower who exposed Jamaica’s negligible levels of drug testing before the London Olympics has been forced into hiding. Renee-Anne Shirley says she has been called a “traitor” and “Judas” and “ostracised in the eyes of Jamaica”. MORE

Hogg banned for three weeks

Scotland international Stuart Hogg has been banned for three weeks after his shoulder charge on Wales midfielder Dan Biggar last weekend. Hogg had already publicly apologised and repeated that yesterday. “I have let people down,” he said.

Woods faces stiff test to make Masters

Tiger Woods remains a major doubt for next month’s Masters after his back injury forced a withdrawal at Bay Hill this week. The complaint hampered him at the Honda Classic three weeks ago and again at the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral. MORE

Sky remove Henao over blood tests

Team Sky rider Sergio Henao is likely to miss the Giro d’Italia  after being pulled from the line-up following questions over a blood test. The 26-year-old Colombian will return home for further tests and could be out for two months. MORE

Murray splits with coach Lendl

Andy Murray yesterday announced his separation from coach Ivan Lendl after just over two years. The 26-year-old will not be rushed into a replacement for the man who helped him to two Grand Slams. MORE

Paul Newman

Andy Murray will need to think long and hard about his future direction. Now that he knows what it takes to land the greatest trophies, it may be time to consider being more attacking. MORE

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Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

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Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

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Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

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