The Sport Matrix: Thursday 23 August 2012


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The Independent Online

Torres strikes as Chelsea defeat resilient Reading

Fernando Torres struck late on as Chelsea avoided an upset by beating Reading 4-2 at Stamford Bridge last night. Torres scored in the 81st minute, Ashley Cole squaring for the Spaniard to tap home, although the striker looked offside. Branislav Ivanovic then capped the win with a 90th-minute goal.

The hosts had taken the lead in the 18th minute. Chris Gunter slid in on Eden Hazard in the box and Frank Lampard converted the spot-kick. Reading levelled within seven minutes, though, Pavel Pogrebnyak heading in Garath McCleary's cross.

Four minutes later, John Terry fouled Jobi McAnuff on the edge of the area. Danny Guthrie's set piece should not have troubled Petr Cech but Chelsea's goalkeeper dropped the ball in his own goal. Adam Federici then let in a soft 30-yard strike from Gary Cahill before Torres and Ivanovic struck. MORE

Liverpool happy to omit star players

Liverpool have omitted Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez, Martin Skrtel and Glen Johnson for tonight's Europa League qualifying play-off first leg at Hearts. "You have to rotate the players. It's an opportunity for everyone to perform," said assistant manager Colin Pascoe. MORE

Pardew eager for young side to shine

Alan Pardew has urged his makeshift Newcastle side to make names for themselves against Atromitos in their Europa League qualifying play-off first leg tonight, as many star players are injured. "It's a chance for them to impress," he said. MORE

Kazim-Richards claims Rovers win

Colin Kazim-Richards scored his second goal in as many matches as Blackburn Rovers beat Hull City 1-0 at Ewood Park, easing the pressure on manager Steve Kean. Kazim-Richards struck in the 76th minute, firing home into the bottom right corner from close range. MORE

QPR plan to sign Defoe and Dawson

Tottenham had still not finalised a deal with QPR for Michael Dawson last night, in the hope that Sunderland and Stoke could drive up the price. Rangers are also interested in signing Jermain Defoe. Spurs, though, are hopeful of signing Internacional forward Damiao. MORE

Arsenal chase Real's star Sahin

Arsenal were last night weighing up a loan move for Real Madrid midfielder Nuri Sahin. Danny Welbeck, meanwhile, signed a new four-year deal at Manchester United. "It's the club I've supported all my life," enthused Welbeck. MORE

KP saga 'handled very well' by ECB

Australia coach Mickey Arthur says the way the ECB have handled Kevin Pietersen has "been very good" and that it will take him years to regain his team-mates' trust. Arthur said: "Trust takes a year to two years to build." MORE

Sale seek to tempt Ashton into role

Sale hope to tempt the former England coach Brian Ashton back into top-flight rugby. Chief executive Steve Diamond wants Ashton to take on an informal consultancy-style role and will meet him during the next few days in an effort to secure the deal. MORE

Degenkolb takes his second stage

Team Sky's Chris Froome remains one second off the lead after Spain's Joaquim Rodriguez finished in the bunch on the fifth stage of the Vuelta a Espana. Up-and-coming German sprinter John Degenkolb claimed his second stage. MORE

Cecil revels in Frankel’s victory

Sir Henry Cecil was delighted his horse Frankel won the Juddmonte International at York, taking his record to 13 wins from 13 races. “That was great,” he said. “Great for Yorkshire – they deserve to see him.” MORE

Interview: Shaun Lunt

Leeds' hooker, who faces Huddersfield Giants in Saturday's Challenge Cup final, appreciates his sport after working as a plumber in Cumbria "It taught me a lot," he said. MORE