The Sport Matrix: Thursday 23 January 2014


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The Independent Online

Sunderland win on penalties to book date at Wembley

Sunderland will meet Manchester City in the Capital One Cup final at Wembley in March after beating Manchester United on penalties at Old Trafford last night after the tie finished 3-3 on aggregate. Danny Welbeck, Adnan Januzaj, Phil Jones and Rafael all missed from the spot for United to pile the pressure further on manager David Moyes.

Trailing 2-1 from the first leg, the hosts pulled themselves level in the tie before the interval as Jonny Evans was afforded time and space to head in Danny Welbeck’s mis-hit shot from a matter of yards. Sunderland battled well and forced the game into extra time, with Javier Hernandez and Adnan Januzaj wasting chances to win the match before Sunderland appeared to have booked a Wembley date as David De Gea allowed Phil Bardsley’s speculative shot into the net. United replied within a minute, Hernandez finding the net from close range in the 120th minute to force penalties. MORE

Murray mauled by resurgent Federer

Andy Murray’s Australian Open campaign was brought to an end as the Scot had no answer to a superb Roger Federer in yesterday’s quarter-final. The Swiss won in four sets, 6-3, 6-4, 6-7, 6-3 to set up a last-four clash with Rafael Nadal, with Murray making his earliest exit since 2009. MORE

Team GB backed to meet medal target

Mike Hay believes Great Britain can perform well at the Sochi Games. “To think we could challenge for three medals shows how far we’ve come since Vancouver [in 2010],” Team GB’s chef de mission said as the rest of the  56-strong team was announced. “It’s certainly possible.” MORE

Comedian arrested as Anelka decides

French comedian Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala – creator of the “quenelle” gesture – has been arrested in France on suspicion of firing a rubber bullet at bailiffs. West Brom striker Nicolas Anelka is weighing up his response to an FA charge after replicating the gesture during a match. MORE

United close to signing £40m Mata

Manchester United were last night finalising the £40m signing of Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata, with a move for the Spaniard expected to be completed in the next day. The player, who is seeking first-team action, stands to double his wages to almost £150,000 a week. MORE

Saker: We should all fear for our jobs

England bowling coach David Saker has admitted that anyone involved with the tour to Australia should be fearing for their jobs. “We haven’t performed well enough,” he said. “This has been a poor performance from everyone involved.” MORE

Dettori marks return with victory

Frankie Dettori enjoyed a fairytale return from a four-month lay-off with a broken ankle, winning from the front with Eco Warrior in the Median Auction Maiden Stakes. “I’m knackered,” the 43-year-old said after the race.

Warbuton happy to wait over his future

Wales captain Sam Warburton is prepared to wait until the end of the Six Nations to determine his club future. “Ideally, you want these things sorted before a competition or after,” he said. “If it has to go on the back-burner for a couple of months, so be it.” MORE

Lancaster: We believe we can win

England possess the mental belief to win the Six Nations, coach Stuart Lancaster believes. “The belief has grown over the last couple of years and continues to grow,” he said ahead of next week’s opener in France. “We’re aiming to win this tournament.” MORE

New coach gives Daley inspiration

Tom Daley believes his new coach, Jane Figueiredo, will help him as he relocates to London in preparation for the Brazil Olympics. “I think we will see the results relatively quickly,” the 19-year-old said.

Pete Jenson

Barcelona have been put in an embarrassing position. It may be impossible to prove that all monies destined for the Neymars were really just disguised wages and ought to be taxed at 52 per cent. MORE