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The Sport Matrix: Thursday 25 April 2013

Liverpool dismay over 10-game Suarez suspension

Liverpool were left “shocked and disappointed” yesterday after forward Luis Suarez received a 10-match suspension for biting.

The forward, who bit the arm of Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic during last Sunday’s Premier Leage match at Anfield, received an additional seven-match ban on top of the standard three-game ban for violent conduct. He had already been fined two week’s wages by Liverpool.

“Both the club and player are shocked and disappointed at the severity of the independent regulatory commission decision,” Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre, above, said. “We await the written reasons before making any further comment.”

The club are expected to contest the decision, which rules the Uruguyan out of Liverpool’s remaining four matches of the present campaign, along with the beginning of next season. The player, club and the FA will receive the commission’s report today, and Liverpool have until midday tomorrow to launch an appeal, although risk the chance of the suspension being increased, as a new panel would sit. MORE

Lewandowski a Real destroyer

Robert Lewandowski scored all four goals as Borussia Dortmund overwhelmed Real Madrid 4-1 in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final last night. Cristiano Ronaldo had levelled for the Spaniards but Dortmund hold the advantage ahead of next week’s Bernabeu return. MORE

Bayern ready to reap rewards

If Bayern Munich’s 4-0 humbling of Barcelona in the other Champions League semi-final first leg is a precursor to the German team eventually winning the competition, it would be a fair reflection of the balance, power, pace and technique of this maturing side’s football. page 51

Torres welcomes Falcao competition

Fernando Torres says he would welcome the arrival of Radamel Falcao at Chelsea. “When you play for Chelsea you’re always hoping big players come,” the Spaniard said ahead of tonight’s Europa League trip to Basel. “The big names are always being related with Chelsea.” page 52

Froome retains Romandie lead

Chris Froome took a six-second lead over American Andrew Talansky after yesterday’s opening stage of the Tour de Romandie. The Briton won Tuesday’s prologue and was among a group jostling for position at the finish in Renens. Gianni Meersman won the stage. page 49

Pietersen injury concerns deepen

New bulletins on the state of Kevin Pietersen’s knee have ruled the England batsman out of the Champions Trophy in June. The 32-year-old faces a race to prove his fitness for the opening Ashes Test, against Australia at Trent Bridge on 10 July. page 48

Aussies announce squad for Ashes

Australia yesterday named their squad for this summer’s Ashes series – hailed by captain Michael Clarke as a mixture of youth and experience. Nothing in it, however, suggests they will avoid a third consecutive defeat against England. page 49

Jenkins signs up for Lions tour

Welshman Neil Jenkins has been added to the British and Irish Lions coaching team for this summer’s tour of Australia. The move should enhance Leigh Halfpenny’s hopes of making the line-up for the opening Test in Brisbane on 22 June. page 47

Furious sheikh shuts down stable

Sheikh Mohammed has professed fury that some of his horses have been administered steroids, announcing a lockdown of Godolphin’s flagship Newmarket yard. Trainer Mahmood al-Zarooni faces a disciplinary inquiry this afternoon. page 46

Minichiello open to return to post

Toni Minichiello says he is open to the prospect of working with UK Athletics again. “I don’t think it’s a dead issue,” said the coach of London 2012 gold medallist Jessica Ennis. “My door’s always open.” page 45

Opinion: James Lawton

Unsurprisingly, given that on recent evidence they would be unlikely to recognise a moral dilemma if it was painted on a blimp above Anfield, Liverpool are shocked and disappointed over Luis Suarez’s ban. page 53

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