The Sport Matrix: Thursday 28 February 2013


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The Independent Online

Benitez erupts after Chelsea set up United clash

Chelsea's interim manager Rafael Benitez vented his fury at Chelsea supporters last night, claiming they were "not helping the club" by booing him and revealing he will leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season.

"They are wasting time with their banners and songs," he said following Chelsea's 2-0 FA Cup fifth-round victory at Middlesbrough, which secured a quarter-final meeting with Manchester United next month.

"[The fans] don't need to worry about me. I leave at end of the season. I'm disappointed with some fans. They have to support the team. They [the club] gave me the title of interim manager which is a massive mistake. I am the manager and I will manage this club. The fans are not helping us. I am a professional and I will do my job. At the end of the season I will leave."

Second-half strikes from Fernando Torres and Victor Moses had earlier helped Chelsea to victory at Middlesbrough. Torres inadvertently put the holders ahead as Ramires' shot deflected in off his shoulder, before Victor Moses confirmed the win.

Leaders Celtic toppled at Fir Park

Scottish Premier League leaders Celtic suffered a first league loss in nine games as they went down 2-1 at Motherwell. Chris Humphrey and Michael Higdon scored either side of a Giorgios Samaras header. Elsewhere, St Mirren beat Hearts 2-0, George Carey scoring the second from distance.

Beckham first start aids PSG cup win

David Beckham made his first start for new club Paris Saint-Germain last night as they beat Joey Barton's Marseilles for the second time in four days. Beckham lasted 86 minutes, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring both goals in a 2-0 win that took PSG into the last eight of the French Cup.

Ronaldo ready to ruin his old side

Cristiano Ronaldo believes Real Madrid's victory at Barcelona this week was perfect preparation for next week's Champions League return leg at Manchester United. "We want to continue in the same vein," he said. "This game gives us enormous confidence." MORE

Bell: We must wage war on drugs

Ian Bell believes the sport should welcome testing for recreational drugs in the wake of Tom Maynard's death. "Other sports are doing it, so why not?" he said. Bell hit a century for England in their warm-up match with a New Zealand XI in Queenstown yesterday. MORE

Stamina key to England revival

Ben Youngs says England take the field believing they can out-last any opponents. "When you feel the other side cracking and players looking for a rest, the momentum swings behind you," he said. "We look to maintain a high tempo." MORE

Harry A-A eager to make amends

Sprinter Harry Aikines-Aryeetey says missing the Olympics through injury has made him determined to make a mark on the European Indoors. "Missing the Olympics was devastating," the Briton said. "But it's made me hungry." MORE

McIlroy warned to focus on game

Tony Jacklin has warned Rory McIlroy not to blame a lack of form on his change of clubs. "There is no hiding place," Jacklin said. "It is not the ideal start to the year for him to have this negative commentary. He just hasn't played enough." MORE

Becky James and her cycling family

Becky James, who won four medals at the World Track Cycling Championships in Minsk last week, tells i that talent in the saddle runs in her family. "The house is always full of bikes," she said. "[My family] are all really good cyclists." MORE

Maradona courts crowd in Dubai

Argentina's most famous son, Diego Maradona, made a surprise appearance at the Dubai Championships, hitting with compatriot Juan Martin del Potro. "It's a pleasure to share moments with Diego," Del Potro said.

James Lawton

Jose Mourinho coming in for the kill is not the prettiest sight but who can look away for a moment? Sir Alex Ferguson surely felt his blood chilled by much of what he saw at the Nou Camp on Tuesday. MORE