The Sport Matrix: Thursday 31 January 2013


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Sunderland sign fans' hate-figure Graham for £5m

Danny Graham will join Sunderland today from Swansea for £5m. The 27-year-old centre-forward is expected to sign a three-and-a-half-year contract after the two clubs agreed a fee last night.

Graham will have a medical, which is expected to be a formality, at Sunderland's Academy of Light training complex today and is set to feature at Reading on Saturday.

The Gateshead-born forward is a Newcastle fan. He was jeered by Sunderland supporters when he came on as a 75th-minute substitute during Swansea's goalless Premier League draw at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday night over derogatory comments he made about Sunderland in an interview when he was a Watford player.

But Martin O'Neill believes the switch will not be a problem for a player who has scored 15 Premier League goals in the past two seasons since Swansea were promoted from the Championship. Swansea paid £3.5m to Watford for the striker in June 2011 and he has repaid that with 21 goals in all competitions since he moved to Wales.

Walcott strikes to peg back Liverpool

Arsenal fought back from 2-0 down to earn a draw at home against Liverpool. The visitors went two ahead through Luis Suarez and Jordan Henderson before Arsenal's Olivier Giroud hit back in the 64th minute. Theo Walcott equalised three minutes later. MORE

Everton lifted by Baines goals

Leighton Baines scored twice to ensure Everton beat West Bromwich 2-1. Baines scored from the edge of the area in the 29th minute and doubled Everton's lead with a penalty. The visitors threatened a comeback through Shane Long's 65th-minute goal but it proved in vain. MORE

Rooney's double saves United

Manchester United survived a scare to beat Southampton 2-1. Jay Rodriguez took advantage of Michael Carrick's poor back-pass to give the visitors a third-minute lead, before Wayne Rooney struck twice. Robin van Persie had a goal ruled out for offside late on. MORE

Bale's superb goal rescues Tottenham

Tottenham claimed a 1-1 draw with Norwich at Carrow Road. Wesley Hoolahan scored Norwich's 32nd-minute opener before Spurs levelled through Gareth Bale. The winger ran from the halfway line and fired home his 10th goal of the season with 10 minutes left. MORE

Le Fondre's late goals stun Chelsea

Adam Le Fondre scored twice to earn Reading a dramatic 2-2 home draw with Chelsea. Chelsea scored through Juan Mata and Frank Lampard's 196th goal for the club. But Le Fondre's 87th-minute goal and injury-time finish stunned Chelsea. MORE

Fulham seal home win over West Ham

Fulham beat West Ham 3-1 at Craven Cottage. Dimitar Berbatov scored Fulham's opener and, although Kevin Nolan equalised for Sam Allardyce's side, Hugo Rodallega struck for the hosts before West Ham's Joey O'Brien scored an own-goal. MORE

England leave out Sterling and Zaha

Roy Hodgson will omit Raheem Sterling, Wilfried Zaha and Jonjo Shelvey from his England squad so that they can be picked for the Under-21s next week, in preparation for them playing in this summer's Under-21 European Championship. MORE

Wood: England ready to get 'dirty'

England's Tom Wood expects a physical encounter when Stuart Lancaster's side face Scotland in the Six Nations on Saturday. The flanker said: "We'll need some brawlers – people who will get down and dirty, and put their heads where it hurts." MORE

Armstrong seeks 'complete amnesty'

Lance Armstrong's desire to conjure a reduction in his life ban was laid bare as he proposed that anybody testifying to a truth and reconciliation commission should be covered by a "complete amnesty". MORE

Brindle's return

Arran Brindle quit international cricket to have a baby and play against men. Now the 31-year-old is back with England for the World Cup and is targeting victory, she tells Robin Scott-Elliot. MORE