The Sport Matrix: Thursday 4 December 2014


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Fellaini finally finding his feet

Marouane Fellaini seems to be finally finding form at Manchester United this season under Louis van Gaal, scoring in the win over Stoke City this week – his first Old Trafford goal in competitive football. “In the air he is one of the best in the league,” Juan Mata said. “I’m very happy for him because he had difficult moments in the beginning. But he is very professional. He’s a very nice guy. ”

Morgan resolved to keep England shirt

Ben Morgan staked his claim for the No 8 England jersey with two tries in the recent win over Australia. And while he is aware there are experienced players to return, Morgan said: “No one can come back and just walk into the team. There are guys who have played some outstanding rugby. Stuart [Lancaster] said he will pick on form, and there is a lot of rugby between now and the Six Nations.”

City cut losses for third straight year

Manchester City have come closer to breaking even for the first time under Abu Dhabi ownership. Their share of the Premier League’s new £1bn TV deal is crucial to them halving their losses for a third successive year and avoiding being hit with Uefa Financial Fair Play sanctions for a second straight year. City are paying huge wages, but the £205m figure is down from £233m last year.

France would be better under German rule, claims Petit

Emmanuel Petit has claimed France would be better under modern German rule as he offered a bizarre statement of support for Thierry Henry.

A former team-mate of Henry at Monaco, Arsenal and in the France national team, Petit described the prevailing attitude towards the striker as “hypocritical and cowardly”.

It has been suggested that Henry should be afforded one last outing for France, as a farewell match, and Petit, 44, can see the merit but suspects he is in  a minority.

“Why not, but people don’t like Thierry Henry,” Petit said. “In England, he has a statue.

“How can you reproach Thierry Henry? His handball against Ireland? It helped us qualify for the World Cup in South Africa.”

“He’s done nothing wrong,” Petit added. “Sometimes I say to myself that having been invaded by the Germans, we would be better led today.”

Referring to modern-day Germany, the former midfielder said: “Germany shows us today that it is better than us, politically, economically and in a sporting sense.”

Peaty sets record twice in a day

Adam Peaty, 19, broke the British record twice in a day as he targets world short-course championship gold. He took half a second off Michael Jamieson’s mark in the 100m breaststroke heats then bettered his time with a 56.43sec semi-final. Hannah Miley won bronze in the 400m medley.