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The Sport Matrix: Thursday 8 May 2014

Dzeko double puts City on title path

Two second-half goals by Edin Dzeko helped Manchester City to a 4-0 win over Aston Villa to leave Manuel Pellegrini’s side in pole position to win the Premier League. Stevan Jovetic and Yaya Touré added late goals after a nervy first half to take City close to a second title in three years.

Black Cats complete miracle escape

Sunderland secured their top-flight status for another season last night, a 2-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion giving Gus Poyet a fourth consecutive win. Goals from Jack Colback and Fabio Borini almost certainly consigned Norwich to relegation instead.

Late goal harms Real title chances

Humberto Osorio’s late equaliser dented Real Madrid’s Spanish title chances as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Real Valladolid. Sergio Ramos put the visitors in front but the leveller leaves Real, for whom Cristiano Ronaldo went off injured, four points off the top with two games left.

Van Gaal: Come and get me, United

The Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal has said he would love to work for Manchester United – “the biggest club in the world”. The 62-year-old departs his international post after the World Cup and has long been favoured to replace former manager David Moyes at United.

Women’s Tour wowed by crowds

Large crowds turned out for the start of the inaugural Women’s Tour as the first stage took place between Oundle and Northampton. “The crowds were amazing,” Hannah Barnes, the leading Briton, said. “I didn’t even recognise Northampton.”

Youngs added to England absentees

England hooker Tom Youngs has withdrawn from the tour of New Zealand to care for his sick wife. Coach Stuart Lancaster has also said forwards Alex Corbisiero and Tom Croft will not be  picked, despite both recovering from injury.

Resolute Durham hold out for draw

Durham secured a draw against Yorkshire at Chester-le-Street after recovering from a poor position at the end of day two. Bowled out for 388 in reply to the visitors’ 589 for eight declared, Durham reached 100  for four at the close.

Halsall heads England squad

Fran Halsall will lead a 39-strong England swim squad to the Commonwealth Games. Other medal prospects include Paralympic champion Ollie Hynd and double Commonwealth champion Liam Tancock. “I’m sure Glasgow will put on a fantastic show,” she said.

Bart remembered

A year after the death of their colleague Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson, Sir Ben Ainslie and Iain Percy are preparing to open a sailing centre in his honour at the Weymouth and Portland Academy.

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