The Sport Matrix: Tuesday 14 January 2014


Gunners survive late scare to top the table again

Arsenal scored two goals within a minute against Aston Villa as Arsène Wenger’s side climbed back to the top of the Premier League with a nervy 2-1 victory.

Jack Wilshere opened proceedings in the 34th minute, 17 in-play seconds before Olivier Giroud added another. Christian Benteke’s consolation set up a grandstand finish with 15 minutes left but the Gunners hung on. MORE

Ronaldo in tears  at Ballon d’Or win

Portugal and Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo won the Ballon d’Or yesterday, preventing great rival Lionel Messi from winning for a fifth year in a row. “Eusebio and Mandela were very important for me, I can’t speak,” said an emotional Ronaldo. MORE

Pardew escapes FA charge for outburst

Alan Pardew will not face Football Association charges for his abuse towards Manuel Pellegrini at St James’ Park on Sunday, though the Newcastle manager will be reminded of his responsibilities. Samir Nasri says the knee injury he sustained will rule him out for eight weeks. MORE

Warnock rejects Puncheon’s tweets

Neil Warnock is considering his legal options after Jason Puncheon issued a series of potentially libellous tweets about the veteran manager. Puncheon reacted angrily to Warnock’s observations about his penalty miss at White Hart Lane on Saturday. MORE

Defoe has World Cup worry in MLS

Jermain Defoe has admitted he is worried that a £8m move from Tottenham to Major League Soccer side Toronto could damage his hopes of earning a place in England’s World Cup squad this summer. “I did think about the chances of going to the World Cup.” Defoe said. MORE

Robson and Watson both knocked out

Last year Laura Robson and Heather Watson made the Australian Open third round. Yesterday, they were knocked out on day one, Robson losing 6-3, 6-0 to Kirsten Flipkens and Watson succumbing to Daniela Hantuchova 7-5, 3-6, 6-3. MORE

Djokovic dazzles new coach Becker

Boris Becker enjoyed his first experience as coach at a Grand Slam tournament yesterday. Novak Djokovic, his new charge, began his quest to win the Australian Open for the fourth time in a row with a 6-3, 7-6, 6-1 victory over Lukas Lacko. MORE

England take lead in women’s Ashes

England’s women won their only Ashes Test match against Australia by 61 runs in Perth yesterday to put six valuable points towards their bid to retain the trophy. Three ODI meetings and three Twenty20 matches remain. MORE

Button’s father dies in France aged 70

The father of Formula One driver Jenson Button has died of a suspected heart attack at the age of 70. John Button, who was a guiding force behind his son’s career, was found dead at his home on the French Riviera on Sunday. MORE

MLB sued over drug accusations 

Alex Rodriguez has sued Major League Baseball and its players’ union, seeking to overturn a season-long suspension over the use of three banned substances and twice trying to obstruct the sport’s drug investigation.

Kevin Garside

Liverpool need captain Steven Gerrard n the big games. The central midfielder has flourished in a deeper role, and may never have a better chance of winning a Premier League title medal. MORE