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The Sport Matrix: Tuesday 14 May 2013


City look for quick move as Mancini awaits sacking

Manchester City were desperately scrambling to appoint a new manager last night, with Roberto Mancini resigned to a sacking which has still not been confirmed to him.

The club and their Abu Dhabi owners want to reach an agreement with Malaga’s Manuel Pellegrini, above, in time to prevent Mancini being asked to lead the side at Reading tonight. Mancini has been preparing for the possibility of dismissal by the club for some time, He is understood to have signed a pre-contract agreement with the French club Monaco. It is unclear whether that still ties him to move to Monaco, where his compatriot Claudio Ranieri may be replaced after promotion to Ligue 1.  Roma, where he has a good relationship with the general manager Franco Baldini, looks increasingly unlikely. Napoli is another possibility.

Pellegrini claimed on Sunday night that he had “not spoken” to City, saying: “We will wait and see at the end of the season.  At this moment I have no agreement in place: not with Manchester City, not with Roma,  not with any of the clubs who have been mentioned.” MORE

Zaha double puts Palace through

Two goals from Wilfried Zaha put Crystal Palace through to the Championship play-off final after a 2-0 win at rivals Brighton last night. Zaha’s second-half double means Ian Holloway’s men will now play Watford at Wembley on 27 May for a place in the Premier League. MORE

Hodgson wants out with the old guard

England manager Roy Hodgson is keeping a close eye on young and emerging talent after admitting it is time to replace the “old guard” in the national team. Hodgson said: “We cannot deny that we are to some extent in a situation where there is a changing of the guard.” MORE

Robson upsets Venus in Rome

Laura Robson caused an upset in the first round of the Italian Open Rome after sweeping aside the former champion Venus Williams 6-3 6-2. Robson, 19, broke the American’s serve on six occasions to defy a 15-rank difference and set up a meeting with world No 1 Serena Williams. MORE

Wigan’s high could end with defeat

Olivier Giroud will be suspended for Arsenal’s match with Wigan tonight as his side look to boost their chances of Champions League qualification. Wigan travel off the back of their historic FA Cup final victory knowing anything other than a win will all but relegate them. MORE

Robshaw could yet have Lions chance

Chris Robshaw is living in hope after the Lions coach, Warren Gatland, said that players not named in the squad could still get their chance if there are injuries. “The few players who have been rested are not going to be discounted,” he said. MORE

Woods on form for fourth title of 2013

Tiger Woods triumphed at the Players Championship at Sawgrass on Sunday, finishing two shots ahead of Kevin Streelman and Jeff Maggert. Sergio Garcia had been in the running, but slipped up for Woods to seal his fourth victory of 2013. MORE

Prior named ECB Player of the Year

The England and Sussex wicketkeeper Matt Prior has been named as ECB Cricketer of the Year for 2012-13. James Anderson won the title last year. Katherine Brunt picked up the women’s award at Lord’s yesterday. MORE

Red Bull: Pirelli tyres must change

Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz has declared Formula One is “nothing to do with racing any more”, amid continued pressure on Pirelli to make their tyres more durable. Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix brought no fewer than 82 pit stops. MORE

Roma fined after racist chanting

Mario Balotelli was one of three victims of racist abuse during Milan’s home game with AS Roma on Sunday, according to coach Massimiliano Allegri. Roma have been fined £42,000 following their fans’ behaviour.

United’s future

It is understood David Moyes will begin work as the club’s manager next Monday, 47 days before the start date of his contract, with Wayne Rooney, left, a task of utmost urgency.