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The Sport Matrix: Tuesday 15 April 2014

The title race: who will be victorious?

It is the final furlong of a thrilling season, but who is in best shape to cross the finish line and win the Premier League? Tim Rich selects an argument for each of Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City as one of the tightest title races in history draws to a close. MORE

Rodgers: families’ fight inspires me

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers declared ahead of today’s 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster that the relentless work ethic of those who have campaigned for the 96 has inspired him. Rodgers will address the Memorial Service at Anfield this afternoon. MORE

Pirlo’s story: Italy legend reveals all

Idolised as one of the ‘coolest’ footballers on the planet, Andrea Pirlo speaks candidly in his new autobiography, I Think Therefore I Play. The midfielder remembers the 2005 Champions League final, a ‘panenka’ penalty against Joe Hart, and his PlayStation obsession. MORE

Top four the focus for weary Gunners

With an FA Cup final place finally secured, Arsenal must now turn their attention to West Ham with the hope of bolstering their top-four ambitions. The Hammers visit the Emirates tonight well rested, though Arsenal may have to make do without several star players. MORE

Cook and Bell find form with centuries

On a rare day of encouragement for English cricket, Alastair Cook and Ian Bell hit centuries for their county sides, Essex and Warwickshire, finishing the day unbeaten on 139 and 144 respectively, against Derbyshire and Sussex. MORE

Ritchie: World Cup can only be positive

Premiership clubs may need convincing, but RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie insists the 2015 World Cup will benefit the sport in the UK. Ritchie has emerged from the turf war over European club rugby with a reputation as a skilled negotiator. MORE

Phelps eyes Rio as return nears

Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, is to return to the pool with a view to swimming at the 2016 Rio Games. The American, who has not competed since the 2012 London Olympics, will race in Arizona later this month.

Foolish to dismiss ‘subtle’ Watson

The tendency has been to dismiss Bubba Watson as a Florida backwoodsman but, after his second Masters win in three years on Sunday, he proved he is a player of real substance. There is subtlety in his hands and strategy in his thinking. MORE

Domenicali quits Ferrari team role

Stefano Domenicali has surprisingly stepped down as Ferrari team principal. The “nice guy” of Formula One had been expected to see out the year in charge, but Marco Mattiacci replaces him. MORE

Ian Herbert

The journey from Histon to the Manchester United first team had taken six weeks, but Giuliano Maiorana and Alex Ferguson did not get on. The midfielder retired under the radar aged 24. MORE

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Day In a Page

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We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home