The Sport Matrix: Tuesday 19 February 2013


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The Independent Online

Double salvo gives United passage into quarter-finals

Goals from Nani and Javier Hernandez helped Manchester United set up an FA Cup quarter-final home tie with either Middlesbrough or Chelsea after a 2-1 win over Reading last night.

The introduction of Nani , right, gave the home side more strength going forward after a low-key first half, and he put his side ahead with a deflected shot in the 69th minute after being brought on for Phil Jones in the first half. The Portuguese winger then set up Hernandez to head home three minutes later.

Reading made for an interesting finale, with Jobi McAnuff slotting home inside the area with nine minutes remaining, but United held on.

Middlesbrough meet Chelsea at the Riverside Stadium on Wednesday 27 February to decide who faces United in just under three weeks. MORE

Lancaster all too wary of French

England head coach Stuart Lancaster will seek to use the 2011 World Cup quarter-final defeat to France as a lesson for Saturday's Six Nations clash. "They wanted to prove a point back then, and they'll want to prove one this weekend." MORE

Benitez must take blame, says Terry

Chelsea captain John Terry has told Rafael Benitez that abuse from fans is the unfortunate price to pay for the club's poor form. "If you are losing games, the pressure is on the manager. He has to take responsibility because he is the one who picks the team," said Terry. MORE

Wenger irritated at contract rumours

Arsene Wenger yesterday denied reports he is going to be offered a two-year contract extension by Arsenal. The 63-year-old showed his irritation at a news conference ahead of tonight's Champions League last-16 tie against Bayern Munich at the Emirates Stadium. MORE

In-form sides lock horns in last 16

Porto will host Malaga tonight in the first leg of the Champions League last 16 with both teams running into top form in recent months. Porto are unbeaten in 19 league matches, while Malaga lie in fourth place in La Liga.

Touré: Cup win a must for Mancini

Exit-bound Manchester City defender Kolo Toure believes his side must win the FA Cup for Roberto Mancini to be safe in his job. "For a team like City it's difficult to go for a season without winning one trophy," he said. "It's very important for the players, for us, to win." MORE

Serena becomes oldest number one

Serena Williams has been confirmed as the oldest woman to reach world number one at the age of 31 years and 145 days.

Williams replaces Victoria Azarenka in top spot of the WTA rankings. The 15-time Grand Slam winner last held the position in October 2010. MORE

Di Canio resigns from Swindon post

Paolo Di Canio has resigned as manager of League One side Swindon, citing a series of 'broken promises' which made his position at the club 'untenable'.

The Italian led the club to promotion as champions of League Two last season. MORE

Blackpool appoint Ince as manager

Blackpool have appointed Paul Ince as manager on a one-year rolling contract. The 45-year-old, who has been without a job since leaving Notts County in April 2011, will become the Bloomfield Road club's third permanent manager of the season. MORE

Woakes: Anderson is an inspiration

All-rounder Chris Woakes has backed team-mate James Anderson to set more bowling records for England after surpassing Sir Ian Botham's total of 528 wickets in all formats on Sunday. "I aspire to play the game like him," said Woakes.