The Sport Matrix: Tuesday 21 August 2012


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The Independent Online

RVP on bench as Fellaini header downs United

Manchester United's quest to reclaim the Premier League title got off to a losing start last night when Everton deservedly beat them 1-0 at Goodison Park in their opening match of the season. Marouane Fellaini's header from a Darron Gibson corner after 57 minutes was enough for Everton to record an impressive victory. Fellaini had been a handful all night, winning every ball that was sent forward towards him, and the Belgium international was a constant worry for the make-shift United defensive partnership of Nemanja Vidic and Michael Carrick. Robin Van Persie came off the bench after 68 minutes to make his Manchester United debut, but could make no impact on the game. "It was a great start," the Everton captain Phil Neville said afterwards. "We don't normally start the season well." Neville was quick to praise the goalscorer's dominating performance. "When Fellaini plays like that, he's unplayable. He's such an awkward player to play against." MORE

Strauss: South Africa deserved it

England surrendered their status as the world's No 1 Test side to South Africa yesterday, after a 51-run defeat at Lord's, losing the series 2-0. "South Africa were the better side over the series and deserved their victory," said England captain Andrew Strauss. MORE

Liverpool primed to sign Johnson

Liverpool have emerged as favourites to sign Manchester City's England winger Adam Johnson after manager Brendan Rodgers was given the financial go-ahead. But Sunderland, Tottenham Hotspur and Everton are all ready to match City's £10m asking price. MORE

Arsenal close in on Turkey midfielder

Arsenal are expected to announce the loan signing of midfielder Nuri Sahin from Real Madrid today. The 23-year-old Turkey midfielder will join initially on loan for the season. Alex Song yesterday completed his £15m transfer from Arsenal to Barcelona. MORE

Pardew push set to earn two-game ban

The Newcastle manager, Alan Pardew, faces a two-match touchline ban after being charged with misconduct by the FA yesterday for pushing Peter Kirkup, the referee's assistant, during his side's 2-1 win over Spurs. Pardew has until 4pm Thursday to contest the charge. MORE

Hazard able to take the hard tackles

Eden Hazard insists he has no fears about playing in England, after his fine Premier League debut for Chelsea at Wigan on Sunday. "I was kicked quite a bit in the first half against Wigan but, in France, it was already like that for me," he said. MORE

Villas-Boas begins Spurs clear-out

The clear-out of Tottenham Hotspur players who have fallen out of favour under the new Andre Villas-Boas regime is expected to begin with Michael Dawson to Queen's Park Rangers for £8m, while Tom Huddlestone could go to Stoke City on loan. MORE

Garcia qualifies for Ryder Cup team

Sergio Garcia claimed a two-stroke victory in the rain-delayed Wyndham Championship in North Carolina yesterday to earn his first PGA Tour title since 2008, which secured his place in the European Ryder Cup team. MORE

Premiership to use 'concussion bin'

The Premiership will trial the use of a "concussion bin" in the coming season. Players will be required to leave the field for five minutes to have cognitive tests if the team doctor or referee suspects they may have suffered concussion.

Froome moves up to fourth in Spain

Britain's Chris Froome climbed to fourth in the Vuelta a Espana after a third-place finish behind new leader Alejandro Valverde on stage three. Froome beat Spaniard Alberto Contador into fourth in a photo finish. MORE

Opinion: Glenn Moore

What Clint Dempsey is at the moment is a footballer on strike. The Texan has turned his back on the club which brought him to England, and has paid him handsomely for six years. MORE