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The Sport Matrix: Tuesday 21 January 2014

Lugano lifts spirits at West Brom as Everton miss out

Diego Lugano scored his first goal for West Bromwich Albion last night as Pepe Mel’s side put a dampener on Everton’s European aspirations in the 1-1 draw at The Hawthorns.

Kevin Mirallas opened proceedings on an evening dominated by Nicolas Anelka but the Baggies’ defender replied with a powerful second-half header to give Mel a decent start to life in his new job. MORE

Anelka faces FA charge for gesture

Nicolas Anelka will be charged by the Football Association today over his “quenelle” gesture and will face a long-term ban if found guilty. West Bromwich Albion’s shirt sponsor Zoopla announced it would not be renewing its sponsorship this summer after the episode. MORE

Champagne won’t oppose Blatter

The campaign launch of the first candidate for the 2015 Fifa presidency descended into farce yesterday when Jérôme Champagne said he would not stand if Sepp Blatter decided to run for a fifth term. The former French diplomat does not think he could beat the 77-year-old. MORE

Next stop Mallorca for Blues star Eto’o

Chelsea’s hat-trick hero Samuel Eto’o has revealed he wants to leave in the summer and return to Real Mallorca. “I have signed on at Chelsea for the entire season and will try to enjoy it and later on, I will go to Mallorca,” the striker told Spanish radio station Cadena Cope. MORE

Allardyce facing the impossible

Sam Allardyce admitted it is “highly, highly unlikely” that West Ham will overturn their 6-0 Capital One Cup semi-final deficit against Manchester City in the second leg at Upton Park tonight. “You play it for pride, to try to get a result,” the under-fire boss said.  MORE

Murray sets up Federer test

Andy Murray will play Roger Federer in the Australian Open quarter-final tomorrow after beating Frenchman Stéphane Robert 6-1, 6-2, 6-7, 6-2. “It’s a big match for me,” said Murray, who has won 11 out of his 20 matches against the Swiss star.MORE

Old friend Bopara defends Cook

Alastair Cook, England’s beleaguered captain, was yesterday offered the unequivocal backing of his oldest friend in cricket. “There is no one out there who can do the job he can,” said Essex and international team-mate Ravi Bopara. MORE

Super Bowl looks a dream contest

The Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks, top seeds in the AFC and the NFC, have duly won their conference championships, setting up Super Bowl XLVIII as a strategists’ dream: the NFL’s best defense against its most potent offense. MORE

New funding opens doors for Steel

Gemma Steel admits that being placed on UK Athletics’ podium potential programme will improve her marathon potential. The 28-year-old, who has not received a penny in public funding before, recently ran the UK’s fourth-fastest 10k.

Jamaica bobsleigh team off to Sochi

The Jamaican bobsleigh team will end a 12-year absence from the Winter Olympics after securing a two-man bob place at next month’s Sochi Games. The country’s 1988 entry inspired the film Cool Runnings. MORE

Ian Herbert

You only need to consider how far Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool have travelled to know that perspective, not panic, is required where David Moyes and Manchester United are concerned. MORE

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Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
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Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

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Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

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