The Sport Matrix: Tuesday 24 December 2013


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The Independent Online

Liverpool the main winners as rivals grind out a draw

Arsenal and Chelsea fought out a frustrating goalless draw at the Emirates last night to leave Liverpool top of the Premier League on goal difference for Christmas.

Frank Lampard hit the bar for the visitors and Theo Walcott had a penalty appeal waved away, while Olivier Giroud and Bacary Sagna also went close. MORE

Sherwood handed Spurs job full-time

Tim Sherwood was last night appointed Tottenham Hotspur head coach until the end of next season. The 44-year-old former Spurs midfielder has been in caretaker charge of the team for the last two matches following the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas eight days ago. MORE

Mackay worried by Tan’s conduct

Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay has voiced his concern over chairman Vincent Tan’s public airing of the club’s internal problems. “I am not naive enough to think the players don’t read papers or watch the news,” he said. “Our chances of staying up will be affected.” MORE

Fellaini ruled out until late January

Marouane Fellaini has been ruled out for up to six weeks after undergoing wrist surgery. The Manchester United and Belgium midfielder has struggled to settle at Old Trafford since his summer move from Everton, also suffering with a back problem. MORE

Martinez: Barkley is going nowhere

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has pledged to keep hold of Ross Barkley in next month’s transfer window. “We are in the strongest financial position we have been for a long time,” he said. “Even if we got a Gareth Bale-sized valuation, we would never consider it in January.” MORE

Cook not worried over retirements

England captain Alastair Cook is not concerned about other players retiring following Graeme Swann. “I don’t fear it,” he said. “No one forces you to play for England. We are very privileged to be in this situation, we know it lasts a short time.” MORE

Panesar ready to take opportunity

Monty Panesar is determined to make the most of the chance afforded him by Graeme Swann’s surprise retirement. “This is a really good opportunity,” the spinner said before the fourth Ashes Test. “I must grab it and do the best I can.” MORE

Juggling sport with school is the key

Lithuanian swimmer Ruta Meilutyte enjoys balancing her sporting career with schoolwork. “You can’t think, ‘Oh, I’m an Olympic champion’ – you still have to do homework,” she said. “That’s important. You don’t have time to think, ‘This is hard’.” MORE

Nowell tipped for England call-up

Harlequins and England full-back Mike Brown has tipped Exeter’s Jack Nowell for an England call-up. “I’m sure he will get his opportunity,” he said. “Jack has been playing extremely well in the last few weeks, especially against Toulon.”

Captain Chris  out of King George

Captain Chris will miss the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day after suffering a minor injury during a schooling session. “It’s nothing serious but he won’t be running,” said his trainer, Philip Hobbs.

Steve Bunce

In an age when too many fighters insult each other to the point of comic ridicule, it was an honour to watch Vusi Malinga and Stuart Hall avoid all the tawdry theatrics before the first bell sounded. MORE

Froome seals perfect season

Chris Froome is one of 10 Team Sky riders who have signed new contracts with the side for 2014. “This has been an incredible year,” the Tour de France winner said. “This is the place for me to continue to grow.” MORE