The Sport Matrix: Tuesday 27 January 2015


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Arsenal set to seal Gabriel signing

Arsenal hope to seal the signing of £11.2m defender Gabriel Paulista from Villarreal today. The Brazilian, who can play centre-back or left-back, has been granted a work permit despite never having been capped by his country at any level. Gabriel could not have received an automatic work permit but Arsenal successfully appealed through the FA’s “exceptional talent” guidelines.

DR Congo and Tunisia progress

Tunisia and DR Congo eased through to the African Cup of Nations quarter-finals after they drew 1-1 in Bata. Tunisia were nearly left to rue missing two good opportunities early in the game before Ahmed Akaichi headed home Yassine Chikhaoui’s deflected effort. DR Congo, though, came back, with Jeremy Bokila finding the net. The result meant Tunisia finished top in Group B, with DR Congo second.

Delph’s Villa deal ‘shocked’ players

Fabian Delph has admitted his Aston Villa team-mates were shocked to hear he had signed a new deal, having put pen to paper on a four-and-a-half-year contract which commits himself to the club until 2019. “The lads are absolutely delighted. As soon as I told some of them they looked at me shocked to start with,” he said. “They see a lot in me and how dedicated I am and how I want to push on.”

Smith: I’d have slapped twirl inquisitor

England football captain Kelly Smith says she would have “slapped” the on-court interviewer who asked Canadian tennis player Eugenie Bouchard to twirl after her win in the Australian Open last week.

Smith described the request as “arrogance or stupidity” and told Press Association Sport: “If I was asked I’d probably have slapped him around the face or something. It was an insult to women’s sport.”

Smith was speaking at the launch of the Women’s Sport Trust’s #BeaGamechanger Awards, which recognise the individuals and organisations doing the most to progress women’s sport. “It shows that there still is that ignorance when it comes to women’s sport and that transfers to kids today,” Smith added. “People think it is still okay to say things like that.

“The more we raise the profile of women’s sport through the Women’s Sport Trust and awards such as these, the bigger the chance of knocking that behaviour out of society.”

I’d probably cheat again – Armstrong

Lance Armstrong says he would use performance-enhancing drugs again if taken back to 1995. Armstrong, who was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles for doping, said: “If you take me back to 1995, when doping was completely pervasive, I would probably do it again.”