The Sport Matrix: Wednesday 13 February 2013


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The Independent Online

Ferguson planning on all-out attack at the Bernabeu

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted tonight's Champions League round-of-16 trip to Real Madrid will be "the acid test" of his Premier League leaders. Amid accusations of a weakened domestic scene, the Scot aims to attack from the start at the Bernabeu tonight ahead of the return leg at Old Trafford next month.

"Our intention is to win and score and that can cause chaos. We have to play our own game," Ferguson said. "There won't be a 0-0 − there will be goals. Of course it can live up to expectations. There can be late drama but we have to balance that with responsibility not to leave the door open."

Darren Fletcher and Paul Scholes are the only absentees for United in Madrid, whose main threat will come from former Old Trafford midfielder Cristiano Ronaldo, above. MORE

We need a miracle now, says Lennon

Neil Lennon admitted Celtic "need a miracle" to reach the Champions League quarter-finals after losing 3-0 at home to Juventus in last night's round-of-16 first leg. "The scoreline flatters Juventus," he said. "We switched off for the second and third. That's the harsh reality." MORE

Scannell sets up date with Wigan

Huddersfield will host Premier League Wigan in the FA Cup this weekend after beating Leicester 2-1 in last night's fourth-round replay. Adam Clayton and Michael Keane traded goals inside the opening 10 minutes, before Sean Scannell's fine late winner took the Terriers through. MORE

Hull victory takes them into top two

Hull moved back into second in the Championship with a 2-1 victory over Derby County last night after Ahmed Elmohamady's late winner. Elsewhere, Middlesbrough beat Leeds 1-0 at the Riverside Stadium, and Brighton drew 1-1 at home to Blackburn Rovers. MORE

Reds players told to ignore racism

Liverpool's players have been told not to walk off the pitch if they are racially abused during tomorrow's Europa League tie at Zenit St Petersburg. "We plan to speak to the players," managing director Ian Ayre said. "The most important thing is that they remain professional." MORE

Same again for Wales, says Howley

Interim Wales head coach Rob Howley is to keep faith with the team that won in France last weekend for the mid-point Six Nations match with Italy. "The team comes first," he said. "The way the team played they deserve to start again."

Football and tennis accused by Wada

The president of the World Anti-Doping Agency has accused football and tennis of not doing enough to combat the threat of doping. "Football is not testing enough," John Fahey said. "Whatever the sport, more can be done." MORE

Broad takes blame for England slump

Captain Stuart Broad shouldered the blame as England went down to a heavy defeat in the second T20 with New Zealand. The hosts posted 192 for 6 in Hamilton, England bowled out for 137 in reply as they were beaten by 55 runs. MORE

Wiggins back on form after despair

Sir Bradley Wiggins put in a solid performance in the Tour of Oman yesterday, recovering from his last place on Monday for Team Sky. The Briton finished in a leading group of 50 riders which crossed the line behind Chris Froome. MORE

Tidal Bay leniency leads to anger

The evergreen Tidal Bay was yesterday indulged with a mark of 162 for the John Smith's Grand National, leading to claims that the dice had been unfairly loaded in his favour for the showpiece race. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Jose Mourinho may have established credentials at Porto, Chelsea, Inter and – in Madrid – broken for one year the stran-glehold of Barça, but they say United's hierarchy worry about his disruptive ways. MORE