The Sport Matrix: Wednesday 13 March 2013


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The Independent Online

Wenger backs side to produce shock result in Munich

Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger has challenged his side to prove they can perform in the bigger matches, as they fight to rescue their Champions League campaign at Bayern Munich tonight.

The German side lead 3-1 from last month's round of 16 first-leg and, with Wenger's side out of both domestic cups and struggling in the Premier League, Wenger, above, admits tonight is the club's final chance.

He said: "It is a difficult task, we know that. We think it is not impossible.

"I am confident we will be completely focused and up for it, and give it our best shot. Football is football – everything is possible.

"I have a great respect for this team and its attitude and they have not been rewarded yet," he added. "It is important for the end to our season that we do it." MORE

Chisora ready for return to the ring

Disgraced boxer Dereck Chisora will return to the ring next month after regaining his British licence. The Briton lost the licence last year after brawling with David Haye at a press conference. "I'm glad this episode is behind me," he said. MORE

Hurricane storms to second Hurdle

Hurricane Fly recovered from a poor start to become the first horse since 1975 to regain the Champion Hurdle, on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival yesterday. Ruby Walsh rode the 2011 winner to a two-and-a-half-length win as part of a first-day treble. MORE

Magical Messi leads Barça into quarters

Two sublime strikes from Lionel Messi helped Barcelona to a 4-0 thrashing of Milan as they overturned a first-leg deficit to reach the last eight of the Champions League, 4-2 on aggregate. Galatasaray won 3-2 at Schalke to progress 4-3 and join Barça in the quarter-finals. MORE

Royals draw up manager shortlist

Reading were yesterday continuing to draw up a list of potential names to replace Brian McDermott after his sacking on Monday. Former Swindon manager Paolo Di Canio and ex-Chelsea coach Roberto Di Matteo are both in contention. MORE

Barnsley move out of relegation spots

A Chris Dagnall penalty, just after the hour mark, gave Barnsley a 2-1 victory over Brighton last night to move David Flitcroft's team off the foot of the Championship and out of the bottom three. Elsewhere, Leeds came from behind to draw 1-1 at home to Peterborough.

Prior: England must learn lessons

Matt Prior says England will learn from their poor start to the first Test in New Zealand as the second match begins tonight. "You cannot get complacent and take anything for granted," he said. "You have to earn the right to score runs." MORE

Farrell confident ahead of decider

England backs coach Andy Farrell is confident ahead of Saturday's Six Nations title decider in Wales. "We've learnt a lot about ourselves over the last year," he said, "and are keen to raise our level of experience by winning some silverware." page 45

Warburton must keep up with Jones

Lock Alun Wyn Jones has emerged as a serious rival to Sam Warburton to captain Wales in Saturday's Six Nations finale against England. Ryan Jones has been ruled out after breaking his shoulder. MORE

Gestede rescues point for Cardiff

Championship leaders Cardiff City were indebted to an injury-time header from Rudy Gestede to earn them a point in a 1-1 draw at home to Leicester last night. Michael Keane had put the visitors ahead before the late reply, which takes Cardiff four points clear of Hull. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

When Ruby Walsh brought home Hurricane Fly in the Champion Hurdle, a stunning reinstatement of a former champion, no one could doubt this was a day which could only belong to one man. MORE