The Sport Matrix: Wednesday 25 September 2013


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The Independent Online

Chelsea, Spurs and Man City stroll into the last sixteen

Premier League heavyweights Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur all won comfortably to reach the fourth round of the Capital One Cup last night.

First-half strikes from Fernando Torres and Ramires gave Chelsea a 2-0 win at League One Swindon Town, while Manchester City eased past Wigan Athletic 5-0, Stevan Jovetic (left) scoring twice. Jermain Defoe also scored twice, helping Tottenham to a 4-0 win at Aston Villa.

Elsewhere, there were wins for Burnley, Hull, Leicester, Southampton, West Ham and Fulham. Championship Watford took Norwich to extra-time but lost 3-2, with Gary Hooper scoring the winner.

Sunderland win without Di Canio

Emanuele Giaccherini and Valentin Roberge helped Sunderland begin life post-Paolo Di Canio with a 2-0 Capital One Cup win over Peterborough. Former Brighton manager Gus Poyet is favourite to succeed Di Canio. MORE

Walcott ruled out of England’s final World Cup push

Theo Walcott is out of England’s two crucial World Cup qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland next month, denying manager Roy Hodgson a player who started the previous two games and has become a key member of the squad.

The Arsenal forward (left) will have a stomach operation today to correct an abdominal problem that was causing associated problems in his groin and glutes. The injury had been a concern for some time and the player and Arsenal felt they had no option but to go ahead with what was described as “a minor procedure” that will rule him out for three weeks.

Watson wants end to captain’s picks

United States Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson has called for an end to captain’s picks. “The purest form would be no picks, 12 who qualify,” he said. “That’s the way it should go back to. I want players who have that as a goal.” MORE

Canadian to be new head of LTA

Michael Downey will be the LTA’s new chief executive from January. The CEO of Canada Tennis replaces Roger Draper with the aim of increasing tennis participation. His £300,000 salary is less than half Draper’s £640,000. MORE

Time for Wiggins 

Sir Bradley Wiggins appears content once again as he chases the world championship time-trial title today. In a city  regarded as the birthplace of the Renaissance, Wiggins is ready to be reborn. MORE

Rodgers backs Suarez on return

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has backed Luis Suarez not to react to provocation when he returns from a 10-match suspension at Old Trafford tonight. The Uruguayan faces Manchester United in the League Cup in his first club appearance since April’s 2-2 home draw with Chelsea.

“[Luis is] resilient and one of the strongest-willed characters I have ever met in my life,” Rodgers said of the forward. “I don’t think he will bat an eyelid.” MORE

Tuilagi adds to England’s injuries

Stuart Lancaster’s plans for the autumn internationals have taken another blow after Manu Tuilagi was ruled out of the matches, joining Leicester flanker Tom Croft and Saracens centre Brad Barritt.

Tuilagi has impressed for Leicester but ended Stuliugiaturday’s game in pain. “He went for a tackle with his arm outstretched and picked up a chest injury,” director Richard Cockerill said. “The suspicion is that he tore his pectoral muscle. It’s a lay-off of six to eight weeks at best.” MORE