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The Sport Matrix: Wednesday 27 November 2013


Arsenal in driving seat as Chelsea qualify with loss

Two Jack Wilshere goals kept Arsenal top of Group F as they eased past Marseilles 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium last night. Arsène  Wenger’s side require just a point from next month’s final group match in Napoli to secure qualification to the last sixteen after beating their French visitors, despite Mesut Ozil having a first-half penalty saved.

“Playing on the right you can cut in on your left and the first one went in and it was nice,” Wilshere said. “We created a lot of chances tonight. We got in behind them. [Napoli] is a tough game. At home they’re a very good team they’ve got great fans. We’re not through yet. We’ve got to regroup again.”

Chelsea made sure of their place in the next round despite a poor display in Switzerland, where they went down 1-0 to Basel. “A bad performance, a deserved defeat.” admitted a downbeat manager Jose Mourinho (above). “But because of other results, we qualify. That is the only positive. I did not like anything from the first minute.”

Celtic crashed to a 3-0 home defeat to Milan at Celtic Park, which means they will finish bottom of Group H. MORE

Moyes: Rooney is best when angry

Manchester United manager David Moyes believes Wayne Rooney performs better when he has a point to prove. “I don’t want him to be kicking, I want him aggressive, challenging, full of running,” Moyes said. “I want Wayne to have fire in his belly. He plays better when he’s tough and aggressive.”

United involved in near miss at airport

Manchester United’s players and staff had an unnerving experience as their aircraft had an aborted landing in Cologne last night when the pilot realised, 400 metres from touching down, that  another plane was already on the runway. A passenger said: “It was quite frightening.”

Nasri enjoying new lease of life at City

Samir Nasri feels he has matured as a player after his troubles at the European Championship last summer. “As a player, as a person, I grew up a lot,” he said. “I am not looking for another incident to grow up again but I know my mistakes now and I know what to do to make it right.” MORE

Stephens and Church earn victory

Goals either side of half-time from Dale Stephens and Simon Church gave Charlton a 2-0 victory over Doncaster in the Championship last night. The hosts’ first win in three games took them to 17th, four places above Rovers, who now sit just two spots off the relegation zone.

Ashes rivals will be told to cool things

The captains of Australia and England, Michael Clarke and Alastair Cook, are to be appear before Ashes match referee Jeff Crowe in an effort to halt the bad blood between the sides that disfigured the opening Test of the series in Brisbane. MORE

Australia a different side, says Gatland

Wales coach Warren Gatland believes Australia are an improved side under new coach Ewen McKenzie. “[He] is trying to put his mark on the team and I respect him for that,” Gatland said. “Australia are a completely different side.”

Froch past sell-by date, claims Khan

Amir Khan has called for Carl Froch to retire following his struggles against George Groves. “He’s past his best, past his sell-by date,” Khan claimed. “In his next fight he’ll lose those belts. He got a close win against Groves; he was losing the fight.”

Gillings optimistic she can win medal

Snowboarder Zoe Gillings is cautiously confident of a medal at next year’s Games. “It’s unpredictable so nobody can be sure of getting a medal,” she said. “I have beaten all the girls who are competing so it’s not a certainty but it is a possibility.” MORE

Murray favourite for BBC award

Wimbledon champion Andy Murray is favourite to be named BBC Sports Personality of the Year after the shortlist was unveiled last night. The athlete Mo Farah and jockey AP McCoy are also favoured. MORE

Pete Jenson

The injured Cristiano Ronaldo (left) will look down from his private box tonight and see thousands of versions of himself. A six-metre-high banner will read: “We are all Cristiano.” MORE