The Sport Matrix: Wednesday 3 April 2013


Barça twice pegged back as PSG snatch a last-gasp draw

An injury-time strike from Blaise Matuidi means Barcelona still have plenty of work to do before reaching the last four of the Champions League, as they were held to a 2-2 draw at Paris Saint-Germain last night.

Lionel Messi - from a sublime Dani Alves pass - and Xavi Hernandez, from the spot, twice gave Barça  the lead in the quarter-final first leg, only for Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Matuidi to bring the hosts – for whom David Beckham started – level. MORE

Elsewhere, Bayern Munich defeated Juventus 2-0. Defender David Alaba scored inside the opening 25 seconds, before Thomas Müller doubled their advantage. MORE

Watford closing on promotion place

Troy Deeney’s goal earned Watford a priceless 1-0 Championship victory at Hull City as they closed the gap on their second-placed hosts to one point. Elsewhere, Chris Eagles gave Bolton a 1-0 win at home to Huddersfield, while the games at Brighton and Middlesbrough ended goalless.

‘I am unique’, jokes Di Canio

New Sunderland head coach Paolo Di Canio labelled himself “unique” and compared himself to Jose Mourinho as he was presented yesterday. “Some traits of our characters are similar,” the Italian said. MORE

Kidney stood down by Ireland after Six Nations failure

Declan Kidney yesterday had his five-year tenure as Ireland coach ended after the national team’s worst Six Nations showing in 14 years. The Irish Rugby Football Union announced Kidney would not be offered a new contract on expiry of his deal at the end of June and confirmed that, with the defence coach, Les Kiss, taking charge of the summer tour of North America, he would leave his position immediately. Kidney led Ireland to a first Grand Slam in 61 years in 2009 but the country won just once in this year’s competition, finishing fifth.

Flood eager ahead of Wilko match-up

Toby Flood is eagerly anticipating a first meeting with former England colleague Jonny Wilkinson when Leicester visit Toulon. “It’ll be fun,” he said. “I think there will be some wry smiles between [us] during the contest.” MORE

Tremlett earns England recall

Chris Tremlett was the most noteworthy inclusion in England’s performance squad, the bowler earning a place at the age of 31. Ravi Bopara, Craig Kieswetter and uncapped James Harris were also named in the 30-man party. MORE

Wigan wizards on the rise once again

Wigan enjoyed the best of Super League’s Easter schedule, storming to an 84-6 win over Hull KR after beating St Helens on Friday. Despite injuries, the Warriors are showing signs of a return to the glory days of the 1990s. MORE

Aintree lines up an all-star cast

Amid all the build-up to the Grand National, the first two days of the meeting can be overlooked. That will not be the case this year, not least with the news that Sprinter Sacre will try two and a half miles on Friday. MORE

Neil Warnock

I envisage myself in a Red Adair role, putting out fires, going into a club for a few months in the second half of a season and keeping them up, or finishing off a promotion campaign after their manager has been poached. MORE