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The Sport Matrix: Wednesday 30 January 2013

Toon on song to send sorry Villa into bottom three

First-half goals from Papiss Cissé and Yohan Cabaye gave Newcastle United their first away victory in almost nine months as they won 2-1 at Aston Villa last night.

Alan Pardew's side took advantage of a woeful opening half from the hosts to take control of the match. Cissé, taking new signing Moussa Sissoko's pass to open the scoring on 19 minutes before Cabaye's superb second from long range.

Christian Benteke gave Paul Lambert, above, and his side hope with a penalty three minutes into the second-half but, despite a much-improved showing, Villa were unable to find an equaliser and dropped back into the relegation zone. MORE

Swans fail to find a way past Black Cats

Swansea continued their fine recent form last night, earning a point at Sunderland after a goalless draw. The Welsh side enjoyed the better of the chances, Nathan Dyer and Danny Graham going close as they extended their run to one defeat in 11 games. MORE

Balotelli set for medical at Milan

Mario Balotelli will have a medical at Milan today after the club agreed a deal with Manchester City for the Italian forward. The Serie A club are close to finalising a £19.5m deal for the 22-year-old after three years at City. MORE

Resolute QPR hold champions City

Champions Manchester City were unable to find a way past QPR goalkeeper Julio Cesar as they were held to a 0-0 draw at Loftus Road. Pablo Zabaleta hit the bar and Gareth Barry and David Silva went close but the hosts extended their unbeaten league run to four games. MORE

Opinion: Lewis Moody

Last year Stuart Lancaster's England were underdogs. All of a sudden they are many people's favourites and that brings an entirely different set of pressures. This team certainly can win the Six Nations. MORE

England laugh off 'arrogance' claims

Assistant coach Andy Farrell has dismissed claims of English arrogance ahead of the Six Nations. "People say these things of England every year," he said. "We deal with it tongue in cheek, we know what we're about." pages 48-49

Wigan storm back to rescue a point

Wigan Athletic recovered from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Stoke last night and move out of the relegation zone. Ryan Shawcross and Peter Crouch put the hosts ahead before Latics replies from James McArthur and Franco Di Santo. MORE

Woods has McIlroy in sights after win

Tiger Woods believes his win in the Farmers Insurance Open last weekend can help him reclaim the world No 1 spot. "I'm excited," he said. "Does it give me confidence? Absolutely. This is a nice way to start the year." MORE

Westwood hopes for sunshine spark

Lee Westwood is hopeful his six weeks spent training in his new home of Florida over the winter can help him push for a debut major title. "I just need to find a little spark that takes me from finishing second or third to winning one," he said. MORE

Meade hoping he has a World-beater

Trainer Noel Meade rates the chances of his six-year-old Monksland cashing in on the absence of Big Buck's from the World Hurdle. "There are plenty of contenders," he said. "[But] there's a bit more to come from our horse." MORE

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