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The Sport Matrix: Wednesday 6 November 2013


Negredo hits three as City finally make knockout stages

Manchester City qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League at the third time of asking last night with a comfortable 5-2 victory at home to CSKA Moscow.

Alvaro Negredo (right) scored a hat-trick, while strike partner Sergio Aguero added two more, to take Manuel Pellegrini’s City further in the competition than in the previous two seasons under Roberto Mancini.

Aguero scored twice in the opening 20 minutes – the first a penalty – with Negredo scoring his first on the half-hour, only for a defensive lapse to allow Seydou Doumbia to walk the ball into the net on the stroke of half-time. Two more from Negredo after the interval, either side of a Doumbia spot-kick, took City through.

Manchester United endured a frustrating night in Spain as the Premier League champions drew 0-0 at Real Sociedad. Robin van Persie struck the post then had a penalty saved – won by more debatable theatrics from Ashley Young – before Marouane Fellaini saw red for a second booking. But David Moyes’s side remain top of Group A and are well placed to join City in the last 16. MORE

Nadal surges to opening victory

Spain’s Rafael Nadal gained revenge over compatriot David Ferrer to open his World Tour Finals campaign with a win at the 02 Arena in London. The world No 1, beaten by Ferrer in Paris last weekend, prevailed in the Group A encounter in straight sets, winning 6-3, 6-2. MORE

Cole: Rule changes help Argentina

Dan Cole believes Argentina will benefit from the new scrummaging laws when they take on his England side on Saturday. “The way the scrum is now, it probably suits the Argentines more than anyone else,” he said. “To the Pumas, scrummaging is a matter of will.” MORE

Walker: Williams was my inspiration

Eli Walker is seeking to emulate Shane Williams when he makes his Wales debut against South Africa on Saturday. “Shane was the one I looked up to coming through the academy system at Ospreys,” he said. “He was probably the biggest influence on me rugby-wise.”

Wenger seeks to keep away record

Arsène Wenger has backed his Arsenal side to maintain their fine away record as they travel to Borussia Dortmund. “We take belief from our form,” he said of their 14 games unbeaten. “We play everywhere to win. That will not change and we will have a positive attitude.” MORE

Cook welcomes batting battles

England captain Alastair Cook is excited by the unpredictability of his team’s batting line-up. “We are open to all possibilities,” he said. “We haven’t decided. We are unsure of two places. If someone grabs that opportunity he is going to find himself in a good place.” MORE

Stenson seeks to end year on top

Henrik Stenson is determined to remain atop the money list ahead of the season’s final two events, to avoid losing a bet to Ian Poulter. “I’m going to try to make sure that doesn’t happen,” he said. “It’s going to be bad for me if he wins.” MORE

Keane set for Delaney reunion

In 2002, John Delaney was FAI treasurer and had the unenviable job of coordinating matters in Dublin while the proverbial was hitting the fan in Micronesia. Guess what? He is now chief executive, and Roy Keane will now answer to him. MORE

Sven became joke in chasing money

Sven Goran Eriksson should be commanding the most sought-after international roles in football. Instead, the Swede has followed the money and made himself into something of a joke. The book is the latest instalment in that process. MORE

Brits foiled by Fiorente run

British-trained horses Red Cadeaux and Mount Athos finished second and third in the Melbourne Cup yesterday, which was won by Fiorente – trained by one-time Doctor Who actress Gai Waterhouse. MORE

Pete Jenson

No one believes Messi’s four games without a goal is the end. But it is a test of his brilliance to hit the same heights as when the chemistry between himself and his former coach was so perfect. MORE