The Sports Matrix: Friday 13 April 2012


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The Independent Online

Dalglish accepts responsibility as Comolli is sacked

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has insisted he has full responsibility for the club's recent signings, as preparations for tomorrow's FA Cup semi-final against Everton were disrupted by the sacking of the director of football, Damien Comolli. "I have brought every player here," the Scot said. "End of story. I have made the decision on every player and will continue to make the decisions. I don't need any reassurances from the owners." The Scot was handed a vote of confidence from chairman Tom Werner, as head of sports science Peter Brukner was also shown the door.

"We have great confidence in Kenny and feel the team is going to make great strides," Werner said. Comolli was dismissed after just 18 months at the club, with a number of high-profile arrivals, including Andy Carroll, Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson, failing to impress having been brought in under his tenure. "We feel there is enough talent on the pitch to win and we have been dissatisfied with the results so far," Werner continued. "We have a strategy we want implemented and we felt that Damien was not the right person to implement it." MORE

Big Buck's eases to a record 17th win

Big Buck's cruised to a record 17th straight victory at Aintree yesterday, Ruby Walsh easing the champion stayer down to win the Liverpool Hurdle for the fourth year in a row. "He will get beat, all horses do," trainer Paul Nicholls said. "But not today. Not yet." MORE

Farrell turns down England for Sarries

Andy Farrell has decided against joining Stuart Lancaster's coaching team with England, opting instead to remain with Saracens. Farrell assisted Lancaster during the Six Nations campaign. "The job isn't half done," he said. "I want to help finish the job." MORE

Ivanovic given three-match ban

Chelsea defender Branislav Ivan-ovic has lost his appeal against a Football Association charge of violent conduct and will serve a three-game ban. The Serbian misses Sunday's FA Cup semi-final with Spurs as well as league matches with Arsenal and QPR. MORE

Bilic pleased to see Jelavic prosper

Nikica Jelavic's successful start to life at Everton has come as no surprise to his national manager Slaven Bilic. "His [£5m] price looks like a bargain," the Croatia coach said. "He is so self-confident that he never has any fear. His best years are still to come." MORE

Five for Anyon as Sussex take charge

A five-wicket haul from James Anyon helped Sussex take command of the opening day against Lancashire at Liverpool. The 28-year-old took 5-36 as the hosts were bowled out for just 124, with Sussex ended their first-innings reply on 137 for 3. MORE

Hamilton hopeful of beating penalty

Lewis Hamilton has pledged to overcome his five-place grid penalty at this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix. "We can still have a good weekend," he said after the gearbox-enforced punishment. "Hopefully we will be quick enough to still move forward." MORE

Striking duo happy to remain at City

Sergio Aguero and Mario Balotelli both expect to reman at Manchester City, despite reports linking them with exits. "I am very happy and want to continue my career here," said Aguero, while Balotelli's agent has insisted the Italian re-mains content at the club. MORE

Ronaldo continues to outshine Messi

Cristiano Ronaldo's hat-trick at Atletico Madrid took his league tally to 40 and continued his rivalry with Barcelona's Lionel Messi. The Real forward leads the Argentine in goals and hat-tricks, and remains favourite to help his team to the La Liga title. MORE

Trott on hot streak

Laura Trott has spoken of her surprise at winning two gold medals in three days at last week's world championships. "It's the best thing that's happened to me," she said. "And it being an Olympic year as well. Pretty crazy!" MORE