The Sports Matrix: Friday 19 August 2011

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The Independent Online

Dempsey double downs Dnipro

Fulham beat Dnipro 3-0 at Craven Cottage last night to give them the best possible chance of reaching the Europa League group stages. Aaron Hughes opened the scoring for the home side before Clint Dempsey found the back of the net twice. MORE

Villas-Boas unsure over Modric offer

Chelsea manager Andre Villas- Boas said the pursuit of Spurs midfielder Luka Modric is out of his hands. “It’s not my money,” he said yesterday, “it doesn’t depend on me. It depends on if the club are willing to go forward or not, up to which value.” MORE

Murray marches past Bogomolov

Andy Murray reached the quarter-finals at the Cincinnati Masters yesterday with a straight sets win over Alex Bogomolov Jnr. Murray won 6-2, 7-5 and will face either David Ferrer or Gilles Simon in the last eight. MORE

Spurs break Hearts in Europa play-off

Tottenham Hotspur’s season started perfectly last night with a 5-0 victory over Hearts in Edinburgh. Rafael van der Vaart, Jermain Defoe and Jake Livermore scored in the first half, before Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon’s late strikes. MORE

Jones will not be risked in warm-up

Ospreys forward Ryan Jones will not be risked in Wales’ warm-up game with Argentina at the Millennium Stadium tomorrow, due to a calf injury. “Ryan wanted to play, could have played and is disappointed he isn’t,” said coach Warren Gatland. MORE

Eto’o move shows Anzhi power

Samuel Eto’o’s imminent move from Internazionale to Anzhi Makhachkala for £30millon underlines the power of the Dagestan-based team. Anzhi have already signed Roberto Carlos and Yuri Zhirkov, but Eto’o would be more significant. MORE

Wigan chief wants more union men

Wigan Warriors chairman Ian Lenagan believes the sport needs more players from rugby union. “I see a future where we have a lot of movement in both directions,” he said. “There are plenty of players out there who would be better suited to rugby league.” MORE

Martinez forgives Swansea critics

Roberto Martinez, nicknamed ‘El Judas’ by some Swansea fans, says he will not be fazed by his return to the Liberty Stadium on Saturday. “My links to Swansea are so, so strong that I respect any views from the fans,” the Wigan manager explained. MORE

London bids for 2017 tournament

London will bid to host the 2017 World Athletics Championships at the Olympic Stadium, UK Athletics confirmed yesterday. Lord Coe, who will submit the bid, said: “The IAAF and the athletics family have been unwavering in their support for an Olympic legacy.”

Opinion: James Lawton

The opening over bowled by R P Singh at The Oval yesterday was one of the most anticlimactic passages in the annals of big-time sport. And it leads to concerns over the future of the most superior form of the game. MORE

Rain holds up England progress

England’s mission of completing a 4-0 whitewash of India was delayed yesterday as two sessions of the first day of the fourth Test were lost to rain at The Oval. Andrew Strauss won the toss and chose to bat on an overcast morning. The England team was unchanged, while M S Dhoni replaced the injured Praveen Kumar with R P Singh. India’s attack was insipid, and England were comfortable, reaching 75 without loss at lunch. This was the 18th time Strauss and Alastair Cook had put on 75 or more for England’s first wicket. They looked set for more before the rain came. England batting coach Graham Gooch explained his role in Cook’s development: “I try to coach runmaking, not batting. Anyone can bat but can you make runs? Alastair has learnt his trade and he has the four attributes that make up a run-maker: a great attitude, technical ability, knowledge of how to play in different situations and massive powers of concentration.” MORE

ICC consider Tests return for Pakistan

More than two years since international cricket was suspended in Pakistan, the International Cricket Council is considering sending a goodwill XI. The last Test there was abandoned in 2009 after the Sri Lanka team bus was attacked by gunmen in Lahore. MORE

British team takes European gold

Britain’s dressage riders won their first ever European team title in Rotterdam yesterday. The GB team finished with a combined score of 238.678, beating the previous European record set by the Dutch in 2009. Germany took the silver medal.