The Sports Matrix: Friday 22 April 2011

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The Independent Online

Nadal eases into quarter-finals

World No 1 Rafael Nadal cruised into the Barcelona Open quarter finals with a comfortable 6-3, 6-1 victory over unseeded Colombian Santiago Giraldo yesterday. The five-time winner will face Gaël Monfils in the last eight tomorrow. MORE

Leeds recover to take derby spoils

A late try from Danny Buderus helped Leeds to a 30-22 victory at Bradford to move the Yorkshire side up to sixth place. The hosts led 12-10 at the interval, but the Rhinos recovered to win, including a try for Ryan Hall on his 100th game for the club. MORE

Guardiola tells Barcelona to focus

Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola has called on his players to forget the Copa del Rey loss to Real Madrid ahead of tomorrow’s league visit of Osasuna. “We have to regroup,” he said. “And concentrate on our main aim.” MORE

Fabregas quotes were not ‘twisted’

Don Balon have defended their reporting of Cesc Fabregas’ interview following Arsène Wenger’s claims that the midfielder’s words were “twisted”. The magazine claimed their version was “completely faithful and respectful” to Fabregas’ words. MORE

Payne cleared but Powell must wait

Tim Payne, one of two Wasps players suspended by the club pending an investigation into an incident on Monday evening, has been cleared of any wrongdoing by the club. Team-mate Andy Powell remains the subject of an investigation. MORE

Mancini issues Tevez deadline

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has warned Carlos Tevez he will have to prove his fitness ahead of next month’s FA Cup final. “It’s important for Carlos to play before the final,” Mancini said of the striker, who has a hamstring injury. MORE

Higgins overcomes nerves to seal win

John Higgins admitted to feeling the pressure before his 10-5 first round victory over Stephen Lee in the World Championship. “I didn’t feel so good. I was really edgy,” the Scot said after leading 6-3 overnight. “There’s always going to be nerves.” MORE

Rodgers learnt from Mourinho

Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers tells i that much of his success is down to lessons learnt under Jose Mourinho at Chelsea, where Rodgers was reserve coach. “I had three and a half years with Jose,” he said. “It was like being at Harvard.” MORE

Lancs edge ahead despite Kirby form

Lancashire ended the second day of their county match at Aigburth 93 runs ahead, despite an impressive spell from Somerset’s Steve Kirby. The fast bowler took 5 for 79 to limit the hosts to 361 for 7, with Tom Smith and Gareth Cross hitting half-centuries. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

In the matter of shaping any situation to his advantage, of implanting belief in players where little or none existed and diminishing those they face, Jose Mourinho has graduated ever more confidently into a class of his own. MORE

Houllier in hospital after health scare

Aston Villa manager Gérard Houllier was yesterday admitted to hospital after complaining of chest pains.Houllier previously had major surgery after suffering heart-related problems whilst Liverpool manager in 2001, and whilst his condition is described as ‘comfortable’ he is expected to remain in hospital for the next few days. “I spoke to Gérard this morning, as did Gary [McAllister] before he took training, and he sounded very positive,” chief executive Paul Faulkner said. “I’ve received a lot of good wishes from fans and I’d like to thank them for their kind thoughts.” McAllister will take charge of the first team for tomorrow’s visit of Stoke. MORE

Canaries storm to 5-1 derby victory

Three goals in the final 20 minutes helped Norwich to a superb 5-1 win at Ipswich to lift them up to second. Leading 2-0 at the interval, Simeon Jackson extended the lead before Jimmy Bullard’s reply. Russell Martin and Daniel Pacheco confirmed victory. MORE

Westwood and Donald begin well

Luke Donald and Lee Westwood shot rounds of four-under in their respective tournaments as they seek to become World No 1. Current No 3 Donald carded 67 in the Heritage in the US, while Westwood hit 68 to lie two off the lead in the Indonesian Masters. MORE