The Sports Matrix: Friday 31 August 2012


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The Independent Online

Carroll seals loan move to West Ham as Reds cut losses

Andy Carroll last night completed a loan move to West Ham United, ending a frustrating 18-month spell at Liverpool. The 23-year-old moves to Upton Park for the season, with West Ham having an option to buy the England international in a £17m move if they remain in the Premier League.

"You don't need to be a rocket scientist to see Andy has been a cover player for us and has been excellent in terms of his attitude and acceptance of where he is at," Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said last night ahead of his side's hard-fought Europa League victory over Hearts. But I don't think we are in a position to have £35m players as third-choice strikers."

Carroll showed signs of rediscovering his form towards the end of last season but has struggled for minutes under new manager Rodgers.

Elsewhere, Fulham were last night finalising a three-year deal for the Manchester United forward Dimitar Berbatov, while Esteban Granero, the Real Madrid midfielder was discussing personal terms with Queen's Park Rangers. MORE

Murray content to put his feet up

Andy Murray was enjoying extra rest after becoming the first man to reach the third round. "It's nice to be in that position," the Briton said after beating Ivan Dodig on Wednesday. "I've had some tough schedules here." Murray's will play Spain's Feliciano Lopez tomorrow. MORE

Fantastic Mr Fox celebrates gold

Jonathan Fox produced a superb swim to take Great Britain's first aquatics gold of the Games. The 21-year-old fought off Yevheniy Bohodayko for the S7 100m backstroke win. Elsewhere, Sarah Stoney took the C5 pursuit final for her eighth Paralympic gold. MORE

Russell takes lead from Adlington

Hannah Russell took inspiration from Rebecca Adlington as she surged to silver in the 400m freestyle on her Games debut last night. "For her to come back and perform that really gutsy swim - that's what inspires me," Russell said. "She came back and gave it her all." MORE

Man City handed horrendous draw

Manchester City were last night given an ominous Champions League group stage draw, with Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Ajax all lying in wait. Chelsea were drawn alongside Juventus, while Arsenal and Manchester United had kind draws. MORE

Robson happy to take centre stage

Laura Robson says she revelled in the limelight after ending the career of Kim Clijsters while making the third round this week. "I've always loved a big stage," she said. "I thrive in a good atmosphere and play better on big courts." MORE

Finn: Players left shocked by Strauss

Steve Finn has spoken of the shock felt by the England team at Andrew Strauss's resignation. "There were shocked faces in the dressing room when we were told," he said. "It's disappointing when somebody so inspirational steps down." MORE

Lack of rewards turns clubs off

The financial rewards of promotion to the Premiership this season have been queried by Bedford Blues chairman Geoff Irvine. "It would cost us millions to move up," he said. "What's wrong with being the 14th best club in the country?" MORE

Armstrong ban backed by France

The French Cycling Federation have supported the decision to strip Lance Armstrong of his Tour de France titles. "The [FCF] welcomes the perseverance," they said. "Armstrong's refusal to contest sounds like an admission of his guilt." MORE

Bolt and Blake take Zurich victories

Jamaican pair Yohan Blake and Usain Bolt recorded comfortable wins in the 100m and 200m respectively at the Diamond League meeting in Zurich last night. David Rudisha finished second in the 800m. MORE

Exclusive column: Jody Cundy

I never thought the Paralympics would achieve the level of public interest that it has attracted leading into these Games. I can't wait to see the response as the Games unfold. MORE