The Sports Matrix: Friday 8 July 2011

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Sky is the limit for British team after maiden triumph

When Edvald Boasson Hagen sprinted to victory in Lisieux yesterday he secured not only a maiden stage win on the Tour but a first victory for a British team in more than three decades. On the longest stage of this year’s race, the Norwegain prevailed despite wet and windy conditions along the 226.5km route from Dinan and Lisieux. Boasson Hagen aided by a strong lead-out from his team-mate Geraint Thomas, rode to the line superbly to edge out renowned sprinters Matt Goss and his compatriot Thor Hushvold. “I want to be as good as him or better,” Boasson Hagen said of comparisons with fellow Norwegian Hushovd. “But eitherway, though, I’m not changing – I’m still staying Eddie.” MORE

Arsenal resigned to Nasri departure

Arsenal are facing up to the prospect of losing Samir Nasri to Manchester United, following the player’s meeting with manager Arsène Wenger. United made a £20m bid for the player last month, with Chelsea and Manchester City also interested. MORE

Alves expects to welcome Fabregas

Barcelona full-back Dani Alves feels Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas is destined to join him at the Nou Camp. “Players always end up playing where they want to play,” Alves said of the want-away Spaniard. “A club shouldn’t keep an unhappy player.” MORE

Ferguson looking for further recruits

Manchester United may have spent over £50m in the transfer market already this summer, but manager Sir Alex Ferguson’s enthusiasm for an overhaul shows no signs of stopping. Samir Nasri and Wesley Sneijder remain on the Scot’s radar. MORE

One dead in Twente stadium collapse

One person died and 16 were injured yesterday after a section of the roof at FC Twente’s De Grolsch Veste stadium collapsed. The accident happened as the stadium was being renovated. “Our thoughts are with everyone involved,” said the club. MORE

Bore draw takes Fulham through

Fulham qualified for the second qualifying round of the Europa League after a goalless draw at the Faroe Islands’ NSI Runavik last night secured a 3-0 aggregate victory. Martin Jol’s side are close to signing the former Liverpool defender John Arne Riise.

Cook ‘hits ball as hard as Trescothick’

Craig Kieswetter has likened Alastair Cook’s batting style to that of county team-mate Marcus Trescothick. “He certainly hits the ball as hard as he does,” Kieswetter said of his England colleague. “And he’s just as calm in the middle.” MORE

Westwood makes the early running

Former world No 1 Lee Westwood put in a strong display to take a share of the lead after the opening day of the Scottish Open at Castle Stuart. The 38-year-old shot a 65 to top the early leaderboard alongside tour newcomer Mark Tullo of Chile. MORE

Murray relishes Davis Cup return

Andy Murray is looking forward to turning out for Great Britain in this weekend’s Davis Cup tie against Luxembourg. “I’ve always enjoyed playing Davis Cup,” he said. “You spend the whole year on your own, but now you’ve got guys around you.” MORE

Di Resta wants to build on fine start

Force India’s Paul di Resta heads to his home grand prix happy with his displays in his debut F1 season. “I’m quite pleased,” the Scot, 25, said. “[The other drivers] have lots of experience, but hopefully I can just be in the mix and be competitive among them.” MORE

Button confident he can reign in wet

Jenson Button believes wet conditions at Silverstone on Sunday could be advantageous for him and team-mate Lewis Hamilton. “Red Bull will be difficult to beat,” he said. “But if it’s mixed conditions or wet it gives us a better opportunity.” MORE

Hatton hangs up gloves for good

The former IBF light-welterweight world champion Ricky Hatton has finally stepped away from the ring, laying to rest any notion that he might make a comeback. The Briton’s last fight came more than two years ago. MORE

James Lawton

Now the News of the World has gone, along with the sports pages he recently declared were the best in journalism, Gary Lineker has plenty of scope to reflect on the moral outrage in his licence-fee funded £1.5m-a year job. MORE