The Sports Matrix: Monday 06 February 2012


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The Independent Online


Capello: FA should have kept Terry as England's captain

The England manager Fabio Capello last night launched a personal attack on the Football Association's decision to strip John Terry of the captaincy.

Asked by an Italian broadcaster whether he agreed with the FA decision, Capello said: "No, absolutely not. I spoke with the chairman [David Bernstein] and I told him that I don't think someone can be punished until it becomes official.

"The court will decide. It's going to be civil justice, not sports justice, to decide if John Terry committed that crime that he is accused of. And I thought it fair that John Terry keeps the captain's armband."

In a move that could herald a breakdown in relations between Capello and the FA, the England manager appeared to suggest in one version of the interview that that he believed Terry was "still the captain".

The interview was given to the Italian broadcaster RAI via video link from London. Capello was at Stamford Bridge yesterday to watch Chelsea's 3-3 draw with Manchester United. The FA's position has not changed, regardless of Capello's feelings. MORE

Villas-Boas angry at United penalties

Andre Villas-Boas was frustrated with referee Howard Webb yesterday as Chelsea lost a 3-0 lead to draw with Manchester United. Webb gave United two second-half penalties, which Villas-Boas called "very dubious", before Javier Hernandez's equaliser. MORE

Quick wickets give England slim hope

A late burst of wickets gave England a chance of victory in the third Test against Pakistan. Monty Panesar finished with five wickets as the "hosts" lost their last seven wickets for 34 runs, leaving England needing 324 to win. They ended the day on 36-0. MORE

Cissé marks debut with winning goal

Papiss Demba Cissé scored the winning goal on his Newcastle United debut yesterday, in a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa. Demba Ba, also from Senegal, had put Newcastle ahead before Robbie Keane's equaliser, but Cissé won it with 19 minutes left. MORE

Patrick tries help Giants shock Wigan

Two Larne Patrick tries helped Huddersfield to a shock 20-16 win at Wigan in the biggest surprise of the opening weekend of Super League. The prop's second came after a 50-metre dash and ruined new Wigan coach Shaun Wane's first game in charge. MORE

Suarez back to face Spurs at Anfield

Luis Suarez returns from suspension for Liverpool against Tottenham with manager Kenny Dalglish expected to name the Uruguyan in the starting line-up. The forward has been banned for eight matches after racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra. MORE

Halfpenny penalty seals Wales win

Wales surprised Ireland 23-21 in Dublin after a controversial late penalty from Leigh Halfpenny. Stephen Ferris was adjudged guilty of a tip-tackle on Ian Evans giving the visitors the chance of victory. Jonathan Davies had earlier gone over twice for Wales. MORE

James Lawton

Owen Farrell did not have a storming game for England on Saturday but did look as if he will settle in faster than anyone expected. But overall this was a messy performance from a very raw England team. MORE

Chelsea v United

The game was shown in the US as part of Fox's Superbowl build-up, and it was a display of the very best of the league.


After selling their best player, Rangers crashed out of the Scottish Cup, losing 2-0 at home to Dundee United.

Monty Panesar

A second five-for in his second Test back: Monty took 5 for 124 as England tried to restrict Pakistan in Dubai.


Trailing by six points with five minutes remaining, the Welsh rallied with a try and a penalty to triumph 23-21 in Ireland.