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The Sports Matrix: Monday 14 January 2013


Football: Van Persie and Vidic keep United clear at the summit

Manchester United maintained their lead at the top of the Premier League with a 2-1 victory over Liverpool at Old Trafford yesterday. Robin van Persie, with his 17th league strike of the season, and Nemanja Vidic, above, put Sir Alex Ferguson's side comfortably in control, before Daniel Sturridge's reply just before the hour mark ensured a tense finale. MORE

Tennis: Baker seeks first win at Grand Slam

Britain's Jamie Baker hopes to win a first Grand Slam match at the Australian Open tomorrow against Lukas Rosol. "It would be huge ranking points and huge money," he said. "And would set me up for the tougher schedule I aim to play this year." MORE

Rugby Union: Munster win but hopes in balance

Munster overcame Edinburgh 26-17 in Pool 1 to keep their Heineken Cup hopes alive, but failed to gain a bonus point. The Irish side now welcome Racing Metro next Sunday sitting joint-third in the race for the two best runners-up spots – behind Montpellier and Leicester. MORE

Golf: Mega-bucks McIlroy unveiled by Nike

World No 1 Rory McIlroy will today be unveiled as the £155m face of Nike Golf, making the Ulsterman the second highest earner in the sport behind Tiger Woods. The amount is an increase of 500 per cent on his existing sponsorship deals. MORE

Football: City stay in touch after early strikes

First-half goals from James Milner and Edin Dzeko helped keep Manchester City in touch with leaders Manchester United after a 2-0 victory at Arsenal. Laurent Koscielny was dismissed inside 10 minutes for the hosts, while Vincent Kompany saw red for the visitors late on. MORE

Racing: Elliott eyes Festival for Flat failure

Irish trainer Gordon Elliott has an unlikely Cheltenham novice prospect on his hands after a beautifully bred Flat flop, Cause Of Causes, showed real heart to make it three from four over hurdles yesterday. MORE

Rugby Union: Leicester reprieved after Spratt miss

A late missed conversion from Ospreys' Jonathan Spratt kept Leicester's hopes of reaching the last eight of the Heineken Cup alive after a 15-15 draw yesterday. Leicester now face a winner-takes-all clash with Toulouse next Sunday for a place in the quarter-finals. MORE

Cycling: Armstrong urged to tell Oprah the truth

British Cycling president Brian Cookson has called on Lance Armstrong to name his accomplices when he appears on Oprah Winfrey's show this week. "Who were these people involved?" Cookson said. "Who actually did he bribe?" MORE

Football: Newcastle agree £8m fee for Rémy

Marseilles forward Loïc Rémy is to have a medical and hold talks with Newcastle after the clubs agreed an £8m fee. QPR, Arsenal and Spurs had been linked with the striker, who will replace Demba Ba at St James' Park, following the Senegal international's move to Chelsea.

Cricket: Patel: England can win ODI series

Samit Patel feels England can utilise the belief from their opening ODI win when they face India again tomorrow. "You put in the hard yards and you learn, you get your rewards," he said. "We can achieve [a series victory] if we stay calm and level-headed." MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

With Daniel Sturridge assigned to what we had imagined was the purpose of his signing, to support Luis Suarez, United were obliged to do more than wait for the next clinical thrust of Van Persie. MORE