The Sports Matrix: Monday 16 May 2011

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Mancini: City must not follow Spurs

Roberto Mancini said Manchester City need to spend more to do well next season: “This year we should take Spurs as an example. They got to a Champions League quarter-final and finished fifth or sixth in the league. It’s tough if you don’t have a big squad.” MORE

Farrell kicks Saracens into final

Saracens reached the Premiership final yesterday after a 12-10 semi-final win over Gloucester at Vicarage Road. Gloucester scored the only try, through Nicky Robinson, but Saracens’ teenage fly-half Owen Farrell kicked four penalties to win the game. MORE

Rangers give Smith perfect ending

Rangers clinched the SPL title yesterday with a 5-1 win at Kilmarnock. They were 3-0 up after seven minutes and Kyle Lafferty finished with a hat-trick. It was Walter Smith’s final game as Rangers manager, and he leaves having won 10 Scottish titles. MORE

Welham sends Hull KR past Bulls

Kris Welham scored a hat-trick as Hull KR beat Bradford 46-18 yesterday to overtake them in the Super League table. Welham has now scored 15 tries in all competitions, while Bradford have not won in six games. Hull KR are now ninth, Bradford 11th. MORE

Arsenal slip up against Villa

Arsenal loosened their grip on third place yesterday with a 2-1 home defeat to Aston Villa. Darren Bent scored twice, before Robin van Persie’s consolation, meaning Manchester City can overtake them thanks to their game in hand tomorrow. MORE

Gay wins 150m but Bolt’s record stays

Tyson Gay won the 150m at the Great City Games in Manchester yesterday, with a time of 14.51 seconds, running the final 100m in 8.88sec. Gay was 0.47sec ahead of Darvis Patton but not near Usain Bolt’s world record 14.35sec, set two years ago. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Mario Balotelli played on Saturday as if he had whipped his demons into submission. It increases the possibility that one day Roberto Mancini will able to say that Balotelli was indeed worth all of the trouble. MORE

Grant sacked as West Ham go down

Chris Hughton is among the favourites to manage West Ham United in the Championship next season, after Avram Grant was sacked yesterday for taking the club down. Less than an hour after his team lost 3-2 at Wigan Athletic, Grant, who was seven months into a four-year contract, was sacked by owners David Gold and David Sullivan. West Ham have been bottom for nearly the whole season, and he was almost replaced by Martin O’Neill in January, although he hung on until the penultimate game of the season. West Ham went 2-0 up yesterday, and with Birmingham losing to Fulham that would have kept them in contention on the final day. But two goals from Charles N’Zogbia and one from Conor Sammon sent them down. MORE

Birmingham left in trouble by defeat

Birmingham City squandered the chance to move clear of the relegation zone yesterday with a 2-0 home defeat to Fulham. Brede Hangeland scored both goals for the visitors, leaving the Carling Cup winners safe only by virtue of goal difference. MORE

Djokovic beats Nadal in final

Novak Djokovic beat Rafael Nadal in the final of the Rome Masters last night. The Serb won 6-4, 6-4 to bring his winning streak to 39, 37 of which have come this year. It was his second consecutive clay victory over Nadal, the world’s best on the surface. MORE