The Sports Matrix: Monday 19 December 2011


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We are out of title race, says Wenger

After his Arsenal team lost 1-0 to the league leaders Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium yesterday, Arsène Wenger admitted that his club are now too far off the pace to compete for the title this season. "It puts us too much behind," he said. "It was a game we could not afford to lose. If we had won the game the gap would have been six points [to City] and with Jack Wilshere and Abou Diaby coming back we would have had a better squad in the second half of the season." David Silva scored the only goal of the game. MORE

Redknapp wants to keep Russian

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp says he wants the disaffected striker Roman Pavlyuchenko, who came off the bench to score the winner against Sunderland yesterday, to stay at the club. "I'd like to keep him," Redknapp said. "He is top-drawer." MORE

Rooney reigns at Loftus Road

Manchester United defeated Queens Park Rangers 2-0 in west London yesterday. Wayne Rooney scored inside the first minute, heading home past goalkeeper Radek Cerny, before Michael Carrick scored his first of the season in the 56th minute. MORE

Bellamy pivotal as Liverpool prevail

Liverpool recorded their fifth away league victory of the season as they beat Aston Villa 2-0. Craig Bellamy opened the scoring, firing home from close range in the 11th minute, before the striker's corner found Martin Skrtel who headed in three minutes later. MORE

Harlequins record famous victory

Harlequins earned one of their most memorable victories yesterday, a hard-fought 31-24 win at Toulouse in Pool Six. Mike Brown touched down twice for the visitors, while Nick Evans posted four penalties and converted two of his team's three tries. MORE

Gaitan close to Old Trafford move

The agent Jorge Mendes – who also delivered Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani, Anderson, Bebe and David de Gea to Manchester United – has brokered a deal which is likely to see Benfica's Argentinian midfielder Nicolas Gaitan sign for £29.3m next summer. MORE

Froch stays positive after Ward beating

Despite being outclassed by Andre Ward to lose his WBC super-middleweight title in Las Vegas, Carl Froch is hopeful of one day earning a rematch with the undefeated American. "I still think that I can beat Ward on a good night," he said. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

There were moments when Manchester City's stars, Sergio Aguero and David Silva in particular, threatened to run wild. It says everything about the regained spirit of Arsène Wenger's Arsenal that it didn't happen. MORE