The Sports Matrix: Monday 19 September 2011

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The Independent Online

Johnson: England ‘not good enough’

Despite a 41-10 victory over Georgia yesterday, England’s head coach Martin Johnson has criticised his team’s performance in Dunedin. “We were sloppy,” said Johnson. “We have to be tough on ourselves – that wasn’t good enough.” MORE

No excuses from Pulis after loss

Stoke manager Tony Pulis refused to blame his side’s Europa League trip to Kiev in the week for yesterday’s 4-0 loss at Sunderland. “We make no excuses about the effects of travelling to Kiev,” he said. “You get times when things don’t go well.” MORE

Mancini: We are short of players

Roberto Mancini said Manchester City “lacked resources” after his side blew a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at Fulham. “We are short of players,” said Mancini, after Sergio Aguero’s two goals were cancelled out by Bobby Zamora and Danny Murphy. MORE

Murray blasts 2012 men’s schedule

After helping Britain complete a 5-0 Davis Cup victory over Hungary in Glasgow, a result that will see them promoted back to Europe/Africa Zone Group One next year, Andy Murray condemned the busy men’s schedule for 2012 as “ridiculous”. MORE

Adebayor scores in Spurs rout at Lane

Emmanuel Adebayor scored twice on his home debut as Tottenham thrashed nine-man Liverpool 4-0. Goals from an inspired Luka Modric and Jermain Defoe came before Adebayor’s double. Liverpool had Charlie Adam and Martin Skrtel sent off. MORE

Poulter summons Ballesteros’ spirit

Great Britain and Ireland held off a strong final day charge from Europe to retain the Seve Trophy. Evoking the great Spaniard, Ian Poulter sank the winning putt against his captain Paul McGinley’s orders. “The legend continues,” McGinley said. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

What we saw again in England was the sense of a team uncomfortable in its own skin, still without authority which builds when key players know they have done enough to become integral to any serious hopes of success. MORE

Villas-Boas fears for Torres after open-goal miss

Andre Villas-Boas last night said Fernando Torres should not be crucified for one of the worst misses in Premier League history, during the game which saw Manchester United round off their best start to a league season in 26 years. Torres looked to be set on the road to redeeming himself after the nightmare start to his Chelsea career, with his second goal in 24 matches and then a delicious feint and run around David De Gea to complete a fine performance yesterday. But that run ended with him slicing wide of the open goal. Villas-Boas, who insisted that his side’s display had shown “we are up to the level of the champions”, said he expected Torres to be slated for his miss. “You are all very nice in here with me and tomorrow you take a different stance,” he told the media. He pointed to Wayne Rooney’s skewed penalty – the striker’s left, standing foot slipped as he struck the ball – in support of his £50m striker. “You have to be fair that the best world strikers missed great opportunities. It happened to Fernando but it happened to Rooney, too.” MORE

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