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The Sports Matrix: Monday 2 April 2012

Dalglish bemoans 'frustrated' players after Newcastle loss

Kenny Dalglish admitted to "frustration and disappointment" in Liverpool's fiery 2-0 defeat to Newcastle yesterday, which left them in eighth place, 11 points behind their rivals for European football.

Andy Carroll was booked for diving, and appeared to swear when substituted, and Pepe Reina was sent off for an apparent headbutt on James Perch.

"We have not got a problem with people showing desperation or disappointment or frustration," the Liverpool manager said, "but we need to channel it better than we have done."

Papiss Demba Cissé scored a goal in each half and his manager, Alan Pardew, called it his "best performance" for Newcastle. The first was a header from Hatem Ben Arfa's cross, with the second a cool finish from close range. While Liverpool were struggling to battle back, their hopes collapsed with 10 minutes left with Reina's dismissal for thrusting his head at Perch.

"Reina got a deserved red card," said Dalglish, "and then Andy came off and went up the tunnel. He was frustrated with the way the game had gone. Not just for himself but for the team. That frustration takes him up into the dressing room."MORE

Mancini: United can end it this week

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini admitted that should league leaders Manchester United win their next two fixtures then the title race will be "finished". United will play twice before City's next fixture at Arsenal on Sunday lunchtime. MORE

Ferguson hails 'fantastic' De Gea

Sir Alex Ferguson has praised Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea for improving since their home loss to Blackburn: "He has stood up as a man. Now he is playing with confidence. He stood up to the situation. He has shown fantastic improvement." MORE

Redknapp gears up for third place fight

After Tottenham defeated Swansea 3-1 yesterday, to go level on points with Arsenal, their manager, Harry Redknapp, said the race for third would be close until the end of the season: "We've got to keep picking up points. You can't afford to slip up." MORE

Murray loses final to Djokovic

Novak Djokovic beat Andy Murray in the final of the Miami Masters last night, 6-1, 7-6. The world No 1 took the first set comfortably, although British No 1 Murray fought hard through the second, eventually taking it to a tie-break before losing that 7-4. MORE

Pressure mounts on captain Strauss

Andrew Strauss heads into tomorrow's second Test against Sri Lanka knowing another loss would stoke speculation about his role as captain and put England's No 1 ranking at risk. Steve Finn and Tim Bresnan may play for the injured Stuart Broad. MORE

Wasps sense safety after Daly's winner

Elliot Daly's late penalty earned relegation-threatened Wasps a vital 26-24 Premiership win over Gloucester, sending them eight points clear of fellow strugglers Newcastle. Wasps' Nic Berry and Hugo Southwell scored before Daley's 79th-minute kick. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Rory McIlroy may need to fight his way out of a time warp at Augusta, as Tiger Woods seemed to have turned back the clock with his victory in Florida last week. The old authority and swagger were back for the Tiger. MORE

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