The Sports Matrix: Monday 28 February 2011

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West Ham move up after Liverpool win

West Ham moved to 18th with a 3-1 home win over Liverpool yesterday. Scott Parker put the hosts ahead with an excellent finish and Demba Ba’s header made it 2-0. Glen Johnson pulled one back before Carlton Cole scored in stoppage time. MORE

Dragons deny Wigan challenge

St George Illawarra won the World Club Challenge with a 21-15 defeat of Wigan Warriors at the DW Stadium. Wigan went 8-0 ahead but tries from Matt Cooper, Brett Morris and Cameron King gave the Dragons a lead that they held on to.

Ireland withstand late Scots rally

Ireland recorded a narrow 21-18 win over Scotland at Murrayfield yesterday. The Irish scored three tries through Jamie Heaslip, Eoin Reddan and Ronan O’Gara. Scotland rallied late, with Chris Paterson kicking 12 points. MORE

Duff pins back flat City at Eastlands

Manchester City were held at home by Fulham after going ahead. Mario Balotelli scored from distance in the first half but City looked flat and Damien Duff equalised early in the second half. Roberto Mancini’s side could not find a winning goal. MORE

Westwood hopes to regain No1 spot

While Luke Donald was plotting to beat new world No 1 Martin Kaymer in the final of the Match Play championship yesterday, Lee Westwood was planning to regain his mantle. He is in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, preparing for the Honda Classic. MORE

Chelsea fine Cole over gun incident

Chelsea have fined Ashley Cole over his accidental shooting of a student at the club’s training ground a week ago. A club statement said that “appropriate action” was being taken after Cole allegedly shot 21-year-old Tom Cowan with an air rifle. MORE

Strauss leads England to epic tie

England and India played out a thrilling tie yesterday in Bangalore. India scored 338 in their innings, thanks to a 120 from Sachin Tendulkar. England’s batting was led by a 158 from Andrew Strauss and a run from the last ball secured the tie. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Martin Johnson must deal with the worst aspect of England’s win over France: the lack of smartness and ultimate confidence displayed whenever the midfield was required to perform anything more than defence. MORE

Birmingham win cup at the death

An 89th minute goal from Obafemi Martins won the League Cup final for Birmingham City, ending their 48-year wait for a second major trophy, having won the same competition in 1963. In the opening minutes Birmingham could have won a penalty, as Lee Bowyer raced through and was brought down in the box by Wojciech Szczesny. Bowyer was wrongly flagged offside, however, and Arsenal were spared a penalty and a possible red card. Nikola Zigic put Birmingham ahead after 28 minutes, with a close range back-header after a corner had been headed towards goal by Roger Johnson. Arsenal responded six minutes before the break, as Robin van Persie expertly hooked in a volley from an Andrei Arshavin cross. Arsenal were the better side for the second half and looked likeliest to score but with one minute remaining Martins capitalised on a mix-up between Wojciech Szczesny and Laurent Koscielny to finish into an open goal and win the cup for Birmingham. MORE

Rooney ban should not be up to referee

Whether Wayne Rooney receives a three-match ban for elbowing James McCarthy on Saturday depends on the judgement of Mark Clattenburg today, who initially only awarded a free-kick. A panel of ex-referees would be better judges. MORE

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